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Our look at some of the stories today in mobile: the latest Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) iOS question marks on its cloud strategy and iOS devices; the details on the Huawei/Motorola (NYSE: MMI) settlement and what it means for Nokia (NYSE: NOK) Siemens Networks; and the latest stats from mobile ad network Millennial, and what they say about smartphone shares.
— Apple: As the Twittersphere dove into the latest iPhone Twitter client, Tweetbot, some users visiting the App Store started to notice a funny thing appearing in the margins of the download windows: “Requirements: Caompatible with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and ix.Mac.MarketingName. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.”
What exactly is “ix.Mac.MarketingName”? Could be a place marker for a new device, said some; or could be just a glitch, speculated others. Some of the suggestions have included references to Apple TV, or a bridge to use iOS apps on Macs, or a completely new Apple iOS-based device.
The text is still on various apps on the iTunes store as this post is written, and we are no closer to hearing from Apple about what this could actually be.
As with the “ix” reference in iTunes, this could just be Apple frenzy gone haywire — the company already has cloud services in the form of MobileMe, and despite all expectations that a data center being built in North Carolina will be part of Apple’s big push into a major, new cloud product, no one from Apple has commented on this yet.
In any case, designing a cloud strategy is proving to be a tricky business for big media companies. According to a story in Reuters, the music business is in an “uproar” over Cloud Drive, a cloud-based media storage launched by Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) in March. Labels are meeting with Amazon today to discuss the fact that Amazon currently does not pay royalties for streaming and storage; only for downloads.
— Motorola, Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks: As we tweeted yesterday, Motorola Solutions and Huawei have buried the hatchet and dropped all charges against each other. Looks like Huawei will be doing alright under the deal: Motorola will “transfer its commercial agreements with Huawei to NSN for a fee [that] allows NSN to receive and use Huawei confidential information to service the networks Motorola deployed worldwide using Huawei’s products and technologies,” according to the joint press release. In other words, Huawei will continue to get paid for its IP, and may even continue to resell kit via NSN.
Interesting too to note that since signing their agreement in 2000, Motorola has bought $880 million in technology from Huawei, which it resold under its own brand — no detail on whether that was sold with a markup or at a discount bundled with other Moto products.
What does this mean for Nokia Siemens Networks? The company’s purchase of Motorola’s networking business has been delayed by months because of these lawsuits, and now it looks like it might finally be going ahead — but at a lower price. NSN issued a release saying that the new price for the assets will be $975 million, down from $1.2 billion. (Could that mean that Huawei will be getting as much as $225 million in licensing fees from NSN?) The new target date to close the sale is April 29, 2011.
— Millennial and smartphone OS shares: The Millennial Media ad network, which ranks third behind Google’s AdMob and Apple’s iAd, has released its latest smartphone OS market share figures, based on ad impressions on its network in March.
In the U.S. Android is leading the pack for the fourth month running, with a current share of 48 percent. But it has also seen its second month of decline in share. Meanwhile, iOS grew by 11 percent, and now accounts for 31 percent of all ad impressions.
While some of this might be down to adding the iPhone to Verizon and the iPad 2 hitting the market (and the spike in usage that comes with a new product) same trends are evident in Millennial’s network in the rest of the world, although to a slightly lesser extent: iOS grew by 29 percent, while Android grew by 23 percent.
Both in the U.S. and abroad, RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) ranked as the third platform, accounting for 18 percent of all ads served. That number may well see a big spike in the next couple of months with the launch of the Playbook. But if a user views an Android app on that device, who gets the credit?