Mark Bridge writes:
It’s time for my summary of last week’s mobile industry news… and what a week it’s been. Not just for me – I made my first-ever visit to Over The Air on Friday – but for the world of mobile devices.
The big news came from Amazon, which introduced four new Kindle eBook readers. The really flashy one is the Kindle Fire, an Android-based WiFi tablet with a browser that relies heavily on information in the cloud. At the moment there’s no mention of the Kindle Fire reaching the UK, although that seems unlikely to remain the case throughout 2012.
Samsung revealed the GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus, successor to its original 7-inch tablet, while Orange, NTT DOCOMO and Sharp announced a fascinating Android smartphone that promises an instant conversion of 2D content into 3D. This one is launching in France; no, still not the UK but at least it’s closer than the United States. Sadly, Nokia didn’t have good news last week – it looks as though around 3,500 more jobs are being cut.
There’s also been a lot happening with operating systems. Tizen promises to be the new MeeGo, according to The Linux Foundation. Let’s hope it has a longer, happier life. Samsung became the latest company to sign an Android-related patent licensing deal with Microsoft. And Windows Phone 7.5 ‘Mango’ began its worldwide roll-out.
Mobile money was another headline maker. Visa Europe prepared the ground for person-to-person payments and spending alerts. ABI Research optimistically predicted that NFC payments would become mass-market within five years. Payment processing provider WorldPay announced a partnership with The MoBank Group. Isis, the US-based mobile commerce venture announced last November, added HTC, LG, Motorola Mobility, RIM, Samsung and Sony Ericsson to its list of supporters. There was even news about mobile payment regulation, with PhonepayPlus promising to look at the problems of app-based mobile payments.
But – as far as the mainstream media is concerned – all this will pale into insignificance in less than 48 hours, when Apple announces something. Probably an iPhone 5, maybe an iPhone 4S, almost definitely without the presence of Steve Jobs. And it seems that something like two out of five mobile phone users plan to buy it. Which leaves me with a simple question. Is it you… or will it be me?
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