Germany’s TV networks are getting ready to compete with Hulu before the U.S. site has even launched in Europe: The RTL Group and the Pro 7 Sat 1 Media AG plan to open their own Hulu-like site, offering catch-up TV for up to seven days.
Google may be having some teething problems with its foray into the topsy-turvy world of mobile handsets, but don’t count it out just yet. Analysts estimate that Google could sell 1-3 million Nexus One units in 2010, generating $500 million-$1.6 billion in incremental revenue.
With a target of 150,000, Google’s Nexus One phone is said to have sold about 20,500 units according to estimates by Flurry. It was outsold by Droid by more than 12 times, myTouch 3G by 3 times and iPhone 3GS 80 times they say.
Yes, Virginia, there really is a Google (s goog) Phone! And no, I don’t mean all those Android-powered devices, but instead a Google-branded phone that’s made by an original equipment maker. The company has started giving away these devices to its employees, who started tweeting about it last night, and it had to make an announcement this morning. In a blog post on the Android Blog, Mario Queiroz, vice president, Product Management writes:
We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities, and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe. This means they get to test out a new technology and help improve it. Unfortunately, because dogfooding is a process exclusively for Google employees, we cannot share specific product details. We hope to share more after our dogfood diet.
Amazing, crazy, why? Those were the first things that ran through my mind when I read that Google is actually making a device. This is very much a page out of Microsoft’s (s msft) playbook. Microsoft makes specification designs, and Google seems to be doing just that. Of course, just as Microsoft and its Zune came along to compete with all those Play4Sure MP3 players, Google can make its own hardware and thus compete with the same folks who are betting the farm on Android.
The company says it’s doing this for its employees, but why shouldn’t we believe it will start selling it to consumers? After all, Google has the brand and the means to do that. If I were Motorola (s mot), then I wouldn’t be happy, because now I’m going to be competing with a Google-branded device. I need to talk to Google about the rationale of this decision before passing judgment. I’ve fired off emails to Motorola and other Android supporters.
Reading between the lines, Google’s decision to release a device shows it’s worried about the fear of fragmentation of the Android ecosystem that we’ve often talked about. By putting its stake in the ground, the company is hoping it doesn’t make the mistake that Microsoft made by dragging its feet in releasing Zune and ceding the market to Apple’s iPod. The iPhone, despite the issues with AT&T’s pokey 3G network, as eloquently pointed out by Verizon in its ads, continues to sell like a monster. Google doesn’t have much time and needs to respond fast.
On the plus side of the news — maybe you can return those Droids now that Time magazine has put its hex on the device.
It’s Tuesday and that can only mean it’s time for our weekly feature, the BlackBerry Buzz. The Buzz is where you’ll find out what’s been going on in the BlackBerry brambles. You’ll hear about everything that’s worth knowing in the awesome world of the BlackBerry. RIM (s rimm) has announced they are bringing the BlackBerry to China, and not just any old phones. The deal with China Mobile calls for BlackBerry models that will work on the LTE network. We don’t expect to see any LTE models on this side of the globe any time soon.
The Bolt browser has been updated to version 1.6, bringing faster page rendering. The new version also adds a password manager. Bolt can now be set as the default browser for the BlackBerry for users who wish to do so.
Foursquare for the BlackBerry will be entering into beta soon. The social network based on locations is growing in popularity, and BlackBerry owners will soon be able to join in the fun.
According to a report this week on The Mac Observer, Apple (s aapl) and AT&T (s att) have been presented with a class action lawsuit by a customer who accuses them of misleading the public by advertising the MMS capabilities of the iPhone 3GS despite not making those capabilities available in the U.S. when it launched.
(Yawn.) I’ll let you mull over whether the accusation is fair; the plaintiff, Francis Monticelli, says in the suit that “MMS functionality was one of the reasons people chose to buy or upgrade… it has [become] clear that AT&T’s network does not support MMS.”
TMO points out Apple made it quite clear MMS functionality would not be available in America at the launch of the iPhone 3GS. Surely you remember the hilarious (and embarrassing) murmur of amusement and derision from the audience at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference when Scott Forstall introduced MMS? “29 of our carrier partners in 76 countries around the world will support MMS at the launch of iPhone OS 3.0,” Forstall announced, then, trying to keep a straight face, added, “In the United States, AT&T will be ready to support MMS later this summer.” Read More about Apple Sued Over MMS: But Who Really Uses It?
[qi:gigaom_icon_google-android] We’ve gone back and forth on the existence of a Google phone for a long time now. In the beginning, there was a talk of a Google Phone that turned out to be Android, Google’s mobile operating system targeting handset makers such as HTC, Motorola and Samsung. Now there is word that Google might actually be looking to make its own handset. Again! This comes from Ashok Kumar, a veteran technology analyst with Northeast Securities. In a note to his clients, Kumar notes that “Google is expected to launch a self branded -smartphone by year end followed by –netbook (sic) early next year.”
The big Android news this week, without question, was the launch of the Motorola Cliq, a smartphone that sports a sliding keyboard and is optimized for social network interaction. The Android platform, of course, is designed to make the most out of a continuous web connection, and Motorola has designed the Cliq to be a social media champ. The phone, which will be dubbed the Dext outside of the U.S., will appear on the T-Mobile U. S. network later this year.
Also unveiled was the cloud-based MotoBlur, which can be used to build a totally integrated interface to multiple social networks, like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. The Motorola Cliq uses MotoBlur to make it easier to handle multiple social network accounts from one screen.
In the meantime, while the term app store tends to conjure up images of the one from Apple, that’s due to change. The Android Market has quietly passed the 10,000-mark in terms of the number of apps available.
Motorola has followed through on its promise to enter the Android smartphone market, unveiling the Cliq, a small phone with a sliding QWERTY keyboard. The company has added its own home screen magic, called Moto Blur, that graphically integrates all user messaging accounts. Messages received appear on the screen no matter how they were sent, whether via email, text message or social network.
We cornered a Motorola rep backstage at the Mobilize conference just before the phone was announced and shot a quick video of it in action. It invokes images of an iPhone, although one with a nice keyboard that slides out of the screen. The keyboard feels really good to use, and the performance of everything is very fast. The phone will be available later this year with T-Mobile in the U. S.
Motorola has followed through on its promise to enter the Android smartphone market, unveiling the Cliq, a small phone with a sliding QWERTY keyboard. The company has added its own home screen magic, called MotoBlur, that graphically integrates all user messaging accounts. Messages received appear on the screen no matter how they were sent, whether via email, text message or social network.
We cornered a Motorola rep backstage at the Mobilize conference just before the phone was announced and shot a quick video of it in action. It invokes images of an iPhone, although one with a nice keyboard that slides out of the screen. The keyboard feels really good to use, and the performance of everything is very fast. The phone will be available later this year with T-Mobile in the U.S.