Today’s mobile news roundup features: Japanese thieves being the first to get an iPhone 5; Apple’s Maps kerfuffle; BlackBerry outage in Europe, Middle East and Africa; and another patent win for Microsoft in Germany.
Japan thieves nab first iPhone 5
A lot of people lined up for the iPhone 5 even before Friday, the next gen device’s official launch day. Fans camped out and braved the weather just to be the first to get their hands on the iPhone 5. The thing is, these patient customers weren’t the first to get their hands on the iPhone 5, thieves in Japan beat them to it.
A report from the Wall Street Journal stated that Japan was hit with a series of burglaries in shops carrying the iPhone 5. The burglars hit in the wee hours of the night, between two and four in the morning, with one shop reporting that their entire iPhone 5 stock was stolen. Because of the hit, the store wasn’t able to open their doors to consumers this morning. The authorities are still investigating whether the breached stores all had the same attackers.
Apple’s Maps kerfuffle
A lot of early iOS 6 adopters complained about Apple’s new Maps app, which now trumps the former Google Maps by default. Apple’s first attempt at a comprehensive Maps app reportedly has a lot of misplaced towns, cities and businesses, aside from the mary errors that occurred when using the new map. People wanted Google Maps back. But of course, Apple is unlikely to give in to the demands and woes of their consumers to bring back the Google app so they said the next best thing: Apple Maps will improve.
“We are continuously improving it, and as Maps is a cloud-based solution, the more people use it, the better it will get,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said in a statement. ”We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.”
Though there is no doubt that Apple will do everything they can to improve Maps, the question remains, will people get the hang of using their new map or will they resort to downloading Google Maps on their devices?
BlackBerry service outage
According to reports, BlackBerry announced that subscribers in Europe, Middle East and Africa are experiencing service outage. They informed subscribers about the outage on Facebook and Twitter but stated that they were doing everything they can to fix the issue and they apologized to their subscribers for the inconvenience.
This is probably the worst timing ever, as today is the release of the iPhone 5. Could the outage drive BlackBerry users to Apple’s yard? It is possible, but I think there are still a lot of loyal BlackBerry fans waiting for the next big thing. Last year, Research in Motion had to face harsh criticism for another massive outage, which lasted for days, also affecting users in the same regions. Because of the outage, some even filed a class action lawsuit against RIM, stating that free premium apps weren’t enough to compensate for the suffering and loss they experienced during the outage.
Microsoft wins another patent case against Google in Germany
According to a German court, some Motorola Mobility phones and tablets infringed Microsoft’s patent pertaining to method for apps to handle different kinds of user input. Motorola and Google, the maker of the Android platform, refused to get a license from Microsoft to use the said patent, unlike other Android OEMs such as Samsung and HTC who already signed licensing agreements with the software giant last year. Because of the court decision, if Motorola still refuses to sign a licensing agreement with Microsoft, a number of their Android devices might be banned from being sold in Germany.
“We’re pleased this decision builds on previous rulings in Germany that have already found Motorola is broadly infringing Microsoft’s intellectual property,” said Microsoft’s deputy general counsel David Howard.
“We will continue to enforce injunctions against Motorola products in Germany and hope Motorola will join other Android device makers by taking a licence to Microsoft’s patented inventions.”