Verizon is perhaps the most intimidating fish in the sea of US cellphone carriers (okay - it's more of a pond). Now the Big Red is in talks to buy Vodafone's 45% stake in the company for $130 billion, and signs suggest that this deal could be completed within a week. If this goes through, it will mark the closure of a deal Verizon has wanted to secure for years.
If you aren't familiar with Vodafone, it's a British company with roughly four times the number of subscribers that Verizon has and the largest mobile network operator outside of China.
At the start of this review, I was simultaneously excited and frustrated. Now I'm just plain excited. For a bit of context, I have been bouncing between cloud music services since Lala was still a thing. I had one simple desire: I wanted to pay a monthly fee for unfettered access to a large library of content, but still wanted to be able to bring my own. I know that $10/month is not going to get me every song in existence, but if I can pay for most music, and then supply the rest, I'll be happy.
We just got done breaking down the proposed Dish-led acquisition of Sprint which is in no small part about gaining control of Clearwire's sweet, sweet spectrum. Now we're hearing that Verizon is reportedly also throwing its bid in, but not to buy any of the companies involved. Just to gut their ability to function as wireless carriers by gobbling up spectrum.
In a recent filing, Clearwire disclosed that an unidentified "Party J" offered up to $1.5b for the airwaves that it owns.
Sprint is currently in the midst of a buyout with Japanese company SoftBank that would give the foreign telecom control of not only the Now Network, but Clearwire as well, and infuse the company with some much-needed cash. Dish Network, however, hopes to derail these plans with a bid of its own, offering more cash than Softbank has on the table, as well as synergy with its existing television and and broadband packages.
Two weeks ago, we took a look at the invite-only beta of Redbox Instant. In that article, we gave a brief glimpse into what the fledgling service's library had to offer. Of course, the inevitable question had to be asked: how does it stack up against Netflix? Or Amazon Instant Video for that matter? While we're at it, how does Google's Play Store compare? Those are pretty big questions! So, they deserve pretty big answers.
At last, my collection is complete. Just the other day I received my invite to the beta of Redbox Instant. I was excited. The idea sounds great: it's like Netflix, but you also get four monthly credits at Redbox rental kiosks! Awesome, right? What's that? Verizon has something to do with it? Well, no matter. It's not exclusive to the carrier's handsets, so I'm sure it's nothing to worry about!
Hi, my name is Eric Ravenscraft and I'm an addict. I have a weakness for trying out new online media services. I've signed up and, where applicable, paid for Spotify, Rdio, MOG, Rhapsody, Pandora, Last.fm, Jamendo, Grooveshark, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Epix, Crackle, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, and virtually every other movie and music streaming service on the internet. So it bugs me that I haven't yet been invited to add Redbox Instant to my collection of collections.
Chances are, even if you haven't heard of Vudu (though that's a little hard at this point), you might just own some piece of content that can be used with the service. Vudu is a digital movie locker that allows users to rent or buy movies online and have them streamed to their computers, or a number of set top boxes and Blu-Ray players with internet connectivity. This is all pretty standard fare.
Before we get too far into this, let's point out that this rumor is coming from an Israeli newspaper, so it is easy enough for a company to disavow stories like these. With that disclaimer out of the way: Amazon may be looking into buying Texas Instrument's OMAP business. As we already know, TI has expressed interest in getting out of the mobile game. Not to say they'll stop making processors, but that the focus would be less on tablets and phones, and more on embedded SoCs for a variety of applications (such as automotive, vision, and robotics).
It's almost become trite to hear that Google has bought another company that deals in photo editing software. Yet, here we are again. Today, Vic Gundotra announced on Google+ that Nik Software, creators of the impressive Snapseed app that we saw demoed at CES this year, will be joining the Mountain View team.
While there's no indication yet just which Google product will see the benefit of this new talent, it can only mean good news.