The week in gadgets


16 Jan 2012

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A look at gadget happenings, as US video game sales in 2011 drop from the previous year, the ITC initially rules that Motorola did not infringe Apple’s patents and Skype will arrive on Windows Phone devices ‘soon.’

US video game sales down from the previous year

Total US video game sales for the full year of 2011 were down 8pc, according to market research firm NPD.

Forbes reports that for the full year in the US, hardware sales dropped 11pc, console software sales dropped 6pc, accessories dropped by 11pc and PC software dropped 8pc.

Total US video game spending for 2011 – which includes used games, game rentals, subscriptions, downloads and social and mobile games – was between US$16.3bn and US$16.6bn, which was down 2pc from the previous year.

US ITC rules that Motorola Mobility didn’t infringe Apple’s patents

The US International Trade Commission has determined that Motorola Mobility did not infringe Apple’s patents.

Apple filed the case back in October 2010, claiming Motorola infringed three of its patents. However, the administrative law judge at the ITC has issued an initial determination that Motorola Mobility has not made any violation against these patents.

"We are pleased with today’s favourable outcome for Motorola Mobility,” said Scott Offer, senior vice-president and general counsel of Motorola Mobility.

“Motorola Mobility has worked hard over the years to develop technology and build an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio. We are proud to leverage this broad and deep portfolio to create differentiated innovations that enhance the user experience,” he said.

As this ruling is a preliminary decision, Apple can still challenge it if it still wishes to pursue the patent case against Motorola Mobility in the US.

Skype coming to Windows Phone soon

Skype’s VP of products Rick Osterloh has said the video calling programme will be arriving on the Windows Phone platform soon.

The Verge reports that Microsoft’s Skype division is currently working on a Skype app for Windows Phone. No set release date has been given for the app.

The Windows Phone Skype app may not initially feature deep integration for the OS until its next update, which may appear later in the year.

Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011 for US$8.5bn in cash to enhance its own portfolio of communications products. It said it would still invest in and support Skype on other non-Microsoft platforms.

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