Apple to launch tablet in spring 2010

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc is preparing to launch a tablet personal computer in late March or April, with manufacturer partners poised to roll out as many as 1 million units per month, according to an Oppenheimer research note.

The highly anticipated tablet is expected to pitch Apple into the digital book market popularized by Amazon.com’s Kindle e-reader. Apple declined to comment.

Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner said the new tablet could boost Apple’s earnings per share by 25 cents to 38 cents per quarter, assuming that it sells 1 million to 1.5 million units each quarter at an average price of $1,000 and a corporate average net income margin of 22 percent.

“Our checks into Apple’s supply chain indicate that the manufacturing cogs for the tablet are creaking into action and should begin to hit a mass market stride in February,” Reiner wrote.

“The February ramp schedule suggests a late March or April commercial release, since Apple will need to build at least 5-6 weeks of inventory before going live.”

He said the tablet will have a 10.1-inch multitouch LCD screen similar to that of Apple’s iPhone.

Apple has also approached book publishers to distribute their content electronically, and has offered them a revenue cut of 70 percent without requiring exclusivity, Reiner said.

He said that compares favorably to the Kindle’s 50 percent deal, and that Kindle only offers a 70 percent cut to publishers that give Amazon exclusive rights.

“As innovative as it is, we believe the Kindle has disgruntled the publishing industry (book, newspaper, and magazine) by demanding exclusivity, disallowing advertising, and demanding a wolfish cut of revenue,” Reiner wrote. “The tablet is set to change that.”

Reiner forecast Apple’s fiscal 2010 profit at $8.39 per share, compared with $6.29 in fiscal 2009, saying his estimate has not yet factored in the new device.

News Corp, Time, others detail e-standard venture

NEW YORK (Reuters) – News Corp, Time Warner Inc’s Time Inc and three other publishers detailed their long-expected plans to develop open standards for a new digital storefront and technology to help prepare their print titles for devices ranging from e-books to tablet computers.

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Newspaper and magazine publishers have been hurt by a sharp decline in print advertising revenue in recent years as readers and advertisers have moved to online sites.

The group’s plan is for publishers to drive revenue both from content and advertising sales as well as from print subscriptions.

The venture, which also include Conde Nast, Hearst and Meredith, wants to create a common reading application and a publishing platform optimized for multiple devices, operating systems and screen sizes.

Other aims include creating a consumer storefront, offering a selection of reading options and an array of advertising opportunities.

The group said they hope to include other publishers’ content on the new platform beyond the five equity partners.

By helping hardware and software makers organize a library of content with a common format and technical specifications, it should make it easier for articles to be read on devices like Amazon.com’s Kindle or a new widely expected tablet device from Apple Inc.

Forrester Research estimates that 10 million e-readers will be sold in the United States by the end of 2010.

The joint venture will be led by Time Inc executive John Squires. The venture partners said they represent an audience of 144.6 million according to Mediamark Research & Intelligence (MRI).

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The 4G Wireless Evolution in Miami

The 4G Wireless Evolution is where strategists, architects and network planners will join over 50 speakers leading the charge to the massively mobile future.
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FCC Opens New Airwaves to the Public

Regulators, siding with techs like Google and Microsoft, rule that “white space” freed up by digital TV is best used for high-speed wireless hot spots

While the country was picking its next President on Nov. 4, the Federal Communications Commission federal communications commission was making its own momentous decision. The country’s top communications regulator unanimously voted to free up the biggest ever swath of airwaves to be used by the public for cheap high-speed wireless Internet access.

The vote came after more than six years of public scrutiny and decides the fate of airwaves that will be made available when television broadcasts switch over to digital signals from analog in February. A broad coalition of opponents, including lawmakers, musicians, and broadcasters, argued that free public use of the airwaves would interfere with TV broadcasts and wireless microphones. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this [amount of pressure] from broadcasters before,” says Steve Sharkey, senior director of regulatory and spectrum policy at Motorola (MOT), one of the companies that welcomed the FCC’s decision.
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AT&T to buy Wi-Fi partner Wayport

The recession is starting to hit telecom vendors, but so far it hasn’t put a crimp in the major telcos M&A efforts. With Verizon set to close on Alltel, AT&T has announced its plan to buy Wayport, a U.S. Wi-Fi provider, for US$275 in cash (see: Wi-Fi hits the hot spot).

Already an AT&T Wi-Fi partner, Wayport brings its national network of Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity and enterprise portfolio to the table, and a footprint consisting of high-end business access points in locations such as select Wyndham, Marriot Vacation Club and Four Seasons hotels; HealthSouth and Sun Healthcare locations, as well as the McDonald’s restaurant chain.

If the deal goes through, AT&T’s domestic Wi-Fi footprint would jump to almost 20,000 hotspots, and a total of 80,000 locations worldwide. AT&T expects its premier global brand, market presence and well-heeled enterprise sales team will be the perfect match with Wayport’s core competence in enabling and managing applications over an integrated network, and will bring in Wi-Fi customers in major verticals where AT&T does not currently have a major presence, such as the hospitality, health care, education and retail sectors.
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NTT DOCOMO to release 22 new handsets

NTT DOCOMO announced later this month it is going to launch 22 mobile handsets in four new series: Style, Prime, Smart and Pro.

Currently, DOCOMO serves over 53 million customers, including 46 million people subscribing to FOMA, one of the first WCDMA-based 3G mobile services previously launched in 2001. The company also offers a wide variety of mobile multimedia services, including i-mode, the popular mobile e-mail/Internet service, used by 48 million people.

By shifting from its existing lineup of mainly 90xi and 70xi series handsets (currently the 906i and 706i), DOCOMO expects its latest handset series to exceed the expectations of customers at a time when the mobile phone market has become highly matured and user needs have greatly diversified.

docomo STYLE series: Designed like accessories and offered in a wide range of fashionable designs and colours, these phones are for individuals who want to project the latest ‘look’.

docomo PRIME series:As a multimedia-centric phone, the docomo PRIME series is designed specifically for those users that want to access video, games and other forms of entertainment.

docomo SMART series:Sophisticated phones for busy people who need productivity and require to enhance the management of their professional and private lives.

docomo PRO Series:As the most advanced mobile phone in the series, docomo PRO, which includes both the Blackberry Bold and Nokia’s E71, is designed for customers that want cutting-edge digital tools and the latest mobile technology.

The reorganization of the handset line-up to offer more choices reflects the strengthened customer-oriented approach in all facets of DOCOMO’s business since April this year when the company introduced new branding and the new DOCOMO Commitments proclamation to emphasize its dedication to full customer satisfaction.