Apple’s Q2 Conference Call: Yes, We Made Lots of Money

applemoney1Yesterday, Apple (s aapl) held its quarterly conference call to discuss Q2 financial performance. Expectations were mixed heading into the call, with many saying that this would reveal the true effect of the recession on Apple’s business, and that we would finally see that the Cupertino company is not immune to the same challenges facing other consumer electronics and computer companies. Well, maybe the other shoe has yet to drop, but Apple’s performance yesterday exceeded analyst expectations
Analysts were expecting a slight drop in earnings for the second quarter, based on the performance of other, similarly positioned companies, and the economic climate in general. Instead, Apple had a record quarter yet again, with a net income of $1.2 billion, or $1.33 per share. Total revenue came in at an astounding $8.33 billion, compared to $7.51 billion during the same quarter last year. Last year’s income was only $1.05 billion, or $1.16 per share. The strong numbers gave Apple stocks a big boost in aftermarket trading. Read More about Apple’s Q2 Conference Call: Yes, We Made Lots of Money

Dell Mini 10 Netbook Officially Available: $399

laptop-inspiron-10-right-black-alternate-314Your wait is officially over if you’ve been pining for a Dell (s DELL) Inspiron Mini 10 netbook. Dell’s order page is up and ready to accept your $399. As netbooks move away from the 8.9-inch displays and migrate to around 10-inch units, this gets Dell’s foot in the door for that segment. It seems a bit rushed to me, though, due to two constraints: the screen display loses a wee bit of horizontal resolution with the 1024×576 display and there’s a hard RAM limit of 1GB. Not everyone needs or wants more RAM but you won’t even have the option on the debut model. At this price, the ASUS 1000HE with included 6-cell battery is more appealing to me personally (the Mini 10 comes with a 3-cell), but to each his or her own. ­čÖé

By the way, the Direct2Dell blog says “Initially, all Mini 10s will come with 1GB fixed RAM (which means it will not be upgradable)” which tells me there’s a chance for memory upgrade options on future Mini 10 models. Note that the base Mini 10 comes with the 1.3GHz Z520. The 1.6GHz Z530 will set you back an additional $50.

(via Engadget)

Adding Porn Won’t Make AWS-3 Plan Any Better

logo11FCC chairman Kevin Martin said in a conference call today that he’s dropped the porn-free requirement from his plan to auction off AWS-3 spectrum in order to create a free wireless broadband network. This last-minute effort to get universal wireless broadband passed on his watch is heroic, but I’m still not sold on the use of this spectrum for slow, free wireless broadband. Read More about Adding Porn Won’t Make AWS-3 Plan Any Better

M2Z Vote Whipsawed by Politics

logo1Updated: M2Z’s wait will continue, because the FCC canceled its Dec. 18 meeting, leaving the issue of free, filtered wireless broadband a likely topic for the next chairman to tackle. As broadband is a key element in President-elect Barack Obama’s recovery plan, there’s hope.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Rep. Henry Waxman today went after Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin over the focus of the agency’s upcoming meeting, set for Dec. 18th, on measures that aren’t urgent or required by law. As a result of their pressure,┬ácontroversial measures such as the AWS-3 auction to create a nationwide free, filtered wireless network, as well as cable carriage reform, could get booted from the agenda. The elimination of the AWS-3 decision would be a┬áblow for startup M2Z networks, which has been peddling its two-tiered wireless broadband network since 2006. Read More about M2Z Vote Whipsawed by Politics

M2Z Needs FCC Win and $5 Billion

Next Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on the creation of a nationwide filtered wireless broadband network (unless politics cause the issue to be struck from the agenda). The most likely beneficiary if the FCC approves the plan is a Kleiner-backed startup called M2Z Networks, which had proposed a plan very similar to the one the FCC is scheduled to vote on.

The plan would be to auction off spectrum in the AWS-3 and allocate it for two wireless broadband networks. One would be a free network delivering speeds of 768 kbps to 95 percent of the country with some kind of content filter, and the other would be a faster paid network that M2Z envisions selling access to for $20 to $30 a month. John Muleta, CEO and founder of M2Z Networks, chatted with me earlier this week to defend the low speeds of such a network and to talk about the realities of building out such a network. Read More about M2Z Needs FCC Win and $5 Billion

FCC To Rule on Nationwide Porn-Free Wireless Web

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to address the issue of creating a nationwide, filtered broadband network at its Dec. 18 meeting according to the Wall Street Journal. That gives that meeting the potential to be as controversial as the one held last month on election day. The November meeting approved two mergers and created the potential for free wireless spectrum over the protests of broadcasters. This upcoming meeting could create free, licensed wireless spectrum in the AWS-3 band, ticking off T-Mobile, which paid $4 billion to lease the adjacent AWS-1 spectrum. Read More about FCC To Rule on Nationwide Porn-Free Wireless Web

America May Get Broadband for Free, But Porn Will Cost You

Last Friday afternoon, the FCC issued a report putting to rest worries about interference from a free wireless broadband service using the AWS-3 spectrum, paving the way for an auction sometime next year. However, opponents of the auction, including T-Mobile, aren’t going to give up without a fight.

The original proposal for the spectrum, put forth two years ago by a Kleiner-backed company called M2Z Networks, had asked the FCC for use of the spectrum in the 2155-2175 MHz band to create a wireless broadband service. M2Z offered the FCC 5 percent of its revenue in exchange for the spectrum. It also pledged 25 percent of its network for free broadband service at lower speeds. The company would charge more for faster speeds and would build out 90 percent of its network in 10 years at a cost of $2 – $3 billion. Read More about America May Get Broadband for Free, But Porn Will Cost You

Why There Won’t Be Broadband Competition Anytime Soon

When it comes to the fixed-line Internet, the FCC would like you to believe that wireless broadband is going to be the answer, perhaps through schemes such as the D Block auction, spectrum grabs by M2Z Networks and white space initiatives. If you believe that, then you also believe that that you can walk away a winner from a game of three-card monte on a Manhattan sidewalk.

M2Z Says it Aced FCC Interference Tests

A venture-backed startup’s attempts to offer free broadband in the AWS-3 spectrum have moved closer to reality today. The company released FCC-observed tests results today that show that devices operating in the band of spectrum eyed by M2Z Networks won’t interfere with devices operating in nearby spectrum bands.

M2Z, which was formed in 2006 to provide an alternative wireless broadband service to most of the country, plans to use the AWS-3 band for its wireless broadband network, but spectrum holders in the AWS-1 band — notably T-Mobile — claimed such devices would interfere with their network operations. Other carriers also stepped up to stop the idea, arguing that they had paid for their spectrum (T-Mobile paid about $4 billion for its AWS-1 spectrum), whereas M2Z was essentially seeking a giveaway of the valuable asset. It does say it will share 5 percent of its revenue with the FCC in addition to providing free broadband. Read More about M2Z Says it Aced FCC Interference Tests

Carriers Looking to Block Free Wireless Broadband?

Update: TR Daily reports that the vote will be delayed because of “misunderstanding” which loosely translates into lobbyists did their job and got FCC to back up. FCC has taken the vote off the website. I will report more tomorrow as I get the details. (Original story below the fold.)

Original Story: FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s political ambitions might spur him into delivering “free wireless broadband,” if some Beltway insiders are to be believed. His plan, however, is not sitting well with carriers, satellite operators and even some public interest groups.

What Martin wants to do is basically have another auction of advanced wireless services (AWS-3) in the 2155-2175 MHz-band and reserve a portion of the wireless network that uses these frequencies for free wireless broadband. The plan was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The FCC is likely to vote on Martin’s idea of delivering 768 kbps wireless broadband access for free next week. I’ve been told the date is June 12th.

Read More about Carriers Looking to Block Free Wireless Broadband?