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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Last week at The Fonecast: 13th February 2012

Mark Bridge writes:

It’s not been a good week for Nokia staff, with 4000 of them likely to lose their jobs from factories in Finland, Hungary and Mexico. The company says it’s moving device assembly to Asia, where it’ll be closer to component manufacturers. The three scaled-down factories will remain open with a new focus on smartphone customisation.

A cheerier note came from O2 UK, which asked head office staff to test its flexible working arrangements on Wednesday. Around 3,000 people didn’t turn up for work, leaving the security guards to race around the empty offices in swivel chairs. Or something like that.

We’re still in quarterly results season; last week’s figures came from HTC, Vodafone and Virgin Media. The latter revealed that its ‘pay monthly’ mobile users had overtaken the number of prepay customers for the first time.

Talking of contracts, Phones 4u launched a new scheme to let customers upgrade every six months. It’s called JUMP – Just Upgrade My Phone – and splits the traditional monthly contract into separate network and phone contracts. JUMP has been running in around 100 shops as a trial since last May.

And while we’re on the subject of upgrades, Cellebrite – the company whose kit disappoints Yoda by transferring contact details between different models of mobile phone – has recently enhanced its touch-screen tablet with a diagnostic option. It’s designed to help in-store staff differentiate between faulty phones and confused customers.

A different kind of problem befell Google, when a flaw in its US mobile payment service was discovered. Rather took the shine off its Chrome mobile browser announcement from earlier in the week. Problems too for satellite phone owners, who learned that their calls could – theoretically, at least – be hacked.

Mind you, GSM calls have been open to hackers for a while... and that’s hardly dented sales, has it?

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Author: The Fonecast
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