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A big increase for quarterly smartphone shipments

A big increase for quarterly smartphone shipments

Figures from Strategy Analytics show 340 million devices shipped

Global smartphone shipments reached 340 million units in the first quarter of 2021, a 24% year-on-year increase, according to new figures from Strategy Analytics.
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Apple launches AirTag tracking accessory

Apple launches AirTag tracking accessory

Apple has launched a small tracking device called AirTag, described by the company as "an iPhone accessory that provides a private and secure way to easily locate the items that matter most".
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UK government intervenes in proposed acquisition of ARM by NVIDIA

UK government intervenes in proposed acquisition of ARM by NVIDIA

The UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has intervened in the sale of smartphone chip producer ARM Limited to NVIDIA Corporation. The $40 billion sale agreement was announced between NVIDIA and Softbank, ARM's current owner, in September 2020.
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UK ranks 78th in the world for mobile data costs, says new report

UK ranks 78th in the world for mobile data costs, says new report

Figures from Cable.co.uk show Israel is cheapest for 1GB of mobile data

Telecoms comparison site Cable.co.uk has looked at the cost of using 1GB of mobile data in 230 countries, analysing over 6,000 mobile data plans. It says Israel is the cheapest country for mobile data, with the UK in 78th place.
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LG is closing its mobile phone business

LG is closing its mobile phone business

LG Electronics says it’s closing its mobile phone business, with closure expected by 31st July 2021.
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Opinion Articles

Friday, December 18, 2020

Whatever happened to all my tech?

Mark Bridge revisits his mobile technology reviews

Mark Bridge writes:

Over the past few years I’ve bought a fair amount of mobile technology. I’ve also been lucky enough to be given some. But times flies – nowhere faster than in the tech sector – and yesterday’s best-selling handset can quickly find itself at the bottom of the recycling bin.

I’ve been taking a look back at the devices I’ve written about during the past few years. Some are still faithful companions, others... well, let’s just say my faith was misplaced.

Kapture audio-recording wristband
Let’s start with the biggest disappointment: 2015’s Kapture wristband. Launched on Kickstarter in 2013, it arrived late with a trail of broken promises. It recorded sound into a ‘buffer’ that was constantly overwritten. If you heard something you wanted to keep, you pressed a button on the watch-like device and it saved the last 60 seconds of audio to your smartphone. Cool or what?

The reality was just-about-adequate recording quality, the need for watch-wearers to attach a device to both wrists, a patchy app and a reliance on Kapture’s cloud service. When Kapture quietly slipped off the internet a few years ago, my recording wristwatch stopped working.

Apple iPhone 6
“Would you like to borrow an iPhone 6 for a few days?” asked Three UK. I did. It was unremarkable. Not bad, just not as good for me as the Android-based HTC phone I was using at the time.

Nomad ChargeCard
Battery life may not be as glamorous or as headline-grabbing as other features but it’s an essential. So when Nomad asked me to try a couple of their robust ultra-portable charging cables, they received a very enthusiastic reply. I liked the idea of the ChargeKey cable on my keyring, although eventually the microUSB plug started wearing through my pockets, which isn’t so practical. However, the Carabiner version seems much better – so I bought one as a gift.

HTC One M7
Oh, I loved my HTC One. Great design, great functionality, great annoyance when the camera started playing up, great delight when they fixed it. I’m currently rocking a Huawei P20 Pro, which I’d like a whole lot more if it hadn’t just fallen off the company’s list of supported devices. There’s nothing wrong with my phone after two years – except a potential lack of security patches for the operating system.

Barclaycard bPay wristband
Another departed piece of tech, although this one’s largely evolved rather than died. bPay was effectively a tiny contactless debit card embedded in a wristband (or assorted other handy devices, such as key fobs). It worked in association with your phone for checking purchases and adding money to the account. When most payment cards weren’t NFC-enabled, bPay made contactless payment a simple add-on for anyone who wanted it. Today, with most debit and credit cards able to handle contactless payments – and contactless payment supported by all major mobile operating systems – bPay has very much become a victim of its own success.

Philips Voice Tracer DVT6000 recording machine
I love this. I was sent it to review by Philips and was allowed to keep it afterwards, which is something of a rarity. What an absolute delight. It’s designed as a voice recorder – some people would call it a ‘dictation machine’, although the sound quality is much better than that description suggests. I always use it for interviews, either as a main recorder or a backup, and I’ve even used the automatic timer function to record the Dawn Chorus. Still as good as new, six years on.






Mark Bridge is a freelance writer who continues to invest unwisely in new technology. You can find him on Twitter @markbridge.
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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.

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Podcast from Mobile World Congress 2015

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Looking back at February: from security scares to multiple MVNOs

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

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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?

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