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Weekly Review - 11th March

One Mobile Ring started the week off with the mobile phone network Three unveiling 3 HTC devices, whilst an offline radio streaming app came to Android and Three’s pay as you go tariff gained an unlimited data allowance.

Earlier on in the week, two new Samsung handsets came to Three where Nokia launched a budget musical handset. The Opera web browser got its own mobile app store and we published a hands-on walk-through in pictures of the Samsung Galaxy Pro.

Midweek, we brought out video of the Anti Sleep Pilot App and two Alcatel mobile phones arrived on O2, where RIM is to bundle in 7digital music app on the PlayBook.

Towards the end of the week Android overtook the iPhone in sales, whilst the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace reached 9,000 apps and Apple released the iOS 4.3.

At the end of the week we published our initial thoughts review of the Nokia C2-01, along with a hands-on walk-through of the Samsung Galaxy S II.


The biggest news story of the week was Three announcing its prepay tariff data cap has been completely removed – to offer a truly unlimited data allowance and all for just £15 a month.

The ‘All in One’ tariff also offers up 300 minutes and a 3,000 text message bundle, which can be upgraded to 500 minutes for an extra £10 – on the same 30-day rolling deal.

The mobile phone network Three has effectively mirrored elements of their coveted ‘One Plan’, by allowing truly unlimited downloads at a much lower cost. This is all without being tied to a 24-month contract and without the need to keep an eye on the pay as you go data allowance.


The second most significant news item came when Tesco mobile saw iPhone sales drop in favour of Google mobile OS driven devices, for the first time ever.

Before Christmas, the iPhone had double the sales of Android mobile phones where in January the figures were on par with each other. February saw the Google mobile OS handsets finally take the lead, with Tesco mobile.

This shift away from Apple iPhone leading consumer sales has only recently happened, but Tesco believes this could be sign the buying public are getting behind Android with those handsets being more affordable over the iOS device.


The third largest story was Microsoft announcing the Windows Phone Marketplace has over 9,000 apps – a far cry from the few hundred when the OS launched in October.

The news of the Marketplace’s new figures came from a Microsoft blog post for developers, where it’s also been noted that 100 apps are submitted every day by more than 32,000 developers.

These items of software for the latest MS mobile platform relate to both games and general use apps, where the Windows Phone Development tools have been downloaded over 1million times.

The blog post to developers also stated there’s been an update for coders now, to take advantage of the upcoming cut and paste feature that’s due to arrive in a roll out to Windows Phone 7 owners soon.


The fourth most significant item came when Apple released iOS 4.3, for the iPhone 3GS and 4, 3rd and 4th generation of the iPod Touch and iPad.

Apple’s new iOS 4.3 brings in the ability to use any device running the platform as a personal hotspot, along with sharing of iTunes media around the home, new AirPlay features, faster browsing along with overall improvements and iPad better functionality.

The iOS’s Personal Hotspot feature effectively turns an Apple product running the new OS into a mobile WIFI router, in much the same way as Three’s MIFI units. There is also support for five connected devices, which can be made up from a combination of 3 WIFI, 3 Bluetooth and a USB connection.

iTunes home sharing allows for the softwares’ contents to be shared wirelessly from a computer, where the new AirPlay feature can play videos to an Apple TV and Safari has seen the inclusion of the desktops Nitro JavaScript engine - for quicker web surfing.


The fifth biggest news piece was Three announcing it’s to carry three of the new HTC phones that were launched at Mobile World Congress. These are the HTC flagship Desire S, the budget orientated Wildfire S and the social networking ChaCha mobile.

Three’s new HTC phones were announced from the Three ‘Coming Soon’ page on their website, where the Desire S is the successor to original mobile with a 3.7-inch 480×800 Super LCD touch screen. The mobile is powered by a Qualcomm’s new 1GHz Snapdragon MSM8255 processor, with 1.1 GB of internal storage, a 5 megapixel camera and also running from Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 with the HTC Sense overlay.

HTC’s update to the budget model Wildfire is one of the smallest handsets in their arsenal at 10.13cm long and 5.94cm wide. This device will ship with a 3.2-inch 320×480 touch screen, a 600MHz CPU, only 512MB of internal storage and a 5 MP camera with a flash, Android and the HTC Sense UI.

The HTC ChaCha is a Qwerty keyboard budget BlackBerry–esque phone, with a 2.6-inch 480×320 touch screen, a 600MHz processor, 512MB of internal storage, a 5 Megapixel camera and Android with the HTC Sense overlay and a dedicated Facebook button.


The sixth most significant item came when the Opera web browsing company launched its own app store, for Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Java capable handsets. is accessible from their own web surfing software, for over 100 million people who currently use Opera on their phones and in more than 200 different countries. The store has been created in a partnership with the company Appia, who are a leader in providing open application technology.

The Mobile Store is presented in Opera’s quick access ‘Speed Dial’ and has already seen 15 million beta users since February, with more than 700,000 downloads a day.

The web browsing company has unveiled at the same time the Opera Publisher Portal, which offers software writers and developers an easy way to get their apps on to the Mobile Store.


The seventh largest news piece was Three unveiling it’s due to carry two recently announced Samsung Android mobile phones, in the Galaxy Mini and Qwerty keyboard based Samsung Galaxy Pro.

The Samsung Galaxy mini was launched just before Mobile World Congress and supports a 3.14-inch 320×240 QVGA screen, with a 600Mhz CPU, a 3 MP camera and Android ‘Froyo’ 2.2.

Samsung’s Galaxy pro has only just been made public with its BlackBerry-esque Qwerty keyboard. The handset tips up with a 2.8-inch touch screen, with an 800Mhz processor and running from Google’s mobile OS version 2.2. Galaxy Pro’s Qwerty keypad can be used for a variety of tasks from instant messaging, social networking and email access – both work and personal.


The next significant item came when O2 announced it’s to carry two Alcatel handsets, in the One Touch 355 Qwerty and the older 708.

Alcatel’s 355 falls under the companies Simplicity budget series of phones, whilst arriving with a 1.8-inch 160×128 TFT screen and a tracker pad, along with a VGA camera, a built in FM radio and an Opera web browser. The Qwerty keyboard based mobile is geared up for easy text entry, with emails, Facebook and Twitter.

The 708 will be the first mobile to arrive on O2, where it’s already been one of Alcatel’s bestselling handsets under the guise of the One Touch Mini. The device tips up with a 2.4-inch touch screen, with a 1.3 megapixel camera and is only slightly longer than a credit card.


Popular music streamer We7 unveiled a new version of their Android mobile OS app this week, which can be used without any cost attached.

We7’s Personal Radio app allows users to create their own radio stations, which can also work without any connection where the music can be played offline with no connection present such as on a plane, tube or just to conserve battery life.

The software caches the songs and audio adverts when online from the likes of WIFI, as the only limit is the storage capacity of the phone with the contents being refreshed whenever the connection is restored.

We7 has access to over 7 million songs with over 3 million UK users. An iPhone, iPad and iTouch version is coming next month, where BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 variants will be launched later this year.


Finally, RIM announced the popular 7digital Music Store will be a feature of the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet device. This will offer the ability to purchase music from one of the widest array of collections around today, from artists on Universal Music, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music.

7digital Music Store will come preinstalled on the PlayBook, with access to more than 13 million MP3s that will be available to either browse, preview or purchase from the software on the RIM tablet with no initial subscription required.

7digital’s applications are already found on Android and BlackBerry devices, along with being available in an HTML5 compatible format that works on the iPhone and iPad from the largest userbase of any international MP3 music retailer.


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