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UK mobile payment service Paym to close in March 2023

UK mobile payment service Paym will close on 7th March 2023. The service, which allowed users to make and receive payments using their mobile phone numbers, was launched in 2014.
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How AI technology is transforming the smartphone experience

How AI technology is transforming the smartphone experience

From improved performance to personalized recommendations, AI is enhancing the functionality and usability of smartphones for users

By incorporating advanced algorithms and machine learning capabilities, AI can help to optimize a smartphone's performance, providing users with a faster, more efficient and user-friendly experience.
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European smartphone shipments fall to lowest Q1 total since 2013

A new report from Counterpoint Research's Market Monitor service shows European smartphone shipments dropping by 12% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022. That's the lowest Q1 total since 2013.
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Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Which? seeks payout for Samsung and Apple smartphone owners

Consumer protection organisation Which? has been given permission by the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal to represent Apple and Samsung smartphone buyers in a legal case against chip manufacturer Qualcomm.
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Google announces new devices

Google announces new devices

Pixel Watch, smartphones, earbuds and more

Google's 2022 I/O conference for developers has seen the company previewing new products, including its Pixel 7 smartphone, a Pixel tablet and the first smartwatch entirely built by Google.
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Opinion Articles

Monday, March 4, 2013

Smartphones are about to get smarter - in many different ways

Mark Bridge writes:

At Mobile World Congress 2012 I spent quite a bit of time talking about quad-core smartphones. The year before had seen a fair amount of 3D screen technology. Back in 2010 it was the growth of apps. This year I wasn’t hearing so much about mobile device innovation.

Sure, there were new handsets, from the €15 feature phone to the HD phablet, but none of these really stood out as far as I was concerned.

It seems that manufacturers are being held back by a number of factors. Smartphone screens have reached the limits of the human eye - such as the ‘Retina Display’ trademarked by Apple - so there’s now less room for further innovation there. Smartphone cameras are more than good enough for print and online use, which means a few extra megapixels don’t make much difference. Smartphone design is heavily influenced by the distance from the human ear to the mouth - and by the physical characteristics of the materials being used for manufacturing. How much slimmer do phones really need to be?

This all suggests our industry is stuck with making smartphones that are slim rectangular boxes… and it’s going to keep making them until everyone in the world has one. Or two.

So if you can’t differentiate your device through its design, its camera, its display or its size, you’ll need to find another way. That’s why I’m expecting to see a lot more innovation around features and content this year.

MWC 2013 certainly provided plenty of hints that ‘other innovation’ was about to become a hot topic.

Enhanced audio quality and noise reduction were being demonstrated by NXP Software and Audience. Both companies can reduce background noise and improve voice clarity on a phone call, although you may not necessarily see their names promoted because manufacturers don’t always want to admit they’ve turned to an external specialist for support.

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Then there was Immersion, which showed me how haptics and screen-sharing could be used for social interaction between two people regardless of distance. One person’s on-screen touch could be mirrored on the other person’s device, complete with gentle vibration when the people ‘touched’ each other.

When every smartphone has a similar shape and a similar spec, any difference can become a reason to buy. That’s why, as I said in Friday’s podcast, I’m expecting to see much more of this peripheral innovation in the next few months.

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Interview with Chris Millington of Doro about mobile retailing, wearables and technology for older consumers

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A month of mobile: O2 counts on 3, Microsoft counts to 10 and Apple counts its profits

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