A Foolish Week of Telecom

A grim RIM says it will trim 5,000 jobs by the end of next March. A desperate measure, maybe, but these are desperate times for Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) . The company just posted its first quarterly loss in over seven years, and a significant one it was. RIM had a net loss of $518 million in its first quarter, a loss of $0.99 a share. The same quarter last year showed earnings of $695 million, $1.33 a share.

RIM is also delaying the launch of its BlackBerry 10 until next year. That phone was supposed to be the company's best bet for getting back some of the market share it has been handing over to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and the Android phone makers.

For long-suffering RIM shareholders, the above news contributed to more than a 15% drop in share price.

Google vs. Amazon
Amazon.com
's (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) Kindle Fire doesn't have the lower-priced tablet market sewn up anymore. Google just entered that arena with its $199 Nexus 7 tablet.

The Wi-Fi-only tablet runs the latest Android 4.1 OS, aka "Jelly Bean," is powered by an NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA  ) quad-core processor, has a 7-inch display, near-field communication support, and "tons of free cloud storage," according to Google.

Google is supposedly selling the Nexus 7 at a loss, but tight integration with Google's mobile advertising business and Google apps should make up for that lost revenue. At least that's what Google must hope.

No harm, no foul
"To suggest that [Apple] has suffered loss of market share, brand recognition, or customer goodwill as a result of Motorola's alleged infringement of the patent claims still in play in this case is wild conjecture."

That pronouncement put forth by Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner not only shut down Apple's claim of harm at the hands of Motorola, it also looked askance at how much Motorola could fairly charge for its wireless patents. The judge said that Motorola cannot keep pursuing injunctions against Apple as a way of forcing it to pay its royalty rates.

It's not over till it's over
In another case, this one against Samsung, Apple did come out on top -- at least for now.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh was instructed by a federal appeals court to reconsider her original ruling that Apple did not have a patent infringement case against Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.

Her ruling now: "Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products."

What does this mean? Samsung must stop selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the U.S. once Apple posts a $2.6 million bond for possible damages to Samsung if the courts later find that the injunction was wrong.

An appeal is almost certain. Samsung said in a statement that it would take necessary legal steps. Samsung also said that the ruling does not affect its latest tablet, Tab 2.

Be careful of the whiplash
T-Mobile
was one of the most vocal opponents of the Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) -cable companies' spectrum deal, but now wants to withdraw its petition to deny from the Federal Communications Commission.

"We now believe the deal is in the public interest," T-Mobile said through a spokesman.

Actually, more like in T-Mobile's interest, as the mobile carrier has agreed to a spectrum swap deal with Verizon.

Two weeks ago T-Mobile lawyers were telling the FCC that the deal "poses grave competitive concerns."

Now I don't know what to believe. Actually, I think I do.

Not my problem
ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox Broadcasting have sued DISH Network for killing their advertising revenue with AutoHop, its commercial-skipping technology.

This week DISH Chairman Charlie Ergen went before a House subcommittee and learned about another potential negative outcome from unfettered commercial skipping. After Mr. Ergen told a House subcommittee that AutoHop will protect children from "commercials for junk food and alcohol," he heard from one of the subcommittee members about how AutoHop could harm the electoral process.

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) said he was concerned about voters skipping over political ads. "The hopper potentially limits the ability of every member of this subcommittee to reach constituents with ads to help them to make up their minds on Election Day," said Dingell.

 Mr. Ergen said that since he is "not a politician ... I can't say I understand your concerns."

Neither can I.

If you want to stay primed on the trends in telecom, check out The Motley Fool's report on the next trillion-dollar revolution. It details a "hidden" component play inside mobile phones that is also a leader in the exploding Chinese market. Hundreds of thousands have requested access to previous reports. You can access this one now -- it's free. Or if you'd like something more company-specific, our senior technology analyst details exactly why Apple still looks like a buy in our new premium research report.

Fool contributor Dan Radovsky has no financial interest in any of the above-mentioned companies. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of NVIDIA, Amazon.com, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple and writing puts on NVIDIA. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2012, at 8:48 PM, JacksonInVA wrote:

    Skipping political spots is even more important for our children. If they do not see political ads maybe they will be less inclined to lie and steal.

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