Our look at some of the big stories in mobile today: Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) files patents that point to a cloud service; two UK operators launch a long-awaited NFC payment service; Verizon gets its first Windows Phone 7 device; and is the first 4G iPhone going to appear in China?
– Apple Cloud: On the heels of yesterday’s news that Apple has apparently inked a deal with EMI for streaming music, the patent blog Patently Apple has uncovered a patent filed back in Q4 2009 by Apple describing how a cloud-based music service would work. The big question: is this a smokescreen; a single bullet from the patent scattergun; or the real thing?
– NFC: Just when you thought you had heard enough about plans for NFC, at last we are now starting to see some actual commercial rollouts.Yesterday, Telefonica-owned O2 in the UK announced its first partners for its as-yet unnamed mobile wallet service. They include Visa Europe, Wave Crest, FIS and Intelligent Environments. Not to be outdone, France Telecom’s Orange today launched Quick Tap, its NFC service, in partnership with Barclaycard and MasterCard, along with the first handset for the service, the Tocco by Samsung. Both are going live this summer.
– Verizon: Nearly a year after Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) launched its latest mobile operating system, the biggest carrier in the U.S. is finally getting its first Windows Phone 7 device, the HTC Trophy. Will be interesting to see how this impacts WP7′s small market share, and whether Verizon will give it nearly as much fanfare as it did the iPhone when Apple’s device first went on to its network this year. (So far, the single press release marks a significantly different approach.)
– iPhone 4: In March, the chairman of China Mobile, Wang Jianzhou, made a speech in which he said that Steve Jobs expressed interest in developing an iPhone that would work on the country’s 4G standard, TD-LTE. Mr Wang either knows something, or is simply hoping that in saying the same thing over and over, he might will it to come true, because he’s been making the same remarks again. China has 600 million mobile users, and is apparently afflicted with an illness called “Apple fever”, two facts that are surely not lost on the Cupertino-based company.
– AT&T: And speaking of the iPhone, in the U.S. AT&T (NYSE: T) is the subject of a new lawsuit from users who claim that it has overcharged them by up to 300 percent for using data on the devices. AT&T denies wrongdoing.