Apple May Lose Antitrust Lawsuit, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 Priced to Sell

Today’s mobile news roundup features the antitrust lawsuit against Apple, Samsung to release the Galaxy Tab 2, and Intel pushing for standardized laptop batteries.

Apple may lose antitrust lawsuit from US Gov’t

Yesterday the U.S. Justice Department formally filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple Inc. and five of the six big publishing houses for allegedly conspiring to control the price of e-books.

Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster Inc., and HarperCollins Publishers LLC. agreed to settle by terminating their agreement with Apple and refrain from limiting any retailer’s ability to set e-book prices for two years.  As for Apple, Penguin and Macmillan, they are said to be opting to battle it out in court.

Tim Coates, former managing director of WH Smith and Waterstones, and founder of e-books sales and lending site Bilbary, believes that the US government has a strong case against Apple, arguing that fixed prices for e-books and printed ones do not promote “good competition” as e-books cost less in reproduction and should be priced accordingly.

“[C]ustomers should get the book at around half the price of a printed book,” Coates said.  “There is no question that publishing would be restricted if there were more competition for the retailing of books… it just isn’t true.”

Samsung’s universal remote control tablet

Samsung Electronics Co., which recently released a positive guidance report, has officially release its Galaxy Tab 2, a tablet with a feature that allows it to act as a universal remote control for an entertainment center.

The Galaxy Tab 2 will also have an expandable memory via microSD slots.  The second generation Galaxy Tab will come in two sizes–a 7-inch version, which will go on sale on April 22 for $250, while the 10-inch version will be available on May 13 for $400.

Intel goes for standardized Ultrabook battery

Intel just unveiled their 7-inch Windows/Android tablet that aims to target students.  Aside from trying to set a standard for student tablets, they’re also going for battery cell standardization on Ultrabooks.

As Intel pushes more affordable netbooks, they are urging laptop manufacturers to go for a standard battery size, 60 x 80mm, which is 16mm thinner than the 18mm versions commonly used.  Though Intel knows that thinner batteries are more costly to reproduce and offers lesser battery life, they believe that if laptop brands go for it, they would be able to offer cheaper laptops since they can opt to use off-the-shelf batteries.  Also, consumers won’t have to worry about if they are buying the right kind of battery for their laptop if they’re all the same.