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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Last week at The Fonecast: 12th December 2011

Mark Bridge writes:

With less than a fortnight until Christmas, it’s probably time to order the turkey and start thinking about gifts. What could be a better present than being given your very own mobile operating system?  That’s what’s happening over at HP, which is making its webOS software available to the open source community. The big question now is whether developers will respond with “lovely, just what I wanted” or a slightly embarrassed “oh, I’ve already got one of those.”

Talking of open source mobile operating systems, the Android Market has now served over 10 billion app downloads. It’s not caught up with Apple’s App Store yet... but it’s getting close. Some will argue about quantity over quality, others will have been downloading Google’s celebratory 10p applications to their phones.

And on the subject of celebrations, it’s party time at Samsung – where more than 300 million mobile phones have shipped this year. That’s a company record and is only the second time any company’s managed the feat. (Nokia was the first, in case you’d not guessed).

While you’re reminiscing, here’s another blast from the past. Panasonic is getting back into the European mobile phone market. In March we’re expecting to see an Android smartphone with a 4.3-inch organic LED screen. But how will it be sold?  Well, if O2 has its way, there’ll be a new way of buying phones. Alongside the prepay and ‘pay monthly’ contract will be a lease. Spend nothing up front, pay a monthly fee, then give your phone back after a year and start again. Or walk away.

Walking away from its proposed new brand is Research In Motion, which has temporarily been barred from referring to the new BlackBerry operating system as ‘BBX’. BBx is already a trademark of software company Basis International, so the new RIM OS looks likely to be called BlackBerry 10 instead.

Location-based social network Gowalla is also calling it a day. The company will close at the end of January, having been acquired by Facebook. And Jawbone is – temporarily, at least – admitting defeat with its UP mobile health wristband. Technical problems have led to a generous refund policy and a halt to shipping for the moment. Mind you, with Christmas culinary over-indulgence just days away, that’s probably not such a bad thing. Well, not for me, anyway.

Are you subscribing to our podcasts?  Last week we started by talking to device data and web optimisation specialists 51Degrees.mobi (who are also our current sponsors). Next came the regular news update on Wednesday, followed by a conversation about mobile telecare with Burnside Telecom on Friday. Find all the latest broadcasts on our RSS feed or via iTunes.

Start your week with a reminder of the latest headlines. Simply register at TheFonecast.com by clicking the link at the top right-hand corner of our home page and we’ll send you this weekly news summary by email.

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