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Monday, May 20, 2013

Last week at The Fonecast: 20th May 2013

New products from BlackBerry, Google, HP and Nokia

Mark Bridge writes:

Last year, the Google I/O developer conference gave us plenty of product announcements: Google Glass, the Nexus 7 tablet, the Nexus Q device and the Jelly Bean version of Android. This year’s announcements were less dramatic: a streaming music service, a Google-friendlier Galaxy S4 and some game development tools. Coincidentally (or perhaps not) Apple announced its 50 billionth app download in the middle of the event.

Still, if it’s product news you’re after, there was plenty from other parts of the world. Blackberry revealed the third smartphone that’ll run its BlackBerry 10 platform. It’s the Q5, it has a QWERTY keyboard and it’s expected to hit the shops from July. Mind you, soon you won’t need a BlackBerry device to chat to your mates on BBM: from this summer there’ll be compatible iOS and Android apps as well.

In addition, Nokia announced its Lumia 925 smartphone – which is rather like a smarter-looking Nokia 920 with a better camera – and HP showed off a convertible Android tablet with a detachable keypad.

Mobile networks were also in the headlines. EE started last week with a defence of its privacy policies following a Sunday Times report… but it ended on a happier note by confirming it would be providing temporary 4G coverage for the Glastonbury festival.

BT revealed that its WiFi service now has more than 5 million hotspots in homes and commercial properties across the UK and Ireland. Telefonica announced a deal that’ll add direct mobile billing to Samsung’s application store. And Vodafone started looking forward to a £2 billion dividend from US partner Verizon Wireless.

Finally for now, we bid farewell to Mary Grant, CEO of Phones 4u’s Distribution business: responsible for the retailer’s high-street shops and online business. She’d been in the role for less than 18 months, having joined from bus and rail operator FirstGroup plc. It’s reported she’s leaving the company for ‘personal reasons’.

Every Monday morning we summarise the past week’s mobile industry headlines in a newsletter that’s a lot like this article. To receive it, simply register your email address at TheFonecast.com by clicking the link at the top right-hand corner of our home page.
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