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Monday, December 3, 2012

Last week at The Fonecast: 3rd December 2012

Innovation, legislation and anticipation

Mark Bridge writes:

As the end of the year approaches, so the volume of ‘real news’ tends to reduce as it’s replaced by annual reviews and seasonal surveys. We’ll be joining in with our predictions for 2013 in a few weeks’ time... but first, here’s a look back at the biggest stories from the past seven days.

Nokia started the week by launching the Nokia Asha 205; a featurephone with a QWERTY keyboard and a dedicated Facebook button. It’s not the first ‘Facebook phone’ – I’d say 2008’s INQ1 took credit for that – but the presence of a physical Facebook key marks it out from the competition.

Musician, entrepreneur and technology lover will.i.am also had a product launch this week. The i.am+ foto.sosho (think ‘photo social’) fits on an iPhone 4 or 4S and offers a choice of different lenses as well as photo editing and sharing. Apparently the forthcoming iPhone 5 version will replace the camera sensor entirely.

In Spain, the country’s three main mobile network operators launched cross-network Rich Communication Services through the GSMA’s joyn brand, while Chevrolet in the USA planned to let Apple’s Siri voice-control technology link with its in-car entertainment system.

And dear old RIM maintained its “please wait for BlackBerry 10” campaign by releasing a new prototype device for application developers. Mind you, it also lost a patent ruling that could see Nokia blocking the sale of BlackBerry handsets in the UK, the USA and Canada. I’m expecting a licensing agreement before too long.

In addition, there was bad news for two men who’d run a UK marketing company called Tetrus Telecoms. Sending spam SMS messages resulted in them being fined a total of £440,000 by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office.

Finally to some of those end-of-year stories I mentioned. Business advisory firm Deloitte LLP has calculated that around £300 million of Christmas spending in the UK will be bought on smartphones, with a further £3.2 billion ‘influenced by’ smartphone use. Mobile search specialist Mobile Commerce has analysed the year’s top mobile search terms (Facebook, Google, YouTube) and the music tagging magicians at Shazam have used their technology to predict next year’s hits. Curiously, no-one from X Factor is on the list.

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