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European smartphone shipments fall to lowest Q1 total since 2013

A new report from Counterpoint Research's Market Monitor service shows European smartphone shipments dropping by 12% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022. That's the lowest Q1 total since 2013.
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Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Which? seeks payout for Samsung and Apple smartphone owners

Consumer protection organisation Which? has been given permission by the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal to represent Apple and Samsung smartphone buyers in a legal case against chip manufacturer Qualcomm.
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Google announces new devices

Google announces new devices

Pixel Watch, smartphones, earbuds and more

Google's 2022 I/O conference for developers has seen the company previewing new products, including its Pixel 7 smartphone, a Pixel tablet and the first smartwatch entirely built by Google.
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UK advertising watchdog says Tesco Mobile ads were offensive

UK advertising watchdog says Tesco Mobile ads were offensive

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that a number of recent Tesco Mobile advertisements were likely to cause "serious and widespread offence".

Newspaper ads, digital outdoor posters and a Twitter post were investigated after 52 complaints.
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Apple launches self-service repairs in the USA

Apple launches self-service repairs in the USA

DIY iPhone repairers can now order official spares

Apple has launched 'Self Service Repair' in the USA, enabling consumers to obtain repair manuals, Apple parts and tools from an official Repair Store. The service will be expanded into additional countries later this year.
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Opinion Articles

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Ofcom bans locked handsets from December 2021

New customer-friendly rules from UK telecoms regulator

Telecoms regulator Ofcom is to ban UK mobile network operators from selling handsets that are 'locked' to their own networks. This will take effect from December 2021.

It's part of a package of new rules to help customers understand their contracts before they sign up and makes it easier for them to move to other networks when their minimum contract term ends.

'Locking' new phones to a particular network is favoured by some companies as it helps them enforce the minimum term of the contract, which is often associated with a subsidised purchase price for the phone. Unlocking usually has a charge associated with it and can be a confusing process for customers.

O2, Sky, Three and Virgin are among the companies that already sell unlocked devices to their customers.

Selina Chadha, Connectivity Director for Ofcom, said "We know that lots of people can be put off from switching because their handset is locked. So we’re banning mobile companies from selling locked phones, which will save people time, money and effort – and help them unlock better deals."

The other new Ofcom rules will ensure customers are given a summary of their contract in writing before they sign up, including the contract length and prices - and customers who need accessible formats because of disabilities will be able to choose communications in a format that meets their needs. They're part of the regulator's implementation of the new European Electronic Communications Code. These rules on better contract information will come into effect from June 2022.
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