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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

Saturday, June 1, 2013

6 things you need to know about mobile research, smartphone rumours and imaginary new products

Mark Bridge writes:

Where did it all go wrong?  When did the mainstream mobile industry start to slide away from innovation and into repetitive nonsense?  For a while I suspected the downloadable ringtone was to blame. Just days after hearing 'Barbie Girl' on the mobile phone of a man from Vodafone Value Added Services in the late 1990s, I'd downloaded a poptastic tune to my own Nokia 2110. Soon, the entire mobile world was focussed on 30-second instrumentals instead of technical innovation. It was the beginning of the end.

Actually, no. What's now described as 'content' has become a massive part of the mobile ecosystem. (Yeah, ecosystem. Bigger than a mere industry but smaller than a planet). Ringtones aren't really the culprit. It's mobile itself that's causing the problem, like a parasitic worm nibbling at its own tail.

Here at The Fonecast, we do our best to sort the wheat from the chaff, the iPhones from the iBones and the Androids from the fanbois.

Most of the time the less newsworthy stories are discarded light-heartedly... but every so often there's one that pushes me over the edge. I feel I could be teetering at the moment. So, for all our sakes, let me offer a few suggestions about press releases I don't want to see.

Any kind of list. Ten things you need to know about the Nokia BLD-3. Five Tweets you must read before you die. The seven secret Symbian shortcuts that could change your life.

Statistically invalid research, particularly if it that lets you promote your insurance company by saying something about phones being lost in taxis or dropped in toilets. If we're lucky, it'll be accompanied by a pun in the headline and a half-amusing comment from the MD or Marketing Director. 

Speculation, especially when it involves SEO-friendly topics like a new iPhone, Facebook usage or hashtags. "Could this be the new Google smartphone?"  No, it couldn't.

A product you announced six months ago without much media interest, so you're having another go.

A product that doesn't exist outside some nice 3d rendering. Even worse if you're hanging your virtual news on someone else's virtual product. "Apple iWatch owners want waterproof cases, says waterproof case manufacturer".

But the most irritating - and that's because I occasionally fall for it and get halfway through writing a news article before I realise - is a favourite of research and analysis companies. I'm talking about a new study that's not really new at all but is just a paragraph from a report that was originally released a couple of months ago. Every few months another morsel is released, complete with a quote from the author of the report. Stop it, please. You're supposed to be the people we can trust.

Mark Bridge co-presents The Fonecast alongside Iain Graham and James Rosewell. This week it's all got a bit much so he's taking a few days away from the office.
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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.

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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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