ATD Week in Review: Microsoft Partner Woes and Samsung’s Steroid Specs
In case you missed anything, here’s a quick roundup of some of the news that powered AllThingsD this week:
- Starbucks said it would bring wireless cellphone charging to 10 of its coffee shops in Silicon Valley. The initiative could translate into a big win for Starbucks’ charging partner, the Power Matters Alliance.
- On Sunday, Apple’s senior vice president of technologies Bob Mansfield disappeared from the company’s website. Why? Because he’s no longer a member of Apple’s executive team, and the reasons for the move are murky, at best.
- In other Apple news, The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Apple’s next iPad mini will likely feature a high-resolution “Retina” display made by Samsung. Meanwhile, a low-cost plastic iPhone appears to have been outed by a human-rights group alleging labor abuses at Pegatron, one of Apple’s Chinese suppliers.
- Some of Microsoft’s larger partners were grumbling this week about the company’s latest operating systems: First, Nokia VP Bryan Biniak said Windows Phone needs to nimble up; the next day, Asus chairman Jonney Shih said Windows RT was “not very promising” — a claim perhaps supported by these underwhelming Surface sales numbers.
- Fab laid off more than 100 of its European employees, about 15 percent of its total workforce.
- An investigation by AnandTech revealed that the impressive specs for its Galaxy S4 were only reachable while using popular processor-benchmarking software. In response, Samsung confusingly both denied and confirmed the investigation’s findings.
- Walt Mossberg reviewed the Chromecast, Google’s newest TV-streaming device: “I’ve been testing Chromecast for about a week, and I like it and can recommend it, despite some drawbacks,” he wrote.
- Also announced this week was the Moto X, the first hardware produced by a Google-owned Motorola. As expected, the phone may not be a total game-changer, but it’s an important first step for the hardware unit. If you’re in the market for a new phone, here’s how the Moto X stacks up against the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4.
- U.S. senators and industry groups urged the White House to think carefully about a looming ITC ban on imported older iPhones and iPads. After days of uncertainty, the Obama administration vetoed the product ban Saturday morning.
- And lastly, Netflix rolled out to most of its big platforms the ability to tell the video-streaming service who’s watching, so that it can make better recommendations targeted for that person.