Bloomberg Stories January 19, 2015

HTC-STD-MWC-2015

Bloomberg on Monday reported that Taiwanese handset maker HTC will unveil its flagship One M9 smartphone and first smartwatch in March. HTC is widely expected to announce the new products at Mobile World Congress as part of its press event scheduled for March 1st. expand full story

Bloomberg Stories November 19, 2013

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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More below the fold …  expand full story

Bloomberg Stories April 10, 2013

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.”  expand full story

Bloomberg Stories February 19, 2013

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.

Bloomberg Stories December 18, 2012

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. expand full story

Bloomberg Stories December 12, 2012

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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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Bloomberg Stories October 18, 2012

YouTube exec says Google’s 20 percent time helped form ‘YouTube for Good’

Google’s Director of Product Management, Hunter Walk, who works specifically on YouTube, just gave Bloomberg a brief insight into his latest project made possible by the company’s famous 20 percent time.

Walk manages roughly a dozen engineers at YouTube, but he also utilizes Google’s 20 percent time—a time Google freely allots to employees every week for side projects— to mold YouTube into a platform for social causes and change, and not just a resource for endless cat videos.

“There is a real desire for YouTube to be a global classroom and a global town square, not just a global living room,” said Walker to Bloomberg in an interview.

According to Bloomberg:

Over the past year, Walk has been quietly evangelizing within Google for his initiative called YouTube for Good. He has convinced about a fifth of YouTube’s 1,000 or so employees, as well as some from Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, to set aside a chunk of their time to build online tools used by organizations including the United Nations World Food Program and Charity: Water.

YouTube for Good also made it possible to live stream last year’s AIDS symposium by the ONE Campaign, and it developed innovative tools like automatic face blurring to protect protest activists in YouTube videos. Aside from YouTube for Good, Google Reader, Gmail, and Google News are a few of the many successful side projects created with Google’s 20 percent time program.

Go to Bloomberg for the full report. 

(Image via GigaOm)

Bloomberg Stories October 1, 2012

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

[tweet https://twitter.com/BloombergNews/statuses/252764243567464450]

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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Bloomberg Stories June 8, 2012

Apple’s lawyers threaten Samsung with temporary restraining order to stop Galaxy S III sales

Last time we checked in on the ongoing U.S. patent-related court cases between Apple and Samsung, Apple’s lawyers were requesting to add the Galaxy S III to its previous motion for a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Nexus line of products from February.

Apple was hoping the courts would agree to withhold sales of the S III until a ruling on the preliminary injunction was made. Samsung recommended the judge dismiss Apple’s request and file a new motion, but Apple attorney Josh Krevitt threatened Samsung at a hearing on Thursday that Apple could file a temporary restraining order as early as today to stop sales of the S III before it launches June 21. Bloomberg reported:

Josh Krevitt, a lawyer for Cupertino, California-based Apple, told Koh he was considering filing a request for a temporary restraining order in the interest of blocking sales of the Galaxy S III before its scheduled release in the U.S. this month… Krevitt said a court order temporarily barring Galaxy S III sales in the U.S. will create “a mechanism to allow the court to decide this issue before the launch.”

First Samsung will have to prove in court today that the Galaxy S III includes a “different combination of features” from the Nexus in order to prevent Apple from adding the device to the previously requested preliminary injunction. According to Bloomberg, Samsung lawyer Bill Price claimed: “Apple’s urgency stems from its inability to “compete against the new features” of the Galaxy S III, and the company is trying to “prevent a phone from getting to the public that is better than Apple’s in many, many respects.”

Reuters noted that several Google attorneys attended Thursday’s hearing. If Apple files for a temporary restraining order, the scheduled July 30 trial date would likely be delayed. Apple is also trying its best to kill HTC.

Bloomberg Stories April 26, 2012

Samsung sued by U.S. Olympians over Facebook app

Samsung has been sued by 18 Olympic athletes over a Facebook app called “Samsung Olympic Genome Project”. The app allows users to play a “six degrees of separation” game using FB profile data and a database of 3,000 athletes while displaying ads for Samsung’s Galaxy products. Bloomberg reports:

Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) was sued by a group of 18 Olympic athletes who claim the “Samsung Olympic Genome Project” application for Facebook uses their names and images without their permission… The athletes, including swimmer Mark Spitz, diver Greg Louganis, and track and field star Jackie Joyner-Kersee, said in a complaint filed yesterday in state court in Los Angeles that Samsung uses their names and images to create the impression that they endorse its products.

Samsung’s statement (via HollywoodReporter):

“Samsung is disappointed by the lawsuit filed around the US Olympic Genome project. The Genome Project is a unique program that benefits Team USA by connecting fans and US Olympians. We have collaborated closely on this program with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) over the past year and followed USOC procedures in communicating with the athletes. Athletes have had the opportunity to voice their opinions on the program and to control their participation. Samsung will continue to support Team USA and the spirit of the Olympics in our efforts.”

Bloomberg Stories April 4, 2012

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: expand full story

Bloomberg Stories March 21, 2012

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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Bloomberg Stories March 13, 2012

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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Bloomberg Stories August 3, 2011

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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Bloomberg Stories June 28, 2011

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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