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The Competition

Google buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion [Updated]

Google has just announced that they're buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in an attempt to supercharge the Android platform. While the move will bring Google into the handset manufacturing business for the first time, potentially setting them up to deliver the same type of unified, integrated experience Apple is famous for, Google maintains they'll be running Motorola as a separate business. Which raises some important questions:

  1. How will the play out for other Android licensees like HTC and Samsung? (Microsoft making the Zune killed the PlaysForSure alliance.)
  2. Will all future Nexus-type devices come from Motorola going forward?
  3. Will all future Motorola phones run stock Android going forward? (no more Blur.)
  4. Is Motorola's patent portfolio strong enough to provide cover against Microsoft and Apple lawsuits?

Quotes from Larry Page and Sanjay Jha after the break.

[Google PR, Google Blog, Android Central coverage]

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Can RIM's 2011 BlackBerry line-up hold off iPhone 5?

We're likely only a month or two away from Apple announcing iPhone 5 but RIM is already launching their 2011 BlackBerry lineup, including the first BlackBerry Bold with a touch screen, and not one but two BlackBerry Torches -- an update to the original slider and new, Storm-replacing, touch screen only slab.

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T-Mobile says iPad 2 is slower, more expensive than the LG G-something

T-Mobile has put up a new web page taking shots at AT&T and iPad 2 when it comes to their LG G-Slate Android Honeycomb tablet.

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Tim Cook on Android activations: Apple's numbers are straight forward, transparent, quarterly

During today's Q3 2011 conference call, Apple Chief Operating Office, Tim Cook was asked about Android activation numbers being higher than Apple iOS numbers. Cook's response, paraphrased:

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Google says Apple sues rather than innovates. Google's problem is Apple does both.

Former Google CEO, current Google Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, had this to say about Apple patent infringement suits against Android manufacturers.

"We have seen an explosion of Android devices entering the market and, because of our successes, competitors are responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations. I’m not too worried about this.”

Because a) he's not the one being sued and b) it's nonsense.

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Amazon preparing a 9-inch iPad competitor for fall

The Wall Street Journal claims Amazon is going ahead with a 9-inch Android-based tablet to compete with the iPad.

Amazon.com Inc. plans to introduce a tablet computer before October, said people familiar with the matter, in a move that will heighten the online retailer's rivalry with Apple Inc.

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How Apple stays years ahead of the competition

There's a fascinating answer up on Quora that suggests how Apple uses their massive $70 billion bank account to literally stay years ahead of the competition when it comes to manufacturing and components.

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iPad 2 vs. TouchPad: Form factor fight

Kevin Michaluk, pinch hitting for our sibling site, PreCentral.net has done the perfunctory HP TouchPad unboxing, and towards the end shows it off against the Apple iPad 2 (and BlackBerry Playbook) by way of comparison. (No, none of that was a typo, Kevin loves all his gadgets now, and you'll see him with Apple's and Androids and HPs and more as the weeks go on.)

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HP TouchPad review

PreCentral.net reviews the latest iPad competitor -- the HP TouchPad

PreCentral.net's Derek Kessler, who's rapidly become one of my favorite voices in mobile, has just released the his HP TouchPad review. Widely anticipated due to its super smart, incredibly elegant webOS 3.0 operating system, but uncertain due to Palm's recent history of middling hardware and tepid launches, it's been simultaneously heralded as the first real iPad competitor and decried as a me-too device, both before it even hit the shelves. Which is it?

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Google announces social network Google+, should Facebook worry?

Google has finally taken the wraps off their long awaited, highly-anticipated (what?) social network, Google+ and it looks like a really clever take on the age-old problem of mapping personal relationships to a virtual space. It will eventually roll out across Google's web properties, but rather than one monolithic service, it's comprised of several parts:

  • Circles, which let you define your relationships and how much you want to share with who and when. These are usually annoying to set up so no one uses them. Google aims to change that.
  • Sparks, which brings you content based on your interests and hopes to strike up conversations
  • Hangouts, which is multi-person video chat. FaceTime is currently only one-to-one...
  • Mobile, which lets you share and upload from your devices (iOS app in the works?)
  • Huddle, a group messaging platform now in competition with the mature BBM on BlackBerry and nascent iMessage on iOS

Google hasn't had much luck with previous projects like [http://www.imore.com/tag/wave/) and Buzz, but this feels both more ambitious and far better considered. Whether it will be enough to put a dent in Facebook's 750 million member and growing dominance of the social space remains to be seen. (See how I snuck them into the post? I thought you did.)

One thing is clear, with Apple integrating Twitter into iOS and introducing Game Center, Ping (no snickering), and replacing MobileMe with iCloud, they're getting more serious (if not yet more adapt) at Social. And Google's just re-entered, once again, that game in a big way. Are you going to switch?

Videos after the break.

[Google blog via Android Central]

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