Following on the heels of Phonebloks, a Google/Motorola formed a design group called Project Ara. The Verge recently interviewed Paul Eremenko, the project lead, about progress made towards modularization of mobile phone components, overcoming engineering issues, and the group assigning itself an ambitious timetable to succeed in delivering a sellable product within two years, or disbanding.
Google/Motorola unveil new modular phone idea. This is a partnership with the the Phoneblocks people, which was generally not well received when we last discussed the idea.
The iEconomy: Apple and Technology Manufacturing. Since January, the New York Times has been running a series of articles "examining the challenges posed by increasingly globalized high-tech industries," with a focus on Apple's business practices. The seventh article in the series was published today: In Technology Wars, Using the Patent as a Sword. Related: For Software, Cracks in the Patent System and Fighters in the Patent War. [more inside]
Apple has adopted new tactics in its patent war against the handheld industry. Last summer, Apple has transferred patents to the patent troll Digitude Innovations, using a shell company operated by Digitude's primary investor, Altitude Capital Partners. In December, Digitude filed suit with the International Trade Commission alleging patent infringement by almost every mobile manufacturers except Apple. (pdf filing) [more inside]
Suck on it Applesoft. "Everyone was baffled when Google made those crazy bids for the Nortel patents last month. Remember? They bid things like the distance from the earth to the sun, the number pi, and some other wacky numbers from mathematics." [more inside]
Apple iTunes to launch a phone. Made by Motorola nd will be available via Cingular. It will be called, 'Rokr'. Just goes to show how much Motorola dislikes 'E' s. (Razr & Rokr)
Motorola in the fast lane. Motorola researchers in Tempe have developed a semiconductor that runs 35 times faster than today's models. The research has solved a 30-year-old problem of creating a semiconductor that combines the durability and economy of silicon with the high speed of crystal compounds used in lasers and fiber optic applications. The new wafers will be licensed next year, but the company doesn't expect to see products on the market for another two years. The semiconductor runs at 70 gigahertz instead of the current 2 gigahertz, the speed of the fastest processors in personal computers.