Today in Tech: Android 3.1 Ice Cream, Apple antitrust issues?

February 16, 2011, 12:54 PM UTC

A curated selection of the day’s most newsworthy tech stories from all over the Web. Sign up to get the newsletter in your inbox every morning.

“I don’t think Verizon needs the Nokia and Microsoft relationship. Right now the three OS players we see for our network are Android, Apple, and RIM.” — Verizon CTO Tony Melone (Business Insider and CNET)

  • The HTC Salsa and ChaCha. Photo: SlashGear

    Facebook revealed that a dozen or so smartphones with heavy Facebook integration will land on shelves this year, including the HTC Salsa and — wait for it — the HTC ChaCha, which sport physical Facebook buttons on the front that, when pressed, takes you to the Facebook app, and glows when an item is sharable online. (Fortune and SlashGear)

  • Apple finally announced an App Store subscription service, and the details are getting some people riled up already. Among the stipulations: users must opt-in and click a button to share their contact info with publishers, Apple takes 30% of the revenue from in-app purchases like say, Amazon Kindle books, Time Inc. magazines, or Hulu Plus TV show, and no in-app links to the outside that would offer subscriptions and circumvent Apple’s 30% cut. Most App Store vendors have yet to weigh in, but music subscription service Rhapsody swifly released a statement calling Apple’s stipulations “economically untenable.” “The bottom line is we would not be able to offer our service through the iTunes store if subjected to Apple’s 30% monthly fee vs. a typical 2.5% credit card fee,” the company said in a statement. According to some law professors, Apple’s demands could potentially be grounds for antitrust scrutiny. (Fortune, Engadget, and Wall Street Journal)
  • To take advantage of disgruntled Apple App Store vendors, Google will reportedly undercut Apple’s 30% in-app subscription take by claiming a lesser 10% in-app subscription charge. (Moconews)
  • Despite getting the Final Jeopardy question wrong during last night’s Jeopardy, IBM supercomputer Watson won a sound victory during Round 2, finishing up with $35,734 versus Ken Jennings ($4,800) and Brad Rutter ($10,800). (eWeek)
  • Rumor of the week: AMD’s shares were significantly up earlier this week, apparently on speculation that Dell is interested in buying the chip company, which currently lacks permanent management. (Former CEO Dirk Meyer was reportedly ousted and replaced with interim CEO Thomas Seifert.) (TechSpot)
  • The next major release of Android, 3.1, will reportedly be codenamed “Ice Cream” and will combine the current Gingerbread release for phones (Android version 2.3 and 2.4) with Honeycomb for tablets (version 3.0) into a single OS. In other words, expect some of Honeycomb’s more intriguing user interface improvements to make their way over to Ice Cream. (VentureBeat)
  • Dell’s quarterly profit surged last quarter, reporting strong demand from corporate customers and lower component costs. The computer maker reported a profit of $927 million, up from $334 million, a year earlier, while sales climbed 5.3% to $15.69 billion. (Wall Street Journal)
  • ReachLocal,which connects advertisers with publishers and creative solutions providers, is acquiring daily deals site DealOn for $10 million. ReachLocal’s 700 salespeople will use DealOn to sell daily deals for small businesses to a variety of Web publishers, from big media sites to small blogs, who want to compete with Groupon. (New York Times)

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