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Microsoft and Apple Facing Off Over Office for iOS Subscription Revenues, Not SkyDrive

OfficelogoAllThingsD is reporting that contrary to earlier reports that Apple and Microsoft were arguing over a 30% cut of storage upgrade sales through Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud storage utility, instead the companies are negotiating over revenue Microsoft would bring in as part of its Office 365 subscription service.
Office has long been a cash cow for Microsoft and extending the platform to iOS will undoubtedly fatten it further. It will also bring significant benefits to Apple’s mobile platform, ones for which Microsoft feels it is owed a discount on that 30 percent cut that Apple would otherwise command on Office 365 subscriptions sold to iOS users through it. The apps are just part of a subscription that includes desktop access.

So the company has been pushing Apple to adjust the 70/30 revenue split in its developer license agreement. Predictably, Apple has refused to comply. It’s not yet clear what sort of concession Microsoft is seeking, but whatever it is, Apple’s evidently not willing to consider it. Indeed, I’m told it’s taken a “the rules are the rules” stance, which would suggest it’s not at all willing to negotiate a different split. Apple’s position: If a customer comes through its gateway, it feels it is deserved the commission outlined in 11.12 of its developer license.
Apple, for its part, says that App Store rules are fair and are applied equally to all developers, big and small.

Office for iOS has been rumored several times over the past year, but now seems closer to fruition than ever -- if Apple and Microsoft can come to some agreement. Yesterday, Microsoft leaked references to 'Office Mobile for iPhone', 'Excel for iPad', and 'PowerPoint for iPad'.

Apple Could Sell 13 Million Televisions According to Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty

Last week, Tim Cook shared that television was an area of "intense interest" for Apple, stoking the rumor mill once again that the company will come out with a TV at some point. Today, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty shared results from a proprietary survey of 1,568 U.S. heads of household from September. Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt shares some of the results of the survey.

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11% of respondents said they would be "extremely interested" in buying an Apple-branded TV set, which translates into 13 million units in the U.S. alone. 36% said they would be "somewhat interested," which could translate into another 43 million units.

The 47% who were either "extremely" or "somewhat" interested is more than twice the 23% who said they were interested in buying an iPhone and the 21% who were interested in an iPad before either of those products were released.
Respondents who owned at least one Apple device were nearly four times more interested in buying an iTV that those who did not.

46% of respondents were willing to pay over $1,000 for an iTV and 10% were willing to pay over $2,000. On average, respondents were willing to pony up $1,060, a 20% premium over the the average $884 they paid for their current TV set.
Further, Huberty lays out three strategies for Apple to fix television. The company could become a "full-blown virtual cable service provider"; partner with existing pay-TV carriers and replace their set-top box with its own; or Apple could "bundle the TV set with its existing Apple TV" box.

Of course, there have been years of speculation about a potential Apple TV. Following the release of Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs, in which Jobs said he had "cracked" television, rumors have taken on a more fervent tone.

Apple and Microsoft Reportedly Facing Off Over SkyDrive In-App Subscription Revenues

The Next Web reports that Apple and Microsoft are currently engaged in a dispute over Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud storage app that was launched in the App Store a year ago. According to the report, the dispute is related to Microsoft's move to roll out the ability for users to purchase paid storage upgrades on their iOS devices without going through Apple's in-app subscription mechanism that provides Apple with a 30% share of revenues. As a result, Apple has refused to approve any updates to the SkyDrive app.
Microsoft, TNW has learned, has a new version of the application ready to go, including a key bug fix that would rectify a crashing bug, but cannot get it through.

Microsoft does not appear keen to pay Apple the 30% cut, as it lasts in perpetuity, regardless of whether a user continues to use an iOS device or not, as the billing is through their Apple account.
The report claims that Microsoft has offered to remove the subscription options from the SkyDrive app, but Apple has still declined to allow updates to the app. It is unclear why Apple would have refused such an offer, as many similar apps such as Dropbox operate under this model.

The Next Web goes on to note that the dispute between Apple and Microsoft is also affecting third-party developers who have integrated SkyDrive into their applications, as the login pages for SkyDrive displayed by these apps contain a "sign up" link that runs afoul of Apple's guidelines.
In short, applications that wish to integrate with SkyDrive cannot, until Microsoft bows to Apple’s demands, and retools SkyDrive to allow for it to be integrated with the technology firm’s payment system by which the firm would garner a fee for the length of the account. A user could go into their Apple account, cancel their subscription, and then re-purchase it outside of the Apple ecosystem, but as that would save them no money, few, if any, will.
It is unclear just how and when the dispute between the two companies may be settled, but for the time being both SkyDrive app users and both developers and users of third-party apps relying on SkyDrive are finding themselves increasingly affected by the standoff.

Update 11:04 AM: Engadget reports that Microsoft has issued a statement acknowledging a "delay in approval" for its SkyDrive app.
Similar to the experiences of some other companies, we are experiencing a delay in approval of our updated SkyDrive for iOS. We are in contact with Apple regarding the matter and hope to come to a resolution. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Adobe Updates Creative Cloud with New Photoshop Features, Team Version, Digital Publishing Tools

Following up on its announcement regarding Retina display support for Photoshop CS6 and Illustrator CS6, Adobe today announced additional major upgrades to its Creative Cloud subscription service. The upgrades, which are currently exclusive to Creative Cloud subscribers, are headlined by a number of upgrades to Adobe's flagship Photoshop application.
- Immediate support for HiDPI (Retina) displays for Apple MacBook Pro. This feature was also made available to perpetual license customers as a free update.
- Smart Object support for Blur Gallery and Liquify.
- The ability to quickly export CSS code for text and objects, and import color swatches to easily design incredible websites.
- New workflow timesavers including Crop tool refinements.
- 3D enhancements including improved live (OpenGL) previews of shadow effects and additional control over illumination using 32-bit color picker to create glow effects.
- Conditional Actions that automatically select the appropriate Action based on user-defined rules, giving users enhanced image processing speed.
Creative Cloud has also been enhanced with a new version designed to support teams of users, updates to the Adobe Muse web design tools, a new Creative Cloud Connection desktop syncing app, and new training tools.


Finally, Adobe is promoting a demo of its Digital Publishing Suite, Single Edition at its Create Now event today. The software helps designers create digital publications for the iPad using many of the same tools used by major publishers to bring their content to the App Store.

Adobe's Create Now event begins at 10:00 AM Pacific / 1:00 PM Eastern and will be streamed live on the Creative Cloud Facebook page.

Apple Fixes Australian Map Error That Caused Police Warning, Issue Traced to Official Gazetteer

A day after police in Victoria, Australia issued a warning to motorists advising them not to rely on Apple Maps for directions to the town of Mildura due to a location error that led several drivers to become stranded in remote Murray-Sunset National Park, The Guardian reports that Apple has fixed the error.


Purple pin represents actual location of Mildura; red pin represents original incorrect location

The error placed the town of Mildura some 45 miles away from its actual location and led to numerous motorists being stranded. The Victoria police responded by describing using the app to navigate as "potentially life-threatening."

While the label on Apple's maps has not yet been updated to show the correct location of Mildura, searches for and directions to the town now show the proper location.

Interestingly, The Register reports that the error was not entirely Apple's fault, as the incorrect location was included in the official Australian Gazetteer.
In this case, the Australian Gazetteer – the authoritative list of 300,000-plus placenames, complete with coordinates – includes two Milduras. One is the “real” town, the other is an entry for “Mildura Rural City”, coordinates -34.79724 141.76108. It’s this second entry that points to the middle of the Murray-Sunset National Park, just near a spot called Rocket Lake.
The report notes that this second point that Apple was mistakenly associating with searches for Mildura is in fact simply the geographic center of the area included within the Mildura Rural City local government area and thus does not correspond to the actual city of Mildura.

In his recent TV interview with Brian Williams, Tim Cook said that Apple "screwed up" with Maps and was now "putting the entire weight of the company behind correcting it." The company does, however, still have a significant amount of work ahead of it as it tries to catch up with Google's years-long head start.

Adobe Updates Photoshop and Illustrator CS6 with Retina Display Support

In line with rumors and speculation from late last month, Adobe today released updates to both Photoshop CS6 and Illustrator CS6 bringing support for Retina displays as found on Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models.
With this update, customers can see more detail in images, text, and in the Illustrator user interface when working on high-resolution displays, including the new Retina display available on MacBook Pro. The HiDPI feature in Illustrator is currently only available on Mac OS. It is expected to be available in the future on additional operating systems.
The updates are available for both Creative Cloud subscribers and owners with standalone licenses.


Adobe had announced in late August that it would be bringing Retina display support to a number of its titles over the following months, with Photoshop and Illustrator being two of the highest-profile applications receiving the upgrade. At the time, Adobe noted that the upgrade process for Photoshop alone required the replacement of 2500 icons and cursors, as well as other engineering work to optimize the experience for Retina displays.

Adobe's Create Now conference kicks off tomorrow morning, and the company may have more to announce about its software offerings at that time.

Apple Releases Mac Mini EFI Firmware Update 1.7 to Fix Flickering on HDMI External Displays

Apple has released an update for the Mac mini that was released earlier this fall, addressing an issue with flickering on external monitors connected via HDMI.
About Mac mini EFI Firmware Update 1.7

This update addresses HDMI video flicker issues on Mac mini (Late 2012) computers and is recommended for all users.

The Mac mini EFI Firmware Update will update the EFI firmware on your computer.

Your computer's power cord must be connected and plugged into a working power source. When your Mac mini restarts, a gray screen will appear with a status bar to indicate the progress of the update. It will take several minutes for the update to complete. Do not disturb or shut off the power on your Mac mini during this update.

Mac mini EFI will be updated to 0106.03
The 4.53MB update can be downloaded via Apple's support website or via the App Store/Software Update on the Mac mini

FTC Investigating Kids Apps Over Privacy Concerns

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has released a report examining apps aimed at children on the App Store and the Google Play marketplace. The report, entitled Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade, is a followup from a survey of kids' apps performed in 2011 that also looked at privacy policies and other practices for apps aimed at children.
Staff examined hundreds of apps for children and looked at disclosers and links on each app’s promotion page in the app store, on the app developer’s website, and within the app. According to the report, “most apps failed to provide any information about the data collected through the app, let alone the type of data collected, the purpose of the collection, and who would obtain access to the data. Even more troubling, the results showed that many of the apps shared certain information with third parties – such as device ID, geolocation, or phone number – without disclosing that fact to parents. Further, a number of apps contained interactive features – such as advertising, the ability to make in-app purchases, and links to social media – without disclosing these features to parents prior to download.”
It's not just a report that the FTC is issuing -- the Commission is going further, launching "non-public investigations to determine whether certain entities in the mobile app marketplace are violating" Federal law.

It's unclear where the investigations will lead, but it isn't the first governmental look into the privacy policies of apps. The state of California recently sued Delta Air Lines over its iOS app,

Microsoft Leaks References to 'Office Mobile for iPhone', 'Excel for iPad' and 'PowerPoint for iPad'

Building upon a series of reports about Microsoft's apparent efforts to bring its Office productivity suite to iOS, The Verge last month shared a few screenshots and noted that the suite would be offered in early 2013 as a set of free apps with viewing abilities that could be upgraded with basic editing tools through a Microsoft 360 subscription. Microsoft has, however, been rather cryptic in its public comments on the Office for iOS project, leaving a number of questions about just what the company's plans are.

As noted by Mac4ever, references to several Office for iOS applications have begun creeping into Microsoft's support site, albeit as product tags that appear to have been applied improperly to support articles.

One example is a document addressing custom numeric formats in Excel. On the support site for the United States, the document is listed as applying to Excel 2013, while on the French support site it is incorrectly listed as applying to Excel for iPad. Searches for similar phrases throughout Microsoft's support site yield a number of other references, including "Excel for iPad", "PowerPoint for iPad", and "Office Mobile for iPhone".

While the appearance of these new product tags doesn't offer any additional information on Microsoft's plans, it does seem to confirm the products' existence and that the company is working toward building out support site infrastructure for them ahead of their

Analyst Suggests iPhone 5S Could Launch in Mid-2013 with NFC, 128 GB Storage, 6-8 Colors

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek today released a new research report that is gaining attention for its claims regarding Apple's next generation of iOS devices. Based on supply chain checks, Misek believes that the iPhone 5S is likely to launch in June or July of next year, in line with several other reports citing a similar timeframe.

Misek makes a number of interesting claims regarding features of the iPhone 5S, classifying them into "likely" and "possible" but offering little expanded commentary on any of them.
Based on our checks, likely updates include a new super HD camera/screen, a better battery, and NFC. Possible updates include an IGZO screen for Retina+, 128GB storage, and coming in 6 to 8 colors.
Going further, Misek discusses a number of different iPhone 6 prototypes he believes are currently circulating, referring to the device that would follow next year's iPhone 5S.
Several iPhone 6 prototypes appear to be floating around. The model with a 4.8" screen is the most interesting. It has a Retina+ IGZO screen, a new A7 quad-core processor variant, and a new form factor with no home button. Full gesture control is also possibly included.
Misek also revives talk of a low-cost iPhone at a $200-$250 price point on an unsubsidized basis, but claims that the project has not yet been given the go-ahead.

A mid-2013 launch for the iPhone 5S would make for an accelerated update cycle on the iPhone, but as was seen with the iPad this year Apple may be working to speed up the intervals between product updates in order to enhance its competitiveness. Asymco's Horace Dediu

Listings for Holiday Games and Apps Appear on Apple TV, Undoubtedly in Error

As noted by Mac OS Ken, a new "Holiday" content section has appeared buried in the iTunes Store on the Apple TV. Interestingly, the section contains numerous banners advertising apps and games, which are of course not currently compatible with the Apple TV.

The new content sections are not functional, as no listings appear when the various banners are selected with the Apple TV remote. The section can be found by navigating to Movies -> Genres -> Classics -> Holiday Music, Movies, and More.

The new listings are almost certainly an error, with banners for Apple's new Holiday section [iTunes Store] being served to the wrong device.

Steve Jobs had noted soon after the introduction of the second-generation Apple TV in September 2010 that an App Store for the iOS-based device could launch when the time is right. Such an effort would, however, require Apple to work with developers on tools for creating apps for the device, and there has been no sign of an effort on that

Apple Begins Preparing First 27-Inch iMac Orders for Shipment [Update: Shipping]

As noted by a number of MacRumors forum members, customers who placed early orders for the new 27-inch iMac are beginning to see their credit cards charged and order statuses changing to "Preparing for Shipment". The new status indicates that the orders can no longer be changed or canceled and is the final stage before the machines are passed off to delivery companies.

Customers who have received updated order statuses are reporting that they are still seeing their originally quoted delivery times, which are typically in the range of December 21-31, but it seems that their orders may arrive slightly ahead of that window if they ship out in a timely fashion.

So far it appears that only U.S. customers have reported seeing their orders being prepared for shipment, but there are still only a few data points available. A number of those seeing their orders being readied for delivery have also included built-to-order configurations, indicating that custom orders will be arriving essentially alongside stock models.

Update: Apple has now begun shipping these early orders, with many customers seeing delivery dates of December 18 while a few are seeing dates as early as December 13. We're also hearing from customers outside of the United States that their orders are similarly progressing toward

Apple's Massive New Hong Kong Store with 30-Foot Tall Glass Windows Leads Next Weekend's Grand Openings

Apple today officially revealed that its new Causeway Bay retail store at Hysan Place will open this Saturday, becoming the company's third store in Hong Kong. The new store is a massive flagship location, as evidenced by the company's use of "curtain" graphics on the facade as is typically reserved for Apple's most significant openings.


Panorama of Causeway Bay facade with "curtain" graphics (Thanks, Anson!)
Click for larger

The new store will cover three levels and has been reported to encompass approximately 20,000 square feet of space, with the facade including 30-foot tall glass windows currently covered by the curtain graphics. Playing upon the large facade, Apple's tagline for the premiere is "An opening you simply can't miss."

The new Causeway Bay store is not the only location seeing a grand opening next weekend, as the MixC Chengdu store in Chengdu, China will also be opening on Saturday, December 15. Like the Causeway Bay store, the Chengdu store had previously been profiled as part of Apple's major retail store push into its Greater China market.

Apple is also opening its new Fountain Gate store near Melbourne, Australia on Saturday and will be Apple's fourth location in the state of Victoria.

Update: Apple will also be opening its Emporia store in Malmö, Sweden on Saturday, becoming the company's second store in the country exactly three months after the Täby Centrum store outside of Stockholm

Australian Police Warn Against Use of Apple Maps Due to Safety Concerns

Police in Victoria, Australia issued a warning to motorists this weekend regarding Apple Maps after several travelers became stranded in the Murray-Sunset National Park trying to reach the city of Mildura using Apple's directions.
Local Police have been called to assist distressed motorists who have become stranded within the Murray-Sunset National Park after following directions on their Apple i-phone.

Tests on the mapping system by police confirm the mapping systems lists Mildura in the middle of the Murray Sunset National Park, approximately 70km away from the actual location of Mildura.

Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the Park and temperatures can reach as high as 46 degrees, making this a potentially life threatening issue.

Some of the motorists located by police have been stranded for up to 24 hours without food or water and have walked long distances through dangerous terrain to get phone reception.
In Maps, the city of Mildura is listed in the middle of the Murray-Sunset National Park, which is actually 70km or 43 miles from the city's actual location. In the photo pictured to the right, the red pin is where Apple lists Mildura, while the purple pin displays Mildura's actual location.

A report from Australia's ABC News reveals that Victoria police have had to rescue a total of six people in the last two months after they became lost using Maps.

After the launch of iOS 6, which included the new Maps application, Apple received criticism over inaccuracies in mapping data like the mislocation in Victoria, which led to

Speculation Targets Mac Pro as First "Made in USA" Mac Product

During his interview with Brian Williams, Tim Cook revealed that Apple is planning on bringing some of its Mac production back to the United States. Cook did not reveal which of the Mac lines would be part of the $100 million investment, but speculation has named the Mac Pro as the likely suspect.

Fortune has rounded up all of the current thoughts on why the Mac Pro is the only viable candidate:
-A $100 million factory, Dan Luria, a labor economist at Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center told Bloomberg, employs about 200 people and produces about 1 million units per year

-Last year, Apple sold 18 million Macs, including 13.5 million MacBooks and 4.6 million desktops (iMacs, minis and Mac Pros). Only the Mac Pro and mini sell fewer than 1 million per year, and the Mac Pro is considerably heavier and more expensive to ship

-Apple, through a spokesperson and through Tim Cook himself, has already indicated that it will be producing a new Mac Pro in 2013

-Any extra labor costs associated with manufacturing in the U.S. can be more easily absorbed by a $2,500-$3,800 Mac Pro than by a MacBook or an iMac that sell for $1,000 to $1,300.

-Mac Pros are easier to build and customize than any other Apple product
Earlier this year, after a minor update to the Mac Pro was announced at WWDC, Tim Cook confirmed to a fan that new Mac Pros were coming in 2013, which was later reiterated by an Apple spokesman. The 2013 Mac Pro could be the first to carry the "Made in the USA" label, if current speculation is

Square Adds Passbook Integration and Gift Cards

Square CEO Jack Dorsey today announced via Twitter that Square has added gift card capabilities to its iOS apps. The gift cards come alongside Passbook integration, which allows customers to send Square gift cards from local retailers and redeem them with Passbook.

Both of Square's iOS apps, merchant and consumer, have been updated to reflect the new changes.

Square Wallet, the consumer half of Square's payment system, gives customers the ability to purchase and receive gift cards from any retailer that uses Square Register to process payments. Many small businesses that previously didn’t offer gift cards will now be able to via Square.

Square Register, which is designed for merchants, lets business owners accept the gift cards using a QR code, Square Wallet, or Apple’s Passbook.

Square says the process is a simple one.
Give
Find a place your friends or family will love in Square Wallet. Choose the amount, write a special message, pick a theme and send. Instant gratification.

Receive
Save your Square gift card to Square Wallet so it's there when you need it. Using it is as easy as buying with Square Wallet. Simply say your name.
With Passbook integration, iOS users don't even need to access Square Wallet, which greatly simplifies the act of giving and receiving gift cards. This update will likely add a significant boost to the $10 billion per year in payments that Square already processes, and it is also a huge boon for independent retailers.

Both of Square’s apps, Square Wallet and Square Register, are free downloads in the App

Bose SoundDock III with Lightning Support Shipping Later This Month for $250

Following announcements from JBL and Philips regarding their new speaker docks compatible with Apple's Lightning connector, Bose has begun advertising its upcoming SoundDock III digital music system for Lightning-equipped devices. The SoundDock III is priced at $249.95 and is currently listed as shipping in 7-10 business days, making for a rather tight delivery window for holiday shoppers.
The SoundDock Series III digital music system lets you play music from any iPod or iPhone model with an Apple Lightning connector, and enjoy it with Bose quality sound.

- Proprietary acoustic design delivers a unique combination of small size and proven performance.
- Convenient remote controls the system and basic iPod or iPhone functions, including playlist navigation.
- Works with and charges iPod and iPhone models with an Apple Lightning connector.
- Auxiliary input lets you play other audio devices.

Like JBL, Bose was one of the vendors mentioned by Apple at its September media event as being an early partner on the new Lightning connector. Other early partners who have yet to announce their Lightning speaker products include Bowers & Wilkins and Bang & Olufson, although the latter has announced a free upgrade program that will allow owners of the BeoPlay A8 system to upgrade to the Lightning connector if they prefer a direct connection rather than using the system's AirPlay

Upcoming Apple TV iOS Update to Unlock Bluetooth Keyboard Support

Last year, it was revealed that Apple may have been working on offering Bluetooth keyboard pairing with the second-generation Apple TV.
The ability to pair a Bluetooth keyboard with the Apple TV would obviously make for significantly easier text entry, simplifying such tasks as initial setup with iTunes Store accounts and Wi-Fi network passwords as well as day-to-day content searching.
9to5Mac now reports that Apple seems ready to deploy Bluetooth into its Apple TV products, as the latest Apple TV developer beta now allows you to pair a Bluetooth keyboard to a 2nd or 3rd generation Apple TV.

Once you connect a Bluetooth keyboard to your Apple TV, you can completely control it without using the included remote or an iOS device. The arrow keys are used for navigation, the return key is used to play or pause and the escape key acts as the "menu" or up "one level" button. And of course, searching becomes easier with a full hardware keyboard.

The update only allows Bluetooth keyboards, so pairing Bluetooth speakers, mice or even Macs will not work. 9to5Mac noted that they were able to pair a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard to the Apple TV succesfully, so the update isn't limited to Apple keyboards.

Although currently limited in functionality to a simple keyboard, it's thought that eventually Apple could open up Bluetooth support to allow a mic-based remote or iOS device to use Siri with Apple

Apple's Initial Investment in U.S. Mac Production Estimated to Create 200 Jobs

Bloomberg reports that Apple's $100 million plan to bring some Mac production back to the United States is likely to be a very modest operation at the outset, with some economists and industry experts projecting that the effort will create approximately 200 jobs.
The investment “sounds like a 200-job operation with about a million-unit output,” said Dan Luria, a labor economist at Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center in Plymouth, Michigan, who studies factory operations. Apple will probably rely on tax breaks and other incentives for the facility, he said. [...]

While Apple’s commitment could set a precedent for electronics suppliers, it probably doesn’t presage a large or rapid shift of production back to the U.S., said Michael Marks, the former CEO of Flextronics International Ltd., which was the largest contract manufacturer in the world before the rise of Foxconn. He also estimates $100 million may create about 200 jobs.
Apple is presumed to be working with its primary manufacturing partner Foxconn on the project, as Foxconn has also expressed interest in building operations in the United States.

Workers at Quanta Computer in Shanghai assembling MacBook Pro display enclosures
Apple's efforts to bring Mac production back to the United States come just as Lenovo, which purchased IBM's personal computer business in 2005, has announced plans to begin PC production in North Carolina. Lenovo's effort is also a modest one, projected to employ roughly 100 workers to produce several hundred thousand units per

Apple and Google Teaming Up on $500 Million Bid for Kodak Patents

Bloomberg reports that Apple and Google have joined forces to put forward a bid of more than $500 million to purchase the patent portfolio of bankrupt imaging pioneer Eastman Kodak.
The two companies, competing for dominance of the smartphone market, have partnered after leading two separate consortia this summer to buy Kodak’s 1,100 imaging patents, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private.

Unlikely partnerships are typical in patent sales because they allow competitors to neutralize potential infringement litigation.
Sources indicate that Apple had originally teamed up with Microsoft and patent holding company Intellectual Ventures, while Google had aligned with its hardware partners and patent holding firm RPX.

The report does not indicate why Apple and Google ultimately decided to abandon their separate bids and team up on an offer for Kodak's patents, although a previous report had indicated that the two sides were likely cooperating in order to prevent a bidding war that would drive up the cost of the patents.

Kodak's bankruptcy financing is contingent upon the company receiving at least $500 million for its patent portfolio, and the joint bid by Apple and Google seems to meet that requirement.

Apple and Kodak have a bit of an interesting history, having worked together on a mid-1990s project for Apple's QuickTake line of digital cameras. The intellectual property from that collaboration has been the subject of some dispute, with Apple claiming that Kodak is not the rightful owner of patents related to that