Patents are very important — they help the small guys with really great ideas protect themselves. They give those people and companies a real chance in a world that’s dominated by large organizations that build their business on stealing great ideas. That said, holding a patent isn’t a sure-fire way to protect yourself, but it certainly helps.
When large companies use their portfolio of patents to squeeze out competition, however, it really should be considered anti-competitive. A good example of how patents shouldn’t be used is how Apple is trying flex their muscles to HTC, which is infringing their generic “multi-touch” patent. Thankfully for HTC, Google is on their side, and won’t let Apple have their way.
Most people would agree that the patent system is broken, and something has to be done about it. Most companies play nice, and don’t threaten legal action — in fact, patents are used as the proverbial “First!” in a lot of cases — bragging rights. Apple, for instance, has lots of patents that are really cool — like the one that makes tactile user input possible on a touch screen.
Perhaps Apple is afraid that they will not be able to innovate past multi-touch, and protecting their patent is the only way to ensure their future success.
At the moment, the rumored features include OLED display and video-chat functionality, as well as faster performance and more power flexibility. These have long been much need improvements for the iPhone, fans would definitely find having such upgrades reasonably.
The Apple Insiders have suggested that the iPhone 4G will have both a dual-core processor and an improved graphics chip. It’s been speculated that a new ARM Cortex A9 CPU might be responsible for this increase in performance.
Will a detachable battery be finally available? This appears to be a function that Apple has been reluctant to put in place for many of its products. If Apple does decide to equip the next iPhone with a removable battery then it could potentially put the likes of Morphie who creates external battery packiPhone cases at risk. But for iPhone users, this would be excellent news. Having video chat means the inclusion of a front-facing camera for video calling, and a higher-performance main camera, this together with a possible dual-core processor all supports the need for such greater versatility in terms of battery power.
[Via Apple Insider, Gadget Venue]
Electronics manufacturer Samsung announced on Tuesday two new flash-based storage solutions, both of which are ideal for mobile use. The company unveiled a high-density 64GB moviNAND flash memory chip, in addition to a 32GB micro secure digital (SD) card.
The removable flash-based 32GB microSD card, which was developed this month, is made up of eight 4GB stacked chips, and Samsung claims that it’s the industry’s highest-capacity production-ready microSD card.
However, despite the impressive card density the new microSD card still has a staggeringly slim profile, coming in at only 1mm in thickness and just 0.7mm in height. The card is due to enter production this February.
Samsung also detailed that its 1.4mm-thick 64GB flash chip was developed using the company’s 30-nanometer process, packing in sixteen stacked 4GB chips and its own storage controller. The company claimed that the 64GB moviNAND chip has been in mass-production since December, and will be the first on the market, beating Toshiba’s recent efforts.
With higher-capacity flash memory slowly becoming more commonplace it may not be long before we start seeing devices, such as Smartphone’s and portable media players, housing increased memory. Both Toshiba and Samsung are currently suppliers of flash memory to Apple, so it’s no surprise that recent claims state that the next iteration of Apple’s popular iPhone could feature higher capacity on-board memory.
The device, which runs the Linux-based Maemo operating system, features a 3.5in touch-screen, slide-out Qwerty keyboard, fast web browsing and access to Nokia’s online app store, Ovi. Nokia said the N900 was designed to bring the desktop computing experience to mobile devices.
It has a powerful ARM Cortex-A8 processor and 1GB of dedicated application memory, which enables it to handle multiple apps simultaneously. It pulls in contacts from a variety of social networking sites, such as Facebook, and “threads” conversations by person, regardless of whether communication took place via email, text messages, chat service or through Facebook. The device boasts 32GB of storage, and can be expanded to 48GB using a microSD card.
Nokia dominates the mobile phone market, accounting for 40 per cent of all handsets sold worldwide. But it is wary of losing ground to the likes of Apple and Research in Motion, which makes the BlackBerry.
“The Nokia N900 has generated a lot of interest since its public launch in August, which has been reflected in the device pre-orders,” said José-Luis Martinez, a vice president with Nokia. “What’s exciting is the Maemo software, which takes its cues from the desktop computer and offers a full browsing experience like no other handset.”
The N900 will be available free on some networks, depending on contract and tariff, while a SIM-free device will set users back around £500.
Technology experts say the N900’s arrival will be crucial for the future growth of the Finnish mobile phone giant. Nokia is expected to use its Maemo platform to power an increasing number of devices in order to meet the growing needs of consumers to remain connected to the internet and their social networks at all times.
“Maemo will deliver the next generation of ‘computer-like’ experiences,” says Geoff Blaber, an analyst with CCS Insight. “The emphasis on rich visuals and multitasking is key. Multitasking will become increasingly important in a world where the phone is being used to access multiple functions, applications and services. It’s a challenge that Apple faces with the iPhone.”
Apple has scaled yet another milestone, as its mobile app store now includes a whopping 100,000 approved apps, according to unofficial data revealed by the iPhone app directory App Shopper.
Although Apple hasn’t made any official announcement about reaching such remarkable figures, but App Shopper claimed that the iPhone maker’s app store is now home to around 102,000 standard applications.
The online store reportedly had around 65,000 apps in the month of August, and it took two-and-a-half months to reach the coveted mark of 100,000.
Of all the currently available apps on the company’s signature applications store, as many as 93,000 apps are actually available for download or purchase as of October 28.
The total count of apps on Apple app store has comfortably outnumbered the number of apps available on the rival’s stores, including Windows Mobile Marketplace, Android Marketplace, Nokia’s Ovi Store, and Google’s Android Marketplace put together.
Apple has announced the latest firmware for the iPhone which should fix some nagging problems with the device.
The firmware update 3.1.2 launched last week and corrects three major issues reported by users. The bug fixes include:
* Resolves sporadic issue that may cause iPhone to not wake from sleep
* Resolves intermittent issue that may interrupt cellular network services until restart
* Fixes bug that could cause occasional crash during video streaming
The firmware update is compatible with the iPhone, iPhone 3G, and the iPhone 3GS. Read more at the Apple website
Personally, I think that Apple has been pretty good with the bug fixes for the iPhone and the iPod touch. Typically there is not much time after a major firmware release before minor fixes are also addressed with updates. That’s a good thing since it means that Apple will keep its many iPhone users loyal.
We may even see bigger changes to the iPhone now that AT&T has announced that it will open up VoIP applications to its cellular network. Previously, these types of application only work over a Wi-Fi connection. That means we get to squeeze even more capabilities into the iPhone.
Apple revamped its iPod range recently, highlighted by a new version of the iPod Nano with a curved aluminum design and built-in accelerometer. Besides the Nano, Apple also introduced a single iPod classic model and changes to the iPod Touch.
During a press briefing in San Francisco Sept. 9, Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the new iPod Nano, which is touted as the thinnest iPod ever built and features a taller form factor with a larger screen than the previous Nano.
Jobs said that the newly redesigned iPod Nano as more environmentally friendly than past models, because it has arsenic-free glass; no brominated flame retardant, mercury or PVC; and more recyclable materials. There’s more they’re going to do in the future, but these are the cleanest, toxic-free iPods they’ve ever built.
The revamped Nano line comes in different colors, like, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink and silver. The 8GB Nano sells for $149 while the 16GB model sells for $199; both Nanos are now shipping.
Apple also introduced the iPod classic line to just one model , a 120GB music player that costs $249. Previously, the classic line came in two versions, a $249 80GB model and a $349 160GB model.