Mark Bridge writes:
The Rockstar Consortium. That name sounds as though it could be promising more than it can deliver, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. It’s the group of mobile companies that picked up Nortel’s portfolio of several thousand tech patents for $4.5 billion. And now, its members – including Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony – have set some of those patents on their biggest competitors. Watch out, Google, Asustek, HTC, Huawei, LG, Pantech, Samsung and ZTE. I like to imagine Steve Ballmer shouting “At my signal, unleash hell”, although I doubt that actually happened.
Anyway, some of the aforementioned companies were busy launching new devices last week. LG revealed a curved-screen handset, Huawei unveiled its second Windows Phone 8 smartphone and Google introduced its Nexus 5 device plus the KitKat update for Android.
Keeping well away from trouble and arguably making life easier for itself was Dell, which returned to private ownership under the leadership of founder and CEO Michael Dell.
Also in the USA, the Federal Aviation Administration decided to allow electronic devices (including smartphones) to be used in ‘airplane mode’ during flights… although, perhaps worryingly, it’s said they may need to be switched off for some landings because they could affect the aircraft.
Finally, time for some research. Figures from IDC showed that worldwide smartphone shipments in the third quarter of 2013 reached a new record. Unsurprisingly Samsung and Apple were in first and second place, although there was a bit of a battle for third with Huawei just coming out on top. When it comes to tablets, it was Apple first and Samsung second. Overall, Android is dominating… but will the Rockstar Consortium change all that? Only time will tell.
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