6at4 Business Report: Mortgages, smartphones, Google Play

March 6, 2012 2:49:50 PM PST
Are the days of underwritten smartphone contracts over?

FHA refinancing fee lowered
Borrowers with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration will be able to refinance their mortgage at half the fee that FHA currently charges. This is part of President Obama's plan to improve the housing market. The FHA says a typical borrower would save about $1,000 a year.

Google Play open for business
Today Google said 'Goodbye' to the Android Market and hello to Google Play. With Google Play, you can store or buy music in addition to buying apps and games. You can also download books or rent movies that can be viewed on our computer, tablet or smarthphone. Google is offering specials each day for the next week. You can get a selected movie or a novel for just 25¢.

Smartphone discounts ending?
Because of the boom in smartphone sales, those big discounts just might become dinosaurs. Phone companies may be thinking they don't have to offer generous discounts to get you to buy a smartphone anymore since everyone wants one. Bloomberg data shows that sales of high-end devices are going strong even without large price cuts.