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Monday, November 11, 2013

Last week at The Fonecast: 11th November 2013

A $1 billion rescue and an £8 million tariff

Mark Bridge writes:

We started last week with a change of plan from BlackBerry. No, it’s not selling itself to Fairfax Financial. Instead it’s aiming to raise $1 billion from investors. Cynics might suggest there wasn’t enough interest for a takeover.

Another big name hitting the mainstream headlines was Twitter, which launched on the stock market. Not only was the initial share price higher than expected, the company’s value was up by over 70% by the end of the first day. That’s impressive, although it’s the longer-term picture that really counts.

Here in the UK, there was news about a new range of Android smartphones. Step forward Kazam, founded six months ago by a couple of chaps who’d previously worked at HTC. With the promise of a replacement screen if you damage your phone in the first year, it’s clear the company has a clear focus on customer service.

Also keen to help customers was EE, which revealed plans to bring LTE-Advanced to London and also started talking about a one million gigabyte 4G data bundle. According to EE, it would take one person 13 years of non-stop HD video streaming to burn their way through it. Yours for just £8 million.

However, not all the week’s news was good. Ofcom pointed its regulatory finger at Vodafone UK, noting that the network had fallen short of its 3G coverage target. Vodafone has promised to achieve 90% population coverage by the end of 2013, bring it into line with EE, O2 and Three.

And we saw two CEOs prepare for departure. As well as Thorsten Heins leaving BlackBerry when the new funding arrives, Acer CEO JT Wang is stepping down after poor financial results. There are some weighty names getting involved when they leave: former Sybase chief exec John Chen is taking over at BlackBerry, while Acer co-founders Stan Shih and George Huang are overseeing restructuring at Acer. Good luck to all.

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 by clicking the link at the top right-hand corner of our home page.
Author: The Fonecast
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