A 20 Year Milestone for SMS, Unlocked iPhone 5s and More

In today’s mobile news roundup: SMS turns 20; Apple sells unlocked iPhone 5 on web store; Android Jelly Bean rolls out to more devices; and Motorola denied injunction against Microsoft.

SMS turns 20

Did you know that the first ever short messaging service (SMS), or more popularly known as text, was sent by British engineer Neil Papworth on December 3, 1992?  Today marks text’s 20th anniversary.  And did you know what his first text was?  It was a simple “Merry Christmas” sent from his computer to an Orbitel 901 mobile phone.

Text messaging has really evolved, from cramping a message into a 160-character understandable message, to people using symbols and numbers as shorten mechanisms, now using emojis to convey a message.  But the interest in texting is said to be declining as more people rely on social networks and instant messaging apps to communicate with one another.  Yet there’s still hope for texting, as the younger generation still prefer it as their primary mode of communication.

Apple sells unlocked iPhone 5 on web store

If you’re one of those people who just can’t be tied down to one carrier for too long, you’ll be glad to know that Apple is already selling unlocked iPhone 5s on their web store.

“Unlocked iPhone isn’t tied to one network, so you have the freedom to choose any supported GSM network worldwide,” says Apple on its website. “Whether you are starting a new service contract, using your existing one or choosing Pay as you go, you need a compatible SIM. For iPhone 5 you need a nano-SIM card.”

Earlier in November, AppleInsider spotted the unlokced iPhone 5 burried deep in Apple’s system with the prices starting at $649 for the 16GB Black & Slate or White & Silver GSM version the 32GB Black & Slate CDMA version will cost $749, and $849 for the 64GB Black & Slate or White & Silver GSM version.  The pricing hasn’t changed but  you have a week to wait if you purchase the unlocked iPhone 5.  And if you’re from the UK, Apple UK has a policy of only two iPhones per customer.

In other Apple news, the Cupertino company is said to be testing European carrier’s 4G LTE offerings before approving sales of the iPhone 5 to ensure that the device and network would work smoothly.  Though some say Apple is stepping into some big shoes with their effort, it’s a good move in ensuring customer satisfaction.

Android Jelly Bean rolls out to more devices

Verizon Wireless announced that as early as next week, owners of Motorola Droid RAZR HD and Maxx HD devices can expect to receive Android 4.1 Jelly Bean updates.  The 4.1 Jelly Bean will be delivered in phases and brings performance updates such as improved voice and data connectivity, better native calendar settings, and updated versions of Verizon’s preloaded apps.  The thing is, Android Jelly Bean already has a 4.2.1 version rolling out so Verizon is a bit behind.

Speaking of Jelly Bean 4.2.1, the update is already rolling out to Samsung Galaxy Nexus devices.  The update comes after the update on all the other new Nexus devices such as the 4, 7 and 10.  And just like Verizon’s update, it will be rolled out in batches, which means updates will not be available for everyone simultaneously.  Fret not, you will be notified once the over-the-air update is ready.

Motorola denied injunction against Microsoft

Seattle District Judge James L. Robart has denied Motorola Mobility’s injunction against Microsoft’s products that infringed their H.264 and 802.11 standards-essential patents.  The judge stated that Motorola failed to produce evidence of irreparable harm, and that monetary damages would be inadequate.

“The Motorola Asserted Patents, at issue in this litigation, are standard essential patents of the H.264 Standard and are included in Motorola’s H.264 standard essential patent portfolio,” Judge Robart wrote in his order.

What this means is that Microsoft is entitled to a license to the Motorola asserted patents on RAND terms.