Mark Bridge writes:
Farewell for another year, dear old International CES. The Las Vegas-based consumer electronics show is but a fading memory as the mobile industry starts preparing for next month’s GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
However, what happened in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas. Most of the big mobile manufacturers had something to say. Samsung revealed four new tablets and also introduced the new ‘Samsung Smart Home’ service. ZTE came up with new smartphones and a handful of other mobile-related equipment. Sony added two new models to its Xperia Android smartphone range and talked about wearable devices. Google is aiming to get Android into Audi, GM, Honda and Hyundai cars. And Bullitt Mobile revealed the rugged Cat B100 mobile phone, proving that the featurephone isn’t dead... even if you try to drown it or bury it.
On the subject of departures, we we’re saying goodbye to the O2 Wallet, which is closing after around 18 months. UK mobile phone recycling business Cash4phones has filed for insolvency, leaving hundreds of people without their old phones or any money. Meanwhile Intel said it plans to drop the McAfee name for its online security products.
Security was also in the air at Samsung. A university in Israel had identified what it described as “a critical vulnerability” in devices that used the Samsung Knox security system. But things aren’t always what they seem. Samsung now says the so-called vulnerability was actually a ‘man in the middle’ attack that could affect any Android device. Oh, and its Knox hardware/software combination works fine, thank you.
Time for a few numbers now. EE was celebrating the two millionth 4G connection in the UK, as well as doing a deal (along with Vodafone) to provide mobile coverage in the Channel Tunnel. Technically in one of the Channel Tunnels because French networks already provide service in the other. . Apple says customers spent over £6 billion last year in its App Store. Strategy Analytics reckons 4G will account for half of all mobile connections in the USA by the end of this year. And Juniper Research says consumers are likely to spend £430 billion by shopping via mobile devices in 2018.
Finally, time for another mention of Mobile World Congress. There’s still time to sponsor one of our podcasts from Barcelona, which is a great way of associating your company with the event – and keeping it there long after the delegates have gone home. Click here if you’d like to know more about the opportunities we’re offering.
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