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- AT&T Rocks Smartphone Industry by Dropping Unlimited Data Plans
- HP Shakes Up Smartphone Market With $1.2 Billion Palm Buyout
- Apple Goes "Island-Hopping" in its War Against Google
- Price Wars Likely to Spur Smartphone Explosion in 2010
- The Three Tech Businesses Investors Can't Afford to Ignore in 2010
- Hewlett Packard-3Com Deal Shows Urgency for Growth in Competitive Tech Sector
AT&T's offer to buy T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom AG (PINK ADR: DTEGY) is the industry's biggest acquisition since 2004 and combines the industry's second and fourth largest providers. It would add 34 million customers to AT&T's 96 million, giving the newly formed company 43% of the U.S. wireless carrier market and surpassing Verizon's 34% market share.
Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S), the third biggest U.S. wireless provider, was rumored to be in talks with Deutsche Telekom about purchasing T-Mobile USA. Sprint has struggled in the wireless market behind Verizon and AT&T. The new deal would give AT&T twice as many customers as Sprint.
AT&T not only wants T-Mobile's subscriber base, but also needs the additional spectrum, or airwaves, to expand its network and serve surging demand for video and data content delivery. The new company will also save an estimated $3 billion annually when it eliminates overlapping operations like retail outlets and advertising spending.
"From AT&T's perspective, this is a huge win," independent analyst Chetan Sharma told The New York Times. "It's about being No. 1 and having economy of scale."
The new operating system, which it spent two years developing, is the software giant's latest assault on the crowded smartphone market, where it has struggled to gain a foothold.
Microsoft's earlier mobile software was based on the design and interface of Windows desktop operating system. Although those phones showed early promise, the system's growth slowed dramatically as the company was upstaged by competitors like Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone and Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android software.
Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not pushing you into a defensive investment cocoon. I still love the opportunity to make huge profits from the advent of new technologies that are revolutionizing both computing and communications in a way not thought possible only a few years ago. Assuming you have measured your risk appetite and incorporated many high-potential return opportunities in your portfolio, adding low-Beta, dividend-rich winners such as last week's and today's (Monday) will improve your portfolio diversification, reduce volatility and add some serious income.
Today's stable dividend winner is in the skyrocketing world of mobile computing. Powerful smartphones are giving us brand new capabilities, which greatly improve productivity. And the growing variety and availability of cloud computing services are already impressive. From mobile e-mail to mobile web-browsing and even mobile video and geo-location-based services, there's a myriad of applications now available to consumers. These services are only possible thanks to large technological improvements and investments in wireless networks.
When Apple debuted the iPhone 4 on June 24 it broke sales records. In the first three days, the company sold 1.7 million devices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France and Germany, the most for any version of its top-selling product.
But the popular device has been plagued by misfortune - including the suicide of a Chinese worker, lost prototypes, reception problems, and an inauspicious introduction to the press and public when Chief Executive Steve Jobs could not get the phone to connect to the Internet.
Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs referred to the phone as the "biggest leap we have taken since the original iPhone." It's aimed at keeping the company's momentum going as Motorola's Droid phone, which uses Google's Android system, has edged some market share from Apple.
Apple's iPhone and iPad have helped supercharge the mobile-communications market. Those products - and others - have helped make sure that consumers and companies alike are inundated with new technologies, new applications, and a slew of new products. All these new options have potential buyers asking such questions as "Can this help me? " or "Do I need one? " or "Should I upgrade? "
Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs referred to the phone as the "biggest leap we have taken since the original iPhone."
It's aimed at keeping the Apple momentum going as Motorola's Droid phone using Google's Android system nabs some market share from Apple.
The changes could lower the cost of service for the vast majority of AT&T's users but potentially raise rates significantly for heavy data consumers. The new plans go into effect on June 7, the same day Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is widely expected to unveil the next generation of its popular iPhone.
By instituting usage limits on what were previously unlimited smartphone data plans, AT&T embarks on an important and long-awaited shift in how carriers bill their customers.
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The deal will catapult H-P, the world's largest tech company in terms of revenue, into direct competition with a handful of other tech giants - including Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT) - in the rapidly growing smartphone market.
H-P said it would pay $5.70 a share in cash for Palm, representing a 23% premium over its Wednesday closing price.
Taiwan-based HTC is the largest maker of phones that use Google's Android operating system, such as the Nexus One. Apple involved the ITC in hopes of banning U.S. imports of HTC devices made with the technology in question. However, that filing was paired with a suit filed in federal court in Delaware that claimed infringement on 20 patents.
"We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it," said Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs. "We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."
This may be the year when cheap prices finally drag millions of behind-the-curve consumers into the blossoming smartphone market, unleashing unprecedented strains on broadband networks as handset makers wage a price war in the midst of booming demand.
"The smartphone market will become ultra competitive in 2010," analyst Neil Mawston from Strategy Analytics told Reuters.
More than 1 billion mobile devices will access the Internet in the New Year, research firm International Data Corp. (NYSE: IDC) says. That's catching up to the 1.3 billion users that use a PC to go online, and the rate of growth for mobile users is 2.5 times the growth rate for PC use.
Call 2010 the year of "necessary technology."
While 2009 has seen a dramatic turnaround in the world's stock markets, the rest of the key economic indicators - such as manufacturing, inventories, and jobs - have lagged behind. This has prompted less discretionary spending on technology, and even a postponement of some necessary purchases.
Hewlett-Packard Co.’s (NYSE: HPQ) pending buyout of 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) highlights an accelerating race in the tech sector to grow businesses in an industry where development from within simply is not enough.
H-P will pay $2.7 billion in cash for 3Com, which is second to Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) in business networking. Cisco and H-P have steadily been encroaching on each other’s businesses: Earlier this year, Cisco started making servers while H-P last year began to renew investment in its ProCurve networking business.