Apple disables iCloud and MobileMe push email in Germany due to patent fight with Motorola

Apple informed customers in Germany that push email on both MobileMe and iCloud services were disabled due to the company’s patent fight with handset maker Motorola Mobility. According to a support document Apple quietly published today, “Due to recent patent litigation by Motorola Mobility, iCloud and MobileMe users are currently unable to have iCloud and MobileMe email pushed to their iOS devices while located within the borders of Germany.”

Push still works for Contacts, Calendars and other items and it is unaffected on OS X. Moreover, the affected users can still access the iCloud/MobileMe email service by manually checking for messages or using the Fetch setting. Apple also wrote the following line in the support document:

Apple believes Motorola’s patent is invalid and is appealing the decision.

As you will recall, Motorola filed an iCloud-related lawsuit on April Fools’ Day. It recently won an injunction and provided a €100 million bond to enforce it. Apple detailed how the patent suit affects the iCloud/MobileMe email service:

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Apple sues Motorola in the U.S. over Qualcomm patent license

Apple, today, has filed a lawsuit against Motorola over their use of Qualcomm technology, as reported by Reuters. Apple explains that Motorola has breached a contract pertaining to their use of a patent license and “asks this Court to enjoin Motorola from prosecuting and 4 enforcing its claims against Apple in Germany.”

Specifically, Apple is suing Motorola over their claims that Apple is illegally using Qualcomm’s baseband chip. In its lawsuit, Apple asks the court to ban Motorola from being able to sue Apple over Apple’s use of Qualcomm’s technology:

Permanent injunctive relief restraining Motorola and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, agents, employees, servants, licensors, successors, assigns, and all those acting in concert with them, from prosecuting patent infringement proceedings against Apple based on Apple’s use of the Qualcomm MDM6610 chip and other Qualcomm components licensed under Motorola patents in any forum other than this Court

The root of the lawsuit is essentially Apple’s strike-back at Motorola for attempting to stop sales of Apple’s 3G products in Germany. The lawsuit’s referencing of Qualcomm’s chips is a nod to the iPhone 4S, which uses a Qualcomm baseband chip, not being removed for that short amount of time when Apple won a temporary injunction of Apple’s 3G products in Germany.

The full lawsuit filing can be viewed here.

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Apple pressures EU regulators to set FRAND licensing rules

After taking a beating by Motorola over FRAND patents this month, Apple issued a letter to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute asking the body to establish consistent royalty fees for patents deemed essential to wireless standards, reported the Wall Street Journal. The body has a role in setting the standards related to GSM, 3G UMTS, and 4G LTE radio technologies.

Apple is involved in nasty patent disputes with Motorola, HTC and Samsung in courtrooms around the world, and it previously asserted in court documents that handset maker Motorola refused to license its essential patents on “Fair, Reasonable, and Nondiscriminatory” (FRAND) nature at rates offered to Nokia, Samsung and other vendors. According to the Journal:

Many mobile technology companies, such as Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., hold patents that became part of industry-wide standards. Standards bodies often require the patent holders to offer to license their patents to any company on a basis known as Frand, or fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory. Questions about such commitments have arisen amid a flurry of patent suits between rivals in the mobile-device market.

Apple’s lawyer wrote in the letter: “It is apparent that our industry suffers from a lack of consistent adherence to FRAND principles in the cellular standards arena.” A copy of Apple’s letter was posted online by the FOSS Patents blog. Motorola recently likened its enforcement of FRAND patents to bank robbery: “It only takes one bullet to kill.” Samsung and Motorola reportedly demanded that Apple pay a 2.4 percent and 2.25 percent royalty, respectively, illustrating what the iPhone maker called are unreasonable FRAND licensing terms.

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That was fast: German ban on Apple 3G products lifted due to FRAND status of patents

Update: 8PM ET: Apple has updated the store and all 3G devices are again available.

Just this morning Apple was dealt a patent blow by a German court that ruled Apple’s 3G products outside of the iPhone 4S were in violation of Motorola patents. The “Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory” (FRAND) nature of the patents means Apple should be able to purchase licensing rights to those patents at market rates (i.e. what Nokia, Samsung, and others pay). According to Apple, Motorola has not offered those types of terms.

Fast forward to a few minutes ago: Apple stated the 3G devices in question would be back on sale “shortly”…

Slashgear reported:

Apple has been granted a suspension of the German injunction against 3G-enabled iOS devices, with the iPad WiFi + 3G, iPhone 4 and other gadgets back on sale through the company’s online store. ”All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple’s online store in Germany shortly” the company told us in a statement. “Apple appealed this ruling because Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago.”

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comScore: iPhone at 30 percent US smartphone market share, 12 percent total US market share

Research firm comScore is out with its latest numbers for the month of December, giving us a glimpse at the current United States mobile market. The report indicates that mobile sales are up-and-rising for the holiday month. comScore found that Google’s Android is leading with a 47.3-percent OS market share (rising 2.5 points) and Apple’s iOS is in second with a 29.6-percent market share (rising 2.2 points).

When it comes to device market share for both smartphones and non-smartphones on the OEM side, Samsung tops the charts with a 25.3-percent market share, which did not change from the previous month. LG and Motorola place second and third, both losing a small amount of market share during December. Apple comes in fourth in market share, and now boasts 12.4-percent of total mobile subscribers (rising 2.2 points).

The U.S. still ranks in as one of the world’s most important places for smartphones, with 97.9 million people owning smartphones during Q4 2011. When it comes to worldwide sales, Research Firm IDC  yesterday released its estimates for December. They found that Apple passed LG to become the third-largest smartphone manufacturer worldwide, with an 8.7-percent market share in Q4 2011, and a 6 percent market share in 2011 as a whole. Nokia remains in the top spot with 26.6-percent, followed by Samsung who has 22.8-percent. You can check out the graphs after the break for the full run-down:

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Broadcom launches next-gen 5G Wi-Fi chips with gigabit ethernet speed and increased range

Broadcom Corporation is a global innovator for wired and wireless communications, and today the company announced its first family of 802.11ac chips designed for a broad range of product segments.

The chips, also called “5G Wi-Fi” by Broadcom, do not correlate with 3G and 4G cellphone networks. The BCM4360, BCM4352, BCM43526 and BCM43516 chips improve Wi-Fi’s range and are significantly more efficient. Perhaps, the most tantalizing aspect is that the 5GHz-based technology has speeds beyond 1Gbps and is currently in the high-end range of consumer Ethernet.

Apple currently uses Broadcom Wi-Fi Chips in its Mac line and in its iOS devices, including iPad and iPods.  The latest MacBook Airs have the Broadcom BCM4322 Intensi-fi® Single-Chip 802.11n Wi-Fi Transceiver.  Maybe we will see something a little faster later this year…

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Apple says it’s set to lose $2.7 billion if judge sides with Motorola in patent case

Following Motorola winning a possible injunction against Apple mobile products in Germany, Apple has told a German court it is set to lose $2.7 billion if it rules in favor of Motorola regarding a patent case related to an “emailing syncing patent”, according to a report from Bloomberg (via BusinessInsider). Apple has reportedly requested the court to demand Motorola provide $2.7 billion in collateral in the event the judge sides with Motorola. Bloomberg reports:

German courts often require the winning side in a case to post collateral if it wants to enforce a ruling while the other side is appealing. The amount reflects the losses the party is facing when forced to comply with the ruling. If it wins the appeals, it can seek damages and can make use of the collateral held for that.

While we have no information about how exactly Apple has come to that figure, the judge hearing the case apparently doesn’t agree with Apple’s valuation:
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Motorola outs the new RAZR, beats the iPhone 4S on thinness (except the part that doesn’t)


Motorola teaches us the difference between the 3.5-inch iPhone 4S and 4.3-inch RAZR.

Motorola has just unveiled the DROID RAZR and it looks like it beat the iPhone in the thinness department (except the upper part housing the camera that isn’t). Motorola’s device is, according to the blurb, “impossibly thin”, measuring just 7.1mm versus 9.3mm for the iPhone 4S. This 4G LTE handset driven by Android 2.3.5 features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display with an qHD resolution, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM plus an eight-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording, 32 gigabytes of storage and Bluetooth 4.0.  It weights a slight 121 grams compared to the iPhone 4S’s 140 grams.

But 7.1mm thin?  Sure, except the part that is 10mm thin housing the camera.

They also have an optional lapdock that looks a lot like a MacBook Pro. The physical design boasts an interesting combination of Gorilla Glass and KEVLAR. Motorola is claiming up to 8.9 hours of video playback and 12.5 hours of talk time. The device is available for pre-order beginning October 27 on the Verizon Wireless network, starting at $299, with an expected launch sometime in November. Our own Seth Weintraub is live-blogging the announcement over at 9to5Google so feel free to hop over if you’re eager to find out more or check out the official RAZR mini-site. More juicy press shots, a nice teaser video and full press release after the break…


They also compare 4G LTE RAZR to 3G iPhone 4S. BTW Moto, thanks for free advertising!

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Samsung targets iOS devices in France as Apple puts brakes on Motorola until Google merger is completed


This is a Samsung-branded Windows 8 tablet Microsoft is giving away to BUILD attendees today. 

The latest in the ongoing patent saga involving Apple, Google, Motorola and Samsung includes an unexpected twist as Samsung goes after iPhone and iPad with a complaint filed before a Paris district court in July. The filing alleges infringement of Samsung’s three technology patents, reports AFP. The first hearing is expected in December of this year.

Meanwhile, patent expert Florian Müller notes on his blog FOSSPatents that Apple has filed motions to temporarily halt two Motorola lawsuits until Google completes its $12.5 billion acquisition, which shook the technology world last month. Put simply, Apple argues Motorola waived its rights to sue when it transferred patents to Google. Apple wrote:

To further its pending acquisition by Google, Motorola has surrendered critical rights in the patents-in-suit, such that Motorola no longer has prudential standing to pursue this action. According to the publicly-filed Merger Agreement, Motorola has ceded control of the most basic rights regarding the patents-in-suit

As you know, Google has transferred some of the Motorola patents to HTC, in addition to the ones acquired from Palm and Openwave Systems. HTC then used those patents to counter-sue Apple. Back to Apple vs. Samsung…

Financial Times today opined that Samsung needs to hit the reset button, predicting a licensing agreement of sorts provided Apple succeeds in blocking Galaxy products in the U.S. next month. Contrary to the reports, the publication thinks “Apple is restricted from taking its chip business to Samsung’s rivals in Taiwan because Samsung offers a complete package of components that other firms cannot match”. However, there are indications that Apple’s been lowering Samsung orders for some time and it’s widely believed the company is eager to take its silicon business to TSMC beginning next year.

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What if Google closes Android and goes the Apple model with Motorola?


Assuming Android goes proprietary to Motorola, it falls behind Apple in market share by 2012 and Windows Phone (the Other category) gulps up nearly half the mobile phone market.

There’s a good reason why Apple’s products “just work”. But it’s been a bumpy road for the Cupertino, California company because right from the onset competitors were ridiculing its vertically integrated approach to business. Apple’s supposedly ‘closed’ ecosystem is a major weakness, critics cry. The past decade, however, saw the marketplace validate the strategy through booming sales of Apple gear. But what if GOOG actually tried the AAPL model with Motorola, which today makes about one in ten Android smartphones?

That’s the dilemma Piper Jaffray resident Apple analyst Gene Munster set out to explore in his Friday note to clients. In short, making Android proprietary and exclusive to Motorola would add about 35 percent to operating income for Google, the accidental hardware company. By 2015, the phone biz would add $10.5 billion in operating profit and $56 billion in revenue, resulting in a per-share earnings of $25.16 by 2015. There’s just one problem with this hypothetical strategy: Read more