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Monday, July 1, 2013

Last week at The Fonecast: 1st July 2013

Good news from Sony Mobile, bad news from BlackBerry

Last week at The Fonecast: 1st July 2013

Mark Bridge writes:

I don’t know about you but I’m delighted to see Sony Mobile getting plenty of coverage for its new smart watch and giant smartphone. The company’s impressive presence at Mobile World Congress 2013 showed plenty of promise... and I’d say it’s now delivering.

Not only has Sony updated its original SmartWatch when other manufacturers are still working on their first, it’s also put Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz quad-core processor inside a ‘phablet’ with a 6.4-inch HD screen. It seems the Samsung Galaxy Note has a serious challenger.

Talking of Samsung, the Galaxy S4 range has a new addition. The Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A is – as its name suggests – equipped for the even faster 4G speeds of LTE-Advanced. Expect to see it on sale in South Korea, where the world’s first LTE-A network has launched, but probably never in the UK.

On the other side of the coin, bookseller Barnes & Noble said it’s going to stop making colour-screen Nook tablets. This isn’t the end for the Nook, though: B&N will keep developing monochrome eBook readers and will work with third-party manufacturers on future Nook tablets.

There was a clip round the ear for Vodafone last week, with the ASA ruling that the Vodafone web site didn’t explain pricing clearly enough, and another clip round another ear for Samsung’s ‘trade up’ offer to promote its Galaxy Note II.

Meanwhile T-Mobile ended up at the top of Ofcom’s ‘pay monthly’ complaint list for the first quarter of 2013, replacing its EE stable-mate Orange. Once again, O2 generated the least complaints.

Finally to the big corporate stuff. BlackBerry’s quarterly figures surprised many people by revealing a loss... and by not revealing overall subscriber numbers in the initial announcement... while Vodafone confirmed its plans to buy German cable TV company Kabel Deutschland and Telefonica agreed to sell O2 Ireland to Hutchison Whampoa’s Three brand.

And Carphone Warehouse is back in charge of the entire Carphone Warehouse business, having acquired Best Buy’s 50% share of CPW Europe. Andrew ‘Stat’ Harrison is due to become CEO of the Carphone Warehouse Group from this month’s AGM, while chairman Sir Charles Dunstone is expected to get more involved again in the business he co-founded. At the risk of appearing partisan once more, I think it sounds rather exciting to hear that.

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Author: The Fonecast
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