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Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom wants to ban inflation-related rises in phone and broadband contracts. Instead, it says any potential mid-contract price rises should be set out in pounds and pence.
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Global smartphone market is set for recovery, says new forecast

A new forecast from research specialists Canalys shows the smartphone market is set to recover next year. Worldwide shipments declined by 12% last year but that decline is expected to slow to 5% this year.
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Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

New Hutchison/Vodafone network would be biggest UK operator

Vodafone Group plc and CK Hutchison Group Telecom Holdings Limited have agreed to combine their UK telecommunication businesses, respectively Vodafone UK and Three UK. The merger will create a large new network operator to compete with Virgin Media O2 and EE.
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UK mobile payment service Paym to close in March 2023

UK mobile payment service Paym will close on 7th March 2023. The service, which allowed users to make and receive payments using their mobile phone numbers, was launched in 2014.
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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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Opinion Articles

Monday, March 31, 2014

Last week at The Fonecast: 31st March 2014

HTC goes One better

Mark Bridge writes:

“Hey, everybody, we’re releasing a new flagship smartphone that carries all the hopes of the company with it. If this sells well, we could be saved. If not, it could be disaster.”

“Great. What shall we call our new phone?”

“Oh, we’ll give it the same name as the previous model. That’ll be fine.”

And so the HTC One (M8) arrived, edging the HTC One (M7) out of pole position.

But this wasn’t the week’s only new handset. EE turned up with a sub-£100 ‘pay as you go’ 4G smartphone (blessed with an animal name, rather like an Orange tariff), Danish company Lumigon presented the stylish T2 HD and TAG Heuer revealed a luxury phone with a hidden solar panel.

Meanwhile, Microsoft unveiled its long-awaited ‘Office for iPad’ software and its gave other mobile productivity apps a tweak as well.

In the world of mergers and acquisitions, Nokia said its Microsoft deal was running slightly behind schedule but should be completed in April. Carphone Warehouse and Dixons Retail were unable to confirm whether or not they wanted to merge. Facebook agreed to acquire virtual reality company Oculus VR in a deal worth approximately £1.2 billion. And computing giant Intel acquired Basis Science, the company behind the Basis fitness band.

Finally, to a couple of transformations. BlackBerry, which is currently doing its best to pick itself up, dust itself off and start all over again, published results for the final quarter of its financial year. Around 3.4 million smartphones were sold to end users, of which only 1.1 million were running the BlackBerry 10 platform. On a positive note, the quarterly net loss wasn’t as bad as some had predicted.

Here in the UK, Ofcom published its latest quarterly batch of mobile network complaint statistics. Although O2 is still the company with the least complaints (and EE’s brands remain at the top of the complaints chart), Three has seen an impressive turn-around in the past few years. Complaints about the network have hit their lowest level since Ofcom began publishing complaint data. Nice work. Now, about that singing cat...

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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Recent Podcasts

Tesco gets into smartphones, Facebook gets into advertising... and O2 gets into trouble

Podcast - 7th May 2014

We start this week's podcast with Tesco's plans for a Hudl-branded smartphone. Next comes some potentially good news about the 'patent wars' affecting the mobile industry - although there's certainly no sign of a ceasefire.

Later we discuss an announcement from Facebook about its mobile advertising scheme, an unfortunate mistake for O2's Travel service, a new 20 megapixel camera-phone and an automotive investment by Nokia.

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Bringing video services to smartphones: interview with Jijesh Devan of QuickPlay Media

Podcast - 2nd May 2014

In this interview Mark Bridge talks to Jijesh Devan of QuickPlay Media about the opportunities and challenges of bringing video services to smartphones and other internet-connected devices.

Their conversation took place on the QuickPlay stand inside the App Planet area of Mobile World Congress in February.

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Faulty phones, network closures, court cases, payment apps... and much more mobile industry news

Podcast - 30th April 2014

We have something for everyone in this week's podcast. There's bad news as Samba Mobile closes, bad news as Apple and Samsung suffer product faults... and bad news as wearable devices are criticised for the poor user experience they offer.

Yet there's plenty of good news as well, including the launch of a new UK mobile payment service.

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Seven days of mobile industry news, from money transfers to monster tracking

Podcast - 23rd April 2014

Telefonica sets up its own mobile advertising business, Mozilla puts an interim CEO in place and Nokia suspends sales of its flagship Windows 8.1 RT tablet: all topics for discussion in this week's podcast.

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An introduction to embedded mobile security with Loic Hamon of Inside Secure

Podcast - 18th April 2014

When the topics of mobile technology and security are discussed, the conversation can end up focussing on third-party software solutions.

Inside Secure has a different perspective. It's a specialist in embedded security; building protection in from the start. To learn more, Mark Bridge caught up with Loic Hamon, Vice President of Corporate Development at Inside Secure, at the company's hospitality suite during Mobile World Congress.

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