Wednesday, June 2, 2010

AdMob rolls out iPad compliant SDK; Le Monde looks for investors; the skinny on the new AT&T data rates

Short reads on a late afternoon:

AdMob announced on its blog today that they were releasing a new iPad app SDK that would allow developers to create iPad native apps. The new SDK works on all devices running the iPhone OS -- iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad -- and allows developers to build text & tile ads and image ads in IAB standard ad sizes for medium rectangles, leaderboards and banners.

The New York Times is reporting that the center-left newspapers -- institution really -- Le Monde, is seeking outside investment to help it survive these trying times. The Times gets the story right, concentrating on what this really means for a paper where the reporters and editors have a controlling ownership stake.

One of the potential investors could be Claude Perdriel, owner of Le Nouvel Observateur, which may be a good match philosophically. But business is business: “If the conditions for us to make a profitable company are not satisfied, we will not go there,” Denis Olivennes, the publisher of Le Nouvel Observateur, is quoted as stating.

AT&T announced new data pricing for its smartphones including the iPhone today. The skinny is that AT&T will be eliminating its $30 unlimited data plan for all new customers, and will instead offer two choices: DataPro is a $25 per month plan that gives data users 2GB of data; DataPlus is a $15 per month plan that offers 200MB. Users that exceed their data plans will be charged based on their plans -- that is, a 2GB user would be charged an additional $10 for each 1GB increment over their plan; 200MB users will be charged an additional $15 for another 200MB, and so on.
Tethering will finally come to the iPhone when Apple releases its newest version of the iPhone OS -- probably next week at Apple's developer conference. The cost is $15 per month -- which isn't bad -- but is only available to those buying the 2 gig data plan. Simple math puts that at $40 per month for the data and the tethering.

I suppose that is not too bad: after all, if AT&T had announced that they were offering tethering at $10 per month, and had not announced a change to their data plans there would probably have been applause at the reasonable rate AT&T was charging. On the downside, however, those that will use tethering a lot, say between their phones and an WiFi-only iPad, will burn through their data limits considerably faster.

If you are the owner of an iPhone, AT&T offers a free app that includes the ability to track your usage.

Having said all that in AT&T's favor, let's not forget that the company recently raised early termination fees from $175 to $325. All this is clearly in preparation for another wave of sales expected in the wake of Apple introducing its new iPhone next week.

Update: Wow, AT&T really has "message discipline" problems. Engadget reports tonight of the case of Giorgio Galante, who sent two e-mails to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson complaining about service, etc. The second e-mail prompted a call from the company, which thanked him for his feedback, but "also politely warn him that further emails would be met with legal action. Ouch. As you'd expect, AT&T just lost itself a customer."