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субота, 12 березня 2011 р.

Nokia Lays out Serious Risks in Microsoft Deal

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Nokia laid out the threats it faces as part of its planned deal with Microsoft.

There are many, according to Nokia. Some have already been identified by critics of the agreement, under which Nokia will phase out use of its Symbian operating system in favor of Microsoft's Windows Phone software. Publicly held companies routinely disclose all the possible risks of their businesses to shareholders.

The immaturity of that software, just released in phones in November, is one serious risk, Nokia said.

"The Windows Phone platform is a very recent, largely unproven addition to the market focused solely on high-end smartphones with currently very low adoption and consumer awareness relative to the Android and Apple platforms, and the proposed Microsoft partnership may not succeed in developing it into a sufficiently broad competitive smartphone platform," Nokia wrote in the filing.

While the companies have signed a "non-binding term sheet," they still have to negotiate the final contract, a process that might take longer than expected or might not happen at all, Nokia warned.

By choosing Windows Phone, Nokia may forgo more competitive alternatives that would let its phones reach greater and faster acceptance in the market, it said.

Also, the transition to Windows Phone might take too long to allow Nokia to compete, given the ongoing development of other platforms, Nokia said.

In the same filing, Nokia said it expects to take two years to make the transition to Windows Phone as its primary platform. During that time, it will continue to support Symbian in the hopes of transitioning the installed base of 200 million Symbian owners to Nokia Windows phones, Nokia said. It reiterated its hopes of selling an additional 150 million Symbian phones in future years.

Nokia pointed to other threats as well, such as the danger that the deal could erode its brand identity in areas such as China, where it is quite strong, and fail to enhance the brand in areas such as the U.S., where it is currently weak.

Another challenge will be building a profitable business model around a platform like Windows Phone, for which Nokia must pay royalties, Nokia said. While Symbian is a royalty-free operating system, it didn't come without significant costs to Nokia, which spent more than US$400 million in 2008 to buy the half of the Symbian company that it didn't already own.

In the filing, Nokia also warned about the challenges it faces internally as it implements the new plan for Windows Mobile. For example, it may not be able to change its mode of working or culture to work effectively with Microsoft, the company said. Because Nokia anticipates laying off a large number of workers, the remaining employees may lose motivation, energy and focus, thus reducing their productivity, Nokia said.

Because of all of the uncertainty resulting from the proposed deal, the company said it will not provide annual targets for 2011, although it expects its devices business to grow faster than the market.

It did not further elaborate on the precise amount of money that Microsoft will contribute to Nokia. In February, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said that Microsoft would pay Nokia billions of dollars as part of the deal over an unspecified time.

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AT&T reportedly shipping iPad 2 with delivery as early as Monday

An iPad 2 customer on AT&T notes his order shipped today with free two day delivery, with an estimated arrival date of Monday.

Apple's own online orders were reported to ship within "3 to 5 business days," resulting delivery between March 18-25. If AT&T's delivery report is correct, it appears it is poised to beat Apple's delivery dates by four days to almost two weeks.

Delivery dates are often only estimates, and Apple has been known to ship deliveries earlier than the conservative outlook it often offers. However, it also appears the company may have focused its available inventory at retail stores, with the intent of creating a sensational, public launch.

The launch of the Verizon iPhone 4 last month went so smoothly, thanks to advanced orders that were largely handled online, that critics complained that there weren't long enough lines and called into question the success of the new product, even after Verizon announced that it had sold more iPhone 4s than in any other smartphone launch.

iPad 2 lines appear to be Apple's longest yet, setting records in length in multiple cities while selling out all available inventory in many stores.

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Twitter tells developers: stop building apps!

Twitter's new terms and conditions, and its overall attitude, are tougher on developers who work to fill in holes in its infrastructure. This is the risk of putting your effort into a platform controlled by a single company.

Twitter has told developers in simple and straightforward terms to stop building apps that present the Twitter consumer experience.

Developers have told us that they’d like more guidance from us about the best opportunities to build on Twitter. More specifically, developers ask us if they should build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.

The answer is no.

What this means is that you are no longer welcome to create Twitter clients, even if they run on currently unsupported platforms and if you have already expended the energy doing so - tough.Twitter recently suspended three existing mobile clients owned by UberMedia, but they were reinstated after some changes and being renamed.


The announcement was made on the official developer mailing list and the reason given was to increase the consistency of the user experience.

Twitter will provide the primary mainstream consumer client experience on phones, computers, and other devices by which millions of people access Twitter content (tweets, trends, profiles, etc.), and send tweets.

Essentially it looks as if Twitter had been more than happy to have help with software development to spread its service to new platforms and situations but now it wants the market to itself.

In addition the terms of use of the API are being changed to prevent apps from displaying data obtained from other services alongside data obtain from Twitter or from capturing and redistributing Twitter content - even for research purposes.

It seems likely that in time Twitter will move to take over additional ways of presenting and using its data so as to maximise its revenue. However it still has the promise that, when it starts to include advertising via its API, it will share a portion of advertising revenue with apps that accept the ads.

To put it bluntly Twitter is in control of its API and the data that its users create. The harsh lesson to be learned from this unwelcome news is that there are risks involved in creating software for a platform that is controlled by a single company.

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iPad 2 Wifi Teardown ala ifixit

Those down-breakers are at it again, this time with the BRAND new iPad 2, this one of course being the 16GB Wifi version – the one yours truly also got today. This lovely device with a first step that would make any breakdown newb shudder in their boots – heating the iPad 2 up with a heat gun! This is of course to break down the effectiveness of the glue that holds the front panel to the back, they then using a simple plastic opening tool to pop the front on. There were no clips at all, just a whole heck of a lot of really well-placed glue.

Important note to make here – they did end up cracking the front panel in the process, so if you’re not into breaking the device you’re attempting to break down, halt your movements immediately. From glue on, it’s perfect simplicity. Apple products of such a simple nature on the outside are quite often just as lovely on the inside, and the iPad 2 is no exception. Once to LCD is popped up, the iPad 2′s batter is revealed: A 3.8V, 25 Watt-hour unit. They note on ifixit that this is just a tiny bit better than what they found on the original iPad, so any longer life to be found on this unit, or any congratulations rather, should really be given to the software and other related hardware components.

Inside there were few surprises, the ICs on the logic board actually appearing to be exactly the same as they were for the first iteration of the tablet. A couple other components they found inside with interesting names are thus: a Texas Instruments CD3240B0 11AZ4JT G1 touchscreen line driver, a Toshiba TH58NVG7D2FLA89 16GB NAND Flash, and the cool new A5 processor which was JUST BAKED it seems, as it’s got January and mid-February 2011 manufacturer dates. Hot stuff!

Overall though, the device only warranted a 4 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair) Repairability Score. That’s harsh. Don’t go breaking the iPad 2′s heart anytime soon unless you picked up a full repair plan straight from Apple! Take a peek at the rest of the details from ifixit

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