Motorola scored a victory against Apple today when it won a permanent injunction against the company's iCloud and MobileMe push email service. According to FOSS Patents, the injunction is "preliminarily enforceable," which means Motorola can enforce the ruling right away by posting a 100 million euro bond. Posting a bond and enforcing this ruling is risky, though. If Apple appeals and wins, then Motorola will be liable for damages from enforcing this injunction early.
If enforced, Apple must disable the push email portion of its iCloud and MobileMe service. Customers in Germany affected by this injunction will have to turn off push email and configure their mail clients to pull down emails periodically. This permanent injunction resulted from a complaint filed by Motorola in April 2011. Apple has the right to contest this ruling and will likely file a formal appeal with the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court.
Apple and Motorola scuffle over iCloud and push email originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 03 Feb 2012 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Apple stepped up its legal campaign against Samsung by expanding its Australian lawsuit to include 278 new claims which cover 22 patents and ten devices. The original suit, filed last year, targeted only the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which Apple claimed violated less than five of its patents.
Samsung lead barrister Neil Young spoke to The Australian, and said Apple "enormously" expanded its legal claim against Samsung. He confirmed the Korean company was given "days notice" of this expanded claim and may need until mid-May to prepare properly for its defense.
Last December 2011, the case took a turn in favor of Samsung when a judge overturned Apple's injunction banning the sale of the Galaxy 10.1 tablet. Samsung was able to obtain this reversal just in time to catch the end of the holiday shopping season.
[Via The Next Web]
Apple expands Australian lawsuit against Samsung with 278 new claims originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 03 Feb 2012 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Apple held an all-employee Town Hall meeting a little while ago after the earnings call, and The Verge is reporting that Apple CEO Tim Cook took quite a bit of time during the meeting to point out Apple's charitable contributions to the world. He said that Apple has given $50 million to Stanford hospitals, and over $50 million to the Project RED effort (to help fight AIDS in Africa), making Apple that fund's largest contributor.
It seems as if we've found one big difference between Cook and his legendary predecessor: Cook wants to make it clear that he's serious about giving, and letting people know about it. Cook has also pushed for an employee donation matching program at Apple, so he's got a history, even in his short tenure so far, of endorsing strong charitable contributions.
Of course, all of that said, $100 million is still just pocket change for a company that has almost $100 billion in the bank. But every little bit counts, we suppose.
Tim Cook focuses on charity during Town Hall meeting originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 02 Feb 2012 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Although they haven't exactly explained how school systems or parents are going to pay for iPads or other tablets for every student, the US government is pushing a new initiative to move from standard printed textbooks to digital textbooks within the next five years. While it's good to see that a focus on digital textbooks is finally at hand, it's going to take more than a press release, five years and a "playbook" to make the transition happen.
According to an AP news release, "Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski on Wednesday challenged schools and companies to get digital textbooks in students' hands within five years."
In an interview, Duncan asked, "Do we want kids walking around with 50-pound backpacks and every book in those backpacks costing 50, 60, 70 dollars and many of them being out of date? Or, do we want students walking around with a mobile device that has much more content than was even imaginable a couple years ago and can be constantly updated? I think it's a very simple choice."
To school systems that are battling drastically decreased budgets and trying to replace or repair crumbling infrastructure, it might not be such a "simple choice." Likewise, there doesn't appear to have been much (if any) thought on how parents or schools systems are going to replace equipment that is broken or lost by students, or how to pay for digital devices to be refreshed every three to five years.
Wednesday's announcement comes just two weeks after Apple's education event and the launch of iBooks textbooks. The company is perfectly placed, both in terms of the iPad hardware platform and iBooks Author creation tool, to benefit from a move to interactive and easily updated electronic textbooks.
The government released a 67-page "playbook" promoting the use of digital textbooks and offering guidance to school systems who want to make the move. At the current time, about US$8 billion is spent each year on traditional textbooks for K-12 school kids. With an Apple educational discount, that could pay for more than 17 million iPads each year. If Apple, as rumored, brings down the price of entry into the iPad market by selling the iPad 2 alongside a future model, more devices could make it into the hands of students across the nation.
On the other hand, switching to digital textbooks means more than just acquiring hardware and buying textbook apps. In many cases, the curriculum provided by a school district and even the methods used by instructors to teach students must change as well. The educational five-year plan is a noble goal; it's just not very realistic.
US government wants schools to embrace digital textbooks originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 02 Feb 2012 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
In just five short years, Apple has become the third largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world. International Data Corporation (IDC), as part of the continuing Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker survey, noted that the overall mobile phone market is still growing despite a major decline in numbers for low-priced "feature phones."
Despite fierce competition from both Apple and Samsung, Nokia retained its spot as the leader in mobile phone shipments. The company is transitioning from the Symbian OS for smartphones, having recently launched the Lumia line of Windows Phone-powered smartphones. IDC notes that Nokia's worldwide distribution and manufacturing presence will make it difficult for other companies to knock the Finnish company from its perch on the mobile phone throne.
Not surprisingly, Samsung was the number two manufacturer, selling more than 300 million phones in 2011. The company's Android smartphone line and new Windows Phone smartphones, along with a growing line of feature phones, inched Samsung even closer to Nokia's coveted number one spot.
Apple jumped from third position after being in fifth place in the previous quarter. The third-place finish is the highest ever for Apple, and the strong launch of the iPhone 4S was listed as the primary reason that the company leapfrogged over competitors LG and ZTE in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Rounding out the top five were Korean manufacturer LG, which has seen a drop in sales for the last year. Chinese vendor ZTE almost took over the fourth place position, moving from low-cost feature phones to increasingly powerful smartphones. ZTE has recently entered the North American market with Android and Windows Phone-powered smartphones.
The most fascinating number, however, was the year-over-year change in shipments. While arch-rival Samsung saw a 17.6 percent change in sales volume over the previous year, Apple saw a whopping 96.2 percent increase. Apple now has 6 percent of the total mobile phone market based on 2011 unit shipments; recall that Steve Jobs noted during the 2007 introduction of the iPhone that he'd be happy with a 1 percent share.
Apple becomes world's third largest mobile phone manufacturer originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 02 Feb 2012 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
The next time you go to an Apple store, you should resist the urge to fire up Photo Booth and snap a photo of yourself gazing into that MacBook Pro. If you don't, you may find yourself part of an art exhibit like the one created by Irby Pace. According to a Wired article, Pace is a Master of Fine Arts student at the University of North Texas who created an Apple store-inspired gallery exhibit called Unintended Consequences.
The art work includes images Pace retrieved from display devices in a handful of Texas and New York City Apple stores. Pace began his project by visiting Apple stores, locating images left on a device and manually emailing the pictures to himself. Eventually, he figured out a way to dump a large number of them, over 1,000 pictures total, directly to his iPad. After combing through the images, he picked several striking snapshots, enlarged them and compiled them into an exhibit.
While his method may make some people uncomfortable, Pace doesn't think he did anything wrong. He argues, "the people [in the images] consciously left the images behind for anyone to see, or to take." He also did it under the noses of Apple employees who didn't seem to notice what Pace was doing. "None of them seemed interested at all in what I was doing," says Pace, "One employee in New York questioned what I was doing but I told him that I was merely comparing the products."
Pace's actions are similar to those of Kyle McDonald who used spyware to capture images of people looking at Apple computers in NYC retail stores. Unlike McDonald who took images without people's consent, Pace only took the files. The customer snapped the pictures and left them behind for someone like Pace to see and, as he would argue, take. Whether Pace has the right to these abandoned photos is questionable, but that's not stopping him from showing the exhibit. His work, Unintended Consequences, is slated to be shown next week at the Cora Stafford Gallery in Denton, TX.
Apple Store customer photos become part of art exhibit originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 02 Feb 2012 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.