Mobizzz http://mobizzz.com Articles and reviews of products by leading vendors – Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, HTC Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:33:23 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.2 Study: Samsung phone durable, but iPhone has edge http://mobizzz.com/study-samsung-phone-durable-but-iphone-has-edge.html http://mobizzz.com/study-samsung-phone-durable-but-iphone-has-edge.html#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:33:23 +0000 inna.ivanina http://mobizzz.com/?p=1924 The Galaxy S5 smartphone is considered more durable than its predecessor S4 and Apple's phones.]]>

Smartphone Durability

NEW YORK (AP) — Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 smartphone is more durable than last year’s model and other leading Android phones, but the iPhone 5s outperformed all of them in part because of its smaller size, a new study finds.

The S5 scored well given its water resistance and a sturdy back panel made of plastic, according to SquareTrade, a provider of extended protection plans. The iPhone 5s won points for being just 4 inches diagonally, compared with about 5 inches for the Android phones. That makes the iPhone easier to grip and thus less likely to slip out of one’s hands.

Nonetheless, all the smartphones tested had a medium risk of breakage, and differences between the various phones weren’t major.

SquareTrade evaluated the phones based on such criteria as size, weight, grip and the quality of the front and back panels. The company measured how far the phones slide when pushed across a table on their backs and how well they withstand drops from 4 feet and being dunked in water for 10 seconds. Robots were used to ensure consistency.

SquareTrade provided The Associated Press with the results ahead of Monday afternoon’s announcement.

The S5 scored a 6 on a 10-point durability scale, with 10 having the highest risk. The new HTC One phone scored a 6.5, while Google’s Nexus 5 had a 7. The iPhone 5s was at 5.5.

None of those phones is as durable as last year’s Moto X from Motorola. It had a 4.5 rating, thanks to a rounded back molded to the shape of a user’s hand, making it easier to grip. Last year’s HTC One model also had a 4.5.

Last year’s Samsung Galaxy S4, meanwhile, had a score of 7.

The S5, the new HTC One, the Nexus and the iPhone all had strong front panels, despite being made of mostly glass. SquareTrade considered both the materials used and design factors such as button placement to gauge how likely a user would drop the phone while using it. The back panels on the One and the iPhone were moderate, while those on the S5 and the Nexus performed well.

The S5 and the One were the hardest to grip, while the One and the Nexus had poor marks for water resistance — the phones still worked, but had no sound. Both the S5 and the iPhone survived the dunk test, even though only the S5 is officially marketed as water resistant — for up to 30 minutes.

Only the Nexus 5 passed the slide test, but it was the only of the four to fail the drop test.

The Nexus slid 1.7 feet when pushed by a robot, compared with 2.5 feet or more for the others. The more a phone slides, the greater its chance of falling off the edge of a table. After getting dropped, the Nexus was shattered, while the others had only superficial damage.

SquareTrade said the S5′s performance on the drop test was noteworthy, because the S4 had done poorly.

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BlackBerry wins ruling against iPhone keyboard http://mobizzz.com/blackberry-wins-ruling-against-iphone-keyboard.html http://mobizzz.com/blackberry-wins-ruling-against-iphone-keyboard.html#comments Tue, 01 Apr 2014 10:19:22 +0000 inna.ivanina http://mobizzz.com/?p=1921 Typo Products was banned to sell an iPhone keyboard in the US because of Blackberry winning suit.]]>

Blackberry lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry has won an early round in its legal battle against an iPhone keyboard made by a startup co-founded by “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest.

A court order bans Seacrest’s company, Typo Products LLC, from selling its iPhone keyboard in the U.S. while BlackBerry Ltd. proceeds with a patent infringement case against the product. BlackBerry contends Typo Products ripped off the design from the physical keyboards used for typing on BlackBerry’s phones.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco ruled that BlackBerry is likely to prove its infringement claims against Typo Products and would be damaged if the sales of the $99 iPhone keyboard were allowed to continue.

The ban could be lifted later in the case if Typo Products prevails in its claims that its iPhone keyboard isn’t based on any of BlackBerry’s patented designs or technology.

“This ruling will help prevent further injury to BlackBerry from Typo’s blatant theft of our patented keyboard technology,” BlackBerry said in a statement.

Typo Products said it plans to appeal Orrick’s ruling. “Typo will continue to make and sell innovative products that busy people can’t live without,” the Los Angeles company said in a statement.

In court papers, Typo Products warned that it might go out of business if it was not allowed to keep selling its iPhone keyboard.

Seacrest started Typo Products with entrepreneur Laurence Hallier last year. The iPhone keyboard went on sale in January as an alternative to typing on a touch screen.

The physical keyboards on BlackBerry’s phones helped reshape the way that people used mobile devices.

But those phones have been waning in popularity since Apple Inc. released the first iPhone in 2007, threatening BlackBerry’s survival. As its losses have mounted, BlackBerry’s market value has plummeted from more than $80 billion in 2008 to less than $5 billion today.

The Canadian company is trying to bounce back by focusing more on its software than its smartphones under CEO John Chen, who took charge last year. BlackBerry lost $5.9 billion in its last fiscal year ending March 1.

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NSA collects all phone calls in a foreign country http://mobizzz.com/ap-us-nsa-surveillance.html http://mobizzz.com/ap-us-nsa-surveillance.html#comments Wed, 19 Mar 2014 10:23:11 +0000 inna.ivanina http://mobizzz.com/?p=1911 NSA has been recording all of a foreign country's phone calls, then listening to the conversations up to a month later, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.]]>

phone calling

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Security Agency has been recording all of a foreign country’s phone calls, then listening to the conversations up to a month later, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

At the request of U.S. officials, the Post said it would not identify the targeted country or other countries where the program’s use was envisioned by officials.

The program is the latest revelation from a trove of classified documents that former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden leaked to certain news organizations last year. Most of those documents have described the U.S. collecting massive amounts of data and text. This program is different in that it records phone calls.

This NSA program dates to 2009 and is called MYSTIC, according to documents obtained by the Post. It is used to intercept conversations in one specific country, but documents show the NSA intends to use it in other countries, the Post said.

It records all conversations across the unidentified foreign country and stores billions of them for 30 days. The program wasn’t fully operational until 2011. One of the program’s senior managers told the Post that MYSTIC is comparable to a time machine, meaning voices from any call can be replayed without requiring the NSA to identify a person before the conversations are collected.

The conversations swept up likely include those of Americans who make calls to or from the targeted country. Civil libertarians are concerned that this program and others like it will target other countries and that the NSA will eventually hold the data longer than what was defined its original charter and use it for other reasons.

“This is a truly chilling revelation, and it’s one that underscores how high the stakes are in the debate we’re now having about bulk surveillance,” Jameel Jaffer, American Civil Liberties Union deputy legal director, said in a statement. “The NSA has always wanted to record everything, and now it has the capacity to do so.”

The White House would not comment on the specific program described by the Post. But National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said information sought by the U.S. intelligence community is, in many cases, hidden in the “large and complex system” of global communications.

“The United States must consequently collect signals intelligence in bulk in certain circumstances in order to identify these threats,” Hayden said in a statement. She said the presidential directive that authorizes this type of collection “makes clear that signals intelligence collected in bulk may only be used to meet specific security requirements.”

The NSA is authorized to collect in bulk signals intelligence — the type of intelligence that comes from radio signals and communications, for example, as long as the purpose of the collection is to counter threats regarding espionage, terrorism, proliferation, cyber security, safety of U.S. troops and transnational crime.

Bulk collection means collecting everything, even if some of what’s collected has nothing to do with national security. Most of the conversations collected under the NSA program would be irrelevant, the Post said.

The NSA would not confirm the existence of the MYSTIC program. But a spokeswoman said that the NSA’s collection programs are legal and done for national security purposes.

“NSA does not conduct signals intelligence collection in any country, or anywhere in the world, unless it is necessary to advance U.S. national security and foreign policy interests and to protect its citizens and the citizens of its allies and partners from harm,” NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said in an email.

Vines said it jeopardizes national security when details about classified intelligence programs are made public.

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Bouygues lifts bid for French mobile operator SFR http://mobizzz.com/bouygues-lifts-bid-for-french-mobile-operator-sfr.html http://mobizzz.com/bouygues-lifts-bid-for-french-mobile-operator-sfr.html#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2014 16:14:30 +0000 inna.ivanina http://mobizzz.com/?p=1908 French conglomerate Bouygues is raising the stakes in a bidding war to take control of France's number-two mobile phone operator SFR.]]>

phone

PARIS (AP) — French conglomerate Bouygues is raising the stakes in a bidding war to take control of France’s number-two mobile phone operator SFR.

In a statement Thursday Bouygues says it’s ready to pay 11.3 billion euros ($15.8 billion) to take control of SFR from parent company Vivendi, which wants to separate from telecoms to focus on its other holdings, Canal+ pay television and the Universal Music Group.

Last week, Bouygues and rival bidder Altice, owner of French cable operator Numericable, made competing offers for SFR. Bouygues’ new bid tops the 10.9 billion euro cash offer made by Altice, and represents a significant bump up from Bouygues’ own prior 10.5 billion euro offer.

A Bouygues-SFR tie-up would reduce to three the number of players in the French market, alongside Orange and Free.

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Review: Lots of innovations beyond iOS and Android http://mobizzz.com/review-lots-of-innovations-beyond-ios-and-android.html http://mobizzz.com/review-lots-of-innovations-beyond-ios-and-android.html#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 10:51:51 +0000 andrii.khakhariev http://mobizzz.com/?p=1901 Several new operational systems were shown at MWC 2014. They include Firefox OS, Saifish OS, and Ubuntu.]]>

A device is running with Firefox OS software during the Mobile World Congress
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — When it comes to smartphones, consumers have an array of choices from Apple to… well, Android.

The impression you get stepping into most phone carriers’ showrooms is that the programmers behind Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android are driving most of the innovation in smartphones. You’ll find few phones on display that run other software systems.

Research firm Gartner says 94 percent of smartphones sales last year were either iPhones or Android devices. Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices made up another 5 percent combined.

But what about the remaining 1 percent? They are the wannabes such as Firefox and Sailfish —and many of them are introducing innovative advancements in features and functions.

I had a chance to try out some of these little-known systems at the Mobile World Congress wireless show in Barcelona, Spain, this week. Many of these systems aren’t even available in the U.S., where I live. Although I don’t see myself replacing my Samsung Android phone even if I could, some of these alternative phones have features I envy.

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— Firefox OS, from Mozilla

Firefox is better known for its Web browser. Now, the people behind it are trying to adapt it to run smartphones targeted at emerging markets.

Firefox OS launched last summer with three phones, priced around $50 to $70. They are in available in 15 countries, but not in the U.S.

At the Barcelona show, Mozilla unveiled plans to expand to additional markets in Latin America and eastern Europe, while ZTE announced two new models. Chipmaker Spreadtrum Communications Inc. also announced a blueprint for any phone maker to make $25 smartphones.

The home screen and icons resemble what’s found on iPhones and Android.

Where Firefox OS starts to differ is in apps. With iPhones and Android, you go to an app store to get new apps. With Firefox OS, you typically have instant access to all apps, the same way you can visit a website for the first time without installing anything.

The catch is you need an Internet connection to use apps that aren’t on your phone, but many apps need that access anyway to refresh news, social networks or restaurant guides.

Firefox OS also has a universal search for all content on the phone and online.

There’s another neat feature coming to Firefox OS. Swipe from the left side of the screen to flip through recent apps one by one, just like hitting the back button on a Web browser.

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— Sailfish OS, from Jolla

Sailfish is based on the Linux operating system and comes from the Finnish company Jolla (pronounced “yolla”). Former Nokia employees created Jolla after that struggling cellphone maker abandoned an in-house operating system in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone.

There’s only one phone out so far, and it’s sold only in Europe for 399 euros ($546). But Jolla has ambitions to reach Russia and Asia and to partner with other phone makers.

Jolla Ltd. also announced last week that it will release a free app that Android users can install to replace the regular Android interface with Sailfish’s.

I can see getting the hang of Sailfish over time. It emphasizes gestures over tapping. Access many functions by swiping from an edge on the screen.

The home screen has nine large rectangles, similar to an elongated tic-tac-toe board. These are filled with up to nine of your open apps, so you can instantly get to any one.

You can tap to open an app, but what’s neat is you can reach a task directly by pressing gently on the rectangle and dragging your finger. For the mail app, drag from the left to create a new message, or drag from the right to refresh messages. For the phone app, drag from the left to get the dialer, or drag from the right to get your list of contacts.

This saves time once you get used to the gestures.

To close an app, you can swipe down from the top edge like a window shade. If you’re already on the home screen, swipe down to lock the phone.

Swipe from the left or the right edge within an app to get the home screen. Do that from the home screen to change background, ring tones and other settings. Or if you replace your phone’s back cover with a promotional cover, you get special content, such as social media feeds on “Angry Birds.”

Apple introduced similar gesture controls with its iOS 7 update last fall, but Sailfish goes much further.

There aren’t many apps written for Sailfish yet, but Sailfish phones have a special tool for running most Android apps. You won’t get some of the gesture functions, though.

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— Ubuntu, from Canonical

Like Sailfish, Ubuntu is based on Linux. Unlike Sailfish, there aren’t any Ubuntu phones yet. But the company behind it announced partnerships with two phone makers last week. Phones are due to come out this year, likely to European and Asian markets at first.

Ubuntu’s home page has a series of so-called scopes, arranged by category. One video scope might consist of icons for movies on your phone. Another might have items in your Netflix queue. You can refine what’s presented through a universal search. The idea is to let you access content easily, without having to open an app first.

Swipe from the left edge to get a launcher. The top has all your open apps, while your favorite apps are underneath those. There’s also a home screen scope to search for installed apps and those in the app store.

Swipe from the right edge to get your most recently used app. Swipe further for a carousel of all open apps. Just pick one to go straight to it.

These systems all have good innovations to help users, but people will find the phone and app selections quite limiting. Sailfish has potential if it can indeed run well on existing Android phones, while Android apps can run on it. I look forward to trying that out when it’s released in the first half of the year.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Evolution in US cellphone plans over past year http://mobizzz.com/evolution-in-us-cellphone-plans-over-past-year.html http://mobizzz.com/evolution-in-us-cellphone-plans-over-past-year.html#comments Mon, 24 Feb 2014 11:51:39 +0000 andrii.khakhariev http://mobizzz.com/?p=1897 As competition on the mobile market intensifies, U.S. carriers try to lure customers by changing cellphone plans and fees.]]>

Entrance to the MWC 2014
Image source: www.techradar.com
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — In the old days, U.S. wireless customers typically paid $100 or $200 for a phone and agreed to a two-year service contract. Although the phone actually cost hundreds of dollars more, wireless companies made up for it through the monthly service fees for voice, text and data.

T-Mobile decided last spring to stop subsidizing phones and padding the service fees. Instead, it lowered those fees for everyone and charged for phones separately. A few months later, T-Mobile shook up the phone industry again by allowing customers to upgrade before the phone is fully paid off.

Rivals followed with subsidy-free, no-contract phone plans that also allow frequent upgrades, though they continued to offer subsidized plans as well.

Here’s a look at how wireless plans have evolved over the past year:

T-Mobile US Inc.

T-Mobile eliminated both subsidies and contracts last March. Instead, customers buy phones outright and pay for them in installments over two years. Monthly fees for voice, text and data service have been reduced accordingly, as they no longer include the costs of phone subsidies.

So instead of a single monthly charge, customers get separate ones for the service and the phone. The total monthly charges don’t change all that much while the phone is being paid off. But after the two years, charges drop as customers pay the service portion only.

In July, T-Mobile introduced a $10-a-month program that allows people to upgrade phones up to twice a year instead of every other year. Customers turn in their old phone and pay a down payment with each upgrade. The program, called Jump, gets expensive for those who want to upgrade frequently, given the down payment and monthly fees. But customers get flexibility to keep up with the pace of new phone releases.

A few months later, T-Mobile began offering free text and data services to customers traveling to more than 100 countries. And last month, the company stepped up efforts to lure customers from rivals by reimbursing fees incurred for breaking service contracts early.

T-Mobile also eliminated down payments on most phones this year to make upgrades more economical. Starting Sunday, it’s letting customers upgrade as often as they like — though they’ll have additional installments to make right away if they haven’t paid at least half of the phone’s costs yet.

The changes appear popular. T-Mobile has been gaining subscribers after at least two and a half years of decline in key, good-credit customers, known as postpaid accounts.

AT&T Inc.

A few weeks after T-Mobile introduced Jump, AT&T came out with Next. Customers pay the phone’s full retail price over 20 months and can upgrade after a year by trading in the old phone. There’s no down payment or upgrade fee. However, customers at first were essentially paying for the phone twice, as AT&T hadn’t reduced service fees, the way T-Mobile had.

AT&T addressed that in December by offering a $15-a-month discount for those who participate in Next or who otherwise buy or bring their own phone. Customers still pay more a month under Next than they would under subsidized plans. The iPhone 5s, for instance, costs $32.50 a month for 20 months.

Under new rate plans in January, the discount on service fees increased to $25 a month per phone for accounts with at least two phones sharing 10 gigabytes or more of data.

Verizon Wireless

Verizon’s Edge, introduced in August, is similar to AT&T’s Next, except costs are spread over four additional months. So that iPhone 5s costs about $27 a month for 24 months.

At first, customers had to wait six months for an upgrade. Verizon later changed that to 30 days. The catch is that customers must first pay for at least half the device before trading it in, meaning extra installment payments to reach that threshold.

This month, Verizon began offering discounts for Edge participants. Customers on data plans of up to 8 gigabytes get $10 a month off, while those on higher plans get $20. Those who buy phones elsewhere or whose contracts have run out aren’t eligible for the discounts.

In changing the pricing, Verizon also increased the data allotment for some customers, while creating two lower-priced plans with less data. It began offering free texting to phone users worldwide, but that doesn’t apply when the customer is traveling outside the U.S.

Sprint Corp.

Sprint was the last of the four national carriers to introduce an installment plan with frequent upgrades. Its One Up plan started in September.

By January, that plan was gone, as Sprint focused on a friends-and-family plan called Framily. It lets friends and relatives save money by pooling their accounts, while keeping individual billing and data allotments.

Just a week later, though, Sprint replaced One Up with Easy Pay. The difference is that Easy Pay customers have to pay all remaining installments before an upgrade. With One Up and those offered by rivals, full payment isn’t required, but the old device gets turned in.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Lenovo profit up 30 percent on smartphone growth http://mobizzz.com/lenovo-profit-up-30-percent-on-smartphone-growth.html http://mobizzz.com/lenovo-profit-up-30-percent-on-smartphone-growth.html#comments Mon, 17 Feb 2014 11:24:40 +0000 andrii.khakhariev http://mobizzz.com/?p=1891 Lenovo profit has risen by 30% in the recent quarter thanks to advances in smartphones and tablets.]]>

people walk past a Lenovo flagship experience store in Beijing
BEIJING (AP) — Computer maker Lenovo Group reported Thursday that quarterly profit rose 30 percent to a record high on strong smartphone sales and said its acquisition of the Motorola Mobility smartphone business will accelerate its global expansion.

Profit for the three months ended Dec. 31 was $265 million, or $2.52 per share, the company said. Quarterly revenue topped $10 billion for the first time, rising 15 percent to $10.8 billion.

Sales of smartphones and other mobile devices rose 73 percent to $1.7 billion. Sales of laptop computers that supply half the company’s revenue rose 11 percent to $5.4 billion while sales of desktop PCs rose 12 percent to $3.2 billion.

Lenovo is expanding aggressively into mobile technology as consumers shift to going online wirelessly and demand in its traditional PC market cools.

Lenovo, based in Beijing and in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, expanded its product line and global market presence by acquiring part of IBM Corp.’s server business in January for $2.3 billion. A week later, it bought the Motorola Mobility smartphone business from Google Inc. for $2.9 billion.

“Today the Lenovo smartphone business is profitable but we don’t make a lot of money. So with the acquisition of Motorola Mobility, we become a global brand,” said chairman Yang Yuanqing in a conference call with reporters.

The Motorola acquisition will lift Lenovo from No. 4 among global smartphone makers to No. 3, according to Yang.

Yang said Lenovo has plans to return the Motorola business to profitability. He said increased economies of scale from combining it with Lenovo’s existing smartphone business also will help to cut costs.

“We can not just help the Motorola business to grow and improve profitability, but also it will help us to strengthen our position in China,” he said.

Lenovo has said it expects mobile technology to supply the bulk of its revenue in coming years.

Revenue in Lenovo’s home China market was flat at $4 billion, which the company said reflected a slowdown in the local PC market, where Lenovo is the biggest-selling brand.

Sales in the rest of the Asia-Pacific region rose 22 percent to $1.6 billion and in Europe, the Middle East and Africa by 25 percent to $2.9 billion. Revenue in the Americas rose 36 percent to $2.3 billion.

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Lenovo Group: www.lenovo.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Govt closes antitrust probe of Samsung http://mobizzz.com/govt-closes-antitrust-probe-of-samsung.html http://mobizzz.com/govt-closes-antitrust-probe-of-samsung.html#comments Tue, 11 Feb 2014 08:23:07 +0000 andrii.khakhariev http://mobizzz.com/?p=1887 U.S.government has closed the antitrust probe of Samsung, stationg that the company did not misuse patents. It is a blow to Apple.]]>

Samsung logo
Image source: bgr.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says it has closed an investigation of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. over alleged misuse of patents to exclude some Apple iPhone and iPad models from the U.S. market.

Apple Inc. has said some Samsung wireless patents are being offered on unfair terms, hurting competition. Companies like Samsung owning the rights to essential phone technology must license it to competitors on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms.

Samsung obtained an exclusion order against Apple from the U.S. International Trade Commission that would have barred the import of some Apple smart phones and tablet computers.

The U.S. Trade Representative overturned the order, and as a result, the Justice Department said it is closing its investigation. The department says it will continue to monitor developments in the area.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Google cuts losses on Motorola, sells to Lenovo http://mobizzz.com/google-cuts-losses-on-motorola-sells-to-lenovo.html http://mobizzz.com/google-cuts-losses-on-motorola-sells-to-lenovo.html#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 10:40:56 +0000 andrii.khakhariev http://mobizzz.com/?p=1881 Motorola acquistion has been talked through. Google and Lenovo have agreed on the deal.]]>

Eric SchmidtSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is selling Motorola’s smartphone business to Lenovo for $2.9 billion, a price that leaves little doubt that Google’s biggest acquisition turned out to be an expensive mistake.

The deal announced Wednesday will rid Google Inc. of a financial headache that has plagued the Internet company since buying Motorola Mobility for $12.4 billion in 2012. Motorola has lost nearly $2 billion since Google took over, even as Motorola trimmed its workforce from 20,000 to 3,800.

Google previously recovered some of the money that it spent on Motorola by selling its set-top operations last year to Arris Group Inc. for $2.35 billion.

And Google is holding on to most of Motorola’s more than 20,000 mobile patents, providing Google with legal protection for its widely used Android software for smartphones and tablet computers. Gaining control of Motorola’s patents was the main reason Google was willing to pay so much for a smartphone maker that was already losing money and market share.

The Motorola patents were valued at $5.5 billion at the time Google took over, according to regulatory filings.

Factoring all that, there’s a gap of roughly $1.65 billion between what Google paid for Motorola and what Google is getting from its sales to Arris and Lenovo, plus the original value of the patents. What’s not known is the value of the patents Google is keeping, as Lenovo is picking up about 2,000 Motorola patents in addition to the phone manufacturing operations.

It’s also unclear if Google will have to absorb a charge to account for its apparent miscalculation of Motorola Mobility’s value. The Mountain View, Calif., company may address the issue Thursday when it announces its fourth-quarter earnings after the market closes.

Most investors viewed Motorola as an unnecessary drain on Google’s profit, a perspective that was reflected by Wall Street’s reaction to the sale. Google’s stock gained $28.08, or 2.5 percent, to $1,135 in extended trading.

A cellphone pioneer, Motorola Mobility had its last big hit with the Razr flip phone, which came out in 2004. Its product line became outmoded after Apple Inc. released the iPhone in 2007, unleashing a new era of touch-screen phones. Motorola hasn’t been able to catch up yet, even as last summer’s Moto X received positive reviews.

Motorola’s losses are likely to dampen Google’s earnings at least for the first half of this year. That’s because it’s expected to take six to nine months before the proposed sale gets the necessary approvals from regulators.

While Google is backpedaling, Lenovo Group Ltd. is gearing up for a major expansion. Already the world’s largest maker of personal computers, Lenovo is now determined to become a bigger player in smartphones as more people rely on them instead of laptop and desktop computers to go online.

Lenovo already is among the smartphone leaders in its home country of China, but it has been looking for ways to expand its presence in other markets, especially the U.S. and Latin America. The company had been rumored to be among the prospective buyers for BlackBerry Ltd. when that troubled smartphone maker was mulling a sale last year.

“We will be going from an emerging-market player to a worldwide player in smartphones,” Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing said in an interview with The Associated Press.

This marks Lenovo’s second high-profile deal this month. The company announced plans last week to buy a major piece of IBM Corp.’s computer server business for $2.3 billion.

Buying Motorola will enable Lenovo to join Apple Inc. as the only major technology companies with global product lines in PCs, smartphones and tablets, putting Lenovo in a better position to become a one-stop shop for companies to buy all their devices from the same vendor, said Forrester Research analyst Frank Gillett.

“This makes Lenovo a company to watch,” Gillett said in an email. “The personal device manufacturer business is consolidating — and manufacturers must compete in all three device markets, plus emerging wearable categories, or get left out of the next market shift.”

Yang believes Lenovo’s experience in PCs will prove helpful as the company tries to take advantage of the Motorola brand, which remains among the best-known in the mobile-device market despite the company’s recent struggles. Lenovo gradually grew into the world’s leading PC maker after buying the ThinkPad brand from IBM in 2005.

After it takes over, Lenovo plans to retain a Motorola management team led by Dennis Woodside. No layoffs of Motorola’s remaining workers are planned either, Yang said.

“We didn’t buy this to get a few million devices,” he said. “The people are very important to us. This is our treasure.”

Motorola is preparing to move its headquarters from Libertyville, Ill., to Chicago, where Lenovo intends to keep the subsidiary, Yang said.

Google had reassigned Woodside, one of its top executives, to run Motorola Mobility in hopes he could engineer a turnaround. Under Woodside, Motorola released the Moto X and another smartphone, Moto G. The phones attracted lots of headlines, but didn’t sell as well as anticipated despite a costly marketing campaign, analysts say.

Motorola reduced the price of the Moto X by 20 percent to $399 this year in an effort to sell more of the phones.

Most analysts thought Google had paid too much money for Motorola and questioned why Google wanted to own a smartphone maker at the risk of alienating other mobile device makers that rely on Android. Although Google doesn’t charge device makers to use the software, Google makes money from Android because the operating system features Google services that show digital ads.

Getting rid of Motorola “still doesn’t preclude Google from going out and continuing to pursue a device strategy that is new and innovative and attractive,” Nomura analyst Anthony DiClemente said.

In a blog post, CEO Larry Page reaffirmed Google’s commitment to making wearable computers such as its Internet-connected head gear, Glass, and equipment for home entertainment, such as its Chromecast device for streaming Internet video on televisions.

“The smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all-in when it comes to making mobile devices,” Page wrote. “It’s why we believe that Motorola will be better served by Lenovo.”

___

AP Business Writer Ryan Nakashima in Los Angeles contributed to this story.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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AT&T says it has no Vodafone acquisition plans http://mobizzz.com/att-says-it-has-no-vodafone-acquisition-plans.html http://mobizzz.com/att-says-it-has-no-vodafone-acquisition-plans.html#comments Tue, 28 Jan 2014 09:50:40 +0000 andrii.khakhariev http://mobizzz.com/?p=1877 According to AT&T, the U.S. carrier is not going to work on an acquisition deal with Vodafone in the nearest future.]]>

AT&T_logo
Image source: logos.wikia.com
DALLAS (AP) — AT&T says it does not intend to make an offer soon for British cellphone company Vodafone.

The announcement by the largest U.S. telecommunications company means it is restricted from initiating a bid on Vodafone in the next six months, according to British takeover rules. But the Dallas company can respond to an offer initiated by Vodafone, or it can make a bid in response to an offer from another company.

AT&T Inc. says it made the announcement at the request of a United Kingdom Takeover Panel, and it cites recent speculation about a possible Vodafone deal.

Last year, Vodafone agreed to sell its 45 percent stake in AT&T competitor Verizon Communications Inc. to Verizon for $130 billion.

U.S.-traded shares of Vodafone Group PLC fell 2.7 percent to $37.01 in morning trading Monday. AT&T rose 7 cents to $33.49.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Moto G provides launchpad for Moto X success http://mobizzz.com/moto-g-provides-launchpad-for-moto-x-success.html http://mobizzz.com/moto-g-provides-launchpad-for-moto-x-success.html#comments Mon, 20 Jan 2014 12:39:43 +0000 andrii.khakhariev http://mobizzz.com/?p=1872 As sales of Moto G phone were and are great, Motorola hopes that Moto X will be a success, too. Carriers are ready to offer the device.]]>

Moto X phone by Motorola
Image source: pocketnow.com

The successful launch of the Motorola Moto G has created a ‘solid base’ for the UK launch of the Moto X today, Motorola UK chief Andrew Morley told Mobile.

Morley said that since the Moto G launch in November the device had gained traction with more operators signing up to range the device since launch. Motorola recently expanded its retail channels for the Moto G, adding EE, Vodafone and Virgin to the original line up of Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4u and O2. The Moto G is also ranged on Amazon which is currently listing the 16 GB Moto X it as its top selling handset with the 8GB Moto X in second place.

The Moto G handset comes with 4.5-inch HD screen, a five megapixel camera and from this month is upgradable to Android latest update 4.2.2 (KitKat). It retails at around £130 SIM-free.

Morley said the Moto G’s success has boosted Motorola’s standing with its partners and consumers. He said: ‘These are good metrics and we have had similar results in France with the Moto G,’ adding that Motorola, in partnership with parent company Google, had identified a gap in the market for a high spec device at a low price.

He said: ‘It is all about the device. There is no compromise. So you get a big screen, amazing technology, amazing design and a price point that surprises and delights. And now it is on KitKat which means that in some stores the Moto G is the only device that is running KitKat.’

Morley said Motorola is keen to use the success of the Moto G to boost the launch of the Moto X, but from a different angle.

‘We are trying to take the success we have had with the Moto G and build on this but whereas the Moto G was an exceptional phone at an exceptional price the Moto X is more an experience led device.’

Morley said the Moto X will appeal to a broad church of consumers by offering them four key experiences – touchless, voice activated control, the ‘always on’ active display, the quick capture camera, which can be turned on by two shakes of the users wrist, and Motorola Connect, which allows users to see texts and calls via their computer’s Chrome browser and respond using their keyboard.

Morley said these key experiences, coupled with the Moto X competitively priced at £380 Sim free and free on contract at £25 a month, would challenge the market.

He said: ‘That is a crucial point. The Moto X is going head to head with devices that have been around for a long time, are long in the tooth and are not even on KitKat. Alongside the Moto G, these two products are going to be very significant.’

Source: www.mobiletoday.co.uk

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