It's being reported today that Facebook will be acquiring two-year-old Oculus VR Inc., a maker of virtual-reality glasses for gaming, for $2 billion, buying its way into the fast-growing wearable devices arena with its first-ever hardware deal.
In December Wired Magazine believed that wearables would be the computing trend to watch for in 2014 and believed it could be as big a market as smartphones. In fact it was the number one trend to emerge at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Since that time, Samsung has raced ahead in wearables with their Gear 2 smartwatch and Gear Fit fitness band and Google has kick-started their Google Wear platform. Even Apple let it be known that there's a "Healthbook" App on the way which could strongly suggests that there could be a wearable device on their roadmap in the not too distant future. Today, The US Patent and Trademark Office granted Samsung a new design patent for Samsung Glass while granting Microsoft a design patent for an "Electronic Band." Yes, things are starting to get interesting.
Earlier this month the rumor mill was busy reporting that Samsung gained a new contract for Apple's next generation A8 processor. Yet within 24 hours, news surfaced that TSMC wasn't only producing the A8, they were in fact ahead of schedule in production for Apple's processors. That was good news considering that Apple had reportedly ordered 90 million iPhone 6 units. That's a huge leap from their record-breaking 51 million units sold in calendar Q4 2013. Today, The Korean press paints a painful picture of Samsung's US processor plant that was meant to produce Apple processors. It's just not going according to plan.
A Tokyo District Court ruled today that Apple won't have to pay damages to Samsung Electronics Co. and didn't infringe on patents for certain products. Specifically, Tokyo District Court Judge Koji Hasegawa said Apple's iPhone 4s, iPhone 4 and iPad 2 don't infringe on data communication patents of Samsung, according to a statement from the court.
On March 25, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published four of Apple's latest trademark filings pertaining to refreshed icon designs for Pages, Numbers and Keynote Apps for both iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks. Our report provides you with jumbo icon graphics creatively joined with miniature versions of Apple's "previous" designs so that you could see how dramatic some of the changes really are. Apple's shift to a digital-styled pen for their new Pages icon is a curious choice of design. Perhaps one day it'll actually mean something.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 44 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover a dual image sensor system, hearing aid features for a future iPhone, scrolling features like Cover Flow and two design patents that credit Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs. We wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 44 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover two specific granted patents related to multitouch on touch screens. The first covers Apple original 2007 technology that introduced pinch and zoom, pinch and rotate and other key new-to-market gestures. The second patent that we cover relates to in-depth GUI's designed for the disabled so that they could use Apple's iDevices and MacBooks. The latter patent illustrates Apple's long standing commitment to providing the disabled with the very best assistive technology which flies in the face of a recently filed Class Action lawsuit on behalf of the disabled.
On March 25, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published one of Apple's latest trademark filings for a special detailed word mark related to their iOS app "Pages." USPTO filed the application under number 86227771. Our report covers Apple's application in-part, their special Pages image and its corresponding specimen page.
There's been a lot of noise in the media over the last months about the NSA being able to tap into your email with the help of Google, Apple and others. There has been angry reaction to this news by the companies that were supposedly working hand-in-glove with the NSA. These respective companies reacted to those claims with their own public campaigns. Yet when I read the other day that Microsoft had hacked into a bloggers email account, the ugly truth and hypocrisy of it all began to unravel. Then surprisingly late last week we were all unpleasantly reminded that Apple also reserves the right to do the very same thing and beyond on your iCloud email account. It appears that our only right that we have left is to not use a company's software. So if you use any company's software, just stop yapping about privacy, because in the end, it appears it's a right that no longer exists. It's just a thing of the past. Report Updated March 28, 2014 with NYT Link.
On March 24, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark filings relating to icons for iPhoto OS X and iOS 7 along with the iMovie icon for iOS 7. Apple's new iOS 7 icons reflect the new flat design that was launched in concert with the iPhone 5S in 2013. The three filings were originally filed last week according to USPTO's documentation with all of them filed under International Class 009.
Last October Apple revealed the new Mac Pro in greater detail at a Special Event. There we learned of their state of the art automated assembly plant in Texas. Today we're learning through Apple's supply chain in Taiwan that Apple is now planning to begin new a automated manufacturing process for iPhone batteries.
A new Chinese-language online search engine - Chinaso.com - was launched Friday, marking China's first search service set up by the country's major news organizations. China is the world's largest market and it looks like they're trying to rid itself of Google. Though to be honest, there's an emerging trend in China that is out to challenge, if not eventually marginalize, traditional US based software kings.
Yesterday we reported that China Mobile had reported their first financial loss in 14 years as they surge ahead with their buildout of their new 4G network. We also noted that Mobile China only began selling Apple's iPhones very late in December which couldn't boost their yearend profits. Today, news has come to light about a comment that China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua made during his conference call that is certainly music to Apple's ears and it bodes well for Apple in 2014 and the iPhone 6 that will be released later this year.
As the saying goes, "Short term pain for long term gain." It's the philosophy that China Mobile has to take as they've just reported their first financial loss in 14 years as they surge ahead with the buildout of their new 4G network. Mobile China only began selling Apple's iPhones very late in December which couldn't boost their yearend profits. If Apple's future iPhone 6 is a winning design, it will be most welcomed by China Mobile as it needs to pay for their buildout of the largest 4G network in the world.
Yesterday, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Google that reveals a new multi-sensor contact lens computer system that could work with many future devices including Google Glass and/or other future wearable devices, an Android smartphone, a television, a gaming system, navigation and/or car stereo and beyond. You may not be a fan of Google, but it's always interesting to see what the competition is doing. And in the blink of an eye, the market can shift if you're found sleeping in this fast past business. If you want to keep an eye on the future, then you just might find Google's latest invention interesting. Until Apple brings a wearable computer of their own to market, we may as well keep on top of what others in the industry are doing.