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Weekly Review – June 10th

The week started with One Mobile Ring reporting the Sony Ericsson Xperia pro has gone on sale, whilst new games came to the Xperia Play, Nokia’s X7 went on sale and DLNA came to Symbian.

Early on in the week, the iOS 5 was announced, the HTC ChaCha arrived on Three and an expansion pack came to the Xperia Play, where Apple’s iPhone 4 is now available free.

Midweek, Vodafone’s Smart went on sale, the HTC Sensation handset lost exclusivity, Vodafone leaked a BlackBerry handset and Motorola got wild.

Later on in the week, Orange and T-Mobile are opening 30 more joint stores, Vodafone dropped Samsung, the Sony Ericsson Karaoke phone arrived and Vodafone tangoed with the ChaCha.

At the end of the week, HP announced the arrival date and cost of TouchPad and One Mobile Ring announced another chance to win a JCB executive clock.


The biggest story of the week came from Apple, who unveiled the latest update to their mobile device platform in the iOS 5, found on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch products.

Apple previewed at the event iOS 5 and at the same time released a beta version to the developer program members. IOS 5 brings with it 200 new features, which includes Notification Center, iMessage, Newsstand and Twitter integration.

The new notification center delivers an easy way to view and manage notifications in one place without any interruption, where iMessage is a new messaging service that allows the sending of text messages, photos and videos between all iOS devices and from one app.

Apple’s Newsstand is a new way to purchase and organise newspaper and magazine subscriptions, where there’s now a new PC free set up feature that allows activation and software updates over the air – with no computer required.

Twitter will be integrated into iOS 5, where once signed in the users can directly tweet from twitter enabled apps, such as Photos, Camera, Safari, YouTube and Maps where third party developers can now develop Twitter better integration too.

The new platform is due to arrive this fall, for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch supported devices.


The next most significant piece was Hewlett-Packard unveiling the prices and shipping date of the very first webOS TouchPad tablet, with costs starting from £399 and an arrival date of mid-July.

Hewlett-Packard first tablet device with that very operating system arrives with a 9.7-inch 1024×786 touch screen display, 16 or 32GB of storage, a dual-core 1.2Ghz processor, a 1.3 megapixel camera, whilst weighing in at 740grams and measuring only 13.7mm in thickness.

The webOS on theTouchPad still has a similar look to the past Palm mobile phones, with a fast multitasking OS that effortlessly displays multiple running applications with the ability to switch between over 200 apps simultaneously with no lag whatsoever.

HP’s WIFI only webOS tablet will be available on July 1st , with pre-ordering starting on June 19th and at a cost of £399 for the 16GB version and £479 with 32GB of internal storage.


The third largest news item came from Carphone Warehouse, who opened up pre-ordering of the HTC Sensation dual-core Android handset – on contracts starting from £35 a month.

The Sensation arrives with a premium design, with rounded edges and an aluminium unibody construction with the world’s first contoured screen on a mobile phone.

HTC’s handset hits CPW with a Gorilla glass 4.3-inch qHD 540×960 touch SLCD screen, whilst being powered by a Qualcomm MSM 8260 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU.

On-board is 1GB of internal storage and a dual flash LED 8 megapixel camera that is capable of 1080p HD video recording, whilst running from Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 with the new HTC Sense 3.0.

Carphone Warehouse is stocking the HTC Sensation on a £35 tariff, with 900 minutes, an unlimited text message bundle for £35 a month – where the same cost also holds 600 minutes, an unlimited text message allowance and a 750MB mobile broadband offering.


The following most significant story was Nokia, unveiling the X7 large screen mobile phone is now available to pre-order, from their own website on a £25 a month contract.

The Nokia X7 falls into their X series of entertainment focussed devices, whilst taking elements from the N8 design and the E7 with its larger screen. Nokia’s X7 has the same 4-inch 16:9 nHD 640×360 AMOLED capacitive touch screen as the E7 handset, only without the ClearBlack display for improved outdoor visibility.

There’s also an 8 megapixel camera on-board, with 8GB of storage whereas the flagship Nokia N8 has a 12MP variant and 16GB on-board although, the X7 comes preloaded with the Galaxy on Fire HD and Asphalt 5 HD games.

Nokia is retailing the X7 SIM free and unlocked for £399, or on pay as you go deals with Vodafone, T-Mobile and Orange for £359. The £25 tariff comes with 500 minutes, an unlimited text message bundle and a 500MB data allowance.


The fifth biggest piece was when Phones 4u brought out an exclusive on-line offer, for the 16GB version of the iPhone 4 with no cost and on a £35 a month contract.

Apple’s year-old mobile arrived with a new design unseen before in the series, along with FaceTime, which is their own video calling ability over WIFI. This is from a front facing camera of the handset that hasn’t featured in the previous models, with the image being shown on the mobile’s 3.5-inch 960×640 multi-touch retina display.

On board is a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash, capable of HD video recording driven by Apple’s A4 processor and all encased in a new stainless steel case design that took the title of the thinnest smartphone in the world.

Phones 4u has a zero price for the iPhone 4, where mobile phone networks still have a fee attached and a similar costing tariff for the Apple handset. The contract that accompanies the deal is on Vodafone, with 600 minutes, a 3,000 text message bundle and a 500MB data allowance.


The next most significant news came when Everything Everywhere announced it is to open up 30 new stores, to jointly retail both Orange and T-Mobile products.

Everything Everywhere was created by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile, where they already have over 720 stores separately and are now looking to expand the retail arm with this additional venture.

These 30 new stores will be under the brand of Everything Everywhere and offer up both Orange and T-Mobile products and services, giving consumers access to more choice and a range of their own products and services.

The stores also showcase new apps, smartphones and tablets from the big names in the industry, whilst putting the focus on service instead of just sales.

This move follows a series of ongoing retail trials by the company that include joint Orange and T-Mobile stores, Orange and T-Mobile concession stores, and Everything Everywhere-branded stores.


The seventh largest story was Sony Ericsson announcing a series of new games coming to the Xperia ‘PlayStation’ handset, which includes Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard along with 20 other titles.

Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard is now exclusively on the Xperia PLAY, whilst the Android version of the game was launched on Friday it will be free to download in June and July for Western European customers.

Twenty other games are being showcased at the computer games show E3 this week in America, which now adds to the 60 other titles available.

Amongst the games is Minecraft, with over eight million registered users announced to date and over 50,000 new players joining every day.

Other new Android titles that are exclusive to the Xperia PLAY are Battlefield Bad Company 2 by Electronic Arts, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Shadow Vanguard by Gameloft, Desert Winds by Southend Interactive, Ruined by Bigpoint, Icebreaker by NaturalMotion, Sleepy Jack by SilverTree Media, Cracking Sands by Polarbit, Armageddon Squadron 2 by Polarbit, An unnamed fighting game from Khaeon Gamestudio.


The following most significant piece came from Vodafone announcing the budget Android Vodafone Smart handset is now available, with a cost of £60 and with high-end features under the company’s own brand name.

Vodafone’s 858 Smart arrives with a 2.8-inch QVGA touch screen, with a 2 megapixel camera with video recording capabilities, an FM radio, WIFI and 3G access with a microSD slot that has access to 32GB cards.

The mobile is customisable both inside and out, from the home screens inside of Android ‘Froyo’ 2.2 down to the 858 Smart ’s ability to have a unique case designed for the phone before ordering, along with a range of cases already available.

Vodafone’s 858 Smart was initially priced at 90 Euros or around £80 on pay as you go price plans, where the mobile phone now arrives on the TopUp and Get Text and Web prepay deals with 300 texts and 500MB of data for £10 a month.


The penultimate piece of news was when Sony Ericsson unveiled two new Android mobile phones, in the Mix Walkman musical handset and the Qwerty keyboard based txt pro.

The duo of Sony Ericsson phones were announced through Facebook, where the Mix Walkman offers up a musical feature set with a new way to search for songs with an application called Zappin. Sony Ericsson’s txt pro is geared up for messaging and social networking, supported by a friends application.

SE’s Mix Walkman phone arrives with a 3-inch touch screen, with a Zappin key that allows the mobile owner to preview the chorus of the next track and another app that lowers the vocal track being played, to be sung along with and in a Karaoke style.

The Sony Ericsson txt pro also tips up with a 3-inch touch screen, along with a slide-out full Qwerty keyboard and the ‘corner’ user interface which is similar to the one on Xperia mini range that was recently announced.

Both the Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman and the Sony Ericsson txt pro will be available from July onwards, where O2 have already made public they will be carrying the handsets.


Lastly, Three has announced the HTC ‘Facebook’ ChaCha mobile phone is now available, from a £20 a month contract.

The ChaCha is the High Tech Computer Corporation’s 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 ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 with the HTC Sense overlay.

HTC’s ChaCha is geared up for social networking with ‘one touch’ access to Facebook - where a dedicated button has been provided on the phone for launching the application.

Three’s HTC ChaCha offering arrives with 500 minutes, a 5,000 text message bundle and a 500MB data allowance for £20 a month. The sociable mobile is also around on the infamous One Plan, with 2,000 minutes, 5,000 minutes to any Three based mobile numbers, a 5,000 text message allowance and a truly unlimited data bundle – for £29 a month.


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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.