It reports that Apple (AAPL) will be releasing unlocked versions of its iPhone 4 directly to consumers. An unlocked version means there is no contract and any carrier can be used that customers wish. An unlocked iPhone will be sold without a subsidy; this is additional revenue for Apple. If this goes better than expected, then Apple can be expected to release more versions of unlocked iPhones in the future which could significantly eat into Android’s lead.
The models supposedly being released are the 16GB white and black versions, as well as the 32GB versions.
This is on top of last week’s court case where Oracle (ORCL) claims Google violated Oracle’s IP rights by including Java source code in its Android operating system. Oracle is seeking a significant chunk of the ad revenue Google generates in connection with its Android mobile OS, according to a filing made this week (embedded below).
This has the potential to cripple businesses that rely on Android and many are probably re-evaluating their commitment to Android. No company wants to be the next Logitech. Logitech’s shares are down 40% (from $20.00 to $11.93 as of today), since when I first reported it. Logitech had expected to sell $1 billion worth of Google TV devices and the company spent hundreds of millions preparing for it.
Days before the release of Google TV, the company was instructed to stop production. Investors flushed Logitech’s shares down the toilet on the news, on one of the highest volumes in its history, which in turn prompted investment banks to downgrad shares of Logitech which in turn reduces its clout in the marketplace. Logitech went into the adventure thinking it would end up a world leader in digital television not the butt of jokes in the television industry.
No company wants this to happen to them with Google Android.
Google is now seeking friends to support it and there seems to be no-one. “Google as a company is not a particularly partner-friendly or partner-focused company,” said James L. McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester.Channels: android, Apple, google, logitech