In an age when it's not uncommon for handsets to weigh less than 150g and measure under 9mm thin, it's funny that many of us find ourselves looking back nostalgically on the mobile phones of yesteryear. Yet that's precisely the contrarian scenario faced by gadget enthusiasts today, as we celebrate the 40th birthday of the handset. The first mobile call was made on 3 April 1973, while the inaugural commercial device came to market in 1983 and cost more than £2,000. These days, the original core functionality of a mobile device - voice calling - is plummeting, as new methods of social interaction take hold. You can now have conversations with your handset and navigate the Internet without having to so much as touch a screen, and you're more likely to arrange to meet up with a chum via Twitter or Facebook than via the lugubrious task of actually inputting a number and waiting for a person to answer. It's all a world away from the infamous "brick" devices popularised by Michael Douglas' Gordon Gecko in Wall Street and which us chronologically gifted types no doubt recall being the height of fashion amongst suburbanites in the early-90s. Yes, it has been a long, strange trip for the now ubiquitous mobile phone, and our editor Desire Athow aptly summarises the journey of our newly quadragenarian pocket pal - no doubt with a quiet tear in eye.
4G trailblazer EE is looking to make the most of its dying days as the UK’s sole provider of LTE mobile connectivity, launching a campaign to bring high speed data usage to black cabs in London and Birmingham. The mobile carrier is splashing its signature turquoise and yellow colours across 40 traditional Hackney carriages in London and 10 in Birmingham, marking the installation of a MiFi router in each taxi to act as a 4G hotspot. As of this week, busy commuters and casual web surfers alike will thus be able to sample EE’s high-tech spectrum for free when travelling through the capital or the UK’s second city, but will this lure more customers over to the network before the likes of Vodafone and O2 enter the 4G scene?
This time last year, Apple had unveiled a new iPad, and fanboys were looking toward WWDC for news about iOS 6. But 2013 has been lacking when it comes to Apple launch events, prompting the Apple faithful to question when exactly the Cupertino, California-based firm will unveil a new gadget. A new report from the Wall Street Journal suggests production on the new iPhone has begun, and will be in our hands as soon as this summer. Follow the link to find out more about the next-gen smartphone’s design.
As the PC market continues to shrink, Intel’s future is looking more and more uncertain. But the chip manufacturer is taking steps to redress its missteps. Earlier today, we heard the firm may be partnering up with networking giant Cisco, in a bid to expand its foundry services and move away from its single-minded, PC-focused business. According to an Intel Korea executive, who spoke with the Korea Times, “Intel has recently signed an agreement to manufacture Cisco's networking chips on a contractual basis.”
In more Intel news, the firm has hit back at analysts speculating that Intel has had problems integrating a voltage regulator into Haswell’s core design. “Haswell is healthy and on track for an announcement. There’s no problem with the Haswell part at all. Also, we would expect that with Haswell we will see the biggest improvement in battery life in the company’s history when you compare it to the previous generation,” said Intel spokesperson Chuck Malloy. Read on for more details about Haswell’s power cell architecture.