Also: Google's Eric Schmidt visits North Korea; the Pebble smartwatch gets a date.
Google's Schmidt says he pressed North Korea on Web barriers [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]
"As the world becomes increasingly connected, their decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their view of the world," he told reporters in Beijing Thursday, as he returned from a three-day trip to North Korea with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. He added that it would "make it harder for them to catch up economically. We made that alternative very, very clear."
Verizon's chief executive Lowell McAdam also confirmed the carrier will support BlackBerry 10 devices. And AT&T's handset executive Jeff Bradley told Reuters that, "It's logical to expect our current [BlackBerry] customers will have the best BlackBerry devices to choose from in the future."
Migicovsky's latest smartwatch has sold 85,000 units on Kickstarter, and now that his company has announced it's beginning shipments later this month, that number will surely go higher. The difference between 1,500 and 85,000 is as big as the difference between the smartphone landscape in 2008 and 2013 — and that difference helps to explain why the Pebble has had so much more success. That, and the fact that it's one of the best-designed smartwatches to date with a relentless focus on simplicity in its slightly limited featureset.
Do people actually shop on phones? [THE NEW YORK TIMES]
The shift is significant for a type of shopping riddled with challenges — like small screens that make it hard to view items and type. It reflects the consumers’ shift to doing everything from work to play on mobile devices.
“Particularly in the second half of the year and in the holiday season, there were signs that smartphones and tablets in particular had made much more progress than people had previously thought we would,” said Clark Fredricksen, vice president of communications at eMarketer.
In Ergen's clearwire gambit, spectrum is the prize [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]
At first glance, Dish's proposal to buy Clearwire is a head-scratcher. Sprint already owns half of the company and has a tangle of contractual rights that pose steep obstacles for any outsider trying to do a deal.
But people close to Mr. Ergen said his main interest is rights to some of the airwaves, or spectrum, controlled by Clearwire. Even if Sprint succeeds in acquiring Clearwire, Mr. Ergen could benefit if his unsolicited bid pushes Clearwire to sell him some of its spectrum or leads Sprint to bring him into a network-sharing partnership.
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