Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sued for selling `locked’ phones

In the United States Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) usually enters into contract with network carriers to sell its iPhones. It had an exclusive agreement with AT&T for the iPhones, that started way back in 2007 but has now ended, but the lawsuits over it don’t stop.

On Friday, Zack Ward of Los Angeles and Thomas Buchar of Chicago, filed a class action suit against the company saying that Apple violate anti-trust laws by entering into an exclusive arrangement with one service provider and not asking consumers whether such an arrangement was acceptable.

An exclusive arrangement with one service provider means that consumers necessarily have to switch over to AT&T Inc.(NYSE:T) as their network provider.

The lawsuit includes devices purchased purchased between Oct. 19, 2008, and Feb. 3, 2011. Ward bought his iPhone in October 2009, and Buchar bought one around June 2009.

The lawsuit has also sought for U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to bar Apple from selling locked devices that can be operated only on one service provider’s network.

A lot has changed since the arrangement between the two companies has ended but according to legal experts Apple may still be liable to pay for damages for its past practices.

Apple’s first three iPhone models — the iPhone 2G, 3G and 4 — could only operate on AT&T’s network and required a special code in order to be “unlocked,” or capable of operating with SIM card from a different operator, a report by Computer World said.

It was only in June 2011 that Apple started selling unlocked phones that could work on any network, while in February 2011 it had launched phones that were also compatible with Verizon.

AT&T had earlier prevented release of customers from its contract by refusing to unlock the phone even after its agreement with Apple had ended.


Tech Jumps: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK), Clearwire Corporation(NASDAQ:CLWR), AONE, IBM

The Tech sector opened higher in Tuesday’s session with the broader market after several big-name U.S. companies posted strong results for the third quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average(INDEXDJX:.DJI) rose +108.71 (0.81%) to 13,532.94in the first half-hour of trading. The S&P 500(INDEXSP:.INX rose +10.50 (0.73%)  at 1,450.63 and the NASDAQ Composite(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) to 3,082.02, +17.84 (0.58%).

Nokia Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:NOK) shares gapped up this morning for the second consecutive session and rose 4.50% to $2.80 as the struggling phone company is all set to report its quarterly earnings this Thursday. The Wall Street is expecting the company to report lower sales and expect the company’s market share to fall further amid lack of new device. However, apart from earnings, investors need to focus on the next week’s launch of Microsoft’s Windows Phone software 8, which Nokia has called an “important catalyst” for its ailing smartphone devices.

Nokia, which has seen immense competition from Apple and Samsung, has been struggling to regain its lost market glory as Asian competitors are further putting pressure on the company’s lower cost segment. After gaining first position for world’s No. 1 cellphone maker, recently Samsung overtook the position as per Gartner research firm.

So, this time analysts as well investors would keen to know how the company has been faring after its last year’s partnership with Microsoft Corp., which is largely targeted to U.S, where the company has shown lackluster performance.

Although the stock has bounced back 71% from its 14-year low, the stock is still trading lower by 42% for this year.

Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) shares continued to trade in the narrow range after showing an usual weakness over the past few weeks as investors have digested the company’s recent launch of iPhone 5, following which the stock made an all time high of $705.07. Now, investors are expecting Apple to launch of the smaller version of the iPad. The event, which can be attended by invitation only, is to be held on the 23rd of October, and according to sources, it will probably be held at the Apple Town Hall Auditorium.

Apple had launched their first tablet, the iPad, in 2010, with the idea that this is what an ideal tablet should be sized like. But a number of other companies launched smaller tablets, and various analysts talked about how they are equally useful, and how their small size increases their portability. They also mentioned that a smaller iPad might impact the ability for users to repair own devices, forcing them to go to professional 3rd party repair services to get their devices fixed and might be a deterrent for some customers.

Clearwire Corporation(NASDAQ:CLWR) is showing lackluster day this morning after the recent run up and it should not surprise the investor community as the stock had doubled as of yesterday in the past one week. The stock is now down 12.60% to $2.36, after falling as much as 23% earlier in the session. Investors lost faith in the company this morning on report surfacing that the recent acquisition of Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) by Softbank, will not force Sprint to acquire CLWR. The reason stated in the report is that Sprint has already right to get spectrum service till 2013 it has paid $900 million for such service. Moreover,  One analyst said that the current valuation of CLWR is not attractive and this could be another reason. However, it doesn’t mean that CLWR will not be acquired as this has not made public. So, keep your eyes on CLWR for further developments.

A123 Systems, Inc.(NASDAQ:AONE) shares are the biggest loser and slumped 74% as the company has officially files for bankruptcy protection. The electric car battery maker warned last night it might file for bankruptcy after defaulting on a loan payment. It remains to be seen how the filing affects A123′s financing deal with China’s Wanxiang Group.

International Business Machines Corp.(NYSE:IBM) is trading higher by 0.70% ahead of its quarterly earnings today after the market hours. Analysts, on average, are expecting earnings of $3.61 per share on revenue of $25.4 billion. IBM earned $3.28 per share last quarter, after subtracting certain items, on revenue of $26.2 billion.


Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): U.S. Appeals Court Overturns sales ban on Galaxy Nexus

It is a setback for Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) in its fight against Samsung for dominance of the smartphone market.  In a ruling on Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned a pre-trial sales ban imposed on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone.

While the ruling does not have a significant impact per se for the Korean company, since the Galaxy Nexus is an older phone, the move is significant is so far as the patents battle between the two companies is concerned.

Apple has accused Samsung of violating and infringing on its patents and copying the designs of its iPhones and iPads, and using that for its Galaxy range of smartphones.

Samsung on its part has contended that Apple was trying to get monopoly on generic designs and was stifling competition with its court cases.

Apple declined to comment, while Samsung did not immediately respond to requests for comment, Reuters reported. A critical battle is being fought between the two companies in a federal court in San Jose, Where in August, Apple got a favorable ruling from the jury, and was awarded more than billion dollars in damages.

Apple is trying for a comprehensive sales ban on various devices of Samsung and a trial to determine that is scheduled for December.

It was Judge Luc Koh of the San Jose federal court who had imposed a pre-trial sales ban in the Galaxy Nexus in June. In its opinion on Thursday, the Federal Circuit reversed the injunction entirely, saying that Koh abused her discretion.


Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) Gains Massive Subscriber Base

This week, Sirius XM Radio Inc(NASDAQ:SIRI) has announced that the company gained a massive 445,921 net subscriber addition in the third quarter of 2012 that just concluded. This depicts almost 34% year-over-year benefit and reveals the best ever third quarter net addition of subscribers in the company’s history. At the end of third quarter 2012, total subscribers base was 23,365,383, up 95% year over year.

The strong performance was mainly spurred by remarkable management execution on the back of increasing auto industry sales. According to the management, the net subscribers’ growth impetus of the company will expand further on the rest of this year and has raised its estimation to about 1.8 million of net subscribers’ count in 2012. This is the third time management has lifted its net subscribers’ figure in 2012.

Sirius XM has a very strong business liaison with OEMs. The company currently controls a projected 70% market share of new cars sold in the US in January of 2012. Sirius XM has increased the costs of its services. Subscription costs were increased by almost 12% to $14.49 each month. Despite this, the company holds its market share in the face of growing rivalry from Pandora Media and Spotify.

At the same time, Sirius XM is presently fighting an aggressive conquest bid from Liberty Media, its most dominant creditor. Liberty Media has filed a new application to the US Federal Communications Commission, stating its intention of acquiring more than 50% of Sirius XM so as to gain control over the board of Sirius XM. Liberty Media has withdrawn its last application with FCC to actually control Sirius XM. In stead, the company is now wishes to gain full power. Liberty Media owns 49.6% stake at present in Sirius XM’s total outstanding shares. 


Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Windows Phone 8 will be Available with Carriers during the Year-End

The Windows Phone 8 has finally been revealed by Joe Belfiore recently. Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT) has created a different user interface unlike iOS and Android from Apple and Google respectively. The grid of app icons has been done away with and replaced with “Live Tiles, which are self-updating icons that form the base of the new “Metro” interface.

This operating system will feature live apps such as the Windows Phone lock screen that will display photos, notifications and other content from apps rather than the lock screen image. Updates from Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn will also be available. Skype users will benefit hugely because they can receive a call anytime, but the battery is not exhausted as the code isn’t run in the background. The online radio service Pandora, will be represented differently as well.

Internet users can surf more and consume less data. The phone will automatically detect nearby Wi-Fi spots and make the transition. The data usage will operate like a post-paid connection when it comes to reaching the monthly limit. Also, parents can finally let kids play with their smartphones without the risk of important info getting deleted. There is a “Kids Corner” in the phone for them to play games and check out new apps, without getting access to the really vital stuff.  A “Family Room” allows sharing of grocery lists, share to-do lists, calendar items, photos, notes etc. among family members.

Certain features are available across all Windows devices such as Skydrive that converts your phone, tablet, and PC into a virtual workspace. Skydrive can store photos forever, unlike iCloud having a limit of 1000 photos for 30 days. iTunes music and playlists can be moved across all devices.The hardware has also been revamped and is described as being “killer” along with a better camera and wireless charging. Carriers like T-Mobile USA, Verizon, and AT&T will soon roll out phones powered by Windows 8.

The event was attended by actress Jessica Alba who flashed her Windows phone along with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.


Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) mobile ad revenues surpasses expectations

Facebook Inc(NASDAQ:FB) has finally laid to rest the fears of those who were doubting the ability of the company to monetise its mobile subscriber base.

The company on Tuesday announced its quarterly results which showed that advertising revenues from mobile devices rose faster than expected and now contributes about 14 percent to its overall ad revenues.

This translates into revenues of $150 million in absolute numbers, a big jump from the $40 million to $50 million in the second quarter while in the first quarter it was zero.

Founder and Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said that mobile was the most misunderstood part of the company.

“I want to dispel this myth that Facebook can’t make money on mobile,” he told analysts on a conference call.

With about half of its 1 billion user base shifting to accessing the platform on mobile devices, and the challenges that face marketers who advertise on them, it was felt that Facebook would have a tough time in growing its revenues.

Mobile advertising has been a key investor concern hanging over Facebook, helping slash more than $40 billion off its market value since its May IPO.

Facebook posted a 32 percent jump in third-quarter revenue to $1.26 billion, on the back of a jump in mobile advertising revenues.

Advertising revenue rose 36 percent to $1.09 billion, up from 28 percent growth in the second quarter. But revenue from its payments and other businesses increased just 13 percent to $176 million.

The world’s No.1 online social network company posted a net loss of $59 million, or 2 cents a share, in the three months ended September 30. It had a profit of $227 million or 10 cents a share a year earlier.

Excluding certain items, Facebook said it earned 12 cents a share, a penny higher than the average analyst expectation.

The company’s shares leapt 24 percent to $23 in the opening session.