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Weekly Review - 4th March

The week began with One Mobile Ring reporting that Skype has brought VoIP calling to all mobiles, where we published the Samsung's Bada mobile OS running Navigon's MobileNavigator. The Samsung Galaxy S II cost was unveiled and Vodafone suffered a major network problem.

Earlier on in the week Dell's Qwerty Windows Phone 7 mobile finally arrived, whilst Nvidia opened up shop on the Android Market, Two new Samsung mobiles are heading to O2 and T-Mobile brought in half-year mobile phone contracts.

Midweek, Motorola delivered hands free texting and Virgin offers £5 a month contract, whilst we published our Monthly Review that can be seen here.

Towards the end of the week, Apple launched the iPad 2 and also announced iOS 4.3, where Motorola's Xoom tablet got priced up, the Galaxy Ace arrived on Vodafone and Everything Everywhere is to get the iPad 2.


The biggest story of the week came from Apple, who unveiled the successor to last year's bestselling iPad tablet - the iPad 2.

The iPad 2 boasts a new design, with a new CPU and imagery options whilst running from a sleeker body with the same 9.7-inch screen and the upcoming iOS 4.3.

Apple's iPad 2 now has a A5 processor, with a dual-core CPU that supplies double the processing power of the first device along with nine times the graphical performance.

The first iPad lacked any on-board camera, where the iPad 2 as remedied that very issue by providing not one, but two lenses. This latest tablet offering has both a rear HD and front facing VGA camera for utilising the video calling FaceTime app.

Apple's innate design of the iPad has changed too, where the form factor has become much more sleeker. The thickness has been reduced by 33-percent, from a 13.4mm chassis to a 8.8mm thin case - where it is now even slimmer than the iPhone 4.

On-board is 1080p HDMI out which was also missing from the original iPad, where many mobile phones have seen this included before the first tablet arrived and since then too.

The iPad 2 will come in six different versions and in much the same way as the original model, with a WIFI and a WIFI+3G iteration - both of which have 16, 32 and 64GB variants with an arrival date of March 25 in the UK.


The second most significant story of the past seven days was when Vodafone suffered a major network failure in Basingstoke. This had a dramatic effect on surrounding areas and over great distances too.

Vodafone had a break in at one of their technical facilities between 1 and 2am on Monday morning, which resulted in some specialised equipment being stolen and this loss of service.

Vodafone has assured customers that their personal data was still secure, where no information had been stolen as a result of the break in.

This network outage has had a massive cascading effect with the issue even hitting OneMobileRing's HQ in Bristol, over 60 miles away. Several hundred thousand Vodafone customers have now seen the blackout of services, all around the M4 corridor and either side too.


The third biggest news piece came from Orange and T-Mobile making public they will both be carrying the new Apple iPad 2, when the device arrives at the end of March.

The umbrella company that looks after both networks announced this news over Twitter, in a tweet from the Orange PR manager's account that reads 'NEWS: Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-Mobile) will be selling the iPad 2 in the UK once it's made available later this month! Hurrah!'

Apple's iPad 2 will tip up in the colours black and white, whilst carrying the same 9.7-inch screen - only in a much sleeker 8.8mm thin body with a more beefy CPU than the original tablet.

No prices have been unveiled as yet by Everything Everywhere, nor have any tariff details been disclosed although it has been reported the iPad 2 will be at the same price as the first model.


The forth significant story of the past seven days was Clove opening up the pre-ordering for Samsung Galaxy S II mobile phone - starting at £612 for the 16GB version and £708 for the 32GB model.

Samsung's GT-I9100 Galaxy S II has a similar look to the original phone, only with a larger 4.3-inch 480×800 WVGA Super AMOLED Plus screen and thinner 8.9mm body.

The Galaxy S replacement runs from a dual-core 1Ghz processor, with Android 'Gingerbread' 2.3 and the new TouchWiz 4.0 overlay to the platform.

Built-in is an 8 megapixel camera that's capable of 1080p video recording and playback, a significant increase from the 5 MP variant on the first handset that only featured 720p video capture with the upgrade to Froyo.


The fifth biggest news item was when Dell brought its physical keyboard based Windows Phone 7 Venue Pro handset to the UK, with a cost attached of £459.

The mobile phone has been available for some months in the USA, where now, after several undisclosed delays, it's possible to order the Pro directly from the Dell website.

The Venue Pro tips up with a 4.1-inch WVGA AMOLED capacitive touch screen, with a corning's high-quality, scratch-resistant Gorilla glass display, a 1GHz processor and a 5 megapixel camera with an LED flash.

The mobile phone has a full physical keyboard that slides out vertically from the phone. HTC also has a Qwerty keyboard based mobile, which has the more traditional horizontal slide out keyboard only that phone has still yet to manifest in the UK.

Windows Phone 7 is the platform running on the handset, with its six hubs being the centre point of the OS - with the People, Pictures, Games, Music and Video, Marketplace and Office hub.


The sixth most significant story came when Motorola Mobility released the pricing of its Xoom tablet device, for £499 with the WIFI only version and £599 for the WIFI+3G.

Motorola's Xoom is set to be the first Android 'Honeycomb' 3.0 based tablet to arrive, which could very well be a serious contender to the iPad's crown.

The Xoom will tip up with a 10.1-inch 1280×800 16:9 touch screen, which is powered by a dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, with 1GB of DDR2 computer memory and a 5 megapixel camera with dual LED flash that's capable of HD video capture.

Both versions of the Motorola Xoom are due to arrive early April, which are available to pre-order from Carphone Warehouse, Best Buy, Currys and PC World.


The following biggest news piece was Nvidia creating a store on the Android application repository, for games to take advantage of their Tegra chipset.

The store within a store has a range of apps that are specifically setup for utilising the dual-core chipset and GPU of the new Nvidia Tegra 2 platform, which is at the centre of a number of the latest devices from mobile phones to tablet computers.

Amongst the titles around at launch are Dungeon Defenders: First Wave Deluxe HD, which is the first Android game built on the Unreal Engine 3. There is also Samurai II: Vengeance, along with and Galaxy on Fire 2 THD.

Some of the latest devices that can take advantage of these games are the Motorola Atrix, LG Optimus 2X and Motorola Xoom tablet.


Virgin Media announced the UK's lowest costing mobile phone tariff at five pounds a month this week, which delivers unlimited text messages along with unlimited calls to numbers on the same network.

Virgin Media's £5 SIM only deal offers 100 minutes, on a 30-day rolling contract where existing Virgin Media customers gain access to the unlimited calling of Virgin numbers whether they are mobile or landlines phone numbers.

The unlimited text messages and calling are subject to a fair usage policy, of 3,000 for each, which still puts the service in the reaches of the average person's demands of a month phone tariff.

This fiver-a-month offer is geared up for customers that wish to keep their existing phone - as a SIM card is only provided - whilst getting access all the extras that it entails.


Another big story was Motorola Mobility offering the ability to write text messages without physically touching a mobile phone - with two new hands-free devices to use with Moto handsets.

Motorola's HZ800 Bluetooth headset and the TZ700 Bluetooth In-Car Speakerphone works with the MotoSpeak2.0 application, which has text-to-speech along with speech-to-text technology - allowing for text messages to be read aloud and also the responses dictated.

MotoSpeak2.0 can also announce a caller's name, from either the incoming call or even text messages whilst supporting five different languages in UK English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

The Motorola HZ800 Bluetooth headset can be used in extreme weather conditions, where there's three microphones that are designed for use in noisy and windy environments. Motorola's TZ700 Bluetooth in-car speakerphone blocks-out background car noises, with dual-mic noise cancellation technology.

The MotoSpeak2.0 application is now available on Android Market, which runs on Android 'Froy' 2.2 and is geared up to be used in conjunction with the HZ800 or TZ700 devices.


Lastly, T-Mobile announced a 6 month tariff for business customers with a good range of minutes and a possible free phone.

The network that is one part of Everything Everywhere along with Orange has unveiled this half year contract, which has 750 minutes and a 250 text message bundle.

There is also a range of business extras that are part and parcel of this corporate tariff, such free business voicemail, advanced billing options, dedicated UK-based business support, online account management, cheaper international calls and free conference calling.

Twenty-five phones are available on the short-term deal, with a range of costs attached for the handsets that start with a free offering in the form of the Nokia C3 Touch & Type.

The other phones start with a price attached of £33.33 for the Nokia C5, Nokia C5-03, Samsung Monte, Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 and reaches £250 for the BlackBerry Torch 9800.


Originally published at

Rob Kerr
Rob Kerr

Rob has worked in the affiliate industry for many years with large publishers, and previously worked as a journalist on titles such as Wired, PC Magazine, ITProPortal, The Register, The Inquirer, Pocket-Lint, Mobile Industry Review, Know Your Mobile and The Gadget Show.