As expected, HTC on Wednesday fired back in a legal fight with Apple, claiming Apple infringes on five of its patents and asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to block sales of iPhones, iPads and iPods. The counter punch comes after Apple filed an ITC complaint and a suit in U.S. District court, claiming HTC's Android-based smartphones infringe on 20 of its patents.
HTC, the maker of the first phone based on Google's Android mobile operating system back in 2008, is widely viewed as a proxy for Google. HTC makes the Google-branded Nexus One as well as much anticipated new models – the Droid Incredible for Verizon Wireless and the EVO 4G for Sprint – which run the lastest 2.1 version of Android. Depsite lackluster sales of the Nexus One, the Google operating system is rapidly gaining momentum against Apple's iPhone/iPod/iPad OS, and has overtaken Apple as No. 2 in U.S. smartphone market share.
For years rumored to be eying the US smartphone market, Dell is reportedly preparing a barrage of mobile devices ranging from a Windows Phone 7 smartphone and four Google Android smartphones to two Android tablets starting this summer and stretching into the middle of next year, according to details, including photos and detailed specs, leaked to gadget website Engadget.com.
The Windows Phone 7, reportedly dubbed the Dell Lightning, is a GSM phone that sports a 4.1-inch WVGA OLED display, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 1GB of flash memory, a 5-megapixel camera, 8GB of storage on an internal microSD card, receivers for GPS and FM radio, among other features. The 3G phone will apparently not be exclusive to either AT&T or T-Mobile, so there are likely to be two models initially and speculation that an LTE version for Verizon later next year. Like the Palm Pre Plus the Lightning's display slides up to reveal a QWERTY keyboard.
In response to a flood of user complaints about the new iPad's inability to maintain good Wi-Fi connections, Apple has posted a support Knowledge Base article blaming some third-party wireless routers and suggesting network configuration changes to fix the problem.
"Under certain conditions, iPad may not automatically rejoin a known Wi-Fi network after restart or waking from sleep," Apple acknowledges.
Apple has racked up hundreds of thousands of iPad orders since the tablet computer went on pre-sale March 12, according to the Wall Street Journal. That's more or less in line with estimates from earlier this week, although some analysts had suggested that sales had slowed dramatically after a burst of 120,000 on day one.
As noted by Flurry earlier this week, it took Apple 74 days to sell 1 million iPhones. One of the Journal's sources said that the iPad could actually outperform the iPhone's first three months of sales. Considering the devices' difference in price, those kinds of numbers would certainly count as an early success.
TechCrunch, the Michael Arrington-founded blog that people either love or love to hate, got hacked Tuesday morning at 1:30 a.m. ET. The site went down for an hour, came back online briefly, and then went down again a couple of hours later.
Rather than being treated to TechCrunch's usual commentary, visitors were greeted with the message, "What a [expletive] useless hack, isn't it? Bleh," and were redirected to a porn site.
Microsoft jumped into the profitable mythical-tablet market last week, with the non-announcement that its dual-screen tablet -- possibly called Courier -- may or may not someday hit the streets. In response, Apple did not release a statement declaring that its tablet, set to debut someday, will come in an array of rainbow colors.
Yes, it's fun to mock the silliness of the rumor battle playing out in the media. But what seems to be getting lost in the new "will Microsoft one-up Apple?" storyline is the bigger question. When word of the potential Apple tablet began to spread last year, many observers noted that there might not actually be a need for it.