’s Top 6 Posts for April 2011

by Jeff Wiener on May 5, 2011

From iPhone tracking scandals to the much anticipated release of RIM’s Playbook tablet, April has been a busy month in the tech and telecom sectors. Add to that the selloff of Alcatel-Lucent’s enterprise division and the news that Nokia has dumped Symbian off to Accenture, and it may just be a month we remember for some time.

PlayBook Debuts to Decent Reviews

Research in Motion’s PlayBook hit stores this past month and the stakes couldn’t be higher. RIM’s BlackBerry has been cast aside as a “broken brand” by some, while others are rightly concerned over security concessions the company has made around the world as of late.

The verdicts regarding this new device, however, are mixed, with some going so far as to say that the Playbook software lacks originality, “crawling with borrowed ideas,” while others were downright effusive, praising the device for making Blackberry “relevant again.”

Apple’s iPhone Betrays Your Trust: Tracks and Stores Location Information

While privacy issues are nothing new in the mobile market, things always seem a little more sinister when it’s discovered that someone (or something) is collecting your personal data without your explicit knowledge.

This seems to be the case with the public uproar regarding the news that Apple’s new iOS 4.0 on the iPhone tracks and stores the users’ location and usage patterns, transferring them to one’s computer when the phone is synced. But in this modern technological world, consumers seem to want it both ways: phones that are intuitive and personal that are conversely secure and discrete, but is that even possible?

Cisco and the Curious Case of Peter Alfred-Adekeye!

Cisco has been in the news lately, albeit for all the wrong reasons. Once the world’s most valuable tech company, worth an estimated $500 billion, it now sees it overall value a relatively meager 1/5 of that, down to nearly $100 billion and questions continue to be asked over its lost credibility, investor confidence has hit an all time low and employees seem confused.

And now the telecom giant is back in the news for having orchestrated the arrest of Multiven founder Peter Alfred-Adekeye last year in order to force a settlement of Multiven’s antitrust lawsuit against Cisco. More to the point though, this strange case raises important questions regarding “trust” between a manufacturer and the VAR community. Interested? Click the title above to read on.

Alcatel-Lucent Offers Enterprise Division to Highest Bidder

In what could be a selloff that shifts the balance of power in the global telephony market, it looks like French telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent is shopping its enterprise switching, IP telephony and contact center businesses in an effort to reverse its fading financial fortunes.

It should come as no surprise to hear that the interested parties include the likes of Avaya, Cisco, HP and others, as this selloff could serve either as a way for a company to make inroads into the telephony market or for a company to keep the content out of competitor’s hands.

Nokia Dumps Symbian and Employees Off to Accenture

In a case of what one might call reverse déjà vu, Nokia decided this time to wait until after it had unveiled its new Symbian upgrades and new smartphones before it unceremoniously ripped the carpet out from under the struggling mobile OS.

In April Nokia announced that it was officially done with Symbian, signing a deal with Accenture that will see the Finnish company transfer both control of the mobile OS and 3000 employees to the consulting firm, while Nokia will itself retain both ownership and intellectual property rights to Symbian.

T-Mobile Launches Free Calling through Facebook

Clearly T-Mobile is in no mood to sit idly by and wait for regulators to approve its impending merger with AT&T. Chief Executive Philipp Humm has been vocal about the carrier’s plans to embrace its aggressive underdog role despite the looming takeover by AT&T Inc.

To that end, in a first-of-its-kind move in the carrier fraternity, T-Mobile unveiled a free, easy-to-use voice-chat application called Bobsled that allows people to call their friends from within the Facebook application or leave a voice message with one click, a new service that many are already touting as a “Skype-killer.”

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