Opinion Articles

Saturday, August 20, 2011

This week at The Fonecast: 20th August 2011

Mark Bridge writes:

Welcome to this week’s UK mobile industry news summary from TheFonecast.com. After a week’s holiday on the scenic north coast of Norfolk, which not only lacks cellsites but also hills to put them on, it’s good to finally see the ‘3G’ indicator reappear on my phone. My week off may have been relatively quiet - but the last few days have more than made up for it.

On Monday, Google announced plans to acquire Motorola Mobility, the company formerly known as ‘the mobile bit of Motorola’. Google talked about supercharging Android and reinstated its commitment to openness, while all of Android’s major partners made upbeat noises - although the purchase seems as much a defensive move as the ‘natural fit’ Larry Page described.

We’d barely had time to think of some comically implausible hybrid names - Googorola, Motoroogle, maybe even Motorola-Droid - before being hit with a triple-whammy from HP. It was buying software giant Autonomy for somewhere around £7 billion. (Cue much punning about Autonomy losing its autonomy). It was calling time on the production of webOS devices. (Alas, poor Pre 3 and TouchPad). And it was looking at the possibility of moving its PC business into a separate company. The future of webOS as a platform hasn’t been decided, although I’d say it doesn’t look especially healthy.

After all that, the rest of the week’s news seems a bit insubstantial - even Peter Jones’s £35 million sale of machine-to-machine specialist Wireless Logic. Research In Motion announced a free online service to let small businesses manage their BlackBerry devices remotely . Phones 4u said it would be stocking Huawei’s own-brand Blaze and Vision smartphones in time for Christmas. And Nokia released its Symbian Anna OS update, marred slightly by a server problem that frustrated some users.

But it’s HP’s decision to abandon mobile devices - hot on the heels of Google’s decision to acquire mobile devices - that’s got everyone talking this week. We’ll certainly be doing our share of talking in Wednesday’s podcast.

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Author: The Fonecast
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