MediaFile

Tech wrap: Amazon offers Android apps, gets sued by Apple

A demonstrator plays a racing game on an Android-based Motorola Atrix smartphone during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 6, 2011. REUTERS/Steve MarcusAmazon.com opened its store for Google Android smartphone applications, ratcheting up its fight with Apple after the iPhone maker sued Amazon in a bid to stop the online retailer from improperly using its App Store trademark.

A New York court rejected a class action settlement hammered out between Google and publishers that would allow the Web search leader to scan millions of books and sell them online.

U.S. wireless operators will have to pay higher subsidies for cellphones as they come with more features, Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse said during a chief executive panel at the annual CTIA wireless industry conference.

AT&T/T-Mobile USA’s ability to reach 95 percent of the population will mean a better wireless service for consumers, Business Insider’s Dan Frommer writes. Fewer phones, higher prices, and the year or two that it will take for customers to notice any appreciable improvement in network quality are reasons why the deal won’t benefit anyone but AT&T and Deutsche Telekom, Gizmodo’s Matt Buchanan opined.

RIM’s long-awaited tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, will go on sale through retailers and wireless carriers in the U.S. and Canada on April 19 at a base price of $499, matching the pricing for Apple’s iPad 2. But with no word on distribution plans outside North America, RIM will still be chasing Apple, one analyst said. Samsung said its base Galaxy 10.1 tablet will cost $499.

Tech wrap: Apple’s iPad 2 launches

People look at their phones and computers as they wait for the iPad 2 to go on sale at the Apple store in Boulder, Colorado March 11, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Hundreds of people across the U.S. lined up to get their hands on Apple’s iPad 2, the update to last year’s wildly popular tablet computer. If you’re wondering how much the iPad 2 could cost you, Michael Hickins of The Walls Street Journal adds up the tab and discovers you could easily spend $300 on top of the $499 price tag for the cheapest model. Tablet sales are expected to surge to more than 50 million units this year, with Apple capturing more than 70 percent of the market.

If you do buy an iPad and you happen to be a politician, you might not want to use how much you paid for it as an example of why inflation isn’t a problem when you head into a working-class neighborhood.

Neil Young, the CEO of mobile-gaming success story Ngmoco, tells VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi about his quest to create a multibillion-dollar mobile entertainment company. And how he’s relying on two technologies, Mobage and NG Core, combined into a worldwide mobile social network, to make it happen.

Closer look at Google’s Honeycomb

Google stole the show from Verizon at the opening keynote at CES, showing off its new Honeycomb software, the first version of the Android operating system specifically designed for tablets.

Android developer Mike Cleron wowed a packed hall with a quick spin around its features, including a new-look home screen, pixel buttons, multitasking, smooth video and an eye-catching 3-D mapping tool that lets you ’tilt’ the view to get a better idea of what you are looking at.

Google has posted a video of the new system in action on YouTube. YouTube Preview Image

Tablets could offer Research-in-Motion a second act

Could tablets offer Research-in-Motion a second act? The company, whose Blackberry phones were the hottest mobile devices of the decade until the iPhone and Android phones showed up, badly needs something to revive its growth.

Just last week, ComScore said that the Blackberry’s share of the U.S. smartphone market fell to 35.8% from 39.3% while the iPhone inched up a percentage point to 24.6% and Android grew by six and a half percentage points to 23.5%. Another survey by Nielsen showed that people planning to upgrade from feature phones to smartphones prefer Android and iPhones. Only 11% of those surveyed are most interested in buying a Blackberry.

Analysts are starting to worry that the trend will be repeated in overseas markets. On Wednesday, Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros. said he expects RIM’s stock price to erode because Android’s market share is growing as prices of Android phones come down. RIM’s stock is down 3% since Monday as investors mulled such concerns.

FT hearts tablets so much, it’s spreading the joy among staff

SINGAPORE/It’s not hard to see why newspaper companies, saddled with plunging circulation and big iron presses , are so ecstatic over tablet devices. They bring a form of hope that hasn’t crossed this industry’s path since newspapers dominated classified advertising in the 1980s and 1990s making them fat with revenue and profits. Tablet computers, like Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, just might spark renewed interest in wilted newspapers among consumers and help ease the legacy costs of paper and ink.

Consider News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch who has often expressed his love for the iPad and is busy building a team to produce a tablet-only newspaper The Daily.

The  Financial Times is just as enamored and is spreading the joy offering its employees a nice chunk of change to go toward the purchase of an iPad or other tablet.