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Monday, March 24, 2014

Last week at The Fonecast: 24th March 2014

The new iPhone no-one was expecting

Mark Bridge writes:

New Apple products! New Android smart watches!

You’d be forgiven for not having noticed either of those news stories last week. Apple did indeed announce a new iPhone – but it was simply a new iPhone 5c with just 8MB of memory. And there was a change to the company’s tablet range, with the entry-level iPad 2 replaced by the now unretired iPad 4.

Meanwhile Google revealed its 'Android Wear' project for smart watches and other wearable devices. Quite a few handset manufacturers have said they’ll use the new OS, with LG and Motorola planning to launch Android-powered smart watches this summer. UK availability hasn’t been mentioned... but neither have any technical specifications, really. Features will include telling the time and... er... stuff.

Vodafone announced plans to acquire Spanish broadband and pay-TV provider Ono, moving its expansion plans onto Telefonica’s home turf. It also reminded us it’s now 30 years since the name Vodafone was created – apparently then-CEO Sir Gerry Whent originally favoured ‘Vodaphone’ – in a press release that spoke of “travelling by car between London and Edinburgh” and being “able to make or receive national and international telephone calls with ease throughout the entire journey”.

Meanwhile, virtual network Ovivo Mobile has closed down. Although its basic tariff was advertising-funded, customers could also buy extra allowances of calls, messages and data, which means some people have ended up out of pocket. The news came as Cognatel, the mobile virtual network aggregator behind Ovivo Mobile and several other MVNOs, was reported to be restructuring with a new focus on larger-scale partnerships.

SMS messaging in the UK was given a boost as the ‘big four’ mobile network operators and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) confirmed they were all using the GSMA’s Spam Reporting Service to deal with unwanted SMS text messages. By sharing information it’s hoped that spammers can be shut down quickly and penalised as well.

Finally, in the week that HTC is set to launch its new One Up smartphone, Samsung has started letting consumers get hands-on with the forthcoming Galaxy S5. Although the new Samsung handset doesn’t go on sale until Friday 11th April, over a thousand shops around the world – Samsung Experience Stores and some other retailers as well – will have the Galaxy S5 smartphone, Gear 2 smart watch and Gear Fit fitness tracker available for demos. All firmly chained to the display stand, I’m sure.

On Monday mornings we summarise the past week’s mobile industry headlines in an email 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. Alternatively, stay in touch by listening to our free podcasts via our website, by subscribing on iTunes, by using our RSS feed or by downloading the mobile app.
Author: The Fonecast
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