’Twas the night before Apple’s March 7 media event and not a creature was stirring — but the same cannot be said for our daily recap! Yes, we’ve got those last-minute iPad 3/iPad HD rumors everyone wants to read, but also a few patent-related updates and some news on how Google is reworking its Android Market to be more like iTunes. Okay, you can at least feign surprise, can’t you? Without further ado, here’s what’s making news for this Tuesday, March 6, 2012.
Report: No A6 Chip for iPad 3, But 4G LTE and Apple TV A-OK?
Our Tuesday recap wouldn’t be complete without a few final rumors leading up to tomorrow’s Apple media event, right? Sources are telling The Verge that a new iPad 3/HD is a lock with 4G LTE for both Verizon and ATT, but the third tablet will not come sporting a quad-core A6 processor as previously rumored. Instead, we’ll apparently be getting the “A5X, a dual-core SoC said to have a more powerful GPU.” According to their sources, the A6 is being held back for this year’s launch of the iPhone 5, but the next iPad will beef up the RAM to make up for it. Verizon and ATT will have separate models available — sorry, no dual-mode iPad 3, folks — and “a third international model” will also tackle only CDMA and GSM 3G data, similar to what the iPhone 4S already does. Last but not least, that new Apple TV we reported about this morning appears to be a lock, but still no word on what the device might bring to the table beyond 1080p.
Apple Awarded Patent for iWallet
For Apple fans who think the folks in Cupertino are just sitting on the near-field communication sidelines letting Google have all the fun, read on! Patently Apple is reporting “Apple has received a major Granted Patent that generally relates to establishing financial transaction rules for controlling a subsidiary financial account and, more particularly, to various systems, methods, and electronic devices configured to provide for the establishment of such rules.” That would be a major iWallet patent which “reviews credit card transaction rules and show us that the credit card companies will be sending statements directly to your iTunes account.” Sound exciting? It is, but remember: iWallet patents have been floating around since May, 2010 and Apple has yet to unleash anything which could even remotely fit the bill. Given the company’s annual refresh of the iPhone, we’d say 2012 has a good chance of being the year we’ll see an NFC chip inside the handset, but no need to go stuffing your iTunes account with cold, hard cash quite yet.
Court Orders Google, Motorola to Pony Up Android Data to Apple
Bloomberg is reporting that Apple may soon be granted a peek into the development of Google’s Android operating system. According to U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, “the Android/Motorola acquisition discovery is highly relevant to Apple’s claims and defenses,” despite the objections of Google attorneys. The discovery information from Google and Motorola outlines the pending $12.5 billion acquisition of the hardware maker, which is a more recent development in Apple’s patent lawsuit against Motorola Mobility filed in 2010. Judge Posner has “scheduled back-to-back trials before separate juries starting June 11,” with the first of these addressing “six Apple patents, and the second will cover three Motorola patents.” For their part, Google’s lawyers claim “Google’s employees and documents are not within the ‘possession, custody, or control’ of Motorola, and Motorola cannot force Google to produce documents or witnesses over Google’s objections.” Of course, it could just be a matter of time before Apple goes after Google directly…
Android Market Converted Into iTunes-Style Google Play
The Google Official Blog announced today that the Android Market you know and love is getting a bit of a facelift — not to mention a whole new name. Google Play is being rolled out this week in an effort to streamline the search giant’s mobile marketplace as “a digital entertainment destination where you can find, enjoy and share your favorite music, movies, books and apps on the web and on your Android phone or tablet.” Translation: Android Market is a bit more like iTunes now. But hey, that’s okay — Google Play continues to offer free storage for up to 20,000 songs, the ability to download more than 450,000 Android apps, what’s touted as “the world’s largest selection” of ebooks and thousands of movies. To celebrate the rollout, Google Play is offering a “Seven Days to Play” sale with 25-cent music, 49-cent apps and 99-cent movies. Google Play will ultimately replace Android Market on devices in the coming weeks as well.
Apple May Be Willing to Settle Over Android Patents for $5-15 Per Device
MacRumors is reporting that Apple may be seeking settlements in its long-running patent battles with Samsung, Motorola and others. According to Dow Jones Newswires, Apple “has put forth proposals to Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI) and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930.SE, SSNHY) to settle some pending litigation in exchange for royalty payments to license its patents, among other terms.” Statements made in court in at least one of these suits indicate “Apple had some discussions with companies such as Samsung before initiating litigation” — which means the move by Cupertino is nothing new. So how much is Apple willing to settle for? “Between $5 and $15 per handsets for some of its patents,” which amounts to anywhere between one and 2.5 percent of net sales — ironically, the same amount Motorola attempted to bilk out of Apple for the use of its own patents.
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