Industry News

Latest HP Tablet is All Business

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HP has a take on the Windows 8 tablet aiming at enterprise use-- the ElitePad 900, a 10-inch tablet similar to high-end EliteBook laptops from the company.

ElitepadIt carries an Atom-based Intel Clover Trail processor, 2GB of RAM and either 32 or 64GB of eMMC storage. The display handles resolutions of up to 1280 x 800, making it slightly disappointing, while cameras come in 1080p (front-facing) and 8MP (rear) varieties.

Input is not limited to touch-- the device also allows for pen- and voice-based input.

Like the EliteBook laptops the industrial design looks premium, with CNC-machined aluminium construction and Gorilla Glass 2 coating the 400-nit IPS display.

HP sells a duo of "SmartJacket" accessories for the tablet-- the Productivity Jacket (with integrated keyboard, SD card reader and connectivity ports) and Expansion Jacket (with x2 USB ports, HDMI-out and room for optional battery expansion). Further accessories include standards such as a docking station, a "military-grade" rugged case and a tablet pen.

Go HP Unveils a True Tablet for Business

EC Steps into Digital Music

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The European Commission (EC) hopes to bolster the European digital music industry with a proposal streamlining the way agencies collect royalties for copyright holders-- making the sale of digital music across the 27 EU nations much easier.

EU MusicThe EU has tried to bring about pan-European licensing for a while, following the antitrust decision in 2008 against national royalty collecting agencies. That decision allows rights holder to issue pan-European licenses.

European collecting agencies collect an estimated €6 billion annually from radio stations, restaurants, bars and other music users. However according to the EC less than 50% of collected royalties are distributed within the 1st year.

Currently music copyrights are still granted on a national basis within the EU-- meaning customers can only purchase digital music from an online store (such as iTunes or Spotify) operating within their home country. As a result, music pirates find a nice in customers who are unable to legally purchase digital music.

Apple managed to roll out iTunes stores in 12 European countries (including Poland and Hungary) in 2011... only 7 years after iTunes first opened its digital floodgates in Germany.

Go Moving the Single Market for Online Music (EU Observer)

Tangled Patent Web: An Apple Update

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IP consulting firm Kanzatec provides an updated bird's eye view of the patent war-- and reveals how Apple sits at the centre of nearly 60% of all major mobile-related suits. 

Patent WebThe list of companies attacking (and in turn being attacked by!) Apple is pretty much a who's who of the mobile business. It includes many familiar mobile device makers, such as Samsung, Motorola, HTC, RIM, Kodak, Nokia, Microsoft and Google. There are also service providers, including Comcast, Sprint and Oracle. 

Why is Apple at the epicentre of such a battlefield? According to Kanzatec, that is due to its having a "dominant place" in the market. As long as retains its market share-- and huge amounts of cash in hand-- Apple will remain a juicy target for potential litigators. 

Then again, Apple is not one to stand back in a legal fight... And the patent war goes on, and on. 

Go Who is Suing Whom? Current and Recent Mobile Technology Litigation (Bloomberg)

Windows Phone Gets Version 8

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Microsoft follows the Surface tablet reveal with another mobile-related announcement-- Windows Phone 8 (aka Apollo), the next full-blown version of the smartphone OS, currently at version 7.5.

Windows Phone 8The biggest change Windows Phone 8 has is the NT kernel, meaning the mobile OS shares a kernel, file system, media foundation, device drivers and partial security model with Windows 8.

The NT kernel also provides multi-core processor support, removable storage (via microSD cards), NFC capability and even improvements aiming at enterprise use (device encryption, remote management, custom app support).

Windows Phone 8 supports x3 screen resolutions-- WVGA (800x480), WXGA (1280x769) and 720p (1280x720).

Other consumer-aimed updates include a revamped Internet Explorer 10, Nokia-powered mapping, a Wallet app (stores debit/credit card data, coupons, boarding passes) and a more customisable Start screen.

The upgrade however comes at a price-- Windows Phone 7 devices will not get WP8. Instead, WP7 users can enjoy playing with the new Start screen through a 7.8 update.

Microsoft gives no Windows Phone 8 release date, but says the OS will be available in Qualcomm-powered smartphones from Nokia, Huawei, Samsung and HTC.

Go Announcing Windows Phone 8

IDC: Android Fuels W. European Mobile Growth

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IDC reports the W. European mobile market returns to growth in Q1 2012, following 3 quarters of decline-- with shipments growing by 1.3% Y-o-Y to reach 44.8 million units.

Smartphones marketSmartphones account for 63% of the total Q1 2012 mobile market, with shipments of 28.2m units and 37% Y-o-Y growth.

Meanwhile the feature phone segment shrinks further (by -30% Y-o-Y) and reaches 16.6m units.

IDC says European customers "are are still willing" to spend on smartphones-- the most expensive devices (priced over €400) account for 49% of total Q1 2012 smartphone shipments (up from 46% in Q1 2011), with the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S II topping sales rankings.