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Monday, September 30, 2013

Last week at The Fonecast: 30th September 2013

Changes revealed, charges concealed

Mark Bridge writes:

Things didn’t look so bad in the mobile industry last week. After the shock of BlackBerry’s job losses and restructuring, it seemed as though the saga could be reaching a conclusion. On Monday shareholder Fairfax Financial announced a bid to buy the company. BlackBerry’s board of directors has approved the terms of the agreement, although it’s still able to consider alternative proposals as well. And just to remind us how bad things are, the company’s formal quarterly results statement confirmed a $965 million loss.

Tablet technology was making the headlines, starting with Tesco’s own-brand Hudl Android device and followed by Microsoft’s new Surface 2 tablets. We also had new Kindle Fire tablets from Amazon; watch out for the Fire HDX family, coming to the UK in… er… well… anyway. Available in the USA before Christmas.

And there was kind-of good news from HTC, which is selling its final stake in audio product manufacturer Beats Electronics back to the company. Okay, you could argue that things didn’t work out during the past two years but at least it’s made a profit on the deal.

Even the telecoms complaints figures from Ofcom were falling.

However, there was a cloud on the horizon. The Office of Fair Trading has expressed concerns about children spending money within mobile games and apps. It wants clearer up-front warnings about the potential costs of in-app payments and has warned of enforcement action if companies don’t comply. Let’s hope legal action isn’t needed.

On Monday mornings we summarise the past week’s mobile industry headlines in a newsletter that’s very much 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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