DigitalOutbox Episode 137
DigitalOutbox Episode 137 – 4G, App.net and Maps. Again.
1:58 – Apple release a letter
– To our customers,
– At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.
– We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.
– There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.
– While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.
– Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.
– Tim Cook
– Apple’s CEO
4:09 – While Samsung sue Apple for the iPhone 5
– Yesterday Samsung added the iPhone 5 to its patent lawsuit against Apple and other manufacturers. This comes after Apple was awarded $1 billion for Samsung’s infringements. But sales of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III haven’t been hurt and appear to have been helped by the news.
– The powerhouse Android device saw average growth of 9% in new devices each week since August 1st, with huge spikes in Galaxy S III adoption occurring after the Apple lawsuit verdict and after the iPhone 5 announcement.
– The first spike in weekly growth coincides with the same week that a jury awarded Apple $1 billion for Samsung infringing on Apple’s patents. The deluge of post-litigation press coverage both drove general attention to Samsung and suggested that Samsung devices were similar enough to iPhones to be an option for many consumers.
– The second spike started the week of September 12, when Apple announced the new iPhone 5. Apple’s announcement was quickly followed by hundreds of stories comparing the two phones, most of which again suggested they were similarly capable. That combined with the slowdown in new Galaxy S3 growth seen leading up to Apple’s announcement (week-over-week new devices were the same as the previous week, resulting in 0% growth) suggest that many consumers were waiting to hear about the new iPhone before making a decision.
– As expected Samsung also challenge their recent $1bn court loss – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19816642
– Samsung said foreman Velvin Hogan had provided an incomplete answer during jury selection.
– It said he had revealed he had been involved in a single previous lawsuit, but had failed to disclose two others.
– It noted that Mr Hogan had been sued by his former employer – hard disk maker Seagate – for breach of contract, and had subsequently filed for personal bankruptcy.
– Samsung’s filing highlights that it is the biggest direct shareholder in Seagate, following a $1.4bn deal in 2011.
– “Mr Hogan’s failure to disclose the Seagate suit raises issues of bias that Samsung should have been allowed to explore in questioning,” its lawyers wrote.
7:35 – O2 and Vodafone agree network sharing deal
– Telefónica UK and Vodafone UK today announce their intention to strengthen their existing network partnership, by pooling the basic parts of their network infrastructure to create one national grid running each operator’s independent spectrum.
– The plan will deliver real benefits for today’s mobile phone users by creating two competing networks that will be able to offer indoor 2G and 3G coverage targeting 98% of the UK population by 2015, delivering mobile coverage and mobile internet services to the vast majority of UK households.
– It will also ensure that the capability for the next generation of 4G mobile services is rolled out as widely and rapidly as possible*, helping to close the digital divide between rural and urban areas. The partnership will lay the foundations for two competing 4G networks to deliver a nationwide 4G service faster than could be achieved independently and up to two years before the anticipated regulatory requirement of 98% population coverage by 2017**.
– Just as under Cornerstone, the two companies’ existing network partnership, all shared sites will continue to carry Telefónica UK’s traffic on Telefónica’s spectrum and Vodafone UK’s traffic on Vodafone’s spectrum.
– Both operators will continue to remain responsible for their own existing spectrum holdings and for fulfilling their own spectrum needs in the future. The launch of 4G services is subject to the outcome of the forthcoming Ofcom auction of new spectrum and both companies will act wholly independently in that auction.
12:22 – 4G timetable agreed
– At a meeting with communications regulator Ofcom and the government, rival operators agreed to settle their differences and get services up and running quickly.
– The government said high-speed data services should launch by spring 2013, six months earlier than planned.
– O2 and Vodafone have agreed not to pursue legal action against EE.
– EE is likely to announce when its services will go live imminently.
– A combination of factors, from a change of government to threats of legal action from operators, had slowed down the process to free up spectrum used by analogue television broadcasts.While the auction of the airwaves made available by the digital switchover is still scheduled for January next year, clearing them for 4G use will happen far more quickly than originally envisaged.
– Ofcom said that it had secured the earlier release of frequencies that were previously used for digital-terrestrial broadcasting. Thanks to Freeview – switch to digital went better than expected.
– Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive, said: “The actions we have taken with industry and government avoid the risk of significant delay and are tremendous news for consumers who might otherwise have waited a considerable period for the next generation of mobile broadband services.”
– Three was the first operator to comment, following the meeting.A spokesman said: “We see this as positive step for UK consumers by removing the monopoly on LTE that would have benefitted just one operator.” LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is the flavour of 4G that UK operators will be deploying.
15:25 – EE Announce 4G launch
– 4G will launch on October 30th
– Launched in 10 cities – BIRMINGHAM, LEEDS, BRISTOL, LIVERPOOL, CARDIFF, LONDON, EDINBURGH, MANCHESTER, GLASGOW, SHEFFIELD – 16 by Christmas – Belfast, Derby, Hull, Newcastle, Nottingham and Southampton
– No prices or plans yet
– 5 phones now available
– Apple iPhone 5
– Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE (but not any SGS3 handsets sold in the UK up to this point)
– HTC’s One XL
– Huawei Ascend P1 LTE
– Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE (from 15 October)
– Huawei mobile dongle
19:46 – App.net reveal price drop
– Now have 20,000 users
– Drops from $50 to $36 a year (or $5 a month)
– Developers still have to spend $100 per year to use the API. But App.net recently announced an incentive for developers. Beginning October 1, App.net will give $20,000 per month to developers for the most successful third-party apps or services. The incentive program is reminiscent of RIM’s investment to foster app development.
22:26 – Tabots release Netbot
– Netbot is a full-featured iPhone App.net client with a lot of personality. Whether it’s the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds & animation, or features like smart gestures, there’s a lot to love about Netbot.
– Has a version for iPhone and iPad – £2.99 each
– All the great features from Tweetbot
– Conversations exploded on App.net this evening with this new client
– Crossposting will be….interesting
– Shot in the arm
26:11 – XFactor for Tech community
– An X Factor style TV show aimed at discovering aspiring young technology entrepreneurs is reportedly being considered by music mogul Simon Cowell and rapper Will.i.am.
– Will.i.am told the Sun newspaper they had met to discuss the details of the project, X Factor for Tech, last month.
– The Black Eyed Peas frontman, who was last year appointed as Intel’s director of creative innovation, said the show would create “lots” of jobs.
– UK innovators have welcomed the idea.