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Saturday, July 30, 2011

This week at The Fonecast: 30th July 2011

Mark Bridge writes:

Those quarterly figures keep coming. In our Wednesday podcast we talked about Apple and Nokia – and since then we’ve heard from Everything Everywhere, LG, Motorola, Samsung (with its multi-million selling Galaxy S II), Telefonica and Virgin Media. Each had something positive to stay, although some were more convincing than others.

RIM didn’t have quarterly results, having published its figures last month, although it did have more details about its 'cost optimization program'. Apparently around a tenth of the global workforce, a total of 2,000 jobs, are being cut to save money.

Anyway, the really big news – which isn’t really big news any more – is that Apple’s currently the top smartphone producer, followed closely by Samsung and then Nokia. Also, as we’ve been saying for a while, smartphones are becoming increasingly popular – to the extent that feature phone sales have fallen for the first time in almost 2 years.

Talking of which, we’ve seen a couple of very different new devices in the last few days. From watch manufacturer TAG Heuer comes the LINK, an Android smartphone available in a choice of exotic materials. The “first Swiss luxury touchscreen smartphone”, apparently. And at the other end of the financial scale is the Vodafone 555 Blue, described as “the world’s first designated prepay phone specifically designed to put the Facebook experience into the heart of the handset”. It's probably as close to an official Facebook phone as you’ll find.

From the present to the future, with claims that the UK’s 4G plans are set to disappoint. The Institution of Engineering and Technology says we don’t need more regulation but the right regulation. And the Communications Consumer Panel says Ofcom should use the UK 4G spectrum auction as an opportunity to increase mobile coverage. Meanwhile those legal challenges need sorting out. Will the rest of the world be on 5G before we get to 4?


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