APPLE bows, producing Phablet -- MICROSOFT winning with enterprise -- SAMSUNG hit high and low by iPhone, Lenovo -- SNOWDEN argues for, um, rule of law -- Pope: Internet God's gift


January 24, 2014 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

Not a TechBrief subscriber? Sign up for a free subscription.

>> IF YOU CAN'T BEAT 'EM: Apple iPhones to come out with bigger screens, by Lorraine Luk, Eva Dou, Daisuke Wakabayashi: "Apple plans an iPhone model with a screen larger than 4½ inches measured diagonally, and a second version with a display bigger than 5 inches. Until now, Apple's largest phone has been the 4-inch display on the iPhone 5. Both new models are expected to feature metal casings similar to what is used on the current iPhone 5S, with Apple expected to scrap the plastic exterior used in the iPhone 5C... Bigger screens are particularly popular in China." Wall Street Journal

> Forget screen sizes: What screen resolution might the iPhone 6 have? GigaOM

>> OLD APPLE: Apple executives on the Mac at 30: 'The Mac keeps going forever.', by Jason Snell: "The Mac's path over the last 30 years has hardly been a straight one. Under the surface, the operating system that runs it is completely different from the original, thanks to Apple's acquisition of Next (and, oh yeah, Steve Jobs) in 1996. It debuted as a desktop computer, and now more than two-thirds of all Macs are laptops... The teams at Apple that have built and rebuilt the Mac over the years have had the option to toss away anything that didn't work--and yet so much of the original Mac concept succeeded that, 30 years later, the Mac remains undeniably the Mac." Macworld

> As the Mac turns 30, Apple ponders 'post-PC' era 'When Apple introduced the Macintosh in 1984, people wondered whether everyone would need a personal computer one day. As the Mac prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary on Friday, the same question hangs in the air.' Wall Street Journal 

>> THE NEW BIG BLUE: Microsoft grows revenue, improves profits in Q2, helped by Xbox, enterprise products, by Juan Carlos Perez: "A big jump in sales in Microsoft's consumer devices unit, which makes the Xbox console and Surface tablets, helped lift its revenue 14 percent and slightly improve profits year on year in its second fiscal quarter. Revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31 came in at $24.51 billion, exceeding the consensus estimate of $23.68 billion from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Net income grew to $6.56 billion, or $0.78 per share, from $6.38 billion, or $0.76 per share, in the same quarter a year earlier... The Devices & Consumer Hardware unit grew revenue 68 percent, from $2.80 billion to $4.72 billion, as Microsoft sold 7.4 million Xbox consoles into the retail channel, almost 4 million of them the new Xbox One. Revenue from Surface tablet sales more than doubled sequentially, from $400 million in the first quarter to $893 million in the second quarter. Units sold also more than doubled." InfoWorld

> Microsoft reports 3.9 million Xbox One shipments in 2013 Ars Technica

> Microsoft financials: record revenue, consumer sales declining in drift towards Enterprise Tim Anderson

> Microsoft: Clearly still an enterprise company CITEworld

> Microsoft's great quarter suggests its next CEO should be Steve Ballmer Quartz

> SHOT: Surface's solid quarter lends credibility to Microsoft's strategic choices TechCrunch

> CHASER: Microsoft loses money on each Surface sold Computerworld >> SWEATING IN SEOUL: Samsung misses estimates as iPhones win sales, won gains, by Jungah Lee: "Samsung posted fourth-quarter earnings that missed analyst estimates as new Apple iPhones won high-end smartphone customers and gains in the South Korean won curbed the value of sales. Net income, excluding minority interests, was 7.22 trillion won ($6.7 billion) in the three months ended Dec. 31, the Suwon, South Korea-based company said in a regulatory filing today. That compares with the 8.2 trillion-won average of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg in the past 28 days. Profit margins at the world's biggest maker of smartphones are being squeezed as new iPhones and cheaper devices made by Lenovo Group Ltd. and Huawei Technologies Co. crimp growth of Samsung's Galaxy devices. Currency moves cut about 700 billion won from earnings, and the company made bonus payments to workers and boosted marketing as it prepares to release its new S5 handset to battle Apple." Bloomberg Businessweek

> Samsung Electronics Q4 profit sags as smartphone growth concern deepens Reuters

>> NEOCURRENCY: TigerDirect now accepts Bitcoin, claims to be first major US electronics retailer and largest company to do so, by Emil Protalinski: "TigerDirect says it is using BitPay as its payment processor, a popular choice for sites looking to add Bitcoin support. Furthermore, the retailer says it will also sell the computer components used to mine the currency as well; it has partnered with AMD to build what it says will be the largest assortment of mining graphic cards in the industry." TNW

>> MORE SNOW: Snowden: 'Not all spying bad' but NSA program 'divorced from reason', by Edward Moyer: "During a live Web chat, NSA leaker Edward Snowden emphasizes the need for the rule of law. He also strikes, at one point, a tone you might take as conciliatory... 'I think a person should be able to dial a number, make a purchase, send an SMS, write an e-mail, or visit a Web site without having to think about what it's going to look like on their permanent record.'" Cnet

> Edward Snowden: Whistleblower laws need update Politico

> Snowden denies stealing passwords to access secret files WaPo

> U.S. willing to hold talks if Snowden pleads guilty New York Times

> U.S. govt data requests for Verizon data topped 320K in 2013 PC Mag
> Russia to Snowden: Stay as long as you like National Journal

>> NO FREE LUNCH: Why Google Android software is not as free or open-source as you may think, by Charles Arthur, Samuel Gibbs: "While the basic Android software is indeed available for free, and can be downloaded, compiled and changed by anyone, it doesn't include the apps that make up Google's mobile services -- such as Maps, Gmail, and crucially Google Play, which allows people to connect to the online store where they can download apps. Without them, a device has only minimal functionality. To get the key apps, a manufacturer needs a 'Google Mobile Services' (GMS) licence. Just like Microsoft with Windows and Windows Phone, GMS licences are charged on a per-device basis -- so that for example a company looking to ship 100,000 units of a tablet would have to pay about US$75,000, a source in the Android device community told the Guardian." The Guardian
> Google: We do not charge licensing fees for Android's Google Mobile Services, by Jordan Kahn: "The earlier report from The Guardian claimed that sources said Google was charging around 75 cents per device or $75k per 100,000 units for a GMS license and that licensing costs varied at Google's discretion depending on the OEM. Google told us that it does not charge licensing fees for Google Mobile Services but didn't comment further on the situation." 9to5Google

>> SLINGSHOTS R US: Lessons from the death of a tech Goliath, by Bruce Cleveland: "The basic premise is that Salesforce summarily dismantled Siebel through its revolutionary software as a service (SaaS) business model and took so much market share away that by 2005 Siebel was forced to sell to Oracle. The proverbial story of 'David defeats Goliath' played out in the high tech industry... The facts are quite different." Fortune

>> Pope Francis: Internet is 'a gift from God' Business Insider

>> NewsCred gets $25M to expand its growing media tech empire GigaOM

>> Qualcomm acquires 1,400 Palm, iPAQ, Bitphone patents from HP SlashGear

>> Wal-Mart aims to match Amazon's service offerings Wall Street Journal

>> iWork updates for Mac, iOS return missing features Macworld

>> Facebook hilariously debunks Princeton study saying it will lose 80% of users TechCrunch

>> The Techtopus: How Silicon Valley's most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers' wages Pando

>> Singularity University to launch $50 million venture fund to tackle the world's 'grand challenges' GigaOM

>> S. Korea to spend $1.5 bn on 5G 'movie-in-a-second' service Google

>> Google Calendar bug adds others to your private events without warning The Verge

>> Thieves steal $2 million from gas station ATMs using Bluetooth skimmers Techworld

>> Microsoft lawyer: Let customers decide country where cloud data is stored Network World

>> The Internet of Things for sports is quickly taking shape Computerworld

>> Davos 2014: Google's Schmidt warning on jobs: 'It's a race between computers and people - and people need to win.' BBC

>> BITCOIN: $919 Mt.Gox

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: 'Few things are as anxiety-inducing as "don't worry, it's not a code change, it's just a config change."' @vambenepe

FEED ME, SEYMOUR: Comments? Questions? Tips? Shoot mail to Trent or Woody. Follow @gegax or @woodyleonhard.

Pass it on. Tweet us!

Not a TechBrief subscriber? Sign up for a free subscription.