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Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom wants to ban inflation-related rises in phone and broadband contracts. Instead, it says any potential mid-contract price rises should be set out in pounds and pence.
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Global smartphone market is set for recovery, says new forecast

A new forecast from research specialists Canalys shows the smartphone market is set to recover next year. Worldwide shipments declined by 12% last year but that decline is expected to slow to 5% this year.
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Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

New Hutchison/Vodafone network would be biggest UK operator

Vodafone Group plc and CK Hutchison Group Telecom Holdings Limited have agreed to combine their UK telecommunication businesses, respectively Vodafone UK and Three UK. The merger will create a large new network operator to compete with Virgin Media O2 and EE.
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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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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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Opinion Articles

Friday, January 30, 2015

The secret of Apple's success

Mark Bridge writes:

What’s the secret of Apple’s success? That’s the question I was asked earlier this week by LBC radio during a report on Apple’s impressive iPhone sales and its record quarterly results.

Much of the answer, I said, was down to usability and design. Apple has taken existing features – both software and hardware – and has made them better. After all, the iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player. The iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone... and wasn’t even the first touchscreen smartphone. But for many people, that’s the perception.

And, perhaps just as importantly, Apple doesn’t get involved with products it can’t improve.

Here are six reasons I think Apple is doing so well at the moment.

Apple makes products that are easy to use. Yet they’re not dumbed-down. An Apple iPhone is pretty intuitive for new users but is smart enough to appeal to ‘power users’ as well. Some people will argue they don’t have enough control over an iPhone’s settings, but for most people that’s not a problem.

Apple makes products that are easy to choose. If you want an Apple mobile phone, you buy an iPhone. Yes, there are different memory sizes and different screen sizes – and you can always buy one of the previous versions – but for many consumers there’s only really one model.

Apple makes products that people want. Every so often there’s a celebrity who endorses a rival product and yet they’re seen using an iPhone when they need to go online. The staff at Apple love them too: they use them all the time. That’s how prototypes get lost in bars. And don’t underrate the effect of Apple’s advertising. Visit the Apple website and it’s showing you the amazing things you can do with Apple products. It’s not trying to sell you a phone.

Apple controls the sales process. Okay, not entirely – you can buy an iPhone from your mobile network or from an independent retailer – but buying from an Apple Store gives customers an all-Apple experience. There’s hands-on contact with the products, there’s no pressure, there are well-informed staff – and it’s all glowing white, rather like a high-tech version of heaven. On top of that, Apple runs its own App Store and iTunes, too. Buying your device, filling it up with content, downloading apps, customising it to suit your taste: it’s all under Apple’s umbrella. No, not an iUmbrella.

Apple makes premium products. In an industry where average smartphone selling prices keep falling because more and more low-cost devices are being produced for developing markets, Apple is sticking with premium. And you can end up paying quite a lot more for a phone that’s a little bit better. A bigger iPhone screen doesn’t cost Apple £80 more but that’s what it costs customers. The same goes for memory, too. Extra profit from customers who don’t mind paying extra for a top-spec handset.

Apple spends a lot of time and money on research and development. Goodness knows which version of iPhone they’re working on now. But I bet it’s not just iPhone 7.

Mark Bridge is one of the team at The Fonecast. He doesn’t have an iPhone, Not yet, anyway.
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Recent Podcasts

Reviewing our 2015 mobile industry predictions... and looking forward to 2016

Podcast - 15th January 2016

Iain Graham, James Rosewell and Mark Bridge return to review their mobile industry predictions from last year. Which mergers, partnerships and developments did they forecast correctly... and which didn’t work out as planned?

Later in the programme, the team anticipates some of the topics that will be hitting the headlines during 2016.

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Podcast from Mobile World Congress 2015

Podcast - 6th March 2015

Mark Bridge learns about the mobile technology trends at Mobile World Congress 2015 by chatting to James Rosewell of 51Degrees, Dr Kevin Curran from the IEEE and Chris Millington of Doro.

They talk about wearable devices, wireless charging, mobile operating systems and much more... including some of their favourite products from the exhibition.

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Looking back at February: from security scares to multiple MVNOs

Podcast - 27th February 2015

We're taking a look back at the biggest mobile industry news stories from February 2015, including allegations that the UK's security service tried to breach SIM card security by hacking into one of the world's biggest SIM producers.

We also talk about the planned BT and EE merger, the creation of two new UK virtual networks, some acquisitions in the mobile payment arena and a new Ubuntu smartphone.

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

Podcast - 24th February 2015

In today's programme Mark Bridge talks to Chris Millington, who's Managing Director for Doro UK and Ireland.

They discuss the state of mobile retailing in the UK, the future of wearable devices and - as you might expect - smartphones for seniors.

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

Podcast - 30th January 2015

We're back with a month of mobile industry news, including takeover talks and takeover rumours. O2 and Three are said to be discussing a merger... but is there any truth in the suggestions that BlackBerry could be up for grabs?

We also discuss Apple's record-breaking quarterly figures, the highlights of CES and the launch of Microsoft Windows 10, as well as saying farewell to the current version of Google Glass.

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