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Weekly Review – 12th August

The week started with One Mobile Ring reporting Samsung got tough with mobile phones, the BlackBerry Bold is now available on Vodafone, Orange updated their mobile broadband deals and Google buys Motorola.

Earlier on in the week, Vodafone 555 became available, Motorola got even tougher with phones, the HP Pre 3 arrived in the UK and Minecraft is now on the Xperia Play.

Midweek, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 became available for £1,000, HTC 3D phone is now around to buy, Windows Phone 7 got new Xbox Live features and a HSPA+ MIFI device came to Three.

Later on in the week, Sony Ericsson mini pro hit Vodafone, Motorola Defy+ got priced up and the arrival date announced, Alcatel One Touch 355 came to T-Mobile, Nokia released a new version of Symbian, HP is to stop making webOS devices and we published a hands-on walkthrough in pictures of the Symbian Anna Vs. Symbian^3 here.


The biggest story of the week came from Google, who is to buy the mobile phone company Motorola Mobility, for $12.5 billion.

Motorola Mobility was set up as a separate company in January this year, to look after all of Motorola’s mobile phone business – which has now been acquired by Google.

Motorola has over 80 years of innovation in communications technology and products, which has helped drive the development of the mobile phones today.

Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, “Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers.”

The acquisition of Motorola Mobility will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile phones with a deeper integration of Android and hardware – in the same vein as we’re expecting to see with Nokia and Microsoft, in their upcoming handsets.


The next most significant piece was when Hewlett-Packard announced it is to discontinue the manufacturing of the Palm-acquired webOS products, which includes the Pre mobile phones and TouchPad tablet.

The news of this came from HP’s third quarter 2011 results report, which brought this information to those who favour these devices and have supported them since Palm – where the latest HP Pre3 handset only went on sale this week.

Hewlett-Packard did not go into any great detail with the report, other than to state – “HP will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. The devices have not met internal milestones and financial targets. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.”

This statement could very well mean that HP will still leverage the powerful and true multitasking nature of the OS in other devices, just not tablets and mobile phones.

It was even rumoured the operating system could run the low-costing netbooks, which Google’s own ChromeOS has now started making an appearance as the choice platform with vendors and applications run from the cloud.

HP announced it had agreed to acquire Palm in April 2010, where the deal was completed in July that year for $1.2 billion. The Palm global business unit was responsible for webOS software development and webOS based hardware products, such as the Palm Pre and Pixi handsets.


The third largest news item came from Clove technology, who began selling HTC’s first 3D mobile phone, in the Evo 3D – SIM free and unlocked for £534.

The High Tech Computer Corporation unveiled their 3D handset for the UK in June this year, where it is was set to arrive on Vodafone although there have been reported delays with the device arriving on that very network.

The HTC Evo 3D ships with a 4.3-inch qHD stereoscopic touch screen display, which is a higher resolution than the Lucky Goldstar’s phone that is also capable to showing 3D video and images, without the need for any specialised glasses.

The HTC device is powered by a 1.2GHz processor, with dual 5 megapixel cameras that aids in capturing HD 720p 3D video, but the LG phone can stretch to full HD 1080p on regular video.


The following most significant story was when Nokia issued an update to Symbian^3 mobile phones – the latest version of their Nokia OS, with the code name of ‘Anna’.

Nokia has released the OS upgrade for the Nokia N8, C7, C6-01 and E7 handsets, where the recently released Nokia E6 and X7 already arrive with the new platform.

Symbian Anna has a new user interface, a virtual Qwerty keypad in portrait mode, split-screen messaging, enhanced Nokia Maps, better web browsing and stronger security.

The new OS can be downloaded by using the latest 3.1.1 version of Ovi Suite via a PC, or over-the-air directly to a Nokia phone running the older Symbian^3 platform.

Symbian will still be used by Nokia, where they have stated there will be 10 more phones introduced over the next 12 months running the OS – with further updates to the user experience and support for the software, until at least 2016.


The fifth biggest piece was when Vodafone made public it is now carrying the new BlackBerry Bold 9900, on a £41 a month tariff.

Research In Motion’s Bold 9900 is an update to the original 9000 model from 2008, which now arrives with a 2.8-inch 287 ppi touch screen, a physical Qwerty keyboard and a similar look to the first device.

The handset matches the two new torches by running the BlackBerry 7 OS, with a 1.2GHz processor and a 5 megapixel camera, with 8G of internal storage and as the first RIM device with the NFC technology built-in.

Vodafone is carrying the BlackBerry Bold for free on contracts starting from £41 a month, which is accompanied by 1,200 minutes, an unlimited text message bundle and a 500MB data allowance – which includes the BlackBerry internet service and 1GB BT Openzone Wi-Fi access.


The next most significant news came when Clove took stock of the latest Hewlett-Packard Pre 3 mobile phone, with a cost attached of £360.

HP’s Pre3 arrives with a 3.6-inch 480×800 TFT capacitive touch screen, where the 2010 Palm Pre 2 shipped with a 3.1-inch 320×480 touch screen and a smaller slide out Qwerty keyboard.

The newer variant also supports a 1.4Ghz dual-core processor, with the older model arrived with just a 1Ghz single core CPU – although both contain a 5 megapixel camera, but the Pre3 version is capable of HD 720p video recording and houses a front-facing camera too.

Clove is retailing the HP Pre3 SIM free and unlocked for £360, where Orange has recently opened up a support page for the handset here which could mean the network will be carrying the phone soon too.


The seventh largest story was Three announcing an update to their mobile WIFI range, which brings in access to an HSPA+ network with home broadband speeds.

Three has been ranging these Huawei built MIFI devices since late 2009, which arrive with a self-contained power source and offers up a access to a mobile broadband connection over WIFI for a number of devices – away from home broadband.

The new E586 device is said to be around 40-percent faster than the previous unit, where those figures will increase even more when Three upgrades its network to HSPA+, which is provides speeds of up to 21.1Mbps downloading and 5.76 Mbps uploading.

Three is aiming to have 80-percent of their mobile phone network upgraded to the HSPA+ standard by the end of this year, with the rest of the country soon to follow after 2011.

Three hasn’t offered any costs to the new MIFI product, although it will be available in September, with a charging cradle, support for 32GB microSD cards and a 4.5 hour battery life.


The following most significant item came when Research In Motion had its latest BlackBerry Bold 9000 mobile phone go on sale for £999, with a 24 carat gold case.

The new RIM Bold handset has been customised by Amosu Couture, who specialise in the customisation of prestigious and fashionable items of latest technology.

The company is well known for transformed the ordinary into the extraordinary by adding a variety of colours of Swarovski Crystallised Elements, combined with precious metals such as Platinum, Gold or Rose Gold – all of which are plated.

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 has been customised with the bezel plated in hardened 24ct.Gold, which is also available in white, yellow or platinum gold or the bezel encrusted in Swarovski crystallised elements – for just under a thousand pounds.


The penultimate piece of news was Mincecraft being released for mobile phones and is solely available for the Sony Ericsson ‘PlayStation’ Xperia Play handset.

Minecraft has become the most downloaded paid-for independent PC games of all time, where the pocket edition title has been fully optimised for the world’s first PlayStation certified smartphone.

Indie developer Mojang developed Minecraft, with its clever and addictive gameplay which boasts more than 11 million registered users and more than 50,000 new players joining every day.

Minecraft Android OS gaming app is focused on creativity and building, by allowing players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D world - with a price attached of £4.26.


Lastly, Samsung launched the Galaxy Xcover - their first ever waterproof and dust proof handset.

Samsung now joins the veritable ranks of phone manufacturers who have tough phones in their range, with Motorola and their Defy, along with Sony Ericsson and the Xperia active.

Just as with its new competitors, the Samsung Galaxy Xcover arrives with a full touch screen, in a water and dust tight case with an IP rating of 67.

The Galaxy Xcover ships with a 3.65-inch HVGA TFT LCD display, powered by an 800MHz processor, with a 3 megapixel camera and a 2GB microSD card, running from the Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 OS.


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