Blog Post

Mobile Lowdown 9-21-11: Apple October 4; Google; HTC; Tablet Forecasts

A look at some of the big stories in mobile today:

» Apple looks like it has a date for its much-anticipated new product announcements: October 4, say sources. It will be the first time an announcement day will be led by Tim Cook, who took over from Steve Jobs as CEO in August. (more here)

» If Apple joined the Dow today, it would need to split its stock. Otherwise, the famous index would need to change its name to the “Dow Jones (NSDQ: NWS) Industrial Apple” because its stock is so disproportionately high relative to the rest of it at the moment. Meanwhile, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) donates thousands of first-generation iPads to teachers. (Forbes; Fortune)

» Tablet shipments in EMEA well exceeded forecasts for Q2 2011, according to IDC. They reached 4.4 million units, and once again Apple dominated with its iPad. Meanwhile, Juniper Research says that worldwide tablet shipments will reach 55.2 million this year. (more here)

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) faces Yelp, Expedia and Nextag in Washington over antitrust accusations in its search products — which have had a huge boost with the company’s growth in mobile and how that can play into a more powerful search product. (WSJ, Yelp)

» An increasingly small launch ahead for Nokia’s one (and probably only) MeeGo handset, the N9: France is now also on the “No N9” list. (MeeGo France)

» Samsung has updated its own app store, rolling it out first to Bada feature phone devices and then to its Galaxy Android line later this year. One new twist will be the ability to “rent” apps for a period of time to avoid paying the full price. (Samsung)’

» HTC‘s newest Android phone, the Rhyme, features a “soft, simple” color scheme and sleek design, as the company tries to court at least one segment of the female smartphone using market. It will launch exclusively with Verizon and then get rolled out to further markets, including the UK via O2. (HTC)

» American Express is taking more than one route to getting a bigger share of consumers’ mobile and online spend. In addition to developing point of sale payment services, it is also looking at content transactions: as part of the latter strategy, this week it announced that it bought virtual currency provider Sometrics for $30 million. (TechCrunch)

» Foursquare, the check-in app, has reached another milestone: 1 billion check-ins. (Foursquare)

» T-Mobile customers look like they will have the option to keep their current rate plans after the merger with AT&T (NYSE: T). (BGR)

» As many magazines follow the stop-print/online-only trend, here’s an example of a blog doing the opposite. Leading gadget and tech blog Engadget has launched Distro, a tablet magazine that brings together some of the longform content from the main site. (Engadget)