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Weekly Review – 9th September

The week started with One Mobile Ring reporting that Samsung has taken a note from Dell, Toshiba announced an ultra-thin tablet and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 arrived at Vodafone.

Earlier on in the week, Three’s new MIFI device became available, INQMobile apps came to Android Market and Virgin launched a new pay as you go tariff.

Midweek, Three rucked back data costs for Rugby Tourists, Sony Ericsson latest Walkman phone hit Vodafone, BlackBerry App World 3.0 arrived and we published an initial thoughts review of the BlackBerry Bold 9900.

Later on in the week, One Mobile Ring brought out a hands-on walkthrough in pictures of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S, Android Ice Cream Sandwich will be arriving within two months,

we published a hands-on walkthrough on video of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S, along with a hands-on in pictures of the Sony Ericsson LiveDock Multimedia Station.

At the end of the week, O2 kicked in to touch Alcatel Rugby phone, OMR brought out a hands-on walkthrough in pictures of the Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman, Microsoft applications are coming to Nokia’s Symbian OS and we published a final hands-on walkthrough on video of the Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman.


The biggest story of the week came from Google, who has had its CEO state the next version of the Android mobile phone operating system, known as ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’, will be arriving in October or November this year.

This news came from the customer relationship management software company Dreamforce conference this week, where Google’s Eric Schmidt ousted the arrival date on stage in a keynote presentation with the CRM giant’s CEO.

It is the first time the shipping date of the much awaited successor to Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 has been established or clarified in anyway – which was caught on video, on the YouTube channel.

Ice Cream Sandwich was officially announced as the new version of Android back in May, at the Google I/O developer’s event in America; although it’s still not known as yet if this will be under the release number of 2.4 or another set of digits.


The next most significant piece was when Nokia unveiled the next update to the Symbian^3 phone operating system, known as the codename ‘Belle’, will feature free Microsoft Office applications.

Nokia’s Symbian ‘Belle’ was announced at the tail-end of August as the successor to the latest Symbian OS known as ‘Anna’ – which has only recently begun being deployed to existing Symbian^3 handsets, in the N8, E7, C7 and C6-01 phones.

The upcoming platform from the Finnish will have a free tool known as Microsoft Apps, which is a suite of Microsoft productivity applications for compatible Nokia smartphones.

The Microsoft Apps will include Microsoft Lync 2010 Mobile, OneNote, PowerPoint Broadcast and Microsoft Document Connection which provides Microsoft SharePoint access.

In another update in the first half of 2012 Microsoft will introduce Word, Excel and PowerPoint as native applications and for the first time outside of the Windows platform.


The third largest news item came from Toshiba, by introducing their second Android tablet, in the thin and light AT200.

The Toshiba AT200 was unveiled at IFA in Berlin, which now joins the AT100 device that has just gone on sale in the UK for around £399.99.

Toshiba’s upcoming tablet will arrive with full web browsing capabilities, with a decent array of available ports despite being only 7.7mm thick and is due to arrive later on this year.

Toshiba’s AT200 will ship with a 10.1-inch 1280×800 capacitive LCD screen, with a 1.2GHz processor, support for up to 64GB of internal storage, with a 2 megapixel front-facing camera and a 5MP variant plus a microHDMI port, whilst running from the Android ‘Honeycomb’ 3.2 – which has been designed for tablets.

Their AT100 tablet as a comparison arrives with a 10.1-inch TFT display, with a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 250 CPU, a 16GB SSD, with the same cameras as the AT200 and the Android ’Gingerbread’ 3.1.


The following most significant story was Vodafone listing the Samsung Galaxy Tablet device, on contracts starting from £7.50 a month.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was launched at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year and as their second Android tablet, following on from 2010’s initial Galaxy tab with a 7-inch screen.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 takes its name from the 10.1-inch 800×1280 capacitive touch screen, with a dual-core 1GHz processor and a 3 megapixel back camera/2MP front variant, whilst running from the Android ‘Honeycomb’ 3.1 OS.

Vodafone is carrying the Galaxy tab 10.1 at a cost of £499, with a £7.50 or £15 30-day contract with 500MB or 2GB data allowance. There is also a £27, 24-month price plan that includes a 2GB data plan plus a 1GB BT OpenZone bundle – with the tablet costing £229.


The fifth biggest piece was when INQMobile released its Facebook integrated applications, to be downloaded from the Android Market for all Google mobile OS devices.

INQMobile’s latest spate of mobile phones, the full touch screen INQ Cloud Touch and Qwerty keyboard based Cloud Q, run on Android with an unprecedented deep Facebook integration – giving these handsets the unofficial title of ‘Facebook’ phones.

At the heart of these mobiles are applications that offer up quick and easy access directly to various aspects of Facebook and straight from the home screen, which have now been made available to everyone running Android and not just INQMobile owners.

There are four sets of applications released by INQ, the Social Widget Suite, People by INQ and the Social Sync engine to run them all, with the INQ Software Alerts for any future updates.

The Social and People Widget Suites delivers Facebook news feed, status posts, photos and video live on the home screen – with pages from your closest friends on Facebook, according to Facebook’s Social Graph API.


The next most significant news came when Three rucked back internet charges for those travelling to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup 2011, for the entire duration of the tournament.

Three has kicked into the touch the roaming costs by nearly 80-percent, between September 9th for the opening ceremony and the starting game between hosts New Zealand and Tonga – to the Rugby World Cup Final on October 21st, and then for a further 10 days after that.

This converted roaming deal is available to all of Three’s customers and at no extra cost, for smartphones, dongles and tablet devices too and for the sole use of mobile broadband whilst abroad.

Three are tackling the competition, with the cheapest data roaming cost for UK mobile users travelling to New Zealand – with a drop goal from £6 per MB to £1.28 per MB.

This is the equivalent to the price customers are charged whilst using data in European countries, making the deal considerably cheaper than the nearest rival’s standard data rate.


The seventh largest story was Vodafone carrying the Android Java based Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman phone, with a cost attached of £80 on pay as you go plans.

At the heart of the Mix Walkman is the Zappin software and its dedicated key, which offers up a preview of the next track’s chorus – in order to decide whether the phone owner wants to listen to it or not.

There is also a karaoke function, enabling the vocal track from any song to be instantly lowered so that it can be sung along to.

Sony Ericsson’s Mix Walkman arrives with a 3-inch 400×240 scratch-resistant capacitive touch screen, with a 3 megapixel camera and 100MB of memory, with support for 32GB microsSD cards, an FM radio with RDS and the familiar walkman player software.

Vodafone’s offering of the Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman is available now for £90, which includes a £10 top up on prepay schemes.


The following most significant item came from Three, who is now selling their latest MIFI device, which is the first product of this nature to support the HSPA+ feature that is capable of download speeds of 21Mbps.

The Huawei E586 MIFI unit was launched early last month, as Three’s third such device that offers a mobile broadband connection to several devices over a secure WIFI signal – along with a self-contained power source.

This updated MIFI product is stated to be 40-percent faster than previous units, where independent test results by USwitch actually revealed that it is in fact up to 50 per cent faster and before taking HSPA+ into account.

Three‘s new OLED based MIFI device is available from £49.99 and on a range of contracts starting from £7.87 a month, with a free cradle charger. The E586 is also around on pay as you go deals, retailing for £84.99 with an inclusive 3GB data bundle.


The penultimate piece of news was when Research In Motion introduced the next version of its application repository front-end, in BlackBerry App World 3.0.

BlackBerry App World 3.0 is now available for BlackBerry smartphone users, where the new storefront offers up an easier way to discover and the downloading apps, games and themes than beforehand.

The new features of App World start with the and improved design, which has been enhanced to help users discover the latest and greatest apps – starting from the home screen, where a rotating spotlight banner shows off what’s new.

There are also new channels, where the apps, games and themes now have their own places that enable users can get to what they want quicker.

‘My Account’ is a new introduction that delivers the management of BBID and payment options, with direct access to all account information from App World’s home screen.

The new ‘My World’ option gives users a streamlined view of their apps and status, and now at a glance offers up which apps are installed and have been uninstalled with the management of subscription content and services.

BlackBerry App World 3.0 has Social Sharing too, where users can share an app directly from its details screen through BBM, Facebook, Twitter, email and SMS.


Lastly, Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Note, which bridges the world of the mobile phone and tablet with its 5.3-inch Super AMOLED display and 9.65mm thick case.

The Samsung Galaxy Note was launched at Berlin’s IFA consumer electronics event, whilst following in the same lines as the Dell Streak tablet – only with a pen interface, for drawing on the screen.

This is combined with the market’s largest HD Super AMOLED display, with the S Pen, where consumers are able to freely capture and create ideas on the largest screen seen in a mobile phone with 180-degree viewing angle.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note arrives with a Super AMOLED 5.3-inch 1280×800 285ppi display, with a dual-core 1.4GHz processor, 16 or 32GB of internal memory and support for 32GB microSD cards, with a front-facing 2 megapixel camera and a rear-facing 8MP variant.

This tablet also has HSPA+ 21Mbps and WIFI capabilities, with the over the air Samsung Kies, running from the Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 OS and the TouchWiz UI plus the ChatON mobile communication service from Samsung.


Originally published at

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.