Articles about Smartphones


Alumina in glass could stop smartphones cracking up

Trekkies will remember how Scotty bestowed transparent aluminium on the world in Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home. Now Japanese researchers have added alumina to glass to try and make it tough enough for the hard life of the smartphone. In Nature Scientific Reports, the boffins from the University of Tokyo and Japan's Synchrotron …

South Korea mandates spyware installation on teenagers' smartphones

A law requiring the mass installation of spyware on teenagers' smartphones suggests that the frightening level of population control exercised by its neighbours in "Best Korea" has rubbed off on the Republic's administrators in Seoul. The Republic of South Korea's Communications Commission, a media regulator modeled after the …

GCHQ's SMURF ARMY can hack smartphones, says Snowden. Again.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden has given an interview to BBC investigative programme Panorama in which he's added further detail on an array of tools named after the Smurfs* that allow UK intelligence agencies to hack smartphones. Privacy International has already aired much of what Snowden explained to Panorama, namely that a …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Oct 2015

Is China dumping smartphones on world+dog?

Analysis We’ve heard much this week about China dumping steel, but less so about China dumping smartphones onto the rest of the world. But the latter accusation is actually far closer to truth. For years, the leading phone brands like Samsung, Sony and HTC have spent huge amounts in the hope of gaining the windfall profits that follow …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Oct 2015
cyanogen mobes

Wileyfox smartphones: SD card, no bloatware, Cyanogen, big battery – yes to all!

New British mobe maker Wileyfox has launched a pair of Cyanogen smartphones. The £199 SIM-free Storm has an eight-core 64-bit ARMv8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 system-on-chip running at up to 1.5GHz, 32GB of storage and 3GB of RAM, a 20Mp Sony EXMOR main camera and an 8Mp front-facing cam, 1920 x 1080 5.5” touchscreen display, and …
Simon Rockman, 25 Aug 2015

HTC execs: Oh dear, did we say we'd sell lots of smartphones? Our bad

The bottom appears to have dropped out of HTC smartphone sales, leaving the Taiwanese firm forced to revise its second-quarter earnings guidance downward by nearly 30 per cent. Just over a month ago, HTC said it expected to see revenue of between NT$46bn and NT$51bn New Taiwanese dollars ($1.49bn to $1.66bn in US dollars) in …
Neil McAllister, 05 Jun 2015
Fujitsu loop heat pipe

Fujitsu SPARCs up liquid cooling for smartphones

One of the tricks Fujitsu uses to increase density in its M10 family of SPARC servers is liquid cooling. The company's Liquid Loop Cooling offers a closed system to pump coolant around a motherboard, the better to draw away heat. Fujitsu thinks Liquid Loop Cooling is very cunning but acknowledges that its use of pumps to move …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Mar 2015
android logo

Unpatched, passcode-free smartphones. Yes, they're everywhere

Users in both enterprises and at home are failing to take basic precautions against an increasing range of mobile threats, according to a new survey by security firm Skycure. The majority (52 per cent) of devices do not have any type of passcode enabled, including alphanumeric, biometric, and swipe codes. And around a third ( …
John Leyden, 30 Oct 2015

Factory settings FAIL: Data easily recovered from eBayed smartphones, disks

Data recovery experts have found a raft personal information from used hard drives and mobile phones purchased from Amazon, eBay and Gazelle in the UK, US and Germany. The research, by Blancco Technology Group and Kroll Ontrack, once again shows that failure to erase data from discarded devices continues to be a problem, …
John Leyden, 07 Oct 2015
HTC One M9 Android smartphone

Record smartphones sales, but feature phones far from dead

The first quarter of 2015 saw global smartphone sales set a new record of $96 billion, with the most desirable elements being big screens and 4G. The stats come from market analysis firm GfK, which compiles figures for the top handset manufacturers — so while it's happy to trumpet the good numbers, any questions about who sold …
Simon Rockman, 15 May 2015
iPhone 6 Plus opened up

Smartphones merge into homogeneous mass as 'flagship fatigue' bites

People are turning away from pricey "flagship" smartphones sold on complicated expensive contracts, according to industry figures. Dealmaker site uSwitch says it's seeing steep declines in year on year sales of flagship smartphones in 2015, with Sony hit particularly hard. Even Apple’s much-anticipated iPhone 6 exhibited the …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Jan 2015

Mozilla: We don't give a damn about cheap smartphones

Browser-turned-OS-institution Mozilla has acknowledged that its $25 phone has failed. Firefox OS was launched with a strategy of not being Google or Apple, into the warm bosom of Telefonica and seventeen other operators at Mobile World Congress in 2013. At the time, we predicted that it would go the way of Symbian, SavaJe and …
Simon Rockman, 27 May 2015
Eora 3D scanner prototype

Smartphones are ludicrously under-used, so steal their brains

It looked a lot like a tall drink can. Out of a lens at the top, a beam of green laser light shone onto a reusable takeaway coffee cup, slowing working its way across it, scanning. That light came from the Eora3D, a portable 3D scanner that got me asking a few questions. How accurate is it? The model will have features down …
Mark Pesce, 09 Jul 2015
Acer CloudMobile S500 Android smartphone

ARM's new Cortex-A35: How to fine-tune a CPU for web browsing on bargain smartphones

ARM, designer of smartphone brains, will today reveal the Cortex-A35: a processor core subtly tweaked to run mobile web browsers and similar apps faster. How can a CPU be tuned for something seemingly so specific? The answer lies in the A35's instruction prefetch queue. ARM has halved the length of this queue in an attempt to …
Chris Williams, 10 Nov 2015
Slick looking picture of  xiaomi's Mi3 Android smartphone

Watch out, Samsung and Apple: Xiaomi's No 3 in smartphones now

Chinese Android mobile firm and fierce Apple rival Xiaomi has nabbed the third place finish in the world’s largest smartphone vendors just three years after first setting up shop. Beancounters at Strategy Analytics said that the Chinese firm accounted for six per cent of the 320 million smartphones shipped in the quarter from …

Feds dig up law from 1789 to demand Apple, Google decrypt smartphones, slabs

The FBI has made it no secret that it hates Apple and Google's efforts to encrypt files in your smartphones and tablets. Now court documents have emerged showing just how far the Feds are willing to go to decrypt citizens' data. The paperwork has shown two cases where federal prosecutors have cited the All Writs Act – which was …
Iain Thomson, 01 Dec 2014

Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables

Three recent reports point to a glowing future for smartphones, tablets, and that nascent and still somewhat ill-defined category known as "wearables." There has been talk recently among some of the chattering classes that smartphone growth may be stalling, but the analysts at Strategy Analytics see things differently. "The …
Rik Myslewski, 11 Apr 2014
Google Drive

Put those smartphones away: Google adds anti-copying measures to Drive for Work

Google has rolled out five new functions aimed at beefing up the security, administration and sharing features of its Drive for Work cloud business suite and the equivalent education package. Youtube video "Since we launched Drive for Work 9 months ago, we've watched as more and more businesses moved to the cloud - and seen …
Iain Thomson, 31 Mar 2015

Proposed California law demands anti-theft 'kill switch' in all smartphones

California may soon become the first US state to require mobile phone makers to include a feature that can remotely disable their handsets in the event they are stolen. A new law proposed by California state Senator Mark Leno and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón would require all smartphones sold in the state to …
Neil McAllister, 19 Dec 2013

US Senate bill would mandate 'kill switch' on all smartphones

All mobile phones sold in the US will have to include free software that can remotely wipe and disable the device if it is stolen, should a new bill introduced in the Senate becomes law. "Cell phone theft has become a big business for thieves looking to cash in on these devices and any valuable information they contain, costing …
Iain Thomson, 14 Feb 2014

Apple wants sales ban on Samsung smartphones nobody is selling

Flush from recent courtroom victories, Apple is once again requesting a ban on sales of more than 20 Samsung smartphones in the US – even though none of the products in question are being sold anymore. Bloomberg reports that Cupertino has filed a new motion in the US District Court of San Jose, California, asking it to block …
Neil McAllister, 27 Dec 2013

World Q3 smartphone shipments: 355 million, 354m, 342m or 366m?

How many smartphones emerged blinking into the sunlight during the third quarter of 2015? It depends who you ask. IDC says 355.2 million hit the streets between June and August. That's not a million miles away from Strategy Analytics' assertion that 354.2 million machines made it out the door. Juniper Research is willing to …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Oct 2015

Wilocity uncloaks 4.6Gb/sec Wi-Fi for next year's smartphones

MWC 2014 Wilocity, pioneers of high-speed "WiGig" 60GHz Wi-Fi, has used the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as the debutant ball for its 4.6Gb/sec chip for smartphones, formerly codenamed "Sparrow" and now formally dubbed Wil6300. "The huge performance boost offered by 802.11ad, operating in the 60GHz band, combined with massive …
Rik Myslewski, 25 Feb 2014

LEAKED: Redmond not allowed to sell 'Nokia' smartphones after 2015

Microsoft has 18 months left to use the Nokia brand name on its smartphones and mutant Androids, according to leaked notes prepared for internal marketing guidance. Microsoft bought Nokia's phones business in April. Ironically, Redmond can continue using the Nokia brand longest for the part of Nokia it bought but didn't really …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jun 2014
The Microsoft phone which isn't

Microsoft is still touting Android smartphones – meet the new Nokia X2

Microsoft has revealed the Nokia X2: a dual-SIM version of the Android-powered Nokia X. The Nokia phone for people who want Android Not a Windows Phone ... the new Nokia X2 It runs Jellybean – Android version 4.3 – behind a Windows Phone 8-ish façade. It’s aimed at emerging markets, which prize dual-SIM handsets as price- …
Simon Rockman, 24 Jun 2014

Smartphones don’t dumb you down, they DUMB you UP

Something for the Weekend, Sir? My wife has asked me to produce my dong when she is least expecting it. Apparently, this will help her to refocus during lengthy meditation exercises. She has also asked me to produce this occasional chiming sound (that’s right, a "dong" – why, what did you think I meant?) from different locations in the room. Better still, to …
Alistair Dabbs, 07 Feb 2015

Pope instructs followers to put the iPhone away during dinner

Pope Francis has slammed the use of smartphones and warned that they risk damaging family life. Speaking at the Vatican yesterday, the Pontiff noted that the dinner table is where families experience a sense of "togetherness," but that it can be ruined by over-attachment to modern technology. "A family that almost never eats …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Nov 2015

Smartphones set fair to OUTNUMBER HUMANS - Ericsson

The growth in smartphone devices has now overtaken that of conventional handsets, accounting for 55 per cent of new mobile subscriptions in the first nine months of 2013. That's according to a new study by telecoms hardware maker Ericsson. Overall globally, the Swedish multinational reckons there were 4.5 billion people …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Nov 2013
Sim card

A dual-SIM smartphone in your hand beats two in the bush

Smartphones packing two SIM slots are set to grab a third of the overall smartphone market, according to Strategy Analytics. Dual-SIM phones are already big business, the firm reckons, with about 431 million of the devices to ship this year. Come 2016, the firm says, expect 19 per cent growth to take the dual-SIM total to …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2015

People bored of mobes, say magic quadrant wizards

Global spend on smartphones rose at the slowest rate since 2013 for the second quarter of 2015, according to magic quadrant wizards Gartner. Worldwide sales of smart mobes totalled 330 million, up 13.5 per cent from the second quarter of 2014. In contrast sales for the whole of 2014 rose 28.4 per cent to 1.2 billion, compared …
Kat Hall, 20 Aug 2015
Satoru Iwata

Satoru Iwata, Nintendo chieftain and gamer titan, dies aged 55

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has died aged 55. The fourth president of the company, Iwata-san arrived at Nintendo in 2000 after working for HAL Laboratory. He was appointed president in 2002. Bloomberg reports that under his leadership, the company tripled its revenue on the back of the Game Boy Advance SP and the Wii. In …
BlackBerry bleeding

Android in FOUR out of 5 new smartphones. How d'ya like dem Apples?

The latest numbers from analyst house IDC on global smartphone sales during the third quarter of the year make good reading for Google and Microsoft – but it appears that Blackberry is dead in the water. Of the 211.6 million smartmobes sold in the quarter, Android took 81 per cent of the market, ahead of Apple at 12.1 per cent. …
Iain Thomson, 12 Nov 2013
Pointing finger, photo via Shutterstock

Handy results put ARM on track for a muscular year

Chip designer ARM has posted another period of growth, with revenue up 17 per cent to $375.5m (£243m) for the third quarter, when compared with the previous year. Meanwhile, third-quarter pre-tax profit climbed 27 per cent to £128.4m, compared with the same period last year. ARM appears to be on track for a record year, with …
Kat Hall, 21 Oct 2015
Ericsson phone in Tomorrow Never Dies

Silent Circle raises $30m to make more anti-snoop smartphones

Silent Circle, the privacy mobile firm that touts anti-snooping hardware and software, has raised $30m in new capital and added a few new faces to its board. The firm claimed it needs the cash pile to meet “overwhelming demand” for its Blackphone, the smartphone that’s marketed as an anti-eavesdropping device. The mobile was …

Samsung told to build bots who work for less than Foxconn staffers

Samsung and South Korea are taking aim at electronics manufacturing costs with a new investment in robots it's hoped will make mechanical men cheaper to operate even in jobs that currently need flexible human fingers. South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has found 6.75 billion won (US$14.8 million) for an …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2015

Microsoft's MoodScope app predicts smartphones users' feelings

A team at Microsoft Research has developed an app for smartphones that they say will accurately gauge the mood of the user based on their activity, location, and time of day. "Mood sensing can build an interesting digital social ecosystem as users' devices automatically share their moods with close friends and family," the …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jun 2013
Julian Assange and Harrods golf ball

Assange™ offered 'plans for escape by flying fox to Harrods'

Couch-surfer extraordinaire Julian Assange has granted an interview to Australian breakfast radio program “Kyle and Jackie O” in which he characterises his stint in the Ecuadorian embassy as a “siege” and reveals he has banned smartphones at the Ecuadorian embassy as he assumes they are all surveilled. The interview, which …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Oct 2015

Korean doctors: Smartphones really ARE doing your head in

Forget Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training, prolonged exposure to digital devices is actually putting children at risk of early onset dementia, at least according to South Korean doctors. Cases of memory and attention disorders are apparently increasing in gadget-crazy South Korea, one of the most technologically advanced nations on …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Jun 2013

Smartphone passcodes protected by the Fifth Amendment – US court

The Feds can't make suspects give up their company-issued smartphone passcodes because doing so violates the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution. So ruled Judge Mark Kearney of the federal court in East Pennsylvania in the case of Securities and Exchange Commission v Huang, an insider-trading case brought against two ex- …
Iain Thomson, 25 Sep 2015
Sailfish OS

Jolla's Android-aping Sailfish OS smartphones to land in November

Finnish startup Jolla has revealed when the first batch of its Sailfish OS–based smartphones will be available to customers, along with new information about what software will be on offer when the devices ship. On Thursday, the company announced via Twitter that the handsets will go on sale in Finland first, thanks to Jolla's …
Neil McAllister, 15 Nov 2013
The Register breaking news

Top Rated... Smartphones

Which smartphones - whether they run iOS, Android, Symbian or Windows Phone 7 - have we rated most highly over the past few months? The table below will tell you. Top Smartphones February 2011 Updated: February 2011
Week #25 - Pet Peeves SMS by  cc 2.0 attribution noderivs

Google to axe TXT reminders for Calendar events

Google has emailed users of its Calendar service to advise them that “Starting on June 27th, 2015, SMS notifications from Google Calendar will no longer be sent.” The Chocolate Factory's reasoning for the cessation of TXT reminders is that “SMS notifications launched before smartphones were available. Now, in a world with …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2015

ARM floats power-sipping Mali-470 GPU for Internet of Things things

ARM has launched the Mali-470 GPU for Internet of Things (IoT) with - the firm claims - half the power consumption of the Mali-400. The Mali-470 targets wearables but could be used in lower-end smartphones as it supports OpenGL ES 2.0 - necessary for Android Wear. Mali is best paired with the Cortex-A7s and A53s for optimal …
Milhouse Van Houten

Your 30-second guide to why Samsung is acting all Smugsun today

Samsung is getting a nod of approval from investors and analysts as the electronics giant has revealed gains in its mobile, semiconductor, and consumer electronics operations. The South Korean firm said its Android phone business managed to grow its sales figures in its third quarter of 2015, raising hopes that further gains …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Oct 2015
The Taj Mahal

Google: We made India a consumer society and our work here is done

In 2012, Google decided it needed to kickstart India's e-commerce sector, and created "The Great Online Shopping Festival". Today, it's declared "mission accomplished" and decided the festival's no longer needed. The modestly-named Great Online Shopping Festival was unashamedly modelled on events like “Cyber Monday”, America's …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Nov 2015

Apple VICTORY: Old Samsung phones not sold any more can't be sold any more

A US appeals court has said that various ancient Samsung phones which aren't being sold any more can't be sold any more, because they infringe an Apple patent. The handsets affected are the Galaxy S3 and some older models dating from 2012 and before. Samsung is now on to the S6, so these aren't exactly piled high in the shops …
Chris Williams, 18 Sep 2015
Xiaomi Mi3 smartphone

Xiaomi plans global domination with fast smartphones and software

The established smartphone vendors should prepare for challenge from China: Xiaomi, a firm started just three years ago by a Chinese serial entrepreneur and Google's ex-head of engineering, has announced plans to move out of the Middle Kingdom and onto the world stage. The first time many people in the Western world heard of …
Iain Thomson, 06 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news


Teens with internet-enabled phones will have more sex with fewer condoms, research at the University of Southern California has found. And the mobe-inspired jigjig was more likely to be with a stranger they met on the internet. Having a smartphone opened up "a risky avenue" said the researchers: finding a correlation between …
Anna Leach, 01 Nov 2012

Gartner backpedals on device market growth prediction

A sickness hanging over the computer sector has infected smartphones and is set to drag the global device market into the red for 2015 – well, from a shipment perspective, anyway. According to the mystics at Gartner, 2.395 billion computers, tabs, ultra mobiles and smartphones will be shipped into channel this year, a decline …
Paul Kunert, 23 Sep 2015

Rumblings: Amazon to chum up with HTC, smartphones in mind

HTC is having another tilt at hanging its fortunes on a big American brand, this time with Amazon. The mobe-maker's chief of marketing told the Financial Times “We have been very focused on building our own brand, but we have also been very open to co-branding and collaborating with carriers and other technology brands.” The …