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Sky launches its own mobile service

Entertainment company Sky has announced what it’s calling “the UK's most flexible mobile service”.

Customers with another Sky service will be able to sign up for Sky Mobile from mid-December, with a full launch expected in early 2017.

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Vodafone fined £4.6 million by Ofcom

Vodafone fined £4.6 million by Ofcom

UK communications regulator Ofcom is fining Vodafone £4,625,000 for mis-selling, inaccurate billing and poor complaints handling.

This penalty is the result of two separate Ofcom investigations.

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Article rating: 4.0
BlackBerry moves away from handset production

BlackBerry moves away from handset production

Veteran smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry says it’s moving away from producing its own handsets and will instead license its software to other companies.

The first deal is with an Indonesian partner, BB Merah Putih, which is led by a leading telecommunications distributor in Indonesia.

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UK mobile users can now send a text to reduce nuisance calls

The Telephone Preference Service and Ofcom have introduced a new text message service that lets UK mobile users opt out of receiving unsolicited sales and marketing calls.

Mobile phone users can simply text ‘TPS’ and their email address to 78070.

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The Nokia brand is returning to mobile phones and tablets

The Nokia brand is returning to mobile phones and tablets

Android-powered devices being produced by a new Finnish company

Former mobile phone manufacturer Nokia has signed a deal that’ll see a new Finnish company producing Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets.

The new company – HMD global – is being granted an exclusive branding and intellectual property licence to create Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets for the next ten years.

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Opinion Articles

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The wristwatch phone isn't a new idea… but is it the right time for the Apple iWatch?

Mark Bridge writes:

Apple is rumoured to be planning a wearable mobile device: the iWatch. Whether it’s an iPhone accessory or a stand-alone mobile phone… or a figment of overactive imaginations… remains to be seen, although press reports suggest it could be launched by the end of 2013.

However, the idea of a wearable communications device certainly isn’t new. Fictional detective Dick Tracy was wearing an equally fictional two-way wrist radio in 1946, yet it took another 50 years before the wrist phone entered mass production. Samsung’s SPH-WP10 hit the shops stateside a decade and a half ago, following the appearance of calculator watches in the 1970s and the programmable digital watches of the 80s. It was soon joined by the Fossil Wrist PDA, which ran the Palm OS, but neither the Wrist PDA nor the WP10 was a truly ‘smart’ watchphone.

Next came the Bluetooth-enabled watches of Sony Ericsson and others. These provided Caller ID and text message notification, enabling users to keep their phones in their pockets until they needed to make a call.

Then in 2009, LG revealed its GD910 3G-enabled watch phone with the ability to make video calls - while Hyundai chose a very similar model name for its MB-910, which had an internet browser.

Sony Ericsson’s LiveView in 2010 worked with Android-powered smartphones to bring a variety of smartphone features to your wrist. It’s since transformed into the Sony SmartWatch and has been joined by rivals including Pebble - described as an e-paper watch for iPhone and Android - and the i’m Watch, which as well as offering on-screen notifications can also be used to make and receive calls via Bluetooth.

Today, searching eBay for ‘watch phone’ offers hundreds of results with many devices priced at under £50. Yet the watchphone has failed to become anything like as popular as the smartphone or even the non-smart ‘feature phone’.

The big question is whether the Apple iWatch will become a must-have accessory for anyone who uses an iPhone - or whether it’ll be a superfluous fashion bangle for smartphone users. After all, now that everyone’s smartphone is also a timepiece, that’s arguably what the wristwatch has become!

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1 comments on article "The wristwatch phone isn't a new idea… but is it the right time for the Apple iWatch?"

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James Rosewell

3/24/2013 9:12 AM

I predicate that Apple will not release an iWatch before Samsung or another. Why? Because they have too much to loss and not enough to gain. They didn't invent the MP3 player, original Apple stores sold Diamond Rios. They didn't invent the phone, or the PC, they made them awesomely better. And that's what will happen with the iWatch. They'll improve on others 2nd generation products. If they go first and there's even something slightly wrong about it, whether it's functional, or simply having enough stock, the criticism will undermine the share price even more than current speculation. For those reason they won't go first. Samsung (or LG, Pantech, HTC, another) will as they've a business model and brand that supports more experimental products. I'm sure inside Apple there are many such products being tried and evaluated to ensure they can move quickly when the time is right. It's all good PR distraction at the moment.

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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

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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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