Apple to Enter Online Radio Biz, Reports on Q4 Financials and ITC Rules in Apple's Favor against Samsung
Beyond our regular ongoing IP news of the day, we present you with the five top stories that caught our eye on October 25, 2012. Our cover graphic spells out what we thought were the most interesting stories of the day and our report will point you to the best sources.
1. Apple to Enter the Online Radio Service Business in First Half of 2013
Bloomberg is reporting tonight that Apple and major music labels have intensified negotiations to start an advertising-supported Internet radio service by early next year, according to people with knowledge of the talks.
Talks are centered in part around how to share ad revenue and a deal could be reached by mid-November, with Apple starting a service within the first three months of 2013, said the people, who asked not to be named because discussions are still in progress. Shares of Internet-radio leader Pandora Media Inc. (P) plunged.
With sales of music downloads slowing, Apple and record companies are seeking new ways for customers to discover and buy digital music. To challenge Pandora, Apple is seeking licensing pacts with labels that allow more flexibility about what listeners hear. Pandora relies on a compulsory license that limits how often users can skip tracks and how many times an hour an artist can be played. Apple is also seeking earlier access to new releases.
What are your thoughts on Apple getting into this business?
2. Apple's Q4 Numbers were great, but not great enough for Wall Street
Bloomberg reports after the bell that Apple Inc. reported profit that missed analysts' predictions as customers held off on iPad purchases before the release of a new model. Profit rose to $8.22 billion, or $8.67 a share, in the fiscal fourth quarter, Cupertino, California-based Apple said today in a statement. That compares with $8.3 billion, or $8.75 a share, the average of analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company's sales and profit forecasts for the current quarter also fell short of predictions.
Apple sold 14 million iPads, fewer than the 15.3 million predicted by analysts in a Bloomberg survey, as customers delayed buying old versions before the release of the iPad mini in the current quarter.
To review some of the numbers, see Business Wire's Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results. Apple (AAPL) is currently down $6.43 as of 5: 17 EST. To read about Apple's Conference call details with Tim Cook's commentary and Q & A session, check out this transcript.
3. ITC Ruling: Samsung in Infringement of Four Apple Patents
Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents reports today that on Wednesday, Administrative Law Judge Thomas B. Pender issued a preliminary ruling in Apple's favor against Samsung over four patents: one design patent, one hardware patent, and two multitouch software patents. The four patents include:
1. U.S. Design 'Patent D618,678 titled "ornamental design of an electronic device"
We covered this patent back in June 2010 under the title: "Apple Granted Patents for iPhone, Apple TV, Cooling System, More"
2. U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949 titled "Touch Screen Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for Determining Commands by Applying Heuristics," was issued on January 20, 2009, to inventors Steven P. Jobs, Scott Forstall and others. The court document shows the history of this patent going all the way back to 2006.
3. U.S. Patent No. RE41,922 titled "Method and apparatus for providing translucent images on a computer display"
4. U.S. Patent No. 7,912,501 on an "audio I/O headset plug and plug detection circuitry." We covered the basic of patent in March 2011 under the title "Apple Wins Smart Shoe, Earphones with Mic & iPod Touch Patents."
Mueller concludes his report by stating that "This preliminary ruling provides further validation to Apple's long-standing claims that Android-based devices infringe its intellectual property, but it's too early to tell whether the U.S. import ban that Apple may win on this basis is going to constitute a tipping point in the dispute."
Of course, Samsung is to Appeal the ITC Ruling.
4. Microsoft Surface Tablet Launch Event NYC
Whether you like Microsoft or not, the fact is that they're likely to challenge Apple's iPad over time with their new Surface tablet line-up and being up to date as to what the competition is doing is always the intelligent thing to do. Hiding your head in the sand isn't an option.
5. 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display: The iFixit Teardown
No one does it better than iFixit when it comes to a quality teardown of an Apple product. This time around you could follow along in their teardown of the new 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display.