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December is already off to a rousing start, so why not curl up with some good rumors, news and speculation? We could all use some holiday drama that doesn’t involve our own families, and the tech world is happy to oblige this fine day. We’ve got news on a delayed ITC ruling for Apple and HTC, mumblings about Apple’s TV set, news on the potential non-threat of the Kindle Fire and oh so much more for this Monday, December 5, 2011.
Tomorrow was lining up to be a very interesting day in the ongoing patent battle between Apple and HTC, which could have serious implications for the entire Android platform if things sway in Cupertino’s favor. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a cliffhanger for now: According to AllThingsD, the International Trade Commission ruling has been postponed until next Wednesday, December 14. As you may recall, the ruling involves four Apple patents that smartphone maker HTC is said to have violated. If Apple proves victorious, it could be a very blue Christmas for HTC, who will likely have to cease and desist selling their Android smartphones until some kind of settlement is reached -- assuming Apple is feeling generous.
Those rumors of an Apple-branded HDTV just won’t die, and in fact they seem to pick up steam with each passing week. According to Smarthouse.au, the sets should be in stores by this time next year and Japanese sources are claiming three sizes are on deck, starting at 32 inches and maxing out at 55 inches. “A totally new software interface has been written” for the TV, which apparently “allows users to call up programs using voice commands via the new Siri personal assistant app,” which the report claims will be integrated into the TV and also available from the iPad and iPhone (it’s currently exclusive to the iPhone 4S). Does that mean spouses fighting over the remote will now give way to sparring with Siri commands…?
The gang over at JibJab pinged us with a heads-up on some cool new updates to their JibJab Jr. Books iPad app. First and foremost, the app now includes sound with all books, which brings them to life like never before. Second, the company is offering not one but two holiday-themed titles, bringing the total to nine. The December title is called “Snow Much Fun,” which brings your kid’s face into the story of an awesome adventure with a snowman. The bonus title “Saving Christmas” puts your child’s face into Santa’s giant shoes as they’re enlisted to help deliver toys all over the world. The JibJab Jr. Books app is free to download and individual titles are only $3.99 via in-app purchase.
MacRumors is reporting that Amazon’s new $199 Kindle Fire may actually increase iPad sales in the long run, while posing yet another challenge for the flood of Android-based competitors. That’s the opinion of at least two analysts, with Robert Cihra of Evercore Partners claiming “Amazon’s success may just vaporize other ‘for profit’ Android tablet OEM roadmaps,” with the bold prediction that the Kindle Fire will make up 50 percent of all Android tablets in 2012. Meanwhile, Mark Moskowitz of JP Morgan is confident that Apple is not seeing pressure from the Kindle Fire, and that the bargain tablet may simply be a “gateway drug” to the iPad when users decide to “gravitate to a more feature-rich experience.” One thing’s for sure: It’s gonna be an iPad and Kindle Fire kind of holiday, which doesn’t leave too many crumbs left for the rest to make a feast from.
Just think: A week or so ago, few of us even knew what Carrier IQ even was, but just days after being publicly exposed and it’s already sparked a class action lawsuit. (Ah, America!) According to AppleInsider, Apple is among the roll call of companies being bundled into the lawsuit, which also includes HTC, Samsung and Motorola as well as U.S. carriers AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile for selling the phones in the first place. The class action suit has been filed by Sianni & Straite LLP, a Delaware-based law firm who accuses the defendants of an “unprecedented breach in the digital privacy rights of 150 million cell phone users.” (Translation: We smell cash!) Never mind the fact that Apple has already announced that Carrier IQ has been removed from “most of its products” with the release of iOS 5 in October, promising to wipe it out entirely with a future software update. Verizon Wireless stands alone as the only major U.S. carrier who has flat-out denied using Carrier IQ in any of its handsets.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter