Hugh Pickens writes "While Apple generates more than $575 in profit for every iOS device, and according to estimates in 2007 Apple earned more than $800 on every iPhone sold through ATT, Horace Dediu reports that Android generated less than $550m in revenues for Google between 2008 and the end of 2011, earning only $1.70 per year, per Android device — explaining how Apple is sucking up two thirds of the profit in the mobile phone business. Dediu's starting point is a settlement offer Google made to Oracle of $2.8 million and 0.515% of Android revenues on an ongoing basis. His assumption is that those numbers represent Google's revenue from Android to date. 'If this is the case,' writes Dediu, 'We have a significant breakthrough in understanding the economics of Android and the overall mobile platform strategy of Google.' Of course profitability is not the only reason Google is in the mobile phone business. 'P&L considerations were not the only (or even at all) factors in investment for Google. Having a hedge against hegemony of potential rivals, having a means to learn and develop new business and having a role in defining the post-PC computing paradigm are all probably bigger considerations than profitability,' writes Dediu. 'My take is that [Android] is not a bad business. But it's also not a great one.'"
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
NicknamesAreStupid writes "Many outlets are reporting that AT&T will allow owners of iPhones whose contracts have expired to unlock their devices. One might think that a call or a quick trip to their local AT&T store would do the trick, and they do provide this service to people who are currently under contract with a newer phone and want to use their older one. However, AT&T has never made anything free to be easy, and this may not bode well for former customers who offer no profitable revenue. For example, when AT&T bought Bell South, they were ordered by the court as part of the acquisition to offer $10/month 'DSL lite' service. The maze in their website which led to this opportunity is now a story of legend. Will the key to this unlocking the iPhone be as byzantine for former customers?"
Lucas123 writes "Major tech vendors are funding patent trolls, companies that derive the bulk of their income, if not all of it, from licensing huge libraries of patents they hold as well as by suing companies that use their patents without permission, according to an investigation by Computerworld. Tech companies — including Apple and Micron — have railed against patent 'nuisance' lawsuits, only to fund or otherwise support some of the patent trolls. Because of patent trolls, more politely called mass patent aggregators, patent litigation has in part increased by more than 230% over the past 20 years. 'Most of the major tech companies are backing a troll in some way, probably financially,' says Thomas Ewing, an attorney who has authored reports on what he calls 'patent privateering.'"
twoheadedboy writes "A Flashback variant dubbed Backdoor.Flashback.39 has infected over 600,000 Macs, according to Russian security firm Dr Web. The virulent Flashback trojan infecting Apple machines sparked interest earlier this week after it was seen exploiting a Java vulnerability, although it was actually first discovered back in September last year. The Trojan has a global reach after Dr Web found infected Macs in most countries. More than half of the Macs infected are in the US (56.6 percent), while another 19.8 percent are in Canada. The UK has 12.8 percent of infected Macs."
Hugh Pickens writes "Ben Grubb reports that an iPhone app that essentially allowed users to stalk women nearby using a location-based social networking service has been pulled from the iTunes app store by its developer after an outcry of criticism including a comment by Gizmodo labelling the 'Girls Around Me' app as the 'world's creepiest' app and a comment in The New York Times Bits blog, which said it 'definitely' won the prize for being 'too creepy'. The 'Girls Around Me' app utilized publicly available data to show a map with women who had checked-in to locations nearby using Foursquare and let users view Facebook information of those ladies if they had tied their Facebook account to their Foursquare account and if their Facebook account privacy settings were lax enough to allow any user to access it. The promotional website used for marketing the app states that the service 'helps you see where nearby girls are checking in, and shows you what they look like and how to get in touch, adding 'In the mood for love, or just after a one-night stand? Girls Around Me puts you in control! Reveal the hottest nightspots, who's in them, and how to reach them.' Foursquare yanked the Girls Around Me app's access to its data, which in turn led to the app's developer removing it from iTunes as it didn't work properly. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, the company behind the app defended its creation: 'Since the app's launch till last Friday nobody ever raised a privacy concern because, again, it is clearly stated that Girls Around Me cannot show the user more data than [what Foursqure or Facebook] already does.'"
dsmalle writes "Apple has adapted its warranty to cover 2 years, under pressure of the European Union and after European consumer organizations sued Apple. From the article: 'The warranty conditions have been changed and these changes can be found on the website of Apple. Products that are purchased on the website of the manufacturer or in stores are now under warranty for two years, as it is required by the EU warranty guidelines. However, the warranty for Apple products that have been purchased elsewhere will not change and they will only be given a limited one-year warranty.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Variety is reporting that Ashton Kutcher – who you likely recognize from That 70s Show, Punked, and Two and a Half Men – has been tapped to play Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in an indie film titled 'Jobs', based on a script from Matt Whiteley. The film will chronicle Steve Jobs from wayward hippie to co-founder of Apple, where he became one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of our time."
judgecorp writes "The decision on the next generation of even-smaller SIM cards for phones and other devices has been delayed by standards body ETSI, and the issue (which should have been settled this week) is nowhere near resolution. Apple wants to trim the existing micro-SIM further, Nokia wants to move to something like a micro-SD card which may involve patents. Meanwhile RIM has complained about Apple's approach."
doston writes "The first independent audit of Apple's supply chain found excessive working hours and health and safety issues at its largest manufacturer, piling more pressure on the technology giant. This investigation targeted Hon Hai Precision Industry which is known as Foxconn. The company says they will try to stop their overtime criminality by July, 2013. Will the public ever sour on Apple devices in light of the constant media attention on supplier working conditions?"
redletterdave writes "After the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) won a battle with Apple after alleging the Cupertino-based company was misleading customers about its third-generation iPad, authorities in other countries are now assessing the compatibility of the new iPad with local 4G LTE networks to see if their customers should deserve refunds too. The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) confirmed on Tuesday that it is investigating complaints of Apple's misleading '4G' claim, while Sweden and Denmark are also reportedly considering investigations, after agencies within both countries received 'several complaints' from customers about 4G connectivity. Even though these countries carry broad LTE coverage, the new iPad isn't supported on any of those networks."
Trailrunner7 writes "Welcome to the age of targeted attacks, Mac users. Perhaps having grown tired of owning Windows machines around the world for the last few years, attackers have now taken up the challenge of going after Macs with the same kind of targeted attack tactics that have served them so well in the Windows world. Researchers have found a new attack that employs two separate pieces of malware, a malicious Word document and some techniques for maintaining persistence on compromised machines, and the campaign is specifically targeted at Mac users. The command-and-control domain involved in the attack is located in China and the attack exploits a three-year-old vulnerability in the way that Office for Mac handles certain Word files, according to researchers at AlienVault, who discovered and analyzed the attacks."
angry tapir writes "Formerly known as Silicon Graphics, Graphics Properties Holdings has filed six separate patent cases against Apple, Samsung, Research In Motion, HTC, Sony and LG with the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. The patent at issue in the lawsuits relates to floating point calculations to render graphics, and is registered as patent number 8,144,158 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office."
Fluffeh writes "Australia's competition regulator will today take iconic technology giant Apple to court for advertising its new iPad tablet as featuring '4G' speeds — which are not supported on Australian telecommunications networks. One of the key features of the new iPad is support for 4G speeds, however, the 4G speeds which the new iPad supports will not be available in Australia, with Apple's technical specifications page only listing it as supporting the 700Mhz and 2100Mhz spectrum bands, neither of which are being used by Australian telcos to provide 4G services. The case may be a bit shaky, though, as Apple does state in the fine print: '4G LTE is supported only on AT&T and Verizon networks in the US; and on Bell, Rogers and Telus networks in Canada. Data plans sold separately. See your carrier for details.'"
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Micro Systemation, a Stockholm-based company, has released a video showing that its software can easily bypass the iPhone's four-digit passcode in a matter of seconds. It can also crack Android phones, and is designed to dump the devices' data to a PC for easy browsing, including messages, GPS locations, web history, calls, contacts and keystroke logs. The company's director of marketing says it uses an undisclosed vulnerability in the devices it targets to run a program on the phone that brute-forces its passcode. He says the company's business is 'booming' and that it's sold the devices to law enforcement and military customers in 60 countries. He says Micro Systemation's biggest customer is the U.S. military."