Facebook (FB) revealed on Wednesday just how serious it is about carving out a chunk of the mobile market. While it’s not a smartphone or a mobile operating system, Facebook and French carrier Orange announced on Wednesday the joint release of social calling service “Party Call,” according to TechCrunch. Announced at a conference called Hello, Party Call is Facebook’s way of disrupting traditional mobile voice plans. Users will be able to use Party Call on the mobile and desktop versions of Facebook to make two-way calls and group calls without needing each other’s phone numbers; think VoIP through Facebook. Party Call will launch first on Orange in France in the summer of 2013 and will roll out to other regions afterwards. More →
Intel on Monday detailed a number new products and partnerships during the company’s Mobile World Congress press event. “We are very pleased to add new, important customers and capabilities to our phone offerings today. We remain focused on delivering exciting new features and outstanding performance to smartphone customers around the world.” said Intel CEO Paul Otellini. UK service provider Orange will launch an Atom-powered smartphone based on the Z2460 reference design. The device will feature a sleek body that will enable “rich entertainment experiences [to] Orange services, including Orange TV, Daily Motion, Deezer, Orange Wednesdays and Orange Gestures.” The handset is scheduled for a late summer launch and will be available in the United Kingdom and France. Read on for more. More →
Apple’s iPhone 5 will launch on Orange in Europe on October 15th according to comments from the CEO of the carrier’s parent company, France Telecom. FT chief executive Stéphane Richard, who has openly discussed Apple’s plans for the iPhone ahead of announcement in the past, told the French press that the iPhone 5 will launch on Orange in mid-October, TechRadar reports. “If we believe what we have been told, the iPhone 5 will be released on 15 October,” the CEO said without elaborating. Apple’s iPhone 5 has previously been rumored to be set for an October 7th release, which may still be the case in some markets. Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5 alongside an updated iPhone 4 model at a press event later this month or early in October. More →
Apple has reportedly submitted a proposal for a new industry stand for SIM cards that would drastically reduce their size. According to Reuters, Apple’s new SIM design is even smaller than the micro-SIM the company currently uses in its iPhone 4 smartphone and iPad tablets. The new SIM card, which has already been backed by France’s Orange and other carriers, would allow cell phone manufacturers to build devices that are much thinner as a result of the smaller, thinner SIM readers that could be included in phones and tablets. “We were quite happy to see last week that Apple has submitted a new requirement to (European telecoms standards body) ETSI for a smaller SIM form factor — smaller than the one that goes in iPhone 4 and iPad,” Orange’s head of mobile told Reuters. “They have done that through the standardization route, through ETSI, with the sponsorship of some major mobile operators, Orange being one of them.” Neither Apple or ETSI have commented on the the proposed SIM. More →
As rumors of iPad subsidies becoming available from U.S. carriers this year gain momentum, The Times reports that similar strategies in the U.K. do not appear to be paying off in the short term. Orange, T-Mobile and Three each recently began offering discounts on the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G when purchased alongside a new service contract. The 16 GB iPad model, which typically costs £529 in the U.K., is available for just £199 when purchased with a £25-per-month data plan. While sales performance at T-Mobile and Three is still a bit of a mystery, The Times reports that Orange sold just 1,000 subsidized iPads during the first week of availability. The sales figure has not been confirmed by Orange, but if it is anywhere near accurate it could indicate that customers don’t have much interest in signing up for yet another data contract — especially one tied to a device that is anything but a commodity at this point. More →
Are you still reeling from last week’s Windows Phone 7 press event? Ballmer and Co. announced a staggering 10 handsets (and counting) right out of the gate, sporting their latest mobile OS. HTC, Samsung, Dell, LG among others, have pledged their alliance and announced handsets that will grace the world’s stage over the coming months. We have simplified things for our discerning readers, hit the jump for BGR’s definitive guide to Windows Phone 7 hardware. More →
Today is D-Day for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system. The desktop software giants [A1] are launching their highly-anticipated and revamped mobile OS through various carriers across most of Europe, and boy do they mean business. Remember that $1 billion WP7 and Kinect marketing blitz we told you about? Well, Microsoft is giving away all sorts of freebies, in an effort to drum up sales. Earlier today, the Redmond outfit was spotted giving away Microsoft-branded Skull Candy headphones to customers at the Orange outlet on Oxford Street in London. Spain’s Movistar and Austria’s A1 carriers are reportedly giving away free XBox 360s to early adopters of WP7 (subject to signing a 2-year mobile contract). Windows Phone 7 launches in the U.S. on November 8, will all the marketing hype pay-off?
UK carrier Orange announced Wednesday that its first two Windows Phone 7 handsets, the HTC 7 Mozart and Samsung Omnia 7, will become available Thursday morning. Orange’s Oxford Street store in the heart of London will open its doors at 7:00 a.m. local time tomorrow, giving Londoners first crack at these highly anticipated Windows Phone 7-powered devices. As Microsoft fans are likely well aware, the HTC 7 Mozart features a 3.7-inch WVGA resolution, Super LCD Display, 8-megapixel camera, Dolby sound and a 1GHz processor. Samsung’s Omnia 7 touts a 4.0-inch Super-AMOLED touchscreen and a 1 GHz processor. Each phone will be available for free with a new contract starting at £35 per month for the 7 Mozart and £40 per month for the Omnia 7. Hit the jump for Orange’s full press release. More →
T-Mobile UK has jumped the gun and revealed pricing for the, BlackBerry OS 6-toting Bold 9780. The Bold 9780 is the successor to the aging, but wildly popular Bold 9700. According to Electricpig, the new BlackBerry will be available before Christmas. The handset will be available for £0 ($0, if you convert) if you sign 2 years of your life away for a £30/month. Reasonable, no? However, we still don’t have any info on tariff details.
The three other major carriers in Blighty — O2, Orange and 3, have remained tight-lipped on availability. With the festive shopping season around the corner, you can expect all the major carriers to jump on-board
Today, Microsoft announced that all five major UK wireless carriers — Orange, O2, T-Mobile, Three, and Vodafone — will be carrying handsets that run the Windows Phone 7 operating system. “It is wonderful now to have all of the UK’s network operators supporting the launch of Windows Phone 7,” said Alex Reeve, Microsoft UK’s director of the Mobile Business Group. We know plenty about the “who,” what we really want to know is the “when.” More →
Apple’s iPhone 4 is a undeniably selling like wildfire both here in the States and overseas. Similar to the U.S., the UK iPhone is experiencing delayed availability with the ship by date now pushed back to July 14th. If you missed the June 24th and the July 2nd pre-order window, your only option now is to try to score an iPhone 4 from your local Apple store or your favorite wireless carrier at launch next week. Thankfully, many opportunities exist for the UK iPhone customer as, unlike the U.S. where exclusivity reigns, the UK iPhone 4 will be sold by O2, Orange, Vodafone, Tesco Mobile, and T-Mobile with the the first three carriers announcing their iPhone 4 pricing and associated tariffs earlier this week. Hit the jump for a full roundup of each carrier’s pricing and best of luck in snagging the latest and greatest handset Apple has to offer.
Although there’s still 21 days to go before the Apple iPad is goes on sale in the UK, that hasn’t stopped Orange from whetting people’s appetites for the 3G model with its announcing its iPad-specific data plans. If casual 3G data is what you’re after, £2 a day will get you the iPad Daily plan which is good for 200MB until midnight on the day of purchase. Other than than that, £7.50 nets the iPad Weekly plan which offers 1GB of data, whilst the iPad Monthly plans go for £15 and £25 and offer 3GB and 10GB of data alongside browsing at Orange and BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots (although a 750MB fair use cap applies) . If all of this is too much fuss, there’s always the option of paying 5p per megabyte. Both Orange and Apple will be providing Micro SIMs free of charge with orders being accepted starting May 10th. More →
Orange CEO Delegate, Stéphane Richard, in charge of operations in France, let go a bit of a bombshell when asked by a reporter whether an Apple tablet would be announced before the end of the month he responded, “yes.” Now, our French is a bit rusty, but AppleInsider is reporting a portion of the translation as such:
Elkabbach: According to weekly Le Point, in a couple of days Apple will be launching its tablet computer…
Elkabbach: …equipped with a webcam.
Elkabbach: Are Orange customers going to be able to enjoy it?
Richard: Of course!
Richard hasn’t really admitted to the tablets imminent release, however, by not outright denying the rumored tablets existence he has set off of firestorm amongst Apple fans. For those of you who do speak French we have the video queued up for you after the break. Let us know via the comments if we missed anything. More →