Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Qualcomm to Give FloTV Users Money Back

As Qualcomm aims to bring an end to a painful chapter in its history, the company is now offering refunds to those who bought its FloTV mobile TV units.

The chip maker had already said it would suspend the service in March, so this latest news is an attempt to make good with those who shelled out for the hardware. CEO Paul Jacobs reiterated last week that the company continues to evaluate its options with Flo–from finding a buyer to potentially selling off the spectrum it has for the service.

Qualcomm once had high hopes for the service. However, Jacobs acknowledged at a Churchill Club event last week that, outside of certain live events such as sports, it probably makes sense to offer mobile TV via on-demand streaming, rather than as a broadcast.

To be fully eligible for the rebate, customers must have purchased and activated the service, though there is also a form for those who didn’t even make it that far.

Qualcomm doesn’t want your unit back (apparently, it doesn’t want a bunch of FloTVs, either). Instead, the company’s Web site lists some recycling options. Or you could always keep it as a collector’s item–an early adopter badge of glory.

It’s worth noting that your service gets deactivated once the refund is processed, so on the off-chance you are still watching your Flo, you might want to wait until March to send in your form.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik