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Monday, September 10, 2012

Last week at The Fonecast: 10th September 2012

No Amazon smartphone, no Nokia tablet

Mark Bridge writes:

It’s a smartphone autumn, as prophesied a few weeks ago by the Carphone Warehouse and many others. The frenzy of big-name announcements led by Samsung at Berlin’s IFA has given way to stand-alone media presentations from Nokia, Motorola and Amazon.

Motorola’s news of three new Android smartphones is expected to be followed by a separate UK-specific launch in a few days’ time. Nokia offered its Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 smartphones equipped with the Windows Phone 8 operating system, although it failed to include the phrase ‘simulated effect’ on a demonstration video that claimed to show the Lumia’s image stabilisation feature. And Amazon came up with four tablets, sending two of them to the UK later this year.

No much-rumoured Amazon smartphone. No Nokia tablet. Oh well. There’s more manufacturer news anticipated this week – but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s stick with last week’s reports for a little while longer.

Money made the mobile news headlines in a number of ways, from Vodafone’s unlimited voice & text tariffs to Skype’s plans for billing via mobile networks. We also had Snappli’s data compression app coming out of beta, along with the UK’s ‘Project Oscar’ m-commerce partnership being given the go-ahead by the European Commission.

There was bad news from Russia, as mobile security company Lookout warned that two out of five smartphones there had a malware infection – and there was good news for anyone in the London area wanting a hand up onto the mobile ladder, thanks to a new UCL-supported course called The Mobile Academy.

However, all this will be forgotten – at least for a moment – on Wednesday. That’s when Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 5. Will it even be named the iPhone 5?  Will it simply be ‘The New iPhone’?  Will it include a new Apple music streaming service?  NFC payments?  A taller screen?  4G connectivity?  A nano-SIM?  Dramatically different maps?

We’ll let you know.

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