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Saturday, May 7, 2011

This week at The Fonecast: 7th May 2011

Mark Bridge writes:

It’s time for another round-up of the week’s mobile industry news.

Two of the recurring themes we’ve encountered in the last few months are legal action and partnerships. This week’s legal story involves a conflict between Huawei and ZTE, while the partnership news sees RIM working with Microsoft. Yes, you may well raise your eyebrows. It seems Nokia-loving Microsoft is also a friend of the BlackBerry. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer even made the trip to BlackBerry World 2011 for an announcement that new BlackBerry devices will use Bing as the default search and map application.

Talking of new devices, RIM revealed two new touch-screen BlackBerry Bold smartphones – the Bold 9900 and Bold 9930 – both of which will run the forthcoming BlackBerry 7 operating system.

Sticking with Microsoft for a moment, the software giant has admitted that people who’ve updated their Windows Phone devices using an unofficial process may not be able to receive any further updates. Fortunately the chap behind the unofficial process reckons the problem’s not difficult to fix.

Samsung has been talking about a different kind of partnership this week, having persuaded footballer David Beckham to become its global brand ambassador for the London 2012 Olympic Games. It’s probably right to assume he’s not using his Motorola Aura any more.

Mobile payments got a double boost this week. First of all, Vodafone introduced m-payments in around 500 London taxis. Unfortunately you need to pre-register – and it only works with Vodafone-branded cabs – but it’s another step closer to replacing your wallet with your phone.

And then along came Israel-based mobile payment system provider DigiMo, which announced what it describes as the first true mobile payment solution. It doesn’t need extra POS equipment or special phones, which – at the very least – is going to attract plenty of attention.

There are definitely exciting times ahead, which prompts me to end with some research. A new report from Juniper Research expects revenue from person-to-person texting to be overtaken in 2016 by revenue from application-to person (or person-to-application) text messages.

We may have escaped Judgement Day – but it looks as though the machines really are taking over.


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