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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Last week at The Fonecast: 31st October 2011

Mark Bridge writes:

In the world of retail, you can’t move for Hallowe’en puns at the moment. You know the kind of thing. Spooky offers. Frighteningly low prices. Missing our deals will haunt you. There’s not the ghost of a chance we’ll shift these PlayBooks unless we cut the price.

And it’s been another big news week for mobile manufacturing. Nokia has revealed its first Windows Phone devices, along with some S40 almost-smartphone handsets. The WP7 phones are branded as ‘Lumia’ and the S40 mobiles are ‘Asha’. Feel free to write your own “Brimful of...” headline.

Also in the world of manufacturing, Sony has agreed to buy Ericsson out of the Sony Ericsson partnership after ten years. Sony is picking up a mobile phone business with a handful of useful patents, while Ericsson is picking up just over a billion Euro.

Still with manufacturing but very much focussed at the luxury end of the market (wherever that is), Porsche Design and Research In Motion have confirmed they’ll be producing a new luxury mobile phone. Officially it’s called the Porsche Design P’9981 smartphone from BlackBerry – but it’s equipped with an angular QWERTY keyboard that sets it a long way apart from other BlackBerry products.

As well as talking about the stainless steel and leather P’9981 (which, much like Hallowe’en, has an apostrophe in an unexpected place), RIM had two of its smartphones approved by MasterCard for its PayPass NFC payment system. Mind you, it wasn’t all good news from RIM; the company also warned that the next version of its BlackBerry PlayBook operating system wouldn’t turn up until next year.

Quarterly results are still coming thick and fast, with Motorola Mobility, Samsung, LG and Everything Everywhere all publishing their figures. No great surprises, with the exception of Olaf Swantee’s description of Everything Everywhere as “a silly name”.

And Strategy Analytics has calculated that Samsung is now the world’s top seller of smartphones, overtaking Apple (which, in turn, overtook Nokia in the previous quarter).

Mind you, Apple might have the last laugh. Having been granted a patent earlier this year for the pinch-and-zoom touchscreen interface, it’s now been granted a slide to unlock patent. Thank heavens for Android’s new face recognition unlocking, eh?

Last week we spoke to Dr Mark Smith of ipadio about the ways the voice broadcasting service has changed since it launched two years ago. You can listen on our website, via iTunes or by downloading the MP3 file.

Stay up to date by receiving this news summary by email every week. Simply register at TheFonecast.com by clicking the link at the top right-hand corner of our home page.

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