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We're saving the big overnight news for standalone posts, but that doesn't mean there weren't a number of smaller and equally interesting stories kicking around on Wednesday. For streaming video fans we've got details on Redbox Instant by Verizon, the arrival of Amazon Instant Video on the iPhone and news of the iTunes Store's continued international expansion, and we've sprinkled a few other tales into this cauldron of news as well, so keep reading...
Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Google chairman Eric Schmidt isn't waiting for an outsider to declare Android the victor in the mobile wars -- instead, he's doing it himself. “This is a huge platform change; this is of the scale of 20 years ago -- Microsoft versus Apple,” Schmidt told Bloomberg. “We’re winning that war pretty clearly now.” While that's certainly debatable in terms of the profit made by each company, Google's nefarious scheme to give away the open-source Android to anyone who wants to use it has clearly brought the mobile OS to more smartphones, but the tablet market -- where Google continues to flail -- is another story.
Associated Press (via Yahoo! News) reported Wednesday that the joint streaming video venture between Redbox and Verizon has finally produced a few details. Launching in invitation-only beta later this month, Redbox Instant by Verizon will open its doors to all in early 2013 for $8 per month, which offers unlimited streaming video with the added benefit of four DVD rentals per at Redbox kiosks each month (this can be switched to Blu-ray for an additional $1 per month). The service will launch with apps for iOS, Android, Google TV as well as Samsung and LG internet-connected HDTVs and Blu-ray players, although it remains to be seen exactly how the content offerings will compare to rival Netflix.
AppleInsider is reporting that Apple has flipped the switch on movie sales and rentals in 42 of the international countries where they recently introduced music via the iTunes Store. The new offering is spread throughout Eastern European countries such as Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine as well as Africa, the Middle East, India, several Asian Pacific territories, Latin American and the Caribbean. Exactly which content is available varies by country, with some stores only offering Disney and Sony content at this time.
MacRumors is reporting that the Matrox DS1 Thunderbolt Docking Station is finally available for sale in the U.S., nearly a year and a half after the company first announced the product. This $249 box splits a single Thunderbolt port into one Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0, separate 1/8-inch audio in and out jacks and your choice of either HDMI or DVI ports, with a USB 3.0 port on the front. Aside from Apple's own Thunderbolt Display, the Matrox DS1 is the first product to offer a wide variety of docking ports from a Thunderbolt connection, which was apparently far more of an engineering challenge than first expected. The DS1 can be purchased online now from Matrox authorized dealers including B&H Photo & Video and MacMall.
Attention, movie lovers who frequent Amazon's Instant Video store! The company's free, formerly iPad-only app has just been updated to version 1.4, which finally brings the streaming video app to the iPhone and iPod touch as well. It was a curious omission when the app debuted earlier this year that it only worked on the iPad, but this situation has now been rectified and we can all sleep well tonight knowing that we'll be able to watch any of our rented, purchased or Prime membership video content whenever the iPad isn't handy. Whew!
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter