As Google shows off Nexus One, its much hyped new smartphone, in a heavily covered press conference today, one thing is clear: Apple and Google are no longer best friends forever.
While the debate has raged about whether Nexus One will be a game-changer, or perhaps more of a game-tweaker, there's no question that the device is a direct challenge to Apple's iPhone. We're not talking about Google offering up a free OS to cellphone manufacturers, but rather a phone designed by Google and poised to make a big splash in Apple's pool.
Like all popular products, the iPhone has its share of detractors. One of the primary sources of scorn is the vetting process Apple uses to decide whether software should be allowed to enter its application store. But the App Store, which now has more than 100,000 available applications, is one of the iPhone's chief selling points, and Apple isn't about to give up its much-criticized role as a software gatekeeper.
In an interview with BusinessWeek, Phil Schiller, Apple's SVP for worldwide product marketing, defends the approval process at length, though he acknowledges that the company needs to be more flexible.
Analysts and industry players have begun circling Research In Motion like vultures lately, but the BlackBerry maker's co-CEOs don't seem particularly concerned with the negative attention.
BMO Capital Markets this morning became the latest firm to lower its rating on RIM's stock, with analyst Tim Long saying that the company is too reliant on Verizon Wireless, which accounts for some 30 percent of RIM revenue, and that the Storm 2 doesn't match up to its touchscreen competitors. And while BlackBerry remains the king of the U.S. smartphone, it's facing a daunting threat from Apple's iPhone and a seemingly endless deluge of Google Android phones.
Simon Aldous, Microsoft's U.K. partner group manager, is in hot water for some ill-advised statements in an interview published yesterday by PCR. The gist? Microsoft's heralded Windows 7 operating system was more than a little inspired by the Mac OS.
Users call Apple's operating system "fantastic" and "easy to use," said Aldous. "What we've tried to do with Windows 7 -- whether it's traditional format or in a touch format -- is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics."
Apple's iPhone has its first reported worm, though it affects only jailbroken devices and, thus far, Australians.
At least 100 iPhones have been infected with the worm, which replaces the device's wallpaper with an image of 1980s one-hit wonder Rick Astley -- who, thanks to the rickrolling phenomenon, has seen his pop culture status reach new heights over the last couple years.
Apple's iPhone is authorized for use only on AT&T's 3G wireless network, although new code made available on the Web this week is looking to change that. And Apple is responding.
There is a movement afoot to "free" iPhones from their dependence on AT&T's network so the smart phones can be used by customers of other carriers, by running code that "unlocks" the device. This code, called Blacksn0w and made available for free by iPhone hacker George Hotz (known as Geohot), works at the iPhone's operating system level to "jailbreak" the phone from AT&T and reconnect to the user's GSM network of choice. iPhones that have been broken out are also able to load software from various sources, not just the Apps Store.