Home' LAPTOP Magazine : December 2011 Contents Laptop | December 2011
year in mobile
Steve Jobs returns
from his medical
leave to introduce
the world to the iPad
2. Thinner and faster
than the original
iPad, the dual-core
features front- and
and is available
for both AT&T and
The competition is
left scrambling once
AT&T + T-Mobile = Trouble
AT&T, the nation’s second-largest carrier, announces it has finalized
a $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom. The
announcement puts AT&T in a position to surpass Verizon as the
country’s largest wireless carrier by combining AT&T’s 128 million
subscribers with T-Mobile’s 33 million users.
Both AT&T and T-Moble utilize GSM technology, making them easy bedfellows. The
combination would also give T-Mobile users hope that they will gain access to Apple’s
iPhone and iPad devices (which at the time were AT&T and Verizon exclusives).
But regulators and consumers alike question whether the move would be ben-
eficial to consumers, or if it would result in higher rates. AT&T claims the merger will
create more than 5,000 jobs and result in lower wireless rates for consumers.
The U.S. Department of Justice later acts to block the deal, filing a civil
antitrust suit against the merger. Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole
says in a statement that the proposed deal “would result in tens of mil-
lions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices,
fewer choices, and lower quality products for mobile wireless services.”
In its suit, the DOJ says, “AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an indepen-
dent, low-priced rival would remove significant competitive force from
In justifying the proposed merger, AT&T claims that it needs to utilize
T-Mobile’s wireless spectrum for to increase its LTE network coverage from 80
percent to 97 percent of the country. But a leaked document states that the cost for
AT&T to reach 97 percent of the market on its own would cost $3.8 billion, significantly
less than the $39 billion for which the carrier agreed to buy T-Mobile. The document
seems to indicate that AT&T’s motivation for the deal is to eliminate a market competitor.
Despite the government’s roadblock, AT&T says it is committed to the deal. If the
merger falls through, AT&T will have to pay T-Mobile’s parent company $6 billion in
cash and other assets.
Amazon again takes a shot at Apple
and Google, debuting its Amazon
Cloud Player for the web and Android.
The service allows users to upload
their own MP3 or AAC music files and
stream them through any web-con-
nected PC or Android device.
a shot directly
bow with the
launch of its
Amazon AppStore for Android.
The store debuts with roughly
3,800 apps and offers users one
free featured app every day.
Just two years after
purchasing Pure Digital—
the maker of the Flip
Camera—for $590 mil-
lion, Cisco announces it is
shuttering the businesses
after its first in-house
developed Flip camera—
the Flip SlideHD—fails to
Research in Motion
out on an interview
with BBC after he is
repeatedly questioned about the Indian
government’s desire to access RIM’s
BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
Patent Wars: Apple vs. Samsung
Apple kicks off an international patent war
with Samsung when it files suit against
the company, claiming that its Galaxy line of phones and
tablets are “blatant” copies of Apple’s iPhone and iPad. The
everything from the shape of Samsung’s devices to its
software. Samsung replies in kind, filing patent infringement
lawsuits against Apple in Germany, Japan, and South Korea.
Apple also files suit against Samsung in Australia, where
the Cupertino-based company is able to get Samsung to
agree to stop selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 until the lawsuit is
settled. Apple also secures a victory, however brief, in Ger-
many, when a court sides with Apple and bans the sale of the
Galaxy Tab 10.1 at all retailers in the European Union with the
exception of the Netherlands. Samsung also immediately
stops marketing the device within the E.U.
A week later, the continent-wide ban on the
device is lifted when questions arise over whether
a German court can order a South Korean com-
pany to stop selling its products in any country
other than Germany. Apple’s case takes another
hit when a Netherlands-based publication uncov-
ers inconsistencies with evidence Apple presented
to the German court.
The evidence—a side-by -side comparison of the
Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the iPad—appears to be manipulated to
make the Galaxy Pad 10.1 look eight percent larger than it ac-
tually is. However, it is unclear if Apple purposely manipulated
that data to mislead the court or if it was simply an accident.
In October, U.S. District Judge Lucy Kohn tosses out a
portion of Apple’s California lawsuit, including some of the
company’s antitrust claims against Samsung.
Security researchers uncover files
within Apple’s iPhone 4, revealing that
the phone collects and stores location
data. Apple later releases a statement
saying the data is used to create a
database of cellular towers and Wi-Fi
hotspots—not to track users.
Verizon’s first 4G LTE handset, the HTC Thunderbolt,
goes on sale for a decidedly expensive $249. Although
the phone is fast, it's hobbled by a short battery life.
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