Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo is targeting $11bn in non-core service revenues in 2015, up from $6bn in 2012, according to Hiroyasu Asami, executive vice president and managing director of the firm’s Smart Life Business Division. Asami said that the firm expects finance and payment services, media and content services and commerce to each account for $3bn of the 2015 total, with other services making up the remainder.
Device vendor Blackberry has announced that Canadian investment firm Fairfax Financial Holdings will, in partnership with other institutional investors, make a US$1bn investment in the firm. CEO Thorsten Heins will leave the firm as part of the deal.
Handset manufacturer Tecno Group has announced it will build a “third phase” mobile phone assembly and production plant in Addis Ababa. The firm already runs two factories in the Ethiopian capital.
UK operator EE has launched the country’s first pay as you go (PAYG) 4G handset. The operator said that 40 per cent of mobile users in the UK want PAYG plans and that all 4G handsets currently available to pay monthly customers will be available on PAYG.
Operator group Orange has launched two own branded smartphones in a bid to offer devices at more accessible prices. The Orange Yumo and Orange Hiro add to the operator’s existing original device manufacture (ODM) range and will be available in certain markets in November. Exact pricing will be announced with local availability.
Web giant Google is developing an open hardware platform which would allow users to create, modular customised smartphones.
For the three months ending September 30, Apple posted quarterly revenue of $37.5bn up from $36bn year on year and quarterly net profit of $7.5bn, down on the $8.2bn the firm generated in the same quarter last year. Gross margin was 37 per cent compared to 40 per cent in the year-ago quarter.
US operator T-Mobile USA is offering 200MB of free LTE data each month to tablet users across the States, even if they are not already a T-Mobile subscriber.
Spanish operator group Telefónica has launched handsets running on Mozilla’s Firefox OS platform in Brazil, through its subsidiary Vivo. The operator already offers the devices; the LG Fireweb and the Alcatel Onetouch Fire in Spain, Colombia and Venezuela, and is planning similar launches in Peru, Uruguay and Mexico in the coming days.
Open source software developer Canonical has launched an operating system for both mobile handsets and PCs. Ubuntu 13.10 is the firm’s effort to create OS convergence across all devices and has been hailed by Canonical as the “first true mobile release of Ubuntu”. The firm added that it is working with partners to bring Ubuntu smartphone devices to market in 2014.
Korean handset maker Samsung has offered to call a truce over its ongoing patent disputes with rival handset firms. It has proposed to the European Commission that it will not to seek any injunctions over smartphone and tablet technologies in Europe on the basis of any of its standard essential patents (SEPs) for the next five years.
iPhone maker Apple has reportedly instructed its supply chain to reduce production of its iPhone 5C, as demand for the handset fails to meet expectations.
Spanish operator group Telefónica has teamed with local bank CaixaBank to set up a company offering consumer financing for mobile handsets and devices.
Netflix is teaming up with Nokia to give UK buyers of the phone maker’s latest smartphones free access to the subscription video-on-demand service.
US operator Sprint has launched its own rich communications service for Android and iOS smartphones, which is compatible with non-Sprint subscribers’ handsets. The app, called Messaging Plus allows subscribers to connect with family and friends via text, instant messaging, group messaging and video chat through a single application.
Chipmaker Qualcomm has announced the appointment of former US ambassador to China to its Board of Directors, at the firm looks to expand its footprint in China.
French operator group Orange’s business division has inked a deal with Korean device maker Samsung to build innovative, secure tablet solutions for enterprises. The two plan to work together on seamlessly integrating Orange services – such as device management, deployment services and customer support – within Samsung tablets for the enterprise market.
Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC has posted its first ever quarterly loss. The firm made a net loss before tax of NT$2.97bn ($100m) for 3Q13. Revenue stood at NT$47.05bn.
Smartphone operating system Windows Phone has seen its most successful quarter in five major European markets, according to research published this week. The platform won 9.2 per cent smartphone market share across Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain for the three months ended August 2013, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
The Nokia Microsoft drama went a bit Game of Thrones this week (thankfully without the gratuitous nudity) as accusations of back-room treachery came thick and fast.
Stephen Elop was cast as the villain of the piece, amid suggestions that the sale to Microsoft—and events between that sale and Elop’s arrival at Nokia—were part of a sophisticated, pre-conceived intrigue that has delivered Elop a rich personal reward. And when calls subsequently came for Elop to accept a lesser payoff for overseeing the sale, he reportedly claimed he needed the money to pay for his divorce.