FreedomPop isn’t happy selling its free smartphone service only in the U.S., as the company now plans to expand to Europe. It will begin in Belgium, where it wants to test out its new service, TechCurnch reveals. FreedomPop is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that purchases bandwidth from Sprint in the U.S, and then offers users 200 free voice minutes, 500 free text messages and 500MB free of data each month. In Europe, the carrier will have a similar approach. More →
Huawei on Wednesday announced global availability of its flagship Ascend P1 smartphone. The Android 4.0-powered handset will be available in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Australia by May, in Latin America by June and in Europe for the summer, with availability in other markets to follow. “The global availability of the Ascend P1, which combines smart features and a sexy design, represents a significant milestone for Huawei Device,” said Richard Yu, Chairman of Huawei. “We are sending strong signals of our intention to transform into a consumer-facing brand and extend our market leadership globally by strengthening our range of flagship products. We are also expanding our sales and distribution channels to move beyond a focus on operators.” The Ascend P1 is equipped with a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, a dual-core TI OMAP 4460 processor clocked at 1.5GHz and an 8-megapixel rear camera. Read on for Huawei’s press release. More →
Nokia’s attempt to regain the traction in the mobile market is turning out to be more difficult than the company once thought. Four major wireless carriers in Europe have said that Nokia’s Lumia smartphones are “not good enough” to compete with Apple’s iPhone or Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Nokia bet big on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform last year, however the gamble has yet to pay off according to the report. “No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone,” said an executive in charge of mobile devices at a European operator. The company is now playing catch up with Apple and Google after suffering a huge decline that hurt its image in the high-end market, and according to Reuters’s sources, Windows Phone might be making matters worse. “Nokia have given themselves a double challenge: to restore their credibility in terms of making hardware smartphones and succeed with the Microsoft Windows operating system, which lags in the market,” the executive said. “If the Lumia with the same hardware came with Android in it and not Windows, it would be much easier to sell.” More →
Google on Monday announced that its proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility has been approved by regulators in Europe. “We’re happy that today the European Commission approved our proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which we announced in August,” Google Vice President & Deputy General Counsel Don Harrison wrote in a post on a company blog. “This is an important milestone in the approval process and it moves us closer to closing the deal. We are now just waiting for decisions from a few other jurisdictions before we can close this transaction.” United States regulators are expected to follow suit and approve the $12.5 billion deal later this week. More →
The European Commission announced on Tuesday that it has opened a formal investigation into Samsung’s competitive practices. The Commission will assess whether the Korean manufacturer “used certain of its standard essential patent rights to distort competition in European mobile device markets, in breach of EU antitrust rules.” Samsung has used a collection of its patents to launch a series of lawsuits against rival companies, such as Apple. The technology giant maintains, however, that these patents are essential to implementing European mobile telephony standards. Samsung may now be in violation of a promise it made in 1998, when the company gave its “irrevocable commitment to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to license any standard essential patents relating to European mobile telephony standards on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.” Read on for the Commission’s full press release. More →
Motorola promised that a bootloader unlocking solution would be made available for its recent phones in late 2011 but as the year came to a close, the company’s self-imposed deadline came and went with no release. To make matters worse, the manufacturer launched the RAZR with an unlocked bootloader overseas while the American version was locked and encrypted. Motorola blamed Verizon, claiming the carrier requested the device be locked even though other companies were offering unlocking solutions. On Monday, Motorola announced the RAZR Developer Edition on the company’s community blog. The device is essentially the same as the current RAZR, but with one special feature: an unlockable bootloader. The European handset is priced at €499 and will be sold without a warranty, while a U.S. version will become available through MOTODEV “in the coming months.” Read on for the announcement. More →
Although Apple outsold all Android vendors in the fourth quarter, the Cupertino-based company’s share of mobile internet usage is reportedly beginning to slide. An analysis of last year’s Internet usage shows that in the United States, the proportion of Android mobile web visitors overtook Apple users by the end of the year, according to 51Degrees.mobi. The share of Apple’s iOS web traffic in December fell to 34.1%, while Android increased to 36.6%. In Europe, Apple remained ahead with 42.6% however, despite an increase in Android traffic that pushed the platform to 25.5% by the end of 2011. RIM’s BlackBerry devices remained stable in both regions with roughly 9% of all mobile web usage. “The battle for mobile operating system dominance is far from over”, said 51Degrees.mobi CEO James Rosewell. “Apple experienced record sales of iPad2 and iPhone devices, yet its share of mobile web traffic declined in the US and Europe – indicating just how many more Android based products were used online in the same period.” The firm’s full press release follows after the break. More →
Panasonic announced Friday that it intends to expand its smartphone business into Europe in March 2012, and it hopes the move will be a stepping stone into the global smartphone market. Panasonic didn’t name its first smartphone, but did say that it features an ultra-slim form factor with a 4.3-inch qHD OLED screen. The phone is also waterproof and dust-proof, and will be manufactured in one of Panasonic’s Malaysian factories. Panasonic hopes to sell 1.5 million smartphones in Europe next year, and by 2016 the company aims to be selling 15 million phones cell phones annually, 9 million of which it expects will be smartphones. Panasonic’s full press release follows after the break. More →
A ruling handed down on Friday by the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany could see sales of Apple’s iOS devices banned across Europe. The judgement relates to a patent infringement complaint filed by Motorola last April, when the company accused Apple of infringing a Motorola-owned patent covering “a method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system.” Friday’s ruling is preliminary, however, and according to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, it is only enforceable against Ireland-based Apple subsidiary Apple Sales International. The injunction formally pertains to the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad and iPad 2, though the iPhone 4S is likely covered as well. Apple must now remove the infringing functionality from its iOS devices or successfully appeal to Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court in order to avoid the ban.
UPDATE: A press release from Motorola Mobility has been added below.
FOSS Patents is reporting that Motorola has won an injunction related to a patent infringement lawsuit in Germany, Europe’s largest market. According to the ruling by a Mannheim Regional Court, Apple is barred from selling any mobile device that infringe on two Motorola Mobility patents filed in April of 2003. Motorola is also reportedly owed for past damages. One of the patents in question relates to GSM, UMTS and 3G, and it is unclear what the second patent covers. If Motorola Mobility actually has won an injunction against all of Apple’s mobile devices in Germany, it would be a huge win for the company and Google’s Android platform as well. We’ll keep you updated.
UPDATE: It looks like Motorola’s win was scored against Apple Inc. rather than its local subsidiary, Apple Germany. As Apple Inc. doesn’t sell anything in Germany, it looks like this is an empty victory for Motorola, but under the ruling, this affects “new goods” which means that Apple can’t deliver new products to Apple Germany. We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.
After having initially said the issues were resolved following one day of service interruptions, millions of BlackBerry users across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and even some areas in South America still find themselves without access to the Wen or messaging services for the third consecutive day. Research In Motion confirmed earlier that a bug on a Blackberry server was responsible for knocking millions offline on Monday, and the Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone maker elaborated on Tuesday that the continued interruption was caused by a core switch failure. RIM now says the outage has caused a large backlog of data that must be cleared before service can return to normal. No firm timeline has been issued.
UPDATE: Our inbox is starting to get hit with reports of service interruptions in the U.S. and Canada as well. Is your BlackBerry not working this morning? Leave us a comment below and let us know.
BlackBerry users across Europe, the Middle East and Africa again find themselves without service on Tuesday as a bug that knocked millions of users offline on Monday has seemingly resurfaced. Research In Motion announced early Tuesday morning that BlackBerry service across the EMEA region had been restored, but the Associated Press later reported that Internet and messaging services for users across the region are again offline. The report was later confirmed by several carriers including T-Mobile UK, Vodafone UK and Etisalat in the United Arab Emirates. The cause of the outage is unclear, however a report on Monday attributed the massive service interruption to a bug on a RIM server in England.
UPDATE: RIM has stated that Tuesday’s outage was due to a core switch failure. More →
BlackBerry users in Africa, the Middle East and Europe have been without service since 11:00 a.m. Monday, The Telegraph reports. A bug on Research In Motion’s server in Slough, England is to blame and it appears to have impaired all users, independent of carrier or device. RIM has not issued a statement on the matter. “There is an issue with BlackBerry services at present,” a T-Mobile UK representative said on Twitter. “RIM [is] investigating this at present.” Additionally, Batelco, a wireless carrier in Bahrain, issued a statement that confirmed the service was out in the entire country and explained the issue is being “dealt with by BlackBerry providers in Canada.” More →