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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

Friday, January 24, 2014

Review: CAT Active Urban rugged phone case for iPhone 5 and 5s

Natasha Cooper writes:

As someone who has been through more iPhone screens than I’d like to remember, when I recently upgraded to an iPhone 5s I was keen to keep it in one piece - for a few months at least. Cue the new CAT Active Urban Phone Case, which claims to protect your phones from falls of up to 1.8 meters using a reinforced material that can also be found in protective equipment for motor bike riders.

That last sentence doesn’t conjure up an image of a very attractive or discreet looking cover but you’d be surprised; it is much slimmer than expected and it doesn’t make the phone feel bulky to hold.

I’d say the design is undoubtedly aimed more at the male market but, although rugged looking, it is attractive enough in black and silver. I always feel it is a shame when covers completely disguise a good-looking smartphone but if you are looking for heavy-duty protection then I think it is to be expected.

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As a professional caterer I use my phone a lot in the kitchen for looking up recipes and taking photos. I was pleased that the cover wipes down easily and the volume buttons are still as functional as when the phone is case-free (which they aren’t always with other cases!).

Although I haven't had any ‘major’ phone dropping incidents in the month since I have had the case, it has endured the day-to-day routine of being in a busy kitchen and suffering the occasional tumble. My iPhone 5s (hidden in its new manly disguise) looks as good as the day I bought it, which means this case gets the thumbs up from me.

I should add that the case has attracted a number of admirers. I’ve had several people ask what it’s like and where you can buy it. There’s not much else to say about a case other than its design and its effectiveness, but I’d say this one is worth buying at the current price - I’ve seen it at £19.95 on Amazon and am sure my local phone shop would offer a similar deal. It feels good, looks good and protects the phone very well from general daily use.

Natasha Cooper is co-founder of Coopers Kitchen, a catering service that provides high quality home-cooked food to South East London and Sussex. The CAT Active Urban case was provided to The Fonecast by Bullitt Mobile.
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Recent Podcasts

A week of mobile industry news, including the latest security and privacy concerns

Podcast - 16th April 2014

We begin this week's podcast with a discussion about the Heartbleed bug, the effect it's having on the mobile industry and the wider issues for all internet users.

We're also talking about the future of BlackBerry, UK 4G coverage, new CEOs, Bluetooth connectivity, privacy concerns and the next generation of mobile processors.

Author: The Fonecast
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A new mobile move from Microsoft, a roaming revolution in Europe... and much more

Podcast - 9th April 2014

This week's podcast starts with news from Microsoft about an update to its Windows Phone platform and a cost-free OS offer to hardware manufacturers.

There's also a new flagship smartphone from Nokia, a roaming announcement from the European Parliament, a UK virtual mobile network from The Co-operative Group, a change at the top for Mozilla, retail expansion for Vodafone and an awkward end to BlackBerry's relationship with T-Mobile in the USA.

Author: The Fonecast
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Acquisitions, banking, complaints... and the rest of the week's mobile industry news

Podcast - 2nd April 2014

Acquisition announcements from Facebook and Intel are the first stories in this week's look at the latest UK mobile industry headlines.

They're followed by news about mobile payments, mobile banking, a phone with an invisible solar panel, customer complaints, low-cost 4G smartphones, productivity apps and an intriguing case of WhatsApp-itis.

Author: The Fonecast
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Smartphones, smart watches and SMS spam: all the week's mobile industry news headlines

Podcast - 26th March 2014

Iain Graham, James Rosewell and Mark Bridge are reunited for their regular weekly look at the latest UK mobile industry headlines.

Today they're talking about smart watches, an Apple iPhone announcement, the new HTC One M8, the closure of Ovivo Mobile, text spam, peer-to-peer messaging, government hacking and mergers.

Author: The Fonecast
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Designing mobile phones for seniors: we talk to Doro and Emporia Telecom

Podcast - 21st March 2014

Producing mobile phones for older customers requires much more than big buttons and a simple interface. At Mobile World Congress last month we spoke to two major players in this growing sector: Swedish company Doro and Austria's Emporia Telecom.

Our first conversation was with Harald Obereder, Chief Technology Officer at Emporia, who spoke to Mark Bridge about handset design and user interface design. This was followed by an interview with Chris Millington, Managing Director for Doro UK and Ireland, about research and development in the 'senior tech' market.

Author: The Fonecast
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