Microsoft, HTC, Nokia, and Sony Ericsson have filed formal applications for a declaration of invalidity against Apple's trademarks for "App Store" and "Appstore" with the Community Trade Mark office in Europe.
The four companies join Amazon, which filed a similar complaint in Europe against Apple in mid-April. All seek to get Apple's two European trademarks invalidated, saying the moniker is too generic.
"Today's filings by HTC, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and Microsoft, like Amazon's recent action, demonstrate the breadth of opposition to Apple's unsupportable claim of exclusivity," a Microsoft representative … Read more
A shortage of both components and labor at one of Foxconn Electronics' major factories, along with a growing, industry-wide component drought due to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, could have a marked impact on the production of Apple's iPad 2 and iPhone 4, a new report claims.
Digitimes writes that Foxconn's production facility in Chengdu, China--which makes iPad 2 units for Apple as well as gadgets for other manufacturers--is currently experiencing a shortage of both components and labor. This is reportedly making a dent in the company's overall production, which the outlet pegs at 2.5 million … Read more
Advertisers participating in Apple's iAd platform appear to be going for a slightly older demographic, a move that's affected revenues for several developers with ad-supported games aimed at kids.
As picked up by MacStories, developer Michael Zornek, who makes Dex--a Pokemon-themed application--recently noticed a sharp drop-off in fill rate, or the percentage of ad requests that actually produce ads when they're called for by an application. Over the weekend, for instance, Zornek saw that rate drop down to zero. Curious about the drop, Zornek e-mailed Apple's iAd support and was told advertisers had withdrawn from apps aimed at young children.
"We periodically review the apps in the iAd Network to ensure that all apps receiving ads are aligned with the needs of our advertisers," a reply from Apple's iAd support said. "Currently, our advertisers prefer that their advertising not appear in applications that are targeted for users that are young children, since their products are not targeted at that audience."
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr confirmed to CNET that it was the company's policy to keep iAds off apps targeted at children. "We pulled iAds from this app," Neumayr said. "Our policy is that we don't serve iAd into apps for kids."
In a post about the matter on Zornek's blog, the developer says he's peeved that Apple did not alert him, and others with children's apps, to let them know about the changes. He's since removed iAds from the app entirely, and now uses Google-owned AdMob along with an in-app purchase option that buyers can use to get rid of advertising entirely. The change has also kept him from including iAds in one of his upcoming iOS apps. … Read more
Apple, along with Pandora Media and The Weather Channel, have been named in a lawsuit alleging that the companies did not disclose the fact that personal data--specifically location--was being shared with third-party advertising networks.
The suit, filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico by Lymaris Rivera Diaz and picked up by The Loop, closely resembles an existing suit from December. That one targeted the same companies as well as other app makers for being able to trace an iPhone or iPad using the unique device identifier, or UDID, which is akin to a serial number in … Read more
Apple's mobile products seem to be so popular that even older models are outselling the competition, according to reports from investment firm Canaccord Genuity.
In a series of research notes sent to investors earler this week, technology analyst Michael Walkley shared his findings on how Apple fared in the mobile retail market in April. The analyst confirmed that the iPhone 4 was the top-selling smartphone at both AT&T and Verizon last month, while iPad 2 sales stayed strong as consumers overwhelmingly chose it in favor of rival tablets.
But thanks to discounted prices, even the iPhone 3GS and the first-generation iPad are outselling the competition, according to Walkley. Specifically, the iPhone 3GS outsold both the Motorola Atrix 4G and the HTC Inspire 4G at AT&T, while the 16GB and 32GB original iPads were sold out at Verizon less than two weeks following the debut of the iPad 2.
"Interestingly, our April checks indicated continued strong demand for the iPhone 3GS at AT&T and iPad 1 at Verizon, as these older generation products with reduced prices often outsold new Android products," wrote Walkley in his note. "We believe this highlights Apple's significant competitive advantage, and these older products help Apple offer a tiered pricing strategy at key channels and the older Apple products are still very competitive versus new competitor products."… Read more
Though the consumer PC market may be in the doldrums, you can't pin the blame on the iPad, at least according to the folks at research firm NPD Group.
Many analysts have attributed the latest slump in portable PC sales to cannibalization by the iPad, claiming that consumers are opting for the popular tablet instead of buying notebooks and Netbooks. But in a report issued yesterday, NPD's Stephen Baker disagrees, saying that the rate of cannibalization has actually dropped in recent months.
Surveying Apple iPad owners in March, NPD's "Apple iPad Owner Study II" report found that only 14 percent of early iPad buyers (those who've owned one six months or more) chose an iPad instead of a PC. And over the recent holiday season, that number dropped to 12 percent, according to Baker.
Looking further, the cannibalization of Netbooks by the iPad has actually fallen by 50 percent among recent iPad buyers compared with the earlier adopters. Overall, more than 75 percent of the people polled said they bought an iPad without any intention of buying anything else.
So if the iPad isn't the culprit, what's to blame for the downturn in PC sales? Baker looks a bit farther back in time.… Read more
HBO's mobile app has apparently caught on quickly.
Speaking yesterday at the Streaming Media East conference, HBO co-President Eric Kessler said HBO Go's mobile application, which is available on iOS- and Android-based devices, was downloaded over 1 million times during the first week of availability. The free app launched April 29.
A technical Web site posted an article yesterday asserting that Apple will not replace Intel processors with an alternative design anytime in the next two to three years.
This follows a report on a chip rumor site last week that claimed Apple is "dumping" Intel and switching to chips based on the ARM design, the same silicon used in the iPhone and iPad. That report said the transition would happen in that time frame.
While acknowledging Apple's history of transitions to new chip architectures and the ostensible motivations for moving to ARM, Real World Technologies' David Kanter … Read more
While Apple was busy talking to one part of the U.S. government today as part of a congressional hearing, another branch was granting the company a slew of patents, with one of the most interesting ones being a design for an iPad with an additional connector slot on the side of the device.
Readers with sharp memories might remember seeing this same design before, though not in a shipping product. Apple filed an identical ornamental design patent with the Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union early last year, which was made public in October. Both … Read more
Apple and Google today agreed to conduct a review of applications that make use of DUI checkpoints to see if they violate each company's mobile application store guidelines.
That decision came during today's congressional hearing about location privacy in smartphones, tablets, and cell phones. U.S. Senator Charles Schmuer (D-N.Y.), who was on hand, managed to get in a few questions to representatives from both technology companies, urging them to take action following his pleas and those of other politicians about the existence of police DUI checkpoint apps back in March.
"As you know, several weeks ago a number of my colleagues and I, senators Udall, Lautenberg, Reid and I, wrote letters to your companies calling your attention to the dangerous apps that were being sold in your app stores, and asked you to immediately remove them," Schumer said to Bud Tribble, Apple's vice president for software technology and Alan Davidson, Google's U.S. director of public policy.
"We brought these to the attention of RIM, they pulled the app down. I was disappointed that Google and Apple haven't done the same, and I'd like to ask you how you can justify to sell apps that put the public at serious risk," Schumer continued.
Google's Davidson responded by saying that applications that present information about sobriety checkpoints did not violate the company's content policy as it stands. … Read more