Apple and Google like to boast about the size of their respective app stores as a measure of their popularity among developers, and by extension, customers. Hewlett-Packard is about to make a big push into that same market and does not have the ability to compete in that area. So rather than the size of its app store, HP is banking on the size and reach of the company to convince developers to climb aboard their WebOS ship.
Sony has come under investigation as part of a wider probe by the U.S. Department of Justice into the competitive practices of the rechargeable-battery industry, the company revealed in a financial filing today.
Sony Electronics was first contacted in May with a subpoena from the Justice Department's Antitrust Division. A company spokesman told Bloomberg Sony is cooperating with the probe.
"Sony understands that the DOJ is investigating competition in the secondary batteries market. Based on the stage of the proceeding, it is not possible to estimate the amount of loss or range of possible loss, if any, … Read more
On the eve of the launch of its TouchPad, Hewlett-Packard is signaling that it's ready to stir things up in the mobile-OS business.
Today, CEO Leo Apotheker told Bloomberg that HP has had discussions about licensing WebOS.
"We are talking to a number of companies," Apotheker said. "I can share with you that a number of companies have expressed interest. We are continuing our conversations."
Bloomberg says it's heard from unidentified sources that Samsung is one of those companies, but a Samsung spokesman denied that. HP did not elaborate on who potential partners could be.
HP has revamped the WebOS operating system it bought with Palm almost exactly a year ago and made it ready for tablets. Apotheker's comments today expand on earlier statements that he would entertain the idea of licensing WebOS to other players in the mobile-devices business. … Read more
It's been just about a month since Sony restarted its PlayStation Network following a devastating security breach, and now some executives are on the move.
Chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment Akira Sato and honorary chairman of the group, Ken Kutaragi, will retire this year. Kutaragi, known as the "father of the PlayStation," will retire immediately, but will continue to be a senior technology adviser to the company. Sato will retire at the end of August.
President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Kazuo Hirai will be elevated to chairman of the group, and the PlayStation chief executive … Read more
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said on his blog today he is teaming with another co-founder of the microblogging service, Evan Williams, to restart the company that gave life to Twitter.
The Obvious Corporation will be run by Stone, Williams, and former Twitter product chief Jason Goldman. The trio will "develop new projects and work on solving big problems aligned along a simple mission statement: The Obvious Corporation develops systems that help people work together to improve the world. This is a dream come true!" Stone wrote on his blog.
That means Stone will leave his daily duties at … Read more
A new FCC report has found that the wireless phone market is growing more concentrated, but it did not leave any clues as to how the agency might rule on an AT&T/T-Mobile merger.
It's the second year in a row that the Federal Communications Commission has said the industry is "concentrated." But it did not say whether it finds the industry to be competitive. Last year the FCC reversed years of findings that the market was considered to be competitive.
Just two weeks after drastically reducing its expectations for Android tablet shipments comes word that Acer is drawing down its third-quarter 2011 forecast for the number of notebooks it will ship.
DigiTimes has sources among Acer's component suppliers, which tell the outlet that Acer will reduce its notebook shipment forecast from 6.4 million to 5.4 million units.
Most of the reduced models are Netbooks, according to the report. DigiTimes got Acer founder Stan Shih to comment, and he didn't deny the report. He did say Acer is still adjusting to a structural reorganization after parting ways with its former CEO and asked for patience among investors.
Acer's got a few issues right now. The Taiwanese PC maker has a backlog of notebooks in retail channels and has to clear those out before bringing in new models. That happened because Acer was a little too aggressive about shipping products to retailers, according to IDC PC analyst Jay Chou. … Read more
The calls for Research in Motion to reconsider its current executive structure are getting louder.
Today major shareholder advisory group International Shareholder Services (ISS) added its voice to the mix, telling clients they should support a proposal to split the company's CEO and chairman roles. Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie are co-CEOs and co-chairmen of the Waterloo, Ontario-based mobile computing company.
"The board's mandate is to represent the interests of shareholders through overseeing management and instilling accountability...Conflicts of interest may arise when one person holds both the Chair and CEO positions," ISS said today, according to Bloomberg. … Read more
Maksim Ioffe was sitting around his San Francisco living room watching TV one day in 2009 when he noted how ridiculous it was that on his coffee table were no less than five remote controls. He thought to himself, "This has got to go."
But instead of replacing them all with yet another remote, he looked to something he already owned: his smartphone.
Fast forward to 2011, and that germ of an idea two years ago has spawned the Dijit Universal Remote App, which turns an iPhone--or iPod Touch, iPad, or soon an Android phone--into a remote control.
Ioffe is not alone in looking for ways to substitute the smartphone for a remote control. There's actually a whole crop of companies that are trying to break into what some are calling the "smart-remote" business by taking advantage of the device that one-third of all U.S. cell phone owners already have on hand.
There's no agreed-on standard just yet for how best to replace the ubiquitous multibuttoned plastic living room staple. Different approaches are being offered, from free apps that control individual devices, like just your TV or just your set-top box, to a hardware accessory paired with an accompanying app that lets you control both "dumb" devices that only take infrared input and "smart" or Internet-connected devices in your home entertainment setup.
The cost can vary depending on the solution, from free to about $100. The appeal is the convenience: you probably already own a smartphone. And then there's the vast potential that the smartphone, really a minicomputer, brings to the coffee table: a bright screen with rich graphics, the ability to customize onscreen buttons as you wish, and the power of the Web to help you discover new programming or filter for just the stuff you like.
Of course there will be home theater devotees who insist they just can't give up their fancy 80-button universal remote, but there are plenty of advantages that could prove tempting for others looking for a simple and decidedly 21st century solution. … Read more