Cell your Soul

Motorola’s Droid Bionic Consumates Marriage of Human and Smartphone

Can you believe what they're charging for a data plan these days?

Betabeat has been using the original Droid since 2009, and with the occasional factory refresh, it’s been an amazing phone. But as much as we love the old girl, she’s reaching the end of her usable life. After reading some horror stories about how Android was being ruined by crapware from the manufactures and carriers, we were planning on getting the iPhone 5. But after spending a few weeks with Motorola’s new flagship phone, the Droid Bionic, we may end up sticking with Android after all. Read More

Get Smart(Phones)

Android and iOS Extend Their Lead on RIM and Windows

The big green monster is growing

Google’s surprise purchase of Motorola led a lot of pundits to declare that the window was now open for Microsoft and RIM. They could forge partnerships with some of the manufacturers and carriers who would be wary of allying with a Google that was planning to build its own phone. But the raw data paints a grim picture for the also-rans in the smartphone world.

John Paczkowski at All Things D posted this chart from NPD showing the change in market share when it comes to the smartphones consumers are buying. Android has solidified a massive lead with 52 percent of the market, up from 33 percent this time last year. Apple is the clear second place with 29 percent, up from 22 percent in 2010. Blackberry saw its share dip from 28 percent to just 11 percent. And poor Microsoft saw its last place gap widen, as it fell from 0 percent to just four percent. Read More

Patently Absurd

What’s Worth More: Kodak’s Patents, or Its People?

Quick, to the patent office!

Tim Carmondy has an interesting piece up on Wired’s Epicenter blog about the value of Kodak’s patent portfolio. Following the massive $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola by Google, and the recent record setting $4.5 billion auction for Nortel’s patent portfolio, it’s a seller’s market for ailing tech companies with large and storied troves of patents.

Kodak has an incredible array of patents in the mobile photo space dating back to the early 20th century. While it might seem odd that patents on vintage cameras could be valuable in the age of Instagram, when it comes to defending a patent in court, the more prior art a company can own, the better. It’s the reason Bloomberg recently ran a story entitled, Read More

Control Changes

Motorola’s SEC Filings Hinted at Google Acquisition Back in March

Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha.

Google’s announcement of its $12.5 billion Motorola buy blindsided the tech and Wall Street press this morning, suggest it either kept the deal very tightly under wraps–which the Goog is not known for being good at–or it happened very quickly. But Motorola started hinting at an acquisition as far back as March, according to SEC filings dug up by the fine print experts at Footnoted, in which the company started playing with its severance packages in the event of a “change in control,” suggesting serious talks with Google may be months old. Read More

Android Agony

Google’s Smartphone Partners Are Stuck Between a Phone and a Hard Case

Watch your back Apple

The bombshell news this morning that Google is trying to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash is not actually that big of surprise. Anyone who read our article about what a nightmare the Android ecosystem has become for consumers knows that Google was having problems with its OEM partners. The real question now is, can Google build its own hardware business and mantain good relationships with its licensees. “No one has ever successfully licensed a platform and competed with licensees at the same time,” tweeted Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg. “Apple tried it (twice) as did Palm & Nokia.” Read More