Keeping up with what’s going on can be tough, especially in an industry that is changing rapidly. I know that’s it’s something I struggle with, so this little bit is my way of trying to keep myself abreast of the mobile space, and hopefully my wading through hundreds of articles every week can help you get perspective without putting in quite as much time. Here are the top 10 mobile industry news items from last week as I see them.
Palm Acquired by HP
Palm’s WebOS, possibly the best mobile operating system, accompanied by a very good phone in the Palm Pre, may live on. Last week a deal was announced that will see HP purchase Palm at a price of $5.70 per share. For the news story, check out the Yahoo Finance coverage. ZDnet provides some perspective on the impact this deal will have on the mobile space.
Apple Acquires Siri
Siri touts itself as the digital personal assistant, currently available for iPhone and iPod touch. The app allows a user to make a speech command and the software then does its best to solve the query, whatever it might be. For Apple, this move means they now have an in house product that is capable of web search and more. The Telegraph and eWeek both provide some additional details. Apple moving into search in this manner will definitely make thing interesting, particularly with rival Google.
iPhone 4G Debacle Continues to Make News
The “discovery” of the iPhone 4G has resulted in yet more news as authorities are now checking into all the details of the series of events that led to the Gizmodo reveal of the device. On one side, the individual who found the phone and turned it over to Gizmodo for $5,000 has been identified and probably regrets ever getting involved. On the other end, Gizmodo Editor Jason Chen had his home raided by authorities who seized equipment. Gizmodo is considering suing the police. Will Apple sue Gizmodo?
HTC Agrees to Pay Microsoft a Royalty for Android Phones
That’s right, in a deal announced last week, handset maker HTC has agreed to pay software giant Microsoft every time an HTC phone with the Android OS is sold. Why would they pay Microsoft when Android is a google product and is open source? Because Linux, the open-source operating system on which Android is based, may infringe on Microsoft Patents. What will this mean for other handset manufacturers who are using Android, will they all require patent agreements to avoid getting sued by Microsoft? Visit The Register for this story and others regarding mobile patent suits, they make for some interesting reading.
Opera Dives Into E-Mail by Purchasing FastMail.fm
Recent statistics from StatCounter suggest that Opera Mini is the number one smartphone browser, with 24.6% of the market. The company is now diving into cloud-based e-mail with their purchase of FastMail.fm.
Android Market Hits 50,000 Apps
Apple’s closest competitor in terms of mobile OS capabilities has achieved a milestone with respect to their app store, the Android Market. With the peek a couple of weeks ago at new phones from Dell, as well as other great handsets running Android, it is possible that Android just might take over iPhone in the long-run, but it could be a long time.
Apple & Flash, Steve Ends the Debate
If there was still any question of whether Adobe’s flash would ever make its way onto the iPhone, it is likely safe to say the answer is no. Last week Jobs posted a note on the Apple website in which he outlined six reasons why Apple has taken issue with Flash. For a breakdown of the post, read this article from PC Magazine.
RIM Provides Sneak Preview of New OS
BlackBerry OS 6 will be the software for the next gen of BlackBerry smartphones. It includes multitouch capabilities, but is still designed to work well on non-touch screen devices. It also includes a WebKit enabled browser, which should improve rendering of websites which didn’t work well on BlackBerry in the past. While the OS is being promoted as more consumer oriented, Internet Evolution suggests it is still business as usual. Check out the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlO8KMv7Bx4&feature=player_embedded
TomTom’s GPS App Store
As Google continues to bring free navigation tools to mobile devices, how do GPS device manufacturers compete? Apparently they create their own apps stores. We’ll know just what that will look like from TomTom towards the end of the year.
Nokia Announces Latest Smartphone
The next phone from Nokia will be the N8, running on the most recent incarnation of the Symbian OS. With some impressive specs, including a 12MP camera that shoots HD video, the hardware is great. What remains to be seen is whether the phone, which will be available in the third quarter of 2010, will be able to compete in the US smartphone market against the iPhone and a host of ever more impressive Android devices. Check out the details as covered by PC Magazine.
That’s it guys, let me know in the comments if we overlooked anything!