February 2, 2010

Google and Apple at War?

Two of California’s biggest technology giants are increasingly at odds and it looks more and more like they are turning into fierce competitors.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt was on the board of Apple for three years and at one time it was said that they had a pact not to poach each other’s employees. They were always thought to be united in fighting a bigger enemy – Microsoft.

In 2007, however, Google released Android, a mobile phone operating system; while the iPhone runs on a propitiatory operating system developed by Apple. At first, this was was seen as primarily an attack on Microsoft and its Windows OS. Still, the handwriting was on the wall, and Schmidt resigned from the board of Apple a month later.

Then, in the July 2009 Google announced the Google’s Chrome OS, a web-based operating system meant for netbooks, and has more recently even announced its own “app store” that would directly compete with the Apple app store. With the launch last week of the iPad – essentially a high end netbook – it seems Apple now considers the Chrome OS a direct threat.

Now it has really come to a head. Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs reportedly verbally attacked Google Inc. at an employee meeting after rolling out the new iPad tablet computer last week. Wired reported that Google’s entry into the phone business with its Nexus One drew the ire of Apple CEO. They quoted attendees of the meeting in which Jobs reportedly let loose a tirade where he called Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” motto “bullshit” “We did not enter the search business, they entered the phone business,” it reported Jobs told his employees. “Make no mistake they want to kill the iPhone. We won’t let them.”

Filed under Information Technology, Internet, Telecommunications by

January 23, 2008

Disney to launch cellphone service in Japan

Walt Disney Co. is planning on launching a new cellphone service in Japan on March 1, according to a report in Los Angeles business. Disney’s Japan unit said it will become a mobile virtual network operator using Softbank Corp.’s pricing plans and sales channels, according to Dow Jones reports. The partnership was initially reported on in November. Burbank-based Disney discontinued two similar services in the U.S. in recent years, with Disney Mobile announcing in September that it was stopping service at the end of 2007 and Mobile ESPN shutting down in September 2006.

Filed under Japan, Telecommunications by

December 14, 2007

California Micro opens Finland office

California Micro Devices Corp. opened a Northern Europe office in Espoo, Finland, the company has announced. Milpitas-based California Micro said mobile handset suppliers based in Northern Europe represent almost half of the total market. The company also has offices in Chicago, San Diego, the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. California Micro Devices supplies application specific analog and mixed signal semiconductor products for the mobile handset, digital consumer electronics and personal computer markets.

Filed under Finland, Telecommunications by

October 15, 2007

Apple and AT&T sued over iPhone restrictions reports:

Apple and AT&T are being sued for $1.2 billion (£590 million) over the Apple iPhone. The complaint was filed in a Californian district court by law firms Folkenflik & McGerity and Hoffman & Lazear on behalf of Apple iPhone owners. The lawsuit claims that Apple’s decision to offer the Apple iPhone on just one mobile network is illegal under US antitrust laws and California’s unfair trade practice laws. The lawsuit claims that Apple iPhone users are being restricted to using only AT&T’s mobile network and Apple applications on their devices.

Filed under Legal and Criminal Issues, Telecommunications by

October 2, 2007

eBay gets buyer’s remorse over Skype

That’s according the the “Good Morning Silicon Valley” newsletter:

In what will undoubtedly be a blow to the Skype founders’ seller rating, eBay finally acknowledged that its bid for the VoIP firm may have been a tad overenthusiastic and that whatever expectations it had were not being met. EBay announced that in the quarter just ended, it will take $1.4 billion in write-offs and charges related to the Skype acquisition. About $530 million will go to former Skype shareholders to help them forget about those additional performance-based payouts. And eBay will write off about $900 million in Skype-related “goodwill” to more accurately reflect the acquisition’s value. And just in case the message wasn’t clear, Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom was eased out of the CEO’s office and given the non-executive chairman’s seat at the Skype board table.

Filed under Mergers and Acquisitions, Telecommunications by

June 1, 2007

Broadcom opens next generation cellular design center in Taiwan

Press release- too bad California didn’t get this center:

Broadcom Corporation, a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced a significant expansion of its cellular design center in Taiwan that will help to drive development of a new generation of Microsoft Windows Mobile smart phones based on Broadcom’s highly integrated 3G cellular chipsets.  “We expect smart phones to capture increasing market share as optimized silicon solutions drive handset costs lower,” said Jim Tran, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s Mobile Communications line of business…  The Broadcom Taiwan Design Center is located in the Xin-Yi district of Taipei City… Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe.

Filed under Taiwan, Telecommunications by

May 11, 2007

Intel invests in Skype competitor Jajah

“Web-based phone-calling company Jajah Inc. has won Intel Corp.’s backing for its bid to blur the distinction between phones and computers, the two companies said Wednesday. Jajah, which has more than 2 million users of its free or low-cost global calling service, said Intel has agreed to marketing, patent and distribution deals with it and Intel’s venture capital arm is leading a $20 million financing round. ‘Computers are becoming phones and phones are becoming computers,’ Jajah Chief Executive Trevor Healy said in an interview. The deal gives Jajah access to Intel’s sales channel of thousands of dealers, personal computer makers and software developers, and could lead to Jajah becoming a desktop icon on PCs later this year, Healy said, although no plans are set… Intel Capital’s undisclosed investment was one of six new investments totaling $31 million it announced Wednesday at its annual CEO Summit in Carlsbad, California. A second strategic Jajah investor will be revealed later. Other investments were in China’s largest social network company,, and Chinese chip designer Phoenix Microelectronics; two Israeli companies: Aternity, a maker of application management software, and portable computing firm Ceedo, and U.S.-based education network Intel Capital President Arvind Sodhani said his venture firm invested $1.07 billion in 91 deals during 2006. Jajah was founded by two young Austrian entrepreneurs but relocated to Mountain View, California, in Silicon Valley, at the urging of its original outside investors, Sequoia Capital.”

Filed under Telecommunications, Venture Capital by

April 21, 2007

Google buys Sweedish Web-conferencing company, Marratech

“Google has bought online video-conferencing software company, Marratech, the latest in a barrage of software application announcements by the online giant. Google announced the acquisition on its blog, saying the Sweden-based Marratech will be great for Google’s own workplace because Googlers ‘thrive on casual interactions and spontaneous collaboration.’ Video-conferencing is a logical next move for Google, given its dive into online video recently with the acquisition of YouTube. It’s just the latest front in its battle against Microsoft, which has its own web conferencing software Live Meeting. Cisco, meanwhile, just acquired another major player in the industry, WebEx, for $3.2 billion. The difference, of course, is that Google paid pennies relative to what Cisco paid. As a consumer oriented company, Google can presumably distribute the software easily and perhaps even for free. Marratech, founded in 1998, raised at least the equivalent of $10 million. Investors include Slottbacken Venture Capital, the investment unit of Telia Sonera, the Sixth Swedish National Pension Fund, Emano, Hagstromer, and Qviberg.”

Filed under Information Technology, Mergers and Acquisitions, Sweden, Telecommunications by

April 19, 2007

Cisco invests in home entertainment wireless company Avega

“Cisco Systems is expanding its home networking efforts by participating in a US$7 million round of funding in Avega Systems, a maker of wireless home technology, the companies said Tuesday. Cisco joined two venture capital firms, Jafco Investment and Technology Venture Partners, in the start-up’s second round of funding, but it did not disclose its share in the investment. Avega, with employees in the United States and Australia, specializes in technology that can wirelessly connect home entertainment gear such as media center PCs, portable media players, cell phones, stereo equipment, networked storage and set-top boxes. “

Filed under Australia, Telecommunications, Venture Capital by

April 5, 2007

Visto mobile email chosen for Qatar

“Visto Corp., a mobile e-mail provider, said Wednesday it was chosen by Qatar telecom provider Qtel to provide e-mail services in that country. Redwood City-based Visto did not disclose financial terms of the deal. Qtel is the sole provider of mobile services in Qatar, and launched two previous customer trials before making the Visto service available throughout the country.”

Filed under Qatar, Telecommunications by

March 23, 2007

Donation of $500,000 to Governor’s charity linked to favorable laws for AT&T

The Los Angeles Times has reported that the $500,000 donation AT&T gave to one of Governor Schwarzenegger’s charities came just six months after the governor signed a law lifting barriers to the company’s bid to sell pay television service in California. The money went to After-School All-Stars, a tax-exempt group founded by Schwarzenegger in the early 1990s to provide tutoring, recreation and other programs to poor children. The organization’s board includes some of Schwarzenegger’s closest friends and aides, including Bonnie Reiss, a former senior aide in his administration, and Paul Wachter, his financial advisor, the Times reported. “It’s all to the good for low-income kids, but it’s also noted on AT&T’s balance sheet in more ways than one,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C. “There is a benefit to regardless of his technical affiliation with the charity.”

Last November, AT&T gave $25,000 to the Governor’s campaign, and just four days later Susan Kennedy, now his Chief of Staff voted as Public Utilities Commission member to approve AT&T’s merger with SBC Communications. Less then a month later, Governor Schwarzenegger paid that exact amount to Susan Kennedy leading many to suspect that AT&T had paid this money as a bribe in order to secure this favorable decision by the PUC.

Filed under California Politics, Governor Schwarzenegger, Philanthropy, Telecommunications by

March 7, 2007

Meru Networks Lands $27.6 Million in Venture Capital

“Meru Networks (of Sunnyvale), the leader in infrastructure solutions that enable the All-Wireless Enterprise, today announced that it has closed its latest round of venture funding, raising $27.6M in a Series D round led by leading global investment and technology development firm the D. E. Shaw group. Other investors in this round include existing Meru investors Lehman Brothers, Clearstone Venture Partners, NeoCarta Ventures, BlueStream Ventures, Evercore Ventures and JumpStartUp Venture Fund.”

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RFID designer gets $21 million in venture funding

“Four years after realigning itself as a designer of RFID systems for wireless Internet networks, AeroScout has received a $21 million third round of venture capital that brings its total funding to $41 million. Two new Silicon Valley firms joined AeroScout’s investor syndicate for the new round, with Menlo Ventures of Menlo Park, Calif., leading the round. Greylock Partners of San Mateo, Calif., was the other first-time investor. The new money will support continued sales, marketing and development of San Mateo-based AeroScout’s product line, a system of radio frequency identification tags and sensors that operates on networks using the Wi-Fi wireless standard.”

Filed under Information Technology, Telecommunications, Venture Capital by

February 27, 2007

San Francisco to host African ICT Conference

“Establishing the information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure in Africa necessary to support the region’s economic development is the goal of a USTDA-sponsored conference to be held March 19-21, 2007 in San Francisco, California. Ministers and other senior government officials from more than 15 African nations will discuss their ICT needs and present more than 25 projects ranging in value from $1 million to $200 million.”

Filed under Africa, Information Technology, International Development, Telecommunications by

February 20, 2007

Proxim opens facility in India

“Proxim Wireless Corp., which focuses on scalable broadband wireless networking systems for service providers, municipalities, governments and enterprises, said Monday it opened a new facility in India. San Jose-based Proxim, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Terabeam Inc., said the new facility will be used for development and deployment of its Wi-Fi mesh, WiMAX, and MeshMAX product lines and to support its burgeoning Indian customer base.”

Filed under India, Telecommunications by

February 17, 2007

Google funding India Venture Capital Firms

“Google has committed money to two Indian venture capital firms, saying fledgling companies in India with good ideas have too few avenues for financial support. Google invested undisclosed amounts into small venture firms Seedfund and Erasmic. The amounts were likely in the single digit millions… Last year, Google began investing directly into start-ups, including WiFI router company FON, and another WiFi router company Meraki. Overall, these investments have been very small, relative to the hundreds of millions invested by other large companies, such as Intel. Red Herring first wrote about the Google VC move a couple of weeks ago, and Samir Sood, Google’s head of corporate development in South Asia has since sent out a statement, explaining the move: “While the rush of large amounts of venture capital into India is well-documented, very little of this trickles down to the really small firms, the early-stage start-ups.”

Filed under India, Information Technology, Telecommunications, Venture Capital by

Cisco issues ultimatum to Apple over iPhone name

“Cisco Systems Inc. has granted Apple Inc. another week to respond to its trademark infringement lawsuit over the use if the name iPhone. The companies had agreed earlier to extend the deadline to Thursday night, but San Jose-based Cisco gave Cupertino-based Apple more time to respond to the suit, which was filed last month in federal court in San Francisco.”

Filed under Information Technology, Legal and Criminal Issues, Telecommunications by

February 15, 2007

Warner Music Lands Norwegian Mobile Deal

“Warner Music Group said it is forming a partnership with Norwegian telecommunications group Telenor ASA to allow its content to be featured through Telenor’s network of mobile companies. The deal announced Wednesday will make available Warner’s full-length songs, ringtones, mobile music videos and wallpapers on at least nine of Telenor’s 13 mobile operators.”

Filed under Media and Entertainment, Norway, Telecommunications by

L.A. mayor proposes citywide wireless network

“Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa outlined plans Tuesday to blanket Los Angeles with wireless Internet access in 2009, in what would be one of the nation’s largest urban Wi-Fi networks… ‘With L.A. Wi-Fi, we are dedicating ourselves to the idea that universal access to technology makes our entire economy stronger,’ Villaraigosa said.”

Filed under Information Technology, Telecommunications by

February 14, 2007

Cisco announces deal with South African phone service provider

“Cisco Systems on Tuesday announced a deal with South African phone service provider MTN. MTN, which does business in 21 African countries and the Middle East, joins Wataniya Telecom of Kuwait as a customer of Cisco’s systems that help shuttle data between cell sites… Cisco enhanced its financial capacity in much of the developing world with $2 billion worth of short-term inventory financing. The San Jose, California-based firm said in December that it had secured the financing from Citibank, GE Capital Solutions, and Standard Chartered Bank to help its customers in developing nations secure Cisco equipment.”

Filed under Banking and Financial Services, South Africa, Telecommunications by

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