Tag Archive for ‘Wall Street Journal’

Hulu Explores Adding Ad-Free Option to Its Service ➝

Mike Shields and Shalini Ramachandran, reporting for the Wall Street Journal:

Rivals Netflix and Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Instant Video, meanwhile, have highlighted the fact that they don’t show ads as a key selling point to consumers. Offering an ad-free tier would signal that Hulu recognizes how popular that approach is with many consumers.

Hulu’s code name for the project is “NOAH,” which stands for “No Ads Hulu,” the people familiar with the matter said. One of the people said the ad-free option could launch as early as this fall and be priced at around $12 to $14 a month.

I think I’d more seriously consider adding a Hulu subscription to my monthly entertainment expenses if the service didn’t include ads. I just don’t have time for advertising that’s unskippable and wastes my time.

Apple Sues Samsung Electronics Over ‘Galaxy’ Phone, Tab ➝

Ian Sherr:

Apple Inc. sued Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. claiming the Korean electronics giant copied the look and feel of its popular iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers.

Samsung’s smartphones and tablets sure do look a lot like iPhones and iPads, but I don’t know if its worthy of a lawsuit. Seems a bit silly to me.

Apple Says White iPhone Coming This Spring ➝

Ian Sherr reporting for Wall Street Journal:

Apple said Thursday the white iPhone was would be released in the spring, reiterating a projection the company made in October.

Bloomberg has heard that it will be released at the end of the month on both Verizon and AT&T.

Verizon Holding Media Event on January 11 ➝

Jim Dalrymple reporting for The Loop:

The Verizon event will be held in New York, according to the invitation received by The Loop. While it doesn’t mention anything about Apple this could be the Verizon iPhone. Typically, Apple’s special events are held on the company’s campus in Cupertino, Calif.

One could assume that this is just some Verizon event where they’ll pull out a bunch of ho-hum Android devices, but the Wall Street Journal’s Yukari Iwatani Kane and Shayndi Raice are reporting that Verizon will be announcing a Verizon iPhone.

The largest U.S. wireless carrier will make the long-awaited announcement at an event Tuesday in New York City, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

But, it might not just be Verizon on stage to announce the CDMA iPhone. John Paczkowski has sources that tell him that Steve Jobs may be joining Verizon President and COO Lowell McAdam on stage for the announcement. I’m not so sure about it though. If Verizon runs the whole event they can spend a lot of time putting AT&T down, all Steve Jobs can do is talk about how great of an opportunity it will be to add another carrier in the US. Although, Steve Jobs could be taking the stage to give a bit of a hat-tip to AT&T assuring them that Apple isn’t abandoning the carrier for Verizon.

But, if Steve Jobs is going to take the stage why is the event hosted by Verizon and not Apple? John Gruber wrote on Daring Fireball shortly after news broke of the event answering that very question. His theory:

Apple is fully aware that when they say “We’re having an event next week” that people expect big news and a new product. If they were hosting this event, speculation would be rampant that it would involve a new iPad and maybe an iPhone 5, in addition to the expected Verizon deal.

Seems reasonable to me. I’m certain if Apple were to hold the event everyone would have jumped to conclusions assuming some sort of huge product announcement. But, with Verizon holding the event the only expectation is that they’ll announce a CDMA iPhone.

Alibaba Asked to Remove iPad 2 Case Images ➝

Owen Fletcher reporting for the Wall Street Journal regarding the removal of leaked iPad 2 case images:

But someone—it’s unclear who—doesn’t seem to appreciate all the attention: Alibaba.com was asked to remove the listings. “We do not know whether these products are what they say they are, but we have received a legitimate takedown request and are removing the listings,” Alibaba Group spokesman John Spelich said Wednesday.

I had already decided not to write about the case images because there have been leaked cases in the past that didn’t fit the final product. But now that someone wants these case images pulled, there is a strong indication that these cases were manufactured with knowledge of the iPad 2’s design.

When one of the manufacturers, Fullchance Industrial Co., was called the man who answered the phone claimed that the company works with Hon Hai Precision Industry and said that they possess firsthand material regarding the features of the new iPad which makes their case design “extremely accurate.”

Dell Offering Venue Pros to Employees ➝

Shayndi Raice writing for the Wall Street Journal:

In a direct shot at BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd., Dell Inc. plans to move its 25,000 employees over to its own line of smartphones and then aggressively market a service to help other companies do the same.

Dell employees will be offered the Dell Venue Pro which runs Windows Phone 7. I have a feeling Dell will be a lot more successful trying to sell Venue Pros to enterprise customers now that they’ve chosen to eat their own dog food.

Apple’s New App Store Review Guidelines

Apple issued a statement on September 9 regarding changes they’ve made to their App Store review guidelines. From the statement:

We are continually trying to make the App Store even better. We have listened to our developers and taken much of their feedback to heart. Based on their input, today we are making some important changes to our iOS Developer Program license in sections 3.3.1, 3.3.2 and 3.3.9 to relax some restrictions we put in place earlier this year.

These changes have removed the ban on third-party development tools and they’ve also removed the language in section 3.3.9 that appeared to be written specifically to ban AdMob.

Apple has also published a seven page document accessible to iPhone developers that finally gives transparency to Apple’s review guidelines. The document (a copy of which can be found with a quick Google search) will be changed as new apps are submitted that force Apple to create new rules about what will and won’t be accepted.

The language in these guidelines is very casually written, not the type of writing you may expect from a company as large as Apple. Here’s an example bullet point from the introduction that will give you a feel for what type of writing we’re talking about:

We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don’t need any more Fart apps. If your app doesn’t do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted.

Regardless of how these guidelines are written, the document’s mere existence is a great thing for developers. It doesn’t matter whether Apple decided to publish their guidelines because of pressure from developers, customers, or even the FCC (as the WSJ believes), this is good news. Developers will be more willing to take the time developing an application now that they have a better understanding of what will get it rejected.

And finally, here’s a few rules from the guidelines that I thought were particularly interesting:

2.11 Apps that duplicate apps already in the App Store may be rejected, particularly if there are many of them

3.10 Developers who attempt to manipulate or cheat the user reviews or chart ranking in the App Store with fake or paid reviews, or any other inappropriate methods will be removed from the iOS Developer Program

11.11 In general, the more expensive your app, the more thoroughly we will review it

Some of the rules in the guidelines were obvious and others have been hinted at in rejection letters sent to developers, but I’m glad that we now have a place where the rules are written out in plain English. One could still argue that this whole App Store approval process is a convoluted mess, but at least we now have a better understanding of just how convoluted of a mess it is.