Opinion Articles

Monday, October 17, 2011

Last week at The Fonecast: 17th October 2011

Mark Bridge writes:

Apple and Blackberry crumble. There, I’ve said it. Twitter’s favourite joke from the past seven days. The reality wasn’t so funny.

It was last Monday when part of RIM’s infrastructure failed - and the backup system didn’t work properly. As a result, a data backlog started to build… and build… and, before long, BlackBerry messaging, browsing and email were disrupted. Here in the UK - and much of Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa - it took around three days before things were getting back to normal, with Latin America, Canada and the USA also suffering problems for a day or so.

The Apple issues weren’t such a big deal but the joke’s much funnier with the second fruit reference. Although there was the inevitable upbeat media frenzy when Apple’s iPhone 4S went on sale, some users suffered lengthy downloads and file problems when trying to upgrade older devices to iOS5. In addition, a number of customers were disappointed to find that elements of the Siri voice recognition service didn’t work in the UK yet.

Sticking with bad news, Samsung - and potentially the Android world in general - suffered a legal blow in Australia. A somewhat lower blow was suggested by the discovery of e.coli on one in six mobile phones. And Sony Ericsson was told off by the ASA for the way it described ‘standby time’ (although it’s an industry-wide issue, I’d say).

Talking of Sony Ericsson, it revealed its quarterly results and said that it would become a smartphone-only business by the end of 2012. The days of the feature phone may indeed be numbered.

Still, it wasn’t all bad news. In fact, the GSMA has calculated that the number of connected mobile devices worldwide will double from more than 6 billion today to 12 billion in 2020. Everything Everywhere has started enabling UK customers on Orange and T-Mobile to use the 3G signal from either network. Outdoor advertising company Clear Channel has said it’s putting NFC connectivity in its new digital poster sites, while O2 UK is trialling a WiFi voice-over-IP service that’ll behave like the customer’s regular mobile number.

Yes, it’s a dynamic industry we’re working in. Having said that, Nokia’s latest forward-thinking move has raised some eyebrows. It’s decided to include a dubstep version of its classic Grande Valse on more than 100 million handsets over the next few years. If you fancy starting early, you can download the MP3 file here.

On the subject of downloads, have you listened to last week’s special feature from Droidcon UK?  You’ll hear from event organiser Thibaut Rouffineau, HTC’s Michael Ludden, Marcus Hansson from Sony Ericsson, Marcus O’Sullivan of Cisco and InMobi’s Terence Eden. Listen on our website, via iTunes or by downloading the MP3 file.

You can receive this news summary by email every week. Simply register at TheFonecast.com by clicking the link at the top right-hand corner of our home page.
Author: The Fonecast
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