Tech 2.0 for Wednesday, April 3, 2013
A new iPhone could hit the market in a matter of months. The Wall Street Journal reports Apple is set for a possible summer launch of the next iPhone, rather than a fall launch like the last two models. Apple is also said to be working on a cheaper iPhone model that could win some market share in developing countries. The Journal cites unnamed sources who are "familiar with the device's production." Apple doesn't comment on future products before its launch events. Its executives usually emphasize that the company's goal is to make the best products, not the cheapest ones. The Journal said Apple is set to start production of the new iPhone within the next three months. It's apparently relying on sources among the Asian companies that supply components for the phone and assemble it.
Facebook's Timelines could be on borrowed time. At least that's the hope at a Chicago-based social media company A federal judge has ruled has Timelines Inc. can sue Facebook. Timelines charges Facebook is violating its trademark. Timelines launched a website called Timelines.com in 2009. Users can track historical events and their personal lives online. Two years later, Facebook launched its new feature it called "timeline," which allows users to highlight their lives online in chronological order. A Facebook spokesman declined to comment on the the judge's ruling. A jury trial in the case can start as scheduled on April 22.
Four months after acquiring "Star Wars" maker Lucasfilm, The Walt Disney Co. is shutting down video game production at subsidiary LucasArts and laying off staff as it focuses on the less-risky, less-expensive path of licensing its characters and stories to other developers. A Disney spokesman confirmed the layoffs Wednesday, but didn't say how many people were affected. Website Kotaku said 150 people were laid off, citing an unnamed source. Two games that had been in production, "Star Wars: First Assault" and "Star Wars: 1313," were canceled, Kotaku said. Disney has been moving away from games that are expensive to make for consoles, like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and toward apps. One example of the licensing model is Rovio Entertainment Ltd.'s November launch of "Angry Birds Star Wars."