By JP Mangalindan
January 10, 2011

A curated selection of the weekend’s most newsworthy tech stories from all over the Web.

“The iPhone is built for speed, but that’s not what you get with a CDMA phone. I’m not sure iPhone users are ready for life in the slow lane.” — AT&T PR head Larry Solomon on the upcoming Verizon iPhone

  • Chances are very, very good Verizon will finally give millions of smartphone-toting Americans the one thing they’ve clamored for: the Verizon iPhone, rumored to become available later this month or early next. Tomorrow at 8 AM PST/11 AM EST, Verizon will hold an exclusive press event in New York, which I’ll live-blog for all you faithful Fortune readers.

  • Verizon will also likely allow new iPhone owners to sign up for the unlimited data plan, which would be a major draw for disgruntled AT&T users and would-be customers still on the fence. AT&T killed its own unlimited plan last year not long after the iPad launched for reasons, presumably to maintain the integrity of its network, and though Verizon executives have said repeatedly that the mobile industry needs to move to tiered pricing as data usage rises, signs point to Verizon sticking with an unlimited data option for the time being. As a result, analysts expect Verizon to sell as many as 12 million iPhones this year. Stayed tuned. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Speaking of Apple, the Cupertino company plans to drop those pesky 10% restocking fees January 11. Meanwhile, its Mac App Store appears to be off to a great start. The service reported one million downloads on day one. (9 to 5 Mac and PC Magazine)
  • “It [Android] is not a blank slate,” said Google’s Matias Duarte on Android Honeycomb to Engadget. “It’s like if you grew up playing Street Fighter and all of a sudden, you now have to play Chess.” Duarte discusses the challenges of development, including compatibility among a wide range of Android devices and partners, reiterates that Honeycomb will further allow developers to make of it what they will (ie. customize!), and clarifies that the version of Honeycomb shown on tablets at CES is the ultimate direction for Android and not just a tablet-exclusive iteration. (Engadget)
  • At CES, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo made the bold statement that Twitter plays a significant role in deemphasizing the importance of DVR — it seems tweets per second for the show Glee for instance climb to 100 times the normal level during a live broadcast of the show. Said Costolo: “It takes the DVR out of the mix, because you have to watch in real time to make it worthwhile.” He also admitted to talking with manufacturers like Samsung about how Twitter could become a standard feature on their devices. (AllThingsD)

  • Walt Disney Co. is reportedly in talks to make some of its TV programming available via Yahoo’s Internet TV software, which would potentially put the latter media company in a heated battle populated by the likes of Apple, Google and Cisco for a dominant presence in the living room. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Though Nintendo recently warned that children six years old and younger shouldn’t play Nintendo’s upcoming 3-D-enabled, glasses-free Game Boy 3DS, company president Satoru Iwata clarified that the gaming handheld isn’t a “dangerous” product. (Wall Street Journal)
  • German-based file-sharing service SoundCloud, which lets musicians share their music via company-hosted cloud-based files, raised $10 million in funding from investors like Index Ventures and Union Square Ventures. AllThingsD)
  • With high-profile tech flops in 2010 like Buzz, Wave, Google TV, and the Nexus One, and a somewhat declining search-market share (1.2% from October to November), has Google lost its so-called “mojo,” and if so, can it get it back? Jon Evans over at TechCrunch speculates. (TechCrunch)

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