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Monday, July 16, 2012

Last week at The Fonecast: 16th July 2012

Black days for BlackBerry?

Mark Bridge writes:

BlackBerry and bad news seem inextricably linked at the moment. RIM’s CEO admits he’s “not satisfied” with recent company performance and warns of challenging times ahead... and then the company is hit by a $147 million dollar damages order for patent infringement.

Mind you, Research In Motion wasn’t the only mobile company bringing disappointment into the mainstream news last week. O2 UK suffered over half a day of disruption that left millions of its customers unable to use their phones while Chinese manufacturer ZTE said half-year profits could be down by up to 80% due to postponed domestic deals and currency issues in the Eurozone.

A legal battle between Samsung and Apple in the UK resulted in positives and negatives for both sides. A judge ruled that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab family didn’t infringe Apple’s iPad design (hoorah for Samsung!) because the Samsung tablets were clearly not as cool as the iPad (hoorah for Apple!).

Technology distributors Brightstar and Tech Data were claiming a win-win deal with an announcement that Brightstar Corporation was selling its 50% share of jointly-run Brightstar Europe to Tech Data. Tech Data will then have its own European distributor, while Brightstar will continue operations in Europe under a wholly-owned subsidiary.

While we’re talking about partnerships, Vodafone Ireland and Three Ireland have agreed to set up a 50/50 joint venture company to share their physical network and site infrastructure across the country. Back in the UK, Telefonica has extended its partnership with G4S Utility Services and will now be providing up to 1.4 million O2 SIM cards for ‘smart’ gas & electricity meters. And Telefonica was also in on the global machine-to-machine alliance that’s designed to help network operators with cross-border M2M deals.

Finally, in a world where – as Iain Graham often points out – every phone is becoming a smartphone, it’s clear that accessories are becoming more sophisticated as well. A new report from Juniper Research says ‘smart accessories’ will become a major new market for manufacturers over the next five years, with this year’s total of 10 million task-specific smart devices expected to be dwarfed by the 2017 total of over 100 million units.

Mind you, with ‘smart paper’ and ‘smart covers’ already on the market, perhaps that’s not really so surprising.

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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