iFive: Spotify Worth $1 Billion, Jobs Speaks on App Subscriptions, Huawei U.S. Deal Ends, Flash on Android Tabs, White iPhone 5

The week’s off to a running start, so let us help you get up to speed too–here’s today’s early innovation news, handily summarized:

Innovation has a broad definition–and here’s an odd example: A Facebook app lets you monitor when someone you have, ahem, “interest” in changes their relationship status from with a partner to without one. The Facebook Breakup Notifier is racking up “stalker app” headlines left, right and center. On with the news:


1. Though music streaming service Spotify hasn’t cracked the U.S., its business model has worked well elsewhere…well enough that Spotify’s been able to sell a 5% stake of its business to Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins for $50 million. Russian firm Digital Sky Tech is investing another $50 million in cash, valuing the innovative music firm at $1 billion. Will U.S. record execs pay attention now?

2. Controversy erupted after Apple’s apps subscriptions were announced, with Apple demanding 30% of subs arranged via iTunes. But there’s significant confusion whether the rules apply to all content–including non-music data. Now Steve Jobs has chimed in with an email noting “we created subscriptions for publishing apps, not SaaS [Software as a Service] apps.” Expect much debate about this in the news.

3. We’ve noted before seeming double standards in the U.S. concerning Chinese high-tech firms like Huawei, and it appears the first battle for now has ended: Huawei is dropping its attempts to win official approval for its purchase of 3Leaf systems. Official opposition centered on a white-wash National Security issues, concerning 3Leaf’s tech. Huawei says it’s backing down because of the controversy.

4. Reacting to big headline-grabbing news that Android tablets like Motorola’s Xoom would ship without Adobe Flash capability (similar to the iPad controversy), Adobe’s just released a press release: It “will offer Flash Player 10.2 pre-installed on some tablets and as an OTA download on others within a few weeks of Android 3…becoming available”–including the Xoom.

5. We’re on the verge of finally seeing white iPhone 4s (those highly coveted devices) on sale, now that Apple’s team has fixed the high-tech manufacturing flaws with its paint. Now there’s a rumor Wintek is tipped to be the only touch-panel provider for the white iPhone 5–due in just a few months.

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