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Monday, June 24, 2013

Last week at The Fonecast: 24th June 2013

More of the same

Mark Bridge writes:

Another week, another couple of product announcements from Samsung. There appears to be no stopping them, despite a recent drop in the company’s share price.

This time it’s a couple of tablets – one of which runs both Android and Windows 8 – and a 20 megapixel camera that’s got a 4G-enabled Android device built in.

Across the Yellow Sea in China, Huawei has announced the world’s slimmest smartphone. At just 6.18mm deep, it’s taken the prize from whoever had it before. Well, world records aren’t the same without Roy Castle making the announcements. The phone has a 4.7-inch HD screen and runs a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, so it’s pretty high-spec as well as slim.

There was also an announcement from a UK-based company called Kazam, formed by a couple of people who’d worked at HTC. They’re preparing to launch a range of smartphones later this year.

And while I’m talking about new products, mobile photo-sharing service Instagram launched a video option as a challenger to Twitter’s Vine. You can now choose between 6-second repeating video clips and 15-second non-repeating video clips. Or YouTube.

In the world of management, BT CEO Ian Livingston announced his departure to become Minister of State for Trade and Investment (and probably Baron Livingstone) later this year; he’ll be replaced at BT by Gavin Patterson, who’s currently chief executive of BT Retail.

The Communication Workers Union reached an agreement with Telefonica about outsourcing at O2 UK, ending the possibility of strike action. And Orange Group’s Board of Directors stated its full confidence in CEO Stéphane Richard, who was placed under formal investigation for fraud last week. The investigation relates to his previous role working for the French government.

Finally, a spot of research. Last week we learned that Amazon and Argos are the UK’s most-visited mobile retail web sites, the value of mobile commerce transactions is expected to double within the next four years, younger mobile users value data more than text or voice, NFC handset sales were up 300% last year and 4G LTE Advanced devices are going to become more popular.

Which seems to suggest we’re all getting similar phones and will use them to buy loads of mass-produced products from retail warehouses. That’s progress, you know.

On Monday mornings 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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