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Weekly Review - 25th March

The week began with One Mobile Ring reporting the INQ Facebook handset is to arrive next month at Carphone Warehouse, whilst T-Mobile had picked up the dual-core Motorola handset and Carphone Warehouse is to also sell a Royal Wedding mobile phone.

Earlier on in the week the Xperia Play tariff details emerge, where Ofcom readies the next generation mobile phone network and Apple's iPad 2 prices were announced.

Midweek, two new Opera browsers tip up and Samsung unveiled the world's thinnest tablet, where the BlackBerry Protect came to the UK.

Towards the end of the week, Windows Phone 7 cut and paste feature went live, whilst Android became more secure and O2 gets the Nokia E7, where Vodafone's iPad 2 prices were announced.


The biggest story of the week came from Apple announcing their iPad 2 prices, which start from £399.

The iPad 2 boasts a new design, a new CPU and imagery options whilst being housed in a sleeker body with the same 9.7-inch screen and two cameras - one with HD abilities and the second with VGA.

Apple's iPad 2 has an A5 processor, with a dual-core CPU that supplies double the processing power of the first device along with nine times the graphical performance with the same 10 hour battery life.

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

The WIFI iPad 2 16, 32 and 64GB models will cost £399, £479 and £559, respectively. Apple's iPad 2 with Wi-Fi and 3G will be priced at £499, £579 and £659 for the same capacities.


The next most significant story was Microsoft deploying the first major update to their mobile phone Windows Phone 7 OS, which brings with it the much awaited Cut and Paste feature.

Windows Phone 7 handset owners are notified the update is available, by an over the air message that details the mobile has qualified for the update.

Version 7.0.7390.0 delivers copy and paste, faster apps and games, a better Marketplace search along with other Marketplace improvements, WIFI enhancements, Outlook updates, messaging improvements, better Facebook integration, camera and audio enhancements along with a better overall stability to the OS.

The most sought after ability is the copy and paste, where just tapping a word, then dragging the markers to select the word or sentence offers an icon to copy the text. This new feature is available inside of emails, text messages, web pages, Office documents and basically anywhere you can enter text


The third largest item came from Ofcom announcing it is getting ready to sell the 4G licenses to mobile phone network companies.

This is set to be the biggest auction of mobile service licenses, 80-percent larger than the 3G auction from 2000.

UK's 4G spectrum is much needed as the increase for demand won't be halting anytime soon, where the new technology will bring speeds close to home broadband for mobile phones.

The area of coverage will increase too, besides just the overall throughput, with a hope that 95-percent of the UK would be covered under the new proposal.

There are two spectrum bands up for sale, the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz. The lower frequency 800 MHz band is ideal for widespread coverage. The 2.6 GHz band is at a higher frequency, and is ideal for delivering the capacity needed to deliver higher speeds.


The next most significant news was Samsung unveiling the third Galaxy Tab Android device, in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 8.9 arrives with an 8.9-inch 1280x800 WXGA touch screen, in a 8.6mm thin case whilst being powered by a 1Ghz dual-core processor, with HSPA+ functionality and weighing in at 470grams.

Samsung's Touchwiz UX user interface has live panels, with customisable home screens that can be populated with social networking feeds, websites and digital pictures. There is also a mini app tray, which offers up quick access to frequently used applications that can be launched at any time no matter what is currently running.

The entertainment hub is part and parcel of the new tablets, delivering the reader and music hub with access to 2.2 million books, 2,000 newspapers, 2,300 magazines and 13 million tracks.


The fifth biggest piece was Vodafone opening up pre-ordering of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and Arc handsets, on £35 and £30 a month contracts, respectively.

The Xperia Play and Arc are both due to arrive on April 1st, with 24 month price plans attached. The Play tariff has 900 minutes, with an unlimited text message bundle and a 750MB data allowance - plus an addition 25MB of International roaming.

Sony Ericsson 'PlayStation' Xperia Play mobile phone has the ability to play PlayStation quality games, from a 4-inch 480×853 FWVGA capacitive touch screen, whilst being powered by a 1Ghz CPU with an embedded Adreno GPU graphics processor that's capable of 60 frames per second.

Sony Ericsson's Arc comes with 600 minutes, an unlimited text message bundle with a 500MB data allowance. The Xperia handset arrives with an 8.7mm chassis, which is much slimmer than the last winner of the svelte smartphone crown - the iPhone 4, with its 9.3mm case.

Sony Ericsson's Xperia Arc was announced at Las Vegas' consumer electronics show, with a 4.2-inch multi touch reality screen with a mobile Bravia engine for more of a vivid colour display with less reflection in bright light.

SE Xperia Arc will also tip up running Android 'Gingerbread' 2.3, with Sony Ericsson application's such as TimeScape, a 1Ghz processor, an 8GB microSD card, with a camera capable of HD video capture that's displayable through the built in microHDMI port.

Vodafone has some incentives attached to pre-order the Sony Ericsson phones, where the first 1,000 people will receive a free Sony Ericsson DK300 multimedia docking station and those who order during March will gain free Vodafone-to-Vodafone calls for the contracts duration.


The next significant item was T-Mobile announcing it will be carrying the Motorola flagship handset, when the device arrives in June.

Motorola's Atrix is running from Android 'Froyo' 2.2 OS, with a new Moto application called webtop which is able to run a full version of Firefox - complete with Flash support.

The mobile phone is accompanied by the world's first 4.0-inch qHD Quarter High Definition 960×540 touch screen, with 1GB of RAM, a 5 megapixel camera - which is capable of HD video capture, with storage in the form of 16GB that's expandable by the microSD card.

Motorola Atrix is only the second ever mobile phone to be announced with effectively two 1Ghz processors, after the LG Optimus 2X saw its public début at Las Vegas' CES.

T-Mobile hasn't made public any tariff or contract details for the upcoming Motorola Atrix; a preregistration webpage has only been offered at this point. One Mobile Ring recently had a briefing on the Moto device, where we caught the hands-on walk-through on video here.


The seventh largest news piece came from Vodafone unveiling their subsidised costs of the new iPad 2 tablet, which start from £199 - £200 less than the SIM free version, available from the Apple store.

Apple's innate design of the iPad has changed with a 33-percent reduction in thickness, from a 13.4mm chassis to a 8.8mm thin case - where it's now even slimmer than the iPhone 4.

Besides a new design, there's also a new CPU and imagery option in the same 9.7-inch screen and two cameras - one with HD abilities and the second with VGA.

Vodafone's Apple iPad 2 offering costs £199, £249 and £349 for the 16, 32 and 64GB WIFI and 3G versions.

This pricing is for existing Vodafone customers only, which has a tariff attached of £24.50 a month and is accompanied by a 2GB data allowance and a 1GB WIFI data bundle.

New Vodafone customers have the Apple iPad 2 pricing of £229, £279 and £379 for the 16, 32 and 64GB iterations with a contract increase of £2.50.


The following significant item of news was O2 making public it is to carry the Nokia Qwerty keyboard Symbian^3 E7 handset, when the mobile phone arrives in May.

The E7 was announced at Nokia's annual symposium back in September last year, where for all intents and purposes it's the Nokia N8 mobile phone with a larger screen and physical keyboard.

Nokia's E7 tips up with a 4-inch AMOLED touch screen, with the same ClearBlack display technology as their C6 handset only with 16GB of in-built storage.

The E7 ships with an 8MP camera whilst running from the latest Symbian^3 OS, as featured on the N8, C6 and C7 only with more business focussed features than those other handsets.

O2 hasn't released any contract prices for the mobile phone, although they are currently retailing the Nokia N8 on a £30 a month tariff.

The Nokia N8 comes with 100 minutes, an unlimited text message bundle and a 500MB data allowance on O2.


The ninth biggest story came from Carphone Warehouse, who is exclusively stocking the INQ Cloud Touch mobile, on April 6th.

The new phone is the successor to the very first budget INQ 1 social networking mobile from 2008, along with their follow-up handsets in the INQ Mini 3G and Chat 3G - from late 2009.

The Cloud Touch arrives with a 3.5-inch HGVA display, a 600Mhz processor, with a 5 megapixel camera, a Spotify music client whilst running from the Android 'Froyo' 2.2 OS; where Gingerbread could be run on the handset, at a later date.

INQ's Cloud Touch isn't solely being stocked by the mobile phone network Three, where all the other INQ mobiles were until now.

Carphone Warehouse will carry the phone gratis starting from £20 a month on a Three contract, with 300 minutes, a 5,000 text message bundle and a 500MB data allowance or SIM free and unlocked for £299.95.


The final most significant piece came when Research In Motion's security application BlackBerry Protect arrived in the UK.

RIM's Protect brings to BlackBerry devices the ability to back-up the phone's data wirelessly, either daily, weekly or monthly along with being able to restore the mobile's information. This takes into account data such as contacts, calendar, memos, tasks, browser bookmarks and text messages - where there's even an option for WIFI to be solely used; saving the tariff's data allowance.

The app can also remotely locate a lost or missing handset as a safeguard for the device, as well as its data.

Protect is used in conjunction with BlackBerry Internet Service, where devices can be remotely password locked, or even wiped from the beta version's 'lost and found' screen.

Locating the handset is run from a geo-location feature using GPS, where a loud ringer can even be evoked to locate the RIM device if it's just misplaced.

BlackBerry's Protect application has been available in the states for a while now, where the features are similar to that of Apples MobileMe for the iPhone or Motorola's MotoBlur abilities for their Android handsets.


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