Skip to main content

Weekly Review - 18th March

The week began with One Mobile Ring publishing an initial thoughts review of the Nokia C5-03, whilst early on in the week Three announced they were to get the iPad 2 and a new Angry Birds game is to be released through Amazon, where cheaper calls are coming to your mobile.

Midweek, T-Mobile offered the iPad for under £50 and Vodafone made public they are also getting Apple's iPad 2, whilst video calling over 3G arrived on the iPhone 4.

Towards the end of the week, a new Photoshop version tipped up on the iPhone and the Dell Qwerty Windows Phone 7 became available where Orange launched an eBook app.

At the end of the week, HTC Flyer was available to preorder through the on-line retailer Clove.


The biggest news item of the week came from Ofcom announcing a reduction in the call costs between the four major mobile phone companies, by up to 80-percent.

The drop in the wholesale charges by Ofcom affects 3UK, O2, Vodafone and Orange/T-Mobile under the guise of Everything Everywhere. This is to take place over the next four years, where the reduction will be 80-percent of where the costs currently stands.

These wholesale or termination rates are the cost incurred by the network when a call is placed to another network. This currently stands at 4.18p per minute on O2, Everything Everywhere and Vodafone along with 4.48p on Three - up until April 1st.

After the start of next month, the costs are reduced to 2.66p for 2011/12, 1.70p for 2012/13, 1.08p for 2013/14 and ending up at 69p in 2015. This isn't the price to the consumer, only between mobile phone networks and landline companies.


The next most significant story was Three unveiling it will be joining Orange and T-Mobile, by also stocking the Apple iPad 2 tablet when it arrives in the UK.

Three made public the news to the press and the general public, in a statement that reads: "Three UK today announced it will offer iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G and also dedicated data plans for iPad 2 in the coming weeks".

The iPad 2 boasts a new slimmer design, with a reduction of 33-percent in the tablet's overall thickness and is now slimmer than the iPhone 4 at 8.8mm.

Also on-board is a new CPU in the dual-core A5 processor that supplies double the processing power of the first device, along with nine times the graphical performance. This is all whilst pulling the same power as the original iPad, from the same 9.7-inch screen with two new built-in cameras.

Three currently houses the original 16GB iPad on a cost that start from £99 for the tablet, which is accompanied by a 15GB monthly data allowance on a £20 a month contract.


The third largest news item came from T-Mobile, who teamed up with discount website Groupon, all in order to offer the original32GB iPad for a cost of just £49.

On Wednesday Groupon and T-Mobile will deliver a discount of £200 on the first Apple iPad tablet, to the first 1,000 customers signing up to a 24-month contract.

The iPad usually costs £249, on the T-Mobile £27 a month contract or £25 per month for existing T-Mobile customers.

T-Mobile's accompanying tariff for the iPad comes with a 1GB data allowance, along with a second 1GB for use between midnight and 10am.

The mobile phone network has never actually retailed the 32GB version of the initial iPad, according to the T-Mobile website, where this is even more of an exceptional offer with the 32GB model costing £499 from the Apple store.


The following most significant story was mobile phone retailer Clove opening up ordering of the Dell physical keyboard based WP7 Venue Pro handset, for delivery on March 26th and at a price of £420.

The Venue Pro will be the first Microsoft Windows Phone 7 mobile OS to ship with a Qwerty keyboard, as all of the other handsets with that platform only have touch screens for text entry.

Dell's Venue Pro mobile phone arrives with a 4.1-inch WVGA AMOLED capacitive touch screen, which has a Corning scratch-resistant Gorilla glass display with a 5 megapixel camera and an LED flash - whilst being powered by a 1GHz processor.

Windows Phone 7 is the platform of choice 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 fifth largest news piece came when Qik unveiled the video connect application for Apple devices, which allows for HD video calling over 3G.

Qik has recently been acquired by Skype where their latest app is geared up for delivering a video chat service over normal airwaves, in a way that the Apple FaceTime application can't - as that software only works over WIFI.

Video connect also operates over 4G, besides just 3G and WIFI with integrated video mail, live video calling, instant social ‘Friendcasting' networking sharing and video voice mail messaging too.

The app has inherent extra features surrounding video editing and seven real time added effects in live video, such as black and white, sepia, mirrored, x-ray and blue tint.

Qik's video connect app is available from the AppStore with a cost attached of $2.99, for Apple devices running iOS 4.1 or above with cameras: such as the iPhone, 4th generation iPod Touch and the iPad 2.


The following most significant story was Rovio making public the upcoming Angry Bird's Rio game will be released exclusively on Amazon's Appstore and not through the usual means of the Android Market.

Amazon has managed to grab the latest in the series of Angry Bird games for its own App Store, which in itself will be rival to the Google Market place app repository and opens up the Android platform to more opportunities.

Angry Birds Rio is the upcoming game from Rovio, where the characters travel to Rio to save their bird friends Blu and Jewel.

The spin-off Rio game comes with 45 dedicated levels plus several hours of gameplay, with the regular amount of physics based demolition challenges as the original game.

Angry Birds will be available to purchase for the first time on the Android platform, with no ads running on the game and this also applies to the seasons and original version too.


The seventh biggest item we reported on came from Vodafone announcing it will be joining Three, Orange and T-Mobile in retailing the new Apple iPad 2 from March 25th.

Vodafone unveiled its intention to carry the tablet device in a standard stock statement that Three issued too, which presumably must come from Apple as a similar formulaic notice was issued by networks over the iPhone 4. The statement reads; ‘Vodafone UK today announced it will offer iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G and also dedicated data plans for iPad 2 in the coming weeks'

Vodafone never actually retailed the initial iPad, unlike other mobile phone networks - although they do offer various tariffs that supported the tablet, in a similar vein to their iPhone 4's contracts.

Their original iPad tariffs start at £3 a month, with a £2 charge for a 250MB data allowance which moves on to £7.50 a month for 500MB and 2GB of data for £15 a month - all of which has access to 1GB of BT Openzone use.


The next significant piece was Orange releasing an application for Android mobile phones, which offers up over 23,000 books.

One part of Everything Everywhere has brought out the Google mobile OS based software that ties up with their involvement with the Orange price for fiction, which celebrates 16 years of history with the network.

The Orange Book Club app allows for browsing classics and bestsellers, with sample chapter reading, bookmarking, font changing and the downloading of books and audiobooks. There is also a one click buying system that bills the Orange account tied to the phone directly, with costs as little as 50p.

These include books from the current Orange Prize section for fiction, along with previous winners too where the books can be read across platforms from a computer, to phones and tablet devices.


The ninth biggest news item came from Adobe, who brought out version 2.0 of its Photoshop Express application for Apple devices, with a new set of features along with a purchasable add-in.

Adobe's Photoshop Express has more than 20 million customers and has now gained more popularity on the iOS, with new full retina display and multi-tasking support.

Adobe's new camera pack add-in can be used to solve problems with picturing taking, with a noise reduction feature, a self-timer and an auto review ability that all works on Express variants from 1.5 onwards.

The reduce noise feature removes small grains or speckles from images, where the self-timer allows for automatic taking of pictures and the auto review guarantees the perfect picture is taken by quickly deleting an image if it's not up to par.

Photoshop Express 2.0 is now available to download for free from the iTunes store, for iOS devices running version 4.2+ for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad with the Camera Pack costing £2.39.


The final piece we noted was retailer Clove opening the preordering for the HTC Flyer Android tablet, with a price attached of £600 and an arrival date of mid-April.

The Flyer is HTC's first ever tablet and runs from a 7-inch 1024×600 TFT screen, with a 1.5GHz processor and a 5 megapixel camera, 32GB of internal storage with the Google mobile OS and the HTC Sense overlay.

HTC's Flyer has already had its fair share of critics, as the device will arrive running Android ‘Froyo' 2.2 and not Android ‘Honeycomb' 3.0 - which is specifically geared up for tablet devices.

HTC were also missing of a dual-core offering at Mobile World Congress, where their competition arrived at the show with those powerful processor phones.


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.