UK fixed line incumbent BT is looking to take a slice of mobile operators’ revenues with an app that it has launched today. The BT SmartTalk app allows customers to make calls over a data connection from their iPhones,in a similar way to over-the-top solutions providers such as Skype and Viber, billed at the same rates that they are charged for calls from their BT landlines.
The number of mobile phones sold globally has declined year on year for the first time since 2009, according to research revealed today. 1.75 billion handsets were sold in 2012, a 1.7 per cent decline on 2011, according to research firm Gartner.
Apple will next week add another 36 networks to the selection of carriers that are permitted to offer the iPhone 5 with LTE support enabled. Tim Cook, CEO of the handset vendor, made the revelation as part of the company’s earnings call earlier this week. However, the expanded list does not extend to carriers in parts of Asia and Russia.
In the wake of the problems surrounding Apple’s own Maps application Google has now launched its own mapping app for the iOS platform. Although Google Maps was preinstalled on previous versions of the iOS platform, Google did not offer a version of its app for the latest iteration, iOS6. Instead Apple, having dispensed with a native installation of Google Maps, created its own mapping application in a move to take more control of the assets on its devices.
China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator will launch LTE in Hong Kong on 18 December, according to reports. Hong Kong is already well served for LTE with all four other operators, Hutchison, PCCW and CSL and CMHK, offering 4G services. The move however, has larger significance in that it indicates that China Mobile is readying a wider TD-LTE–based launch in mainland China.
US software giant Microsoft has announced the immediate departure of Steven Sinofsky, head of its flagship Windows and Windows Live operations. The move came just a few weeks after the launch of the company’s next generation software platform, Windows 8, which spans both desktop and mobile devices.
With the launch of iOS6, Apple’s peer-to-peer video calling service – FaceTime – is available on 3G and 4G cellular networks.iOS6 is already on more than 100 million devices, a fair proportion of which will have access to cellular networks. That’s a lot of mobile users that could start FaceTime sessions on an operator’s network. And this is very early days.
With smartphones becoming ever more feature rich and data intensive, mobile network operators need to assess whether their network is ‘iPhone 5 ready’. Staying ahead of the next wave of new devices, features, apps and technologies is challenging because innovation doesn’t stay still, traditionally forcing operators to take a reactive approach. However, with a clear understanding of their network readiness, operators can take proactive measures to ensure bandwidth requirements are available and enhance the customer experience, thus minimising churn rates.
Only one of the three spectrum bands supported by the European version of Apple’s iPhone 5 is a European LTE band; a decision described by one industry consultancy as “really odd”.
The Android platform continues to dominate the European handset market, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Google’s mobile OS has increased its market share by 20.2 per cent over the past year and now hold two-thirds of the market share.
The ongoing patent wars between mobile device manufacturers featured a decisive battle late Friday, when the jury deliberating on the argument between US company Apple and South Korea’s Samsung found against the Android-focused firm. The US jury awarded Apple damages of $1bn, after ruling that Samsung did indeed infringe several of Apple’s patented designs and features.
Apple has agreed to acquire fingerprint security firm AuthenTec in a deal worth around $356m. AuthenTec’s fingerprint technology has been used in mobile phones in Japan for authentication of mobile payments, and Apple is expected to bring those services to more markets.
Apple once again posted huge financials, with the iPhone and iPad maker hitting quarterly revenue of $35bn and quarterly net profit of $8.8bn for the quarter ended June 30, an increase on the $28.6bn revenue and $7.3bn profit that it recorded in the same period last year.
Apple has been fined AU$2 million for deliberately misleading Australian consumers over the 4G status of its third-gen iPad. Action was brought against the tablet manufacturer by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after Australian consumers complained that they had bought the device on the understanding that it was compatible with Telstra’s LTE networks, only later to discover that it was not.
Apple has unveiled a new operating system for mobile devices, iOS6, which sees the firm ending its reliance on Google’s mapping software. Instead Apple has created its own mapping application in a move to take more control of the assets on its devices. One analyst warned that this announcement could have a negative knock-on effect on the operator community.
Gartner has published its mobile device numbers for the final quarter of 2011, reporting that 1.8 billion units were sold to end users across the year, up 11.1 per cent on 2010. Smartphones accounted for 31 per cent of all device sales with 472 million units sold, up 58 per cent year on year.
Apple faces the prospect of having its iPad and iPhone devices banned in Germany, just months after securing a ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the country with a similar ruling.
Some applications available through Apple’s App Store are failing Vodafone’s internal quality standards, accessing APIs that are non-essential for the applications’ functions, according to the international carrier’s group director of content services, Lee Epting.
As the global director for terminals marketing at the Vodafone Group, Peter Becker-Pennrich holds decision making powers over a procurement strategy that deals in serious volumes. Vodafone buys between 60 and 70 million handsets each year, spending $8bn across it’s footprint, including affiliates and partner markets. In this exclusive interview Becker-Pennrich offers frank assessments of the different strategies adopted by the vendor community, their chances for success and the nature of the relationship – ever evolving – between operators, vendors and platform developers.
An Australian court has ruled that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 does not infringe on patents held by Apple, clearing the way for the product to go on sale in the Australian market. In October Apple was granted a temporary injunction that stopped Samsung from selling the unit in Australia.