Samsung patent shows what to expect from wraparound screen phone

Image: theverge.com

Image: theverge.com

A patent application spotted by The Verge gives some clues to what Samsung has in mind for the user interface for the wraparound screen Bloomberg reported last week.

There are a few boring ones, like slide-to-unlock and a battery meter at the side, but also some rather interesting ones, like ebook chapter bookmarks.

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Samsung offices raided in ongoing case over leaked OLED tech

Samsung logo inside Time Warner City

According to a new report from Bloomberg, police in South Korea searched offices belonging to Samsung yesterday in a raid connected with an ongoing case related to whether or not Samsung was involved in the leaking of trade secrets. Police originally charged six employees from LG Display related to the theft of OLED technology from Samsung. Reports from last year claimed Samsung employees were fired in connection with leaking the technology, and today an LG spokesperson confirmed the latest investigation is related to its OLED TV panel technology:

“The latest investigation is related to large-sized OLED TV panel technology, but the police have made the allegation themselves,” Son Young Jun, a Seoul-based LG Display spokesman, said by phone today. LG said in July the information its employees were charged with leaking or stealing at the time was widely known in the industry and wasn’t considered to contain trade secrets.

Police in the South Korea wouldn’t comment on yesterday’s raid, but LG reportedly said “it didn’t report Samsung to police in connection with the current investigation.”  Read more

Microsoft says ex-gmail users make up a third of 60M Outlook.com users

On top of officially announcing the launch of Outlook.com today, Microsoft is making the rounds with the press by offering some stats on the newly launched service. While announcing the service has grown to 60 million active users in just six months of the limited preview release, Outlook.com Senior Director Dharmesh Mehta told Bloomberg that a third of those users are ex-Gmail customers. The news follows the launch of Microsoft’s latest Google smear campaign with a series of “Scroogled” ads depicting security and privacy concerns related to Google scanning users’ email to display ads.

While free e-mail isn’t a huge money-maker — Mehta said Outlook.com carries about 60 percent fewer advertisements than Microsoft’s previous Hotmail product — the Redmond, Washington- based company considers it critical to gaining and retaining consumers. Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, has been losing users of its Windows operating system to smartphones and tablets such as Apple Inc.’s iPad.

According to Mehta, roughly 20 million of Outlook.com’s users  have switched from Gmail and now use the service as their “primary free e-mail account.” There is of course no real way of knowing how many users have actually decided to make the switch, and how many of those users are continuing to use both accounts. As for the Scroogled campaign, Mehta shared that Microsoft is spending “tens of millions” on many TV, online print, and bus ads in the US, as well as TV ads in Europe slated to debut in the coming weeks.

FTC antitrust investigation into Google ruling reportedly pushed back until 2013

Google MountainView!

If you’re like us, you just can’t wait to hear the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s final ruling over Google’s antitrust case that has spanned more than two years. Recent reports tipped the ruling to come in as early as this week. However, Bloomberg reported this evening that the ruling has been delayed until next year. We presumed the settlement talks are continuing, resulting in a delay, as Google tries to skirt any formal settlement or lawsuit and rather provide “voluntary concessions.” The report earlier this week mentioned that the debacle, centered on antitrust litigation and allegations, is said to end with Google coming out relatively unaffected. Read more

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt continues media tour with hourlong Bloomberg interview (Video)

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt sat down with Bloomberg to talk Android vs. Apple, and the former CEO seems to think Android is leading over Apple at a rate similar to Microsoft’s growth in desktop software during the 90s.

“This is a huge platform change; this is of the scale of 20 years ago — Microsoft versus Apple,” said Schmidt to Bloomberg. “We’re winning that war pretty clearly now.”

Google cofounder Larry Page succeeded Schmidt as Google’s chief executive officer in April 2011, and now Schmidt, among many other tasks, acts as a kind of executive spokesperson for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company. During the last year alone, Schmidt talked publicly and candidly about Google’s position on free speech and privacy, the fearful repercussions of the Internet, and even robots and holographic telepresence.

During Schmidt’s hour-long interview with Bloomberg (see video above), he discussed—aside from Apple—everything from economic growth in the United States and China and tax shelters to Google+ and spectrum sharing. Schmidt is a member of a White House advisory group and supports a proposal that urges federal agencies and commercial users to share airwaves.

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Google’s Market cap passes Microsoft for the first time in history, closes $19B in 10 months

Google’s Market cap passed Microsoft this morning for the first time, as first noted by a Bloomberg news tweet.

Google trailed Microsoft by $19 billion earlier this year. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company closed the Market cap gap in just 10 months, however, forcing the once-goliath Microsoft to now walk in the footpaths of Google and Apple as the world’s most valuable tech companies.

Check out the fight in realtime: 

Microsoft currently boasts a $3 billion lead over Google, according to Business Insider, which cited Yahoo Finance, but their points are bound to sway if Google continues to swell.

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Google CEO Larry Page says Steve Jobs’ fury over Android was just to rally troops

In a recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Google’s Chief Executive Officer Larry Page talked at length about his new role as chief and his plans for the future of Android, Motorola, and the rest of the company. Much the interview revolved around Android and Google’s relationship with other companies, and Page was asked about his relationship with Steve Jobs towards the end. He was also asked about the state of Android tablets and his thoughts on Apple’s recently announced dividend.

When the interviewer mentioned Google and Jobs had their “differences” about Android, presumably referring to Jobs’ claims that Android is a “stolen product,” Page claimed Jobs’ anger towards Android/Google was “actually for show”:

I think the Android differences were actually for show. I had a relationship with Steve. I wouldn’t say I spent a lot of time with him over the years, but I saw him periodically. Curiously enough, actually, he requested that meeting. He sent me an e-mail and said: “Hey, you want to get together and chat?” I said, “Sure, I’ll come over.” And we had a very nice talk. We always did when we had a discussion generally… He was quite sick. I took it as an honor that he wanted to spend some time with me. I figured he wanted to spend time with his family at that point. He had a lot of interesting insights about how to run a company and that was pretty much what we discussed.

He continued when encouraged to elaborate on his “for show” comment:
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Google’s new Wallet plan: Share the take with carriers

Google’s mobile payment system, known as Google Wallet,” has not received the kind of warm welcome that the company might have hoped. First, there were issues with Verizon blocking the service on the new Galaxy Nexus as the carrier prepped its own rival service, known as “ISIS.” Wallet then had a few roadblocks with security concerns related to prepaid cards, which the company apologized for with complimentary $5 deposits to Google wallet users. Today, a report from Bloomberg citing “people with knowledge of the project” claimed, despite being “enthusiastic” about progress, Google is considering sharing revenue with carriers to get them to support the technology:

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US Federal Trade Commission subpoena Apple in Google antitrust probe over iPhone search

According to a report from Bloomberg (via AllThingsD), the U.S. Federal Trade Commission subpoenaed Apple as part of its antitrust investigation of Google. There are not many details currently, but the report claimed the FTC is interested in Apple’s agreement with the company to use Google as its primary default search engine on iOS devices.

The agency’s request for documents includes the agreements that made Google the preferred search engine on Apple’s mobile devices, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly and declined to be identified. Google rivals such as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) have criticized these agreements as anticompetitive.

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To hedge the risk, Samsung exploring InterDigital patents (Apple, Google and everyone else, too)

Over the past few weeks, the patent arms race has been accelerating and the latest comes in a Bloomberg story that has old frenemies – Apple, Google and Samsung – locked in a fight for InterDigital’s patent portfolio. Samsung is said to be interested the most in InterDigita’s intellectual property their CEO claims is “stronger” than the 6,000 Nortel patents the Apple-led consortium recently acquired for $4.5 billion. People familiar with the matter tell the publication Samsung has been “approached to make a bid”:

Samsung is looking at the patents along with Apple Inc. (AAPL), Google Inc. (GOOG) and other potential bidders, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. InterDigital, which holds patents related to mobile technologies used to transfer information, said last month that it hired bankers as it considers a sale.

InterDigital’s patent portfolio covers technology for high-speed cellphone networks “now used by the world’s biggest handset makers”, including Apple’s iPhone as well as BlackBerry and Android phones. The portfolio includes 8,000 patents in total and is estimated to be worth $5 billion or more. “To hedge the risk, Samsung could go ahead with bidding, although they may have to pay a big premium”, says  Shinyoung Securities Co. analyst Lee Seung Woo…

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Sprint boss threatening “nukes” to block AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA


Credit: Mark Costantini, San Francisco Chronicle

It is no secret that Sprint is formally opposing AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile USA in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at approximately $39 billion. Sprint argued the transaction would legalize duopoly in America and asked the government to intervene. The transaction is currently pending federal review by the FCC and Department of Justice, which could take at least a year.

This morning, Bloomberg cast more light on Sprint’s plans to block the deal, which include “nukes” mapped out in red, blue and green ink on a huge whiteboard in the company’s “White Room”. Sprint’s boss Dan Hesse’s used the nuclear tactics analogy in his one-on-one with Bloomberg’s Greg Bensinger, telling the journo that his company has put considerable resources to block this deal:

Clearly, purely, we want to win and block the merger. This one poses real risks.

Hesse is also adamant to spur the public debate around the issues of the merger and lobby Congress to scrutinize the transaction. He enlisted “lobbyists, consulting groups, two former US House Judiciary Committee counsels and lawyers at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP”. Sprint even “tapped its own engineers to show AT&T how to get more capacity from its wireless network so it wouldn’t need to buy T-Mobile”, the report notes. Then, there’s money. Sprint, the nation’s #3 carrier, has been losing some of its 50 million subscribers to AT&T and Verizon – which both carry the iPhone – in 14 of the last 15 quarters. Their debt-to-capital ratio is 57 percent versus 41 percent for Verizon and 37 percent for AT&T.

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