Our look at some of the big stories in mobile today: Twitter partners up with Docomo on innovative location services; Cisco (NSDQ: CSCO) gears up for layoffs; Samsung debuts a new screen that some think portends what we might see in the next iPad; and Huawei redoubles efforts in the U.S.
– Twitter/Docomo: Interesting mobile operator partnership for Twitter that indicates one direction the social network might develop its business model. NTT Docomo in Japan has linked up with Twitter for a series of services that will incorporate Twitter data with Docomo’s mobile services.
The two initial projects will involve incorporating Tweets into search results on Docomo’s i-mode search portal (this data will apparently be made anonymous before being being used to help shape results). The second project will let users follow each other when they touch their NFC-enabled handsets together. Both will be launched initially on Docomo’s own handsets this summer before getting rolled out to other devices.
This is a smart move for Twitter — which counts Japan as its second-largest market after the U.S., thanks in no small part to the deal it struck with mobile operator Softbank last year to embed a Twitter client on the home scree of several of its handsets — to not only improve its service offering in that country, but to test out more uses of its content on mobile devices, in a market that is one of the fastest adopters of new services. Twitter is also a client of NTT, using its data centers in the U.S. and elsewhere. Financial terms of the partnership with Docomo were not disclosed.
– Cisco: Last month, Cisco said it would be canning its Flip camera operation; this month, it looks like the networking giant might can a lot more. Reuters (NYSE: TRI) is reporting that the company is expected to announce up to 4,000 layoffs, as part of its $1 billion cost-cutting exercise. This works out to four percent of its workforce and is the largest layoff round seen at the company since 2002, when 2,000 people were made redundant as Cisco grappled with the dot-com crash.
– Samsung iPad: Nearly a whole week has passed without an iPad rumor so we can all breathe a sigh of relief that one has finally surfaced. Samsung has announced a new 10.1-inch retina display screen for tablets that offers the best-yet power efficiency seen for such high resolution. TUAW notes that while it may be some time before this screen makes its way to actual tablets, and while this exact model might be too big for the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) iPad (and notwithstanding the legal dispute currently underway between the two companies), it bodes well for what kind of screens might be going into the next version of Apple’s iconic tablet, in terms of preserving top display quality without sacrificing battery life and potentially competitive pricing.
– Huawei: Fresh from a settlement with Motorola (NYSE: MMI) over IP, Huawei says it will be embarking on a major ad campaign and hiring drive in the U.S. to raise its profile in that market. The company has been selling handsets via smaller carriers like MetroPCS but has yet to win a big deal with a major U.S. carrier like AT&T (NYSE: T) or Verizon or Sprint (NYSE: S). (via Forbes)