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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Last week at The Fonecast: 23rd January 2012

Mark Bridge writes:

We’re starting the week with breaking (but not entirely unexpected) news that RIM has a new CEO. Just one, not two. We’ll be talking much more about him in Wednesday’s podcast. In fact, RIM’s announcement concludes a week that’s been packed with big names - and big money as well.

Google, Intel and Microsoft all released quarterly results last week. Intel and Google also had annual figures to crow about, although Google’s share price suffered a bit when ad revenues weren’t as good as some had expected. Intel’s quarterly revenue was $13.9 billion, Google’s was $10.6 billion and Microsoft’s was $20.9 billion, since you asked.

On the other side of the coin there’s Kodak apparently running out of cash. Oh, and there’s Sony Ericsson, which published financial results revealing it had made a loss in 2011. Fortunately, some might say, it’s likely to be the last report from the joint venture before it becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony.

Vodafone was another company making headlines with money. In this case, India’s Supreme Court ruled that Vodafone wasn’t liable to pay taxes on its acquisition of Hutchison Essar in 2007. The country’s tax authorities had claimed a total of around £2.8 billion was due in taxes and penalty payments.

From big money to big numbers. Almost half of US mobile consumers now have smartphones, according to Nielsen research. (Mind you, the UK is already in the same position). InMobi says mobile advertising traffic more than doubled last year. Low-cost smartphone sales are expected to double this year. There’ll be 530 million mobile banking users next year. And there’ll be 365 million mobile machine-to-machine connections worldwide by 2016.

Finally, bringing things back to earth with a bump, we have good news for the clumsy and the careless. Nissan has created the world’s first self-healing iPhone case, which uses the Scratch Shield paint you can already choose as an option on some Nissan vehicles. Not just a publicity stunt, surely?

Meanwhile construction equipment manufacturer JCB put its name on a new limited edition version of the already-tough Motorola DEFY+ smartphone, giving it an assortment of practical apps and a protective sleeve with re-entrant geometry. Re-entrant-geometry?  Yup, that’s the technical description of a pattern that looks like a tractor tyre. Well, I suppose it gives the story an interesting angle.

Start your week with a reminder of the latest mobile 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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