Tech links: 2013-07-16

The big news was AT&T’s reaction to T-Mobile USA’s JUMP program with its own value program called Next. At the same time, Verizon is working on a program of this ilk to be released later to stay in the game. What I should note here is that it is a great boon for consumers that T-Mobile and AT&T were not able to merge because we see now how much it matters that they can compete against each other, lowering prices and expanding options for consumers. We should remember that this is exactly why anti-trust regulators exist. In this case, they have had a positive impact.

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke Boycotts Spotify, Spotify CEO Responds – Peter Kafka – Media – AllThingsD

Spotify Defends Against New Music Backlash, Says It Will Pay Out $1B To Artists In 2013 | TechCrunch

Baidu Agrees To Buy Chinese Android App Distributor 91 Wireless For $1.9B | TechCrunch

Secret court agrees to publish Yahoo PRISM proceedings — Tech News and Analysis

Editorial: Google’s Android haunted by Steve Jobs’ warnings on app signing security

I don’t agree with a lot in this editorial. However, it offers a very good perspective on mobile and mobile security in particular that needs to be read.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Price, Hardware Not Entirely Competitive, Says Credit Suisse – Tech Trader Daily –

Nokia Lumia 1020 hardware ‘lags behind’ while Microsoft struggles to update Windows Phone

“The new phone boasts an impressive camera and optics, but Garcha stated that its “hardware features continue to lag behind some of the flagship devices like Samsung Galaxy S4,” which is both lighter and thinner despite having a larger screen and faster processor.

Garcha added that Nokia’s $300 entry level price for the 1020, and its exclusive availability on AT&T in the U.S., “does not look encouraging” when compared to the $200 starting price for the lower end of the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4 lines.”

Inside The Massive Global Black Market For Smartphones

Verizon to Introduce “VZ Edge” Upgrade Plan, Upgrade to New Phones Once 50% of Previous is Paid Off – Droid Life

AT&T counters T-Mo’s Jump with Next, its own phone upgrade program. Is it a better deal? – Tech News and Analysis

Here is AT&T also moving in T-Mo USA’s direction. So what we see here is a full on reduction in telecom prices and a partial unbundling of the handset subsidy. I think this is a big deal.

Leaked Verizon plan would let you upgrade phones after paying off half of your current one | The Verge

Verizon is moving to meet T-Mo USA with its own semi-subsidized handset plan. Don’t underestimate the effect of T-Mo USA’s actions. We could be looking at the end of the subsidized mobile handset model.

Apple to Cisco Lead Record Dividends as Google Holds Out – Bloomberg

Tech firms are paying dividends because investors no longer buy their growth models. They want a payout to ensure that they get some money for their investment. Google is a holdout because it still can point to internet growth – for how long is the question?

Microsoft Surface RT review | PC Pro

AT&T to pay hefty $1.2 billion for Leap in latest telco deal | Reuters

AT&T Scours Europe for Discount Deal Targets: Real M&A – Bloomberg

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