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Within three years, most users will turn to their tablet or smartphone for online activities

New predictions from Gartner show how we’re moving to 'mobile first'

New predictions from technology research company Gartner have shown how we’re increasingly relying on mobile technology.

It’s forecasting that by 2018, more than 50% of users worldwide will go to a tablet or smartphone first for all their online activities.

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By 2020 there'll be four internet-connected devices for every person in the world

By 2020 there'll be four internet-connected devices for every person in the world

A new report from Strategy Analytics shows that almost 12 billion internet-connected devices will be in use around the world by the end of this year; the equivalent of 1.7 devices for every person.

However, growth in machine-to-machine connections for the ‘Internet of Things’ is expected to result in this ratio increasing dramatically in the next six years.

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96% of mobile phones worldwide are expected to have Bluetooth connectivity by 2018

Figures released at the Bluetooth World 2014 conference show that 96% of all mobile phones - not just smartphones - are expected to include Bluetooth wireless technology by 2018.

That compares with 90% in 2013.

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Mobile phones and eBook readers are more 'personal' than tablets and PCs

Figures from the GlobalWebIndex market research study into digital consumers have provided a fascinating snapshot of mobile device usage.

Globally, Android was the most-used mobile operating system, climbing from 27% market share in 2011 to 65% by the end of 2013.

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Thailand leads the move to smartphones and tablets for internet access

New figures from media agency Mindshare Worldwide show that Thailand has the world’s highest proportion of internet users who aren’t relying on desktop computers.

Just 54% of people in Thailand used a desktop or laptop computer as their main internet device, with 32% using smartphones and 11% on tablets.

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Opinion Articles

giffgaff has an official voice worth listening to

Mark Bridge writes:

Yesterday I spotted a new blog page from O2-supported MVNO giffgaff. The company’s head of digital marketing Rob Gotlieb announced the finished version of a promotional film – and mentioned the official voice of giffgaff, voiceover artist Tom Oldham (who, interestingly, was also the voice on Vodafone ads at one point). And for a moment I thought “Official voice?  You what?”

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Mobiles go meddling in medicine

Mark Bridge writes:

“Okay, Mr Bridge, just relax. This won’t hurt a bit. I just need to… oh, hold on a moment, my phone’s crashed. I’ll just pop the battery out and we can start again.”

Some years ago I read an article in Fast Company magazine. Entitled “They Write the Right Stuff”, it explained how NASA’s software engineers couldn’t afford to make errors because any mistakes were likely to kill their colleagues.

That need to check, double-check and then check again was also one of the reasons the space agency ended up looking on eBay for tried-and-tested obsolete components. But now things seem to be swinging towards the opposite end of the scale.

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I want a mobile wallet - and I want it NOW!

Mark Bridge writes:

A few months ago James wrote about the slow adoption of mobile and contactless payments in the UK. Now we hear that Kenya’s M-PESA mobile money transfer service has arrived here. Yes, m-payments are finally going mainstream in the United Kingdom. Well, sort of. Well, alright, not at all really. What’s happened is that people in the UK are now able to send money to M-PESA users in Kenya. But what about the progress of mobile payments in the UK?

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Which mobile operating system will top the charts at Christmas?

James Rosewell writes:

It seems to be accepted that the Apple iPhone will be the top selling mobile phone this Christmas now it’s available on almost every UK network. The more interesting question is which handsets will hold the number 2 to 5 positions - and what operating system will they be running when the smartphone scores are announced in the new year?

Microsoft announced Windows Phone last week and I commented on the importance of persuading their heartland fans to move from iPhone and other platforms to Windows Phone. Disappointingly, finding a mobile retailer willing to sell a Windows Phone is not easy at the moment. Orange tell me they’ve withdrawn the one model they were going to offer from Toshiba. Vodafone didn’t even know what a Windows Phone was.

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Life is toooo complicated!

Iain Graham writes:

I have just bought (well, been given) a new mobile phone!  It, of course, cost me nothing, because we still haven't learnt in this industry, but it came with the now obligatory, shrink-wrapped, 140-page instruction manual on how to use it!!  A perfect cure for insomnia!  I read the opening page or two and it might as well have been written in Serbo-Croatian for all the sense it made to me!!  (I then realised it WAS written in Serbo-Croatian and so I turned to the correct language section) and it was just as incomprehensible!

Even worse, the manufacturers (who are too tight to pay for the printing in the name of 'going green') put the instruction manual on a CD!!

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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

Podcast - 6th March 2015

Mark Bridge learns about the mobile technology trends at Mobile World Congress 2015 by chatting to James Rosewell of 51Degrees, Dr Kevin Curran from the IEEE and Chris Millington of Doro.

They talk about wearable devices, wireless charging, mobile operating systems and much more... including some of their favourite products from the exhibition.

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Looking back at February: from security scares to multiple MVNOs

Podcast - 27th February 2015

We're taking a look back at the biggest mobile industry news stories from February 2015, including allegations that the UK's security service tried to breach SIM card security by hacking into one of the world's biggest SIM producers.

We also talk about the planned BT and EE merger, the creation of two new UK virtual networks, some acquisitions in the mobile payment arena and a new Ubuntu smartphone.

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

Podcast - 24th February 2015

In today's programme Mark Bridge talks to Chris Millington, who's Managing Director for Doro UK and Ireland.

They discuss the state of mobile retailing in the UK, the future of wearable devices and - as you might expect - smartphones for seniors.

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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?

We also discuss Apple's record-breaking quarterly figures, the highlights of CES and the launch of Microsoft Windows 10, as well as saying farewell to the current version of Google Glass.

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