Apple, Google face off on subscription sales (week in review)
Competition to sell you magazine subscriptions heats up, while new smartphones have everyone's ear. Also: FBI pushes Net wiretapping.
Much like the kids who come to your door to sell you subscriptions to Sports Illustrated or Vibe, Apple and Google are battling each other to be your digital newsstand.
Apple got the tussle rolling with thein its App Store for magazines, newspapers, videos, and music. In a move that goes a long way to addressing concerns of many in the magazine and newspaper sectors, Apple said publishers will be allowed to set the price and the length of the subscription term. The processing of payments will be Apple's job and handled within the App Store. Apple will collect 30 percent of the revenue.
However, the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission are interested inby routing customers through Apple's App Store and taking a 30 percent cut of each subscription, sources told the newspaper. Regulators' interest in the subscription terms is reportedly preliminary and might not lead to a formal investigation.
Then, the day after Apple officially shared details of its subscription plan,, its online charging service for newspapers and magazines. Google's rival service offers two big differences from Apple's: content providers will get to keep 90 percent of revenue from One Pass sales, and publishers will retain control of consumer data.
With Google taking 10 percent of transactions and allowing publishers to control the consumer data they gather (something Apple has been unwilling to do), this sets the stage for how much it's appropriate for market makers like Google and Apple to skim from sales sold through their systems, which offer companies access to millions of customers.
FBI's top lawyer tells Congress the bureau is not calling for restrictions on encryption without back doors for police, an apparent retreat from its position last fall.
Rumors are swirling about an "iPhone Nano," or a smaller, cheaper iPhone that Apple is readying. Trying to imagine how the iPhone could be smaller or more lightly featured and still worth buying is difficult.
Progress report on its suppliers' practices marks first time Apple acknowledges worker poisonings. Also, many suppliers fail to comply with child-labor, other guidelines.
Lookout says Android market could overtake Apple App Store in number of apps by mid-2012 if current growth rate continues.
After denying early reports, HTC and Facebook reveal two Android smartphones, the HTC ChaCha and Salsa, built around the popular social networking site.
Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer in his opening keynote address at the Mobile World Congress emphasizes that the battle in mobile is more about the software platform rather than individual devices.
The chipmaker has been trying to penetrate the mobile device market for years. Paul Otellini says Intel-powered smartphones will finally arrive for real in 2011.
The on-demand movie and TV streaming service is finally coming to Android, thanks to Qualcomm's processor technology.
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