Tag - GSM Association
Electronista is traveling to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2012. Updates may come in at unusual times, but we should have updates over the weekend, especially mid-Sunday, as most of the cellphone and tablet world shows its hand. Hands-on coverage will continue through mid-week.
Apple's rumored fight over embedded iPhone SIMs may have cost it valuable carrier discounts. Sanford Bernstein analyst Robin Bienenstock noted that subsidies in larger European countries had been reduced by 40 to 150 euros ($53 to $198). The carriers had also pulled promo graphics from their main pages, the analyst said, suggesting they may have been reluctant to keep giving the phone its full attention.
Apple's rumored decision to avoid embedded SIMs may have only been for the 2011 refresh, sources argued Tuesday. The company has purportedly reassured European carriers that the iPhone 5 will still depend on removable micro SIM cards but has given signs that it would shift over later on. Tips to the Financial Times didn't reveal whether that meant 2012 or still-longer plans.
European carriers are discussing the possibility of retaliating against Apple if it goes ahead with a rumored plan to use embedded SIMs in iPhones, leaks from the industry alleged Thursday night. The parent companies of O2, Orange and Vodafone have reportedly been worried that Apple was trying to take control of the "relationship" the carriers have by letting customers buy without having to talk to the carrier. An unnamed executive at one of the companies told the Financial Times that Apple could risk a "war" if carriers decided to stop subsidizing the iPhone on contract.
The Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) founded earlier this year has just aggregated 32 new members. The newcomers include Opera Software, Oracel, Fujitsu, Rogers and China Unicom, among others, joining the original 24 companies such as LG, Samsung, Telefonica and Orange. The goal of the alliance is to create a common, global app store that will offer software for multiple platforms and devices.
Organizers for the GSM Association's Mobile World Congress revealed today that Apple would have an unofficial presence at the phone trade show through Macworld Mobile. The magazine will have full-day training and sessions for developers specific to iOS devices. The next Congress is due to start February 14 next year.
The GSM Association today unveiled an alliance for a common app store platform meant to challenge Apple. Known as the Wholesale Applications Community, the service will create an open, standard way of developing and selling apps across multiple phone operating systems and networks. The partnership will include phone builders LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, as well as 24 major carriers that include all four major US networks and major internationals like China Mobile, Orange and Telefonica.
The security of GSM phone calls dropped again late Monday with word that the standard's second, more guarded encryption standard has been broken. Following a first crack of the simpler standard, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science say they have cracked the A5/3 security cipher (nicknamed Kasumi) by using what's known as a "sandwich" attack. The group accomplished its goal by creating a distinguishing trait for the key and using just four related keys to determine the key for Kasumi itself.
German software engineer Karsten Nohl said at the Chaos Communication Congress hacker expo today that he and a group have cracked and published the primary encryption code for GSM, the protocol that handles most non-3G cellphone calls. The team says it has used legal methods to break the A5/1 standard, which prevents easy snooping, and has made available a 'code book' of binary data that could theoretically be used to decipher the content of a call within hours or even minutes rather than weeks.
Most cellphones could use a single, interoperable standard for their power chargers within three years if a GSM Association initiative proves successful. The partnership includes phone makers like LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson as well as carriers like AT&T, KTF, Telefonica, T-Mobile and Vodafone; all have developed a format that would use micro USB as the standard and cut the typical power use by about half. The plan would cut back on the number of chargers thrown out after switching phones as well as reduce the amount of energy used to keep phones running.
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Kohls Apple Pay integration with loyalty program
Kohl's customers are now able to pay for their purchases with Kohl's Charge and simultaneously earn loyalty program Yes2You Rewards in conjunction with Apple Pay. The service is currently available in approximately 250 Kohl's stores and is expected to be in all Kohl's stores nationwide later this month, making Kohl's the first retailer to deliver a one-tap checkout that integrates both its private credit card as a form of payment and a loyalty program with Apple Pay. http://yhoo.it/21wEUI6
AirMap iOS app for drone operators
Provider of airspace information and services for unmanned aircraft AirMap announced today the release of the AirMap app for iOS and Apple Watch. Operators can now access low-altitude airspace advisories, create flights, file digital flight notices to over 80 airports, and manage unmanned aircraft. Building on the success of AirMap's Digital Notice and Awareness System (D-NAS), the AirMap app brings to iOS devices a fully integrated airspace management solution for recreational and commercial drone operators. The app is free. http://apple.co/21wCadD
BlackBerry video calling available on iOS
BlackBerry has made its video calling feature available to Android and iOS users. The company reports limited availability of the new cross-platform feature for now, citing "because this is the first time we're launching BBM Video calling, and we want to monitor performance, gather feedback, and iron out any kinks that may arise before we roll it out globally." http://blck.by/1ruu4pC
Apple loses iPhone brand exclusivity in China
Apple has lost its exclusive rights to the 'iPhone' brand in China, the Beijing Municipal High People's Court has ruled. According to Quartz, Chinese company Xintong Tiandi is now free to continue selling its non-smartphone "IPHONE" branded products, which include smartphone cases, among other leather goods. The Chinese court ruled that Xintong Tiandi, which registered the "IPHONE" trademark in 2007, could continue to use the trademark because Apple did not start selling the iPhone in China until 2009. Apple also could not prove that Xintong Tiandi's ongoing use of the trademark would cause Apple material harm. The latest ruling by the Chinese government follows its recent decision to shut down the iTunes Movies and iBooks Store. http://bit.ly/1SNhRmB
Bowers & Wilkins bought by EVA Automation
High-end UK audio equipment maker and fixture in Apple retail stores Bowers & Wilkins has been bought out by a California "smart home" tech firm, EVA Automation. Fomer Bowers & Wilkins owner Joe Atkins will continue as CEO of the joint venture, with EVA Automation founder Gordon Yu acting as executive chairman. The two companies said the merger will combine EVA's AV technologies and Bowers & Wilkins' acoustic engineering talents to grow the now-combined firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it is expected that the Bowers & Wilkins brand name will continue. http://yhoo.it/1SLt6zj
Micromat MacCheck released for free
Micromat, the developers of TechTool Pro, today announced a new troubleshooting utility called MacCheck. The new product can perform a series of critical tests on Macintosh systems, helping to isolate what might be wrong with a particular computer. The program quickly tests many of the critical systems in a Macintosh computer, including RAM, I/O, Volume Structures, Partition Maps, Batteries, and RAID systems. MacCheck is being offered free of charge and is available for download immediately from the Micromat website. http://bit.ly/1SKFwaV
Hyundai Sonata 2016 gains CarPlay
The 2016 Hyundai Sonata can now be upgraded to incorporate Apple's CarPlay mobile technology, which augments the built-in infotainment system in the car to incorporate many iPhone features, such as Apple Maps and Siri voice control of navigation and other smartphone functions. The upgrade is accomplished through an SD card owners can obtain from their local Hyundai dealer. Although not disclosed, the upgrade was said to cost "a small fee" when it was initially announced in December of last year. http://bit.ly/1TJzK8f