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Apple blasts Google for re-classing iPhone tech as “standard”

Google is pushing a broadening of essential standards to encompass ubiquitous features like multitouch, much to the consternation of Apple, which insists its R&D is its own “magical” thinking and not for general use. In a letter to the US Senate Judiciary Committee, Google argues that just as there are certain standards-essential technologies – such as those around 3G connectivity – that have become ubiquitous, so there are common functionality or interface elements that have become all but standardized thanks to the multiplicity of implementations. Unsurprisingly, AllThingsD reports, Apple is far from convinced, and sees Google’s suggestion as an attempt to raid its own well-stuffed patent portfolio.

Standards-essential patents currently include technologies related to connectivity, video playback and other functionality: technologies that have become universally settled upon, and as such those which hold patents used by those standards are obligated to license out their use under so-called FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms. In contrast – and unfairly, Google argues – there are an increasing number of technologies which, while not traditionally considered standards-essential patents (SEPs), have become so commonplace that they could be roughly considered the equivalent.

“While collaborative [Standards Setting Organizations (SSOs)] play an important part in the overall standard setting system, and are particularly prominent in industries such as telecommunications, they are not the only source of standards. Indeed, many of the same interoperability benefits that the FTC and others have touted in the SSO context also occur when one firm publishes information about an otherwise proprietary standard and other firms then independently decide (whether by choice or of necessity) to make complementary investments to support that standard in their products. … Because proprietary or de facto standards can have just as important effects on consumer welfare, the Committee’s concern regarding the abuse of SEPs should encompass them as well” Kent Walker, General Counsel, Google

In Google General Counsel Kent Walker’s view, just as there are hefty penalties involved for those companies believed to be demanding disproportionate licensing fees for the use of FRAND patents, so should there be more controls over licensing of near-ubiquitous technologies which have dissipated through many of the devices we use daily. That could include multitouch, common UI paradigms such as slide-to-unlock or list-scroll-bounce, and other elements.

Those elements, though, have all been the subject of ardent litigation, with Apple particularly strident in protecting the technologies it has used in the iPhone and iPad, and patented accordingly. In a response from Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell, the lawyer argues that there is a fundamental difference between standardized technology and product-differentiating technology: the former is a way for individual devices to ensure interoperability at a core functionality level, such as wireless connectivity and making voice calls, while the latter is a way for companies to compete by offering a more comprehensive, imaginative or polished device.

As Sewell sees it, some companies – Motorola is particularly mentioned – are trying to use their standards-essential patents to coerce Apple into either paying above the odds for the use of such technology, or to pressure it into licensing product-differentiating technology.

With the current state of technology patents and FRAND licensing under the microscope, we’re likely to see more back-and-forth between Apple, Google and others before we get anywhere near IP reform. Still, if Google was hoping Apple would simply sit back and let it declare elements of iOS common-ground, it seems it will go away disappointed.

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Snapdragon 670 Will Be Re

Since the last year, Qualcomm changed its philosophy for the mid-grade processors and started to implement features that were only found in the company’s high-end chipsets. That gave birth to the powerful Snapdragon 660, a mid-range processor featuring the Custom Kyro cores, bringing a performance comparable to the Snapdragon 820. This year, Qualcomm would repeat the successful move and bring the Snapdragon 670, a cheaper downgraded version of the Snapdragon 845. Apparently, Qualcomm had a change of mind and will not launch it as Snapdragon 670. The chipset will be rebranded to Snapdragon 710 marking the start of a new 7xx series of Qualcomm processors to be featured in those smartphones that sit on the premium class of mid-range smartphones (yes that exists).

According to a leak spotted by the folks at XDA, the first company to feature the Snapdragon 710 will be no other than Xiaomi. Both companies have been building a long relationship of this kind, with the latter being the first company to sport some of Qualcomm’s mid-range processors, this time will not be different. After researching through a set of firmware files, delivered by the guys of the chúng tôi – a service that allows users to update, unbrick or rebrand Huawei and Honor Phones for a fee – XDA-Developers found evidence about the Snapdragon 710 in two upcoming Xiaomi smartphones, codenamed as Sirus and Comet.

Worth noting that previously, the renowned Roland Quandt has reported the existence of a Snapdragon 710, though he was unable to share all details at that time. Apparently, the reason for this lack was in the files that all of the details of this leak have been documented by him. After digging in the kernel source of the Snapdragon 670, he discovered all the details regarding the CPU and the GPU.

Gizchina News of the week

We have to confess, that this kind of configuration is really unusual, but should deliver an extreme power to the premium mid-range smartphones. The graphical power of the Snapdragon 710 will be ensured by the Adreno 615 GPU which operates with a standard clock speed of 430MHz ~ 650MHz, but can reach 700MHz dynamically. Lastly, but not least, the chipset will support UFS 2.1 and eMMC 5.1 Flash memory.

Xiaomi “Comet” and Xiaomi “Sirius”

XDA post also revealed more details about the upcoming Snapdragon 710 powered Xiaomi smartphones. Those unannounced Xiaomi devices were firstly spotted some weeks ago, but no further details about the pair of smartphones have been revealed. Everything we know is that they carry a “Sirus” and “Comet” codename and can just be prototypes of handsets that could never see the light of day. Anyway, XDA listed some of the specifications of both handsets, at least the ones that they have been allowed to disclose.

Comet

sdm710

OLED with Always on Display feature

Android 8.1 Oreo

Xiaomi Mi device

Dual SIM

IR Blaster

3100 mAh battery

No NFC

No microSD card slot

Sirius

sdm710

OLED with Display Notch, Always on Display feature

Android 8.1 Oreo

Xiaomi Mi device

Dual SIM

IR Blaster

3120 mAh battery

No NFC

No microSD card slot

Portrait mode in the camera

We can’t affirm, but based on previous Xiaomi releases and the junction of the above specifications, both Comet and Sirius may be prototypes of one future Xiaomi smartphone, and it could be the Xiaomi Mi Note 4. Considering that Mi Max 3 is expected to feature the last year Snapdragon 660, and the Mi Note 3 was the first Xiaomi smartphone to feature this line of chipsets, would make perfect sense to see the Snapdragon 710 in the 2023’s edition of the well known Mi Note, but this is just our personal speculation.

More details about this upcoming Snapdragon 710 should appear in the coming weeks, so be tuned for more about this new line of processors that will redefine the mid-range category, creating a new line of “premium” mid-grade smartphones.

How Google Pays Apple In 2023

How Google pays Apple in 2023

The sources for the following information is varied, and only the FIRST is certain due to a court filing. That court filing appeared in January of 2024 during a court battle between Google and Oracle. As the court transcript revealed and we wrote, “Google paid Apple something along the lines of $1 billion in 2014 so that Apple would retain it as the web search engine of choice in the Search Bar feature on the iPhone.”

Google’s payment there was for what’s known as traffic acquisition costs (TAC). “Court documents indicate that Google paid Apple $1B in 2014, and we estimate that total Google payments to Apple in FY 17 may approach $3B,” said Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi on CNBC on August 15th, 2023. “Given that Google payments are nearly all profit for Apple, Google alone may account for 5% of Apple’s total operating profits this year, and may account for 25% of total company OP growth over the last two years.”

The latest per-year estimate for financial year 2023 (FY 18) comes from Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall. VIA Business Insider, Hall’s investor note suggested that Google’s TAC payment to Apple for FY 18 might be around $9 billion, and will likely ramp up to $12 billion in 2023.

That’d mean this was Google’s TAC bill each year:

• 2014 $1-billion

• 2024 ?

• 2024 ?

• 2023 $3-billion

• 2023 $9-billion

• 2023 $12-billion

What made Apple’s costs ramp up at such a rate? According to Hall’s note, “We believe this revenue is charged ratably based on the number of searches that users on Apple’s platform originate from Siri or within the Safari browser.”

Over at SearchEngineLand there’s a timeline which I’ll reproduce here in brief. They give all the sources there – most of which were straight from Google at press events. You can also head back to Internet Archive archived Google Zeitgeists for 2001 through 2007. This is TOTAL Google Searches, not just searches generated through Apple products.

Total Google Searches Per Year:

• 1999: 1-billion

• 2000: 14-billion (very approximate)

• 2001: 55-billion (rounded up)

• 2002: 55-billion (rounded down)

• 2003: 55-billion (rounded down) (maybe just copy-pasted?)

• 2004: 73-billion

• 2005: More than 73-billion

• 2006: ?

• 2007: ?

• 2008: ?

• 2009: 365-billion (and more)

• 2010: ?

• 2011: ?

• 2012: 1.2-TRILLION

• 2013: ?

• 2014: ?

• 2024: ?

• 2024: 2-TRILLION (Based on Search Engine Land estimate)

• 2023: ?

• 2023: ?

It’s pretty obvious Google’s searches are going up each year by multiples of previous years. As more of the world’s citizens get smartphones in their hand, searches continue to ramp up. But at which point does this growth level off? Surely there’s a point at which everyone is searching the maximum amount they’re able, and there’s no reason to think any more people would search than searched the year before?

No matter which way you look at the situation, Google and Apple hold eachother’s fates in their hands. Or at least a significant amount of search traffic and/or services revenue. Next up: voice searches – and whether the always-on assistant will keep that searches-per-year number increasing at an extreme rate.

Google Matches Apple With 700,000 Mobile Apps

Because Google’s free Android software is available in many shapes, price points and across a variety of carriers and manufacturers, the search giant has relatively easy and early on taken the lead in terms of device activations. But even with its clear lead in terms of unit sales, Android has always lagged behind iOS in terms of quantity of the apps found on its store, dubbed the Google Play Store. Today, Google has announced that its store now carries 700,000 third-party apps, which means that the Play Store has officially matched the App Store in sheer number of apps available…

Brian Womack, reporting for Bloomberg:

By luring software developers to its Android platform, Google is attempting to eliminate a key selling point Apple has used for the iPhone and iPad.

Applications have become a battleground as the two companies look for an edge in the $219.1 billion smartphone market, akin to how Microsoft Corp. dominated the personal-computer business by getting other companies to write programs for its Windows operating system.

The report doesn’t mention the number of tablet-optimized apps on the Android store, though Google executives mentioned at yesterday’s Nexus media event that any application written for an Ice Cream Sandwich-driven seven-inch tablet should scale up nicely to eight, nine and ten-inch tablets and beyond.

Rather than run blown up iPhone apps, Apple prides itself with more than 275,000 apps that have been written specifically for the iPad. Apple’s press release from last week updates us with the latest statistics about its platform:

iPad runs over 700,000 apps available on the App Store, including more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad, from a wide range of categories including books, games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. iPad also supports the more than 5,000 newspapers and magazines offered in Newsstand and the more than 1.5 million books available on the iBookstore.

The iTunes Store puts the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store at your fingertips with a catalog of over 26 million songs, over 190,000 TV episodes and over 45,000 films. The new iBooks app for iPad lets users read ebooks in over 40 languages.

Of course, quantity is one thing and quality is an entirely different thing. People more often part with their hard-earned money to buy hardware and software in the Apple ecosystem compared to Android. Contrast this to the ad-supported nature of the Android platform, with users not buying apps as often as their Apple counterparts do.

This has helped Apple pay $6.5 billion to developers since the App Store’s inception in the summer of 2008 – and that’s after Apple’s customary 30 percent cut. Whichever way you look at it, the breadth and quality of apps available on Apple’s App Store still makes Apple’s platform the most lucrative playground for both developers and users out there.

We will see if Google matches to beat Apple on two other important metrics – the quality and breadth of Android apps and its app store’s revenue.

What do you think?

How long until Android becomes a more lucrative ecosystem for developers than Apple’s iOS platform?

Apple Ousts Google As Top Tech Brand

Apple is the most valuable brand in the world, beating out former top brand Google. The house that Jobs built is so highly valued that it is worth more than Microsoft and Coca-Cola combined, according to the 2011 BrandZ Top 100.

BrandZ 100 Explained

This is the sixth year for the BrandZ Top 100, released by brand consultancy Millward Brown. The report takes into account each company’s financial performance, as well as a database of more than 2 million consumer interviews conducted over the past 13 years with people in 30 countries. That data gets crunched to rank companies in 13 different categories including apparel, technology, beer, cars, luxury items, and so on.

You could easily make an argument for including cell phone carriers, which were not counted as consumer technology brands for this list. AT&T, Vodafone, Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, Orange and many other global carriers made the BrandZ Top 100.

Top 10 Consumer Technology Brands

Apple (#1 overall)

Apple was able to take the top spot thanks to the iPad, which many critics believe is already taking a bite out of PC sales. Almost every PC manufacturer is working on an iPad challenger and market research firm IDC said in January it expects tablet shipments to reach nearly 71 million units by 2012 (IDC and PCWorld are both owned by International Data Group).

But tablets won’t replace PCs just yet, as more than 70 million computers get shipped every three months. Apple also earned its place at the top thanks to its consistent growth in its quarterly earnings reports. The company increased its spot in the BrandZ Top 100 by 84 percent compared to 2010, with a brand value of more than $153 billion, according to the report.

Google may have lost the top spot, but it’s still a valuable brand worth $111 billion, according to the BrandZ Top 100. The search giant’s Android smartphone OS recently overtook Nokia’s Symbian and Apple’s iOS to be the best-selling smartphone platform.

Microsoft (#5 overall)

Microsoft also has a critical success with Windows Phone 7, but consumers have yet to buy into Microsoft’s mobile vision. Microsoft is a dominant force in gaming with the Xbox 360, perhaps more so after the recent and badly mismanaged Sony hack.

But all is not rosy for the world’s fifth most valuable company. A recent blog post in Forbes points out that Microsoft is stalling financially with little year-over-year growth, its spending a ton of money to keep Bing afloat and the growing popularity of non-Microsoft mobile devices such as the iPad and Android smartphones may eventually threaten Microsoft’s crown jewel: Windows. Microsoft’s brand is worth $78 billion, according to the BrandZ 100.

Amazon (#14 overall)

Amazon is also the top retail brand in the world, beating out Top 100 competitors such as Wal-Mart and Target. Amazon’s brand value grew by 37 percent compared to 2010 to hit more than $37 billion.

Hewlett-Packard (#18 overall)

HP has a popular line of desktop and laptop computers, which accounts for its place in the Top 100. But the company’s brand value also dropped by 11 percent compared to 2010.

But the best WebOS can hope for right now is to battle out for third place in the smartphone world against Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 and/or Research In Motion’s Blackberry. The top two spots in mobile platforms will go to Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS for the foreseeable future.

Blackberry (#25 overall)

Research In Motion’s Blackberry brand lost 20 percent of its value in 2011 compared to the previous year.

Baidu (#29 overall)

Google’s Chinese language archrival in search may not have a presence in the English-speaking world, but with nearly 500 million potential customers in China alone, who needs the West?

Facebook (#35 overall)

Facebook may be heavily criticized for its privacy policies, but users can’t get enough of the social network’s Likes, pokes and Farmville crops.

Intel (#58 overall)

Intel’s brand may be the gold standard for processing power, but the company is struggling to compete with ARM in tablets and mobile devices.

Samsung (#67 overall)

Samsung was the first company out of the gate to compete with Apple in the tablet arena with the 7-inch Galaxy Tab.

The Korea-based manufacturer also has a 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab in the works, a sleek, new ultraportable laptop and the company moved quickly in 2010 to produce 3D HDTVs.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) and Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

6 Handy Tips For Using Apple Maps On Apple Watch

Maps on Apple Watch is probably one of those apps you only open when you really need it. Maybe you need directions or want to look up a recent spot. But you can explore Maps on Apple Watch just like you would on your iPhone or Mac.

Of course you can do things like see your spot on a map if you’re traveling and in an unfamiliar location. But you can also get the hours or phone number for a nearby business or check out one of the curated city guides introduced with iOS 14.

Make the most of the Maps app on your Apple Watch with these helpful tips.

Maps on Apple Watch

1. Quickly find a nearby business

One of the best features of any map app is seeing popular or common businesses near your current location. You don’t have to spend time searching for a coffee shop or gas station. These types of places are only a tap away with Maps on Apple Watch.

Open Maps on your Watch and tap Search. Right below your search options you’ll see a section for Nearby that offers locations like restaurants, pharmacies, hotels, and more.

Tap the type of spot you want, select one from the results, and then get details or directions.

2. See location details

It’s not always about how to get somewhere, but when you can go, how long it will take, and if it’s worth the trip.

Tap any location to get details that include hours, directions and travel time with various transportation types, the phone number, address, and of course, its spot on the map. Also powered by Yelp and TripAdvisor, you can see the star rating for the location and tap to see reviews. (Note: You may have to open your iPhone to read the Yelp reviews.)

3. Search your favorite way

If you don’t see the type of nearby location you need or have an exact address, you can perform a search. And you can use the Maps search feature in a few ways, so use the one that’s most convenient for you.

Tap Search and then pick the Microphone icon to dictate or the Scribble icon to jot it down with your finger. But don’t forget about your handy virtual assistant! Yes, you can use Siri on Apple Watch to search for a location. Access Siri on your wrist as you normally would and make your request.

4. View your surroundings

If you’re traveling and want to view your current area, this is also easy in Maps on your Watch. Tap Location, to the right of Search. Your current spot will pop up on the map and from there, you can do the following.

Use the Digital Crown to zoom out and back in.

Double-tap to zoom in.

Drag with your finger to move about the map.

Tap and hold to add a pin.

Tap a pin to view the location details.

Tap the three dots in the bottom right corner to search within your area or get a transit map.

5. Browse city guides

With iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple brought a nice feature to maps for curated city guides. These guides help you find great places to visit in major cities around the world. Any guides that you find and save on your iPhone or iPad are also available on your Apple Watch.

Open Maps on your Watch and scroll down below Favorites to see your Guides. This section includes both guides you’ve saved from before and after upgrading to iOS 14. So if you saved other places, those will be in the list with the city guides too.

The Maps app has a connection to your Contacts app. So if you want to see a friend’s address, or even give them a call, you can also do this in Maps.

In Maps on your Watch, tap Search. Then tap the Contacts icon and select someone. You can call them, message them, or send an email. And if you scroll below those options, you’ll see their address. Note: You’ll need their address stored in your Contacts app.

If you want to see a contact’s current location, you’ll use the Find My app. Check out our tutorial for using Find My on Apple Watch for your friends and family.

Take control of Maps on Apple Watch

Whether you want to do more with Apple Maps on your Watch, or even less, here are some helpful articles to help you control how Maps works on Apple Watch.

Wrapping it up

Obviously, you can see your Favorites in Maps on Apple Watch and get directions quickly. But Maps offers up a lot more on the Watch than you might expect. So the next time you’re in a hurry for a quick bite to eat or simply want to browse your city guides, don’t forget about Maps on Apple Watch!

What are your favorite features of Apple Maps on your Watch? Are there any features you think are missing and hope to see in the future? Share your thoughts below or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook!

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