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Monday, June 25, 2012

Last week at The Fonecast: 25th June 2012

Microsoft cooks up two new tablets while LG turns down the heat

Mark Bridge writes:

Time once again for our look at all the biggest mobile industry stories from the past seven days.

Microsoft kicked the week off with news of an own-brand rival to the Apple iPad. The new Windows-based Microsoft Surface tablets will start to appear later this year, although full details of the specifications – including whether or not there’ll be cellular connectivity – remain unconfirmed.

But that wasn’t the only hot news from Richmond. We also saw a preview of Windows Phone 8, the obviously-named successor to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system. It’ll be pre-installed on new phones from later this year but won’t be available as an upgrade for older phones.

That’s not necessarily good news for anyone who’s just bought a Nokia Lumia... but at least those customers will know how to get the best from their handsets. Nokia has just launched a service called Smart Setup, which offers a free telephone helpline to UK customers who buy a Lumia smartphone.

Sticking with the UK, we heard that Amazon’s own Android application store is heading our way this summer. It’s already a popular destination in the USA – and it could well be a precursor to the Kindle Fire tablet turning up.

Talking of international travel, T-Mobile UK launched new tariff options that give its customers an unambiguous data allowance when they’re using a smartphone or mobile broadband device abroad.

However, it wasn’t a week of entirely upbeat news. Samsung had a challenging time, dealing with a Galaxy SIII that appeared to have suffered some heat-related damage. Twitter experienced problems too, seeing the ‘fail whale’ surfacing for over an hour on Thursday.

And – in a week when one of the world’s big technology companies moved into tablet manufacturing – LG was reported to be putting tablet development “on the back burner” in order to focus on mobile devices. Quite a contrast with tablet-lovin’ Microsoft, which killed off its Kin smartphones a couple of years ago.

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.

The Fonecast is sponsored by 51Degrees.mobi. More details about advertising and sponsorship opportunities are available on the About Us section of our website.
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