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Monday, March 24, 2014

Last week at The Fonecast: 24th March 2014

The new iPhone no-one was expecting

Mark Bridge writes:

New Apple products! New Android smart watches!

You’d be forgiven for not having noticed either of those news stories last week. Apple did indeed announce a new iPhone – but it was simply a new iPhone 5c with just 8MB of memory. And there was a change to the company’s tablet range, with the entry-level iPad 2 replaced by the now unretired iPad 4.

Meanwhile Google revealed its 'Android Wear' project for smart watches and other wearable devices. Quite a few handset manufacturers have said they’ll use the new OS, with LG and Motorola planning to launch Android-powered smart watches this summer. UK availability hasn’t been mentioned... but neither have any technical specifications, really. Features will include telling the time and... er... stuff.

Vodafone announced plans to acquire Spanish broadband and pay-TV provider Ono, moving its expansion plans onto Telefonica’s home turf. It also reminded us it’s now 30 years since the name Vodafone was created – apparently then-CEO Sir Gerry Whent originally favoured ‘Vodaphone’ – in a press release that spoke of “travelling by car between London and Edinburgh” and being “able to make or receive national and international telephone calls with ease throughout the entire journey”.

Meanwhile, virtual network Ovivo Mobile has closed down. Although its basic tariff was advertising-funded, customers could also buy extra allowances of calls, messages and data, which means some people have ended up out of pocket. The news came as Cognatel, the mobile virtual network aggregator behind Ovivo Mobile and several other MVNOs, was reported to be restructuring with a new focus on larger-scale partnerships.

SMS messaging in the UK was given a boost as the ‘big four’ mobile network operators and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) confirmed they were all using the GSMA’s Spam Reporting Service to deal with unwanted SMS text messages. By sharing information it’s hoped that spammers can be shut down quickly and penalised as well.

Finally, in the week that HTC is set to launch its new One Up smartphone, Samsung has started letting consumers get hands-on with the forthcoming Galaxy S5. Although the new Samsung handset doesn’t go on sale until Friday 11th April, over a thousand shops around the world – Samsung Experience Stores and some other retailers as well – will have the Galaxy S5 smartphone, Gear 2 smart watch and Gear Fit fitness tracker available for demos. All firmly chained to the display stand, I’m sure.

On Monday mornings we summarise the past week’s mobile industry headlines in an email newsletter that’s very much like this article. To receive it, simply register your email address at TheFonecast.com by clicking the link at the top right-hand corner of our home page. Alternatively, stay in touch by listening to our free podcasts via our website, by subscribing on iTunes, by using our RSS feed or by downloading the Stitcher.com mobile app.
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Opinion Articles

Predictions for 2016: Network Function Virtualisation, 4G throttling and video calling

Mark Windle, head of marketing at OpenCloud, predicts that this year’s reduction in the number of traditional telecoms operators in some countries will provide an opportunity for other operators to innovate and capture market share in 2016.

He says next year will be a year of rapid change for telecoms… whether it’s MVNO disruption, competitive tariff pricing or simply defence from the ‘dark art’ of hacking.

Author: The Fonecast
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Kapture review: the audio-recording wristband

Kapture review: the audio-recording wristband

A 'recording watch' that links to your smartphone

Mark Bridge writes:

The most memorable moments in life often go unrecorded. You don't have your camera in your hands. Your finger is still hovering over the 'pause' button on your audio recorder. Or you were simply too busy experiencing whatever was happening. It's all about the one that got away.

That's where Kapture can help.

Author: The Fonecast
4 Comments
Article rating: 4.0
Making mobile websites work better

Making mobile websites work better

Device detection and responsive design explained

Mark Bridge writes:

James Rosewell shows me a colourful roll of paper that's the width of an iPhone but well over three metres long. When I look closer, I can see it's a printed copy of the Wall Street Journal's mobile website. That's a lot of scrolling to do... and a pretty unfriendly user experience for anyone reading the news online. Why does it work so badly?

Author: The Fonecast
1 Comments
Article rating: 3.8

Podcast transcript: O2 counts on 3, Microsoft counts to 10 and Apple counts its profits

Here’s an edited transcript of our new monthly podcast, broadcast on 30th January 2015.

[Iain Graham]: Hello, it's Friday 30th January 2015. Welcome to this month's edition of The Fonecast. That’s right, you heard correctly: we’ve temporarily moved to a monthly format. If you’d like to join 51Degrees in sponsoring the podcast and returning us to weekly programmes, please get in touch via our website. Now, on with the show.

Author: The Fonecast
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Article rating: 5.0

The secret of Apple's success

Mark Bridge writes:

What’s the secret of Apple’s success? That’s the question I was asked earlier this week by LBC radio during a report on Apple’s impressive iPhone sales and its record quarterly results.

So here are six reasons I think Apple is doing so well at the moment.

Author: The Fonecast
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Recent Podcasts

Reviewing our 2015 mobile industry predictions... and looking forward to 2016

Podcast - 15th January 2016

Iain Graham, James Rosewell and Mark Bridge return to review their mobile industry predictions from last year. Which mergers, partnerships and developments did they forecast correctly... and which didn’t work out as planned?

Later in the programme, the team anticipates some of the topics that will be hitting the headlines during 2016.

Author: The Fonecast
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Podcast from Mobile World Congress 2015

Podcast - 6th March 2015

Mark Bridge learns about the mobile technology trends at Mobile World Congress 2015 by chatting to James Rosewell of 51Degrees, Dr Kevin Curran from the IEEE and Chris Millington of Doro.

They talk about wearable devices, wireless charging, mobile operating systems and much more... including some of their favourite products from the exhibition.

Author: The Fonecast
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Looking back at February: from security scares to multiple MVNOs

Podcast - 27th February 2015

We're taking a look back at the biggest mobile industry news stories from February 2015, including allegations that the UK's security service tried to breach SIM card security by hacking into one of the world's biggest SIM producers.

We also talk about the planned BT and EE merger, the creation of two new UK virtual networks, some acquisitions in the mobile payment arena and a new Ubuntu smartphone.

Author: The Fonecast
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Interview with Chris Millington of Doro about mobile retailing, wearables and technology for older consumers

Podcast - 24th February 2015

In today's programme Mark Bridge talks to Chris Millington, who's Managing Director for Doro UK and Ireland.

They discuss the state of mobile retailing in the UK, the future of wearable devices and - as you might expect - smartphones for seniors.

Author: The Fonecast
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A month of mobile: O2 counts on 3, Microsoft counts to 10 and Apple counts its profits

Podcast - 30th January 2015

We're back with a month of mobile industry news, including takeover talks and takeover rumours. O2 and Three are said to be discussing a merger... but is there any truth in the suggestions that BlackBerry could be up for grabs?

We also discuss Apple's record-breaking quarterly figures, the highlights of CES and the launch of Microsoft Windows 10, as well as saying farewell to the current version of Google Glass.

Author: The Fonecast
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