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LG D958 G Flex Android handset

Not so shiny shiny: MWC in a post-affluent iPhone world

The dynamic of the mobile phone market since about 2007 been shaped by Apple’s iPhone. Before the Jesus phone, the trend was ever tinier, ever shinier. Since then, it's been big screens, app stores and pricey handsets targeting relatively affluent markets. This year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) saw a shift in that six-year …
Team Register, 06 Mar 2014

El Reg gives it a wrist at MWC: From not-so-smartwatch to the selfie-taker

Several new smartwatches are set to be shown at Mobile World Congress, demonstrating software improvements since CES at the start of the year. Creoir is a Finnish company, so you can guess where they all worked before. They are the people behind the Jolla smartphone. The former Nokia bods are currently working on its “Ibis” …
Simon Rockman, 18 Feb 2014
Facebook data center - server racks

Juniper, HP join the MWC NFV frenzy

As the countdown to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona nears zero, another two major vendors have added their names to the NFV – network function virtualisation – list: Juniper and HP. Their announcements, along with similar releases last week by Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco, lend further weight to the decomposition of mobile …

MWC: The good, the bad ... and the Galaxy S5

Well, we're back from Barcelona - in various states of disrepair. Here's my highlights of MWC 2014 ahead of our web chat later this week. 1. Innovation is alive and well. You only have to look beyond the shiny Youtube Video It's a shame that some pundits who declared MWC a low-"innovation" event couldn't see past the phones. …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Mar 2014
Samsung

Samsung says no to MWC Galaxy S III launch

Samsung is emailing World+Dog to say that it won't be announcing the Galaxy S III at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) industry shindig later this month. Instead, "the successor to the Galaxy S II smartphone will be unveiled at a separate Samsung-hosted event in the first half of the year, closer to commercial availability of the …
Tony Smith, 01 Feb 2012

MWC 2013: The Chinese are coming - and you ain't seen nothing yet

When the signs at an international trade event are in Chinese first, you know things have changed. This was only true of the photocopied signs posted all around Hall One at this year's Mobile World Congress, home to the giant Huawei hospitality booth - but expect to it spread. The Chinese have barely got started. "Why are we …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

EyeSight tries to please MWC crowd with touch-free fingering

Israeli gesture tech specialist EyeSight is in Barcelona demonstrating how one finger can take control of a phone, TV or computer without so much as a caress, using the already-present camera. EyeSight's hand-level gesture detection is already being used in TVs from HiSense and phones from ZTE, but the company has refined the …
Bill Ray, 27 Feb 2013
Samsung Google Ice Cream Sandwich invite

Asus teases MWC 'retina display' revelation

It's official: Asus has begun posting its Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich update for its Eee Pad Transformer tablet. The pad, aka the TF101, will get updated first in Taiwan, Asus said, but pledged to roll out the new Google operating system "in other regions soon". The update takes the TF101's system software to release 9.2.1.11 …
Tony Smith, 24 Feb 2012
Angry woman on mobile

What the world really needs: A telescopic SELFIE STICK

Mobile World Congress is often as interesting for the silly gadgets as it is for the mainstream announcements. Bluetooth Gew-gaws abound at mwc This (right) is the Selfie Stick, an extendable pole with a Bluetooth control for your phone. The Selfie comes in two versions: a general one and one for Samsung phones where you …
Simon Rockman, 27 Feb 2014

What's up with that WhatsApp $19bn price tag? Answer: Voice calls

Multibillion-dollar chat app WhatsApp will let users make voice calls, it was announced today. Its makers said that in the second quarter of 2014 it would begin rolling out support for voice comms for iOS and Android devices with Windows Phone and BlackBerry support planned for a later date. Announcing the new service at a …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Feb 2014
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Mozilla takes wraps off 25 DOLLAR Firefox OS smartphone

Ever in search of the next few billion people who will access the internet for the first time in the coming years, Mozilla has unveiled a reference design of a smartphone that it says could sell for as low as $25 (£15). The entry-level prototype running Mozilla's Linux-and-HTML-based Firefox OS was unveiled at the Mobile World …
Neil McAllister, 24 Feb 2014
The Register breaking news

MWC: Inscrutable slogans, Google toys and the invisible Apple

I go to Mobile World Congress every year and come home bemused. A few observations to explain. I don't get marketing As you walk around the booths of Barcelona you read names, marketing slogans and brief descriptions of services offered. Mainly you leave none the wiser, even after repeating the process over several days. What's …
Ed Moore, 01 Mar 2012
Not Smart and not a book, but a smartbook

Alcatel unveils 'cheaper-than-Chromebook' Lapdock-alike phablet-powered laptop

Alcatel had the distinction of previewing the least powerful device at MWC. At the mobile extravaganza, the French firm unveiled the prototype of the Hero, a dumb terminal which interfaces to its Hero mobile phone to provide a full screen and keyboard. The device is called a smartbook, but all the smarts actually reside in the …
Simon Rockman, 03 Mar 2014
Windows_Mobile_65_SM

No Windows Mobile 7 launch at MWC, claims mole

Don't expect Windows Mobile 7 to launch next month at Mobile World Congress, despite what you may have heard in the press and on the rumour mill. So claim industry sources cited by DigiTimes, and we can't say we're entirely surprised. Instead, Microsoft will released WinMo 6.6, codenamed 'Maldives', they say, to improve the …
Tony Smith, 15 Jan 2010
A man shouting angrily

New radio tech could HALVE mobe operators' bandwidth needs

A team from Stanford University has patented a technology which could make a huge difference to mobile phone operators by halving their bandwidth requirements overnight. Kumu Networks is showcasing tech which allows radio equipment – such as that used by mobile telephones – to send and receive on the same frequency. It does this …
Simon Rockman, 27 Feb 2014

HTC One grabs BEST SMARTPHONE gong

The GSM Association (GSMA) announced the 19th Annual Global Mobile awards at its Mobile World Congress now underway in Barcelona, and the award for Best smartphone didn't go to an offering by either of the two market leaders – Apple and Samsung – but instead to a company that's been facing some challenges of late: HTC won for …
Simon Rockman, 26 Feb 2014
Samsung_Android_SM

No Android launch at MWC, says Samsung

Many folk were expecting Samsung to unveil its first phone based on Google’s Android OS at Mobile World Congress (MWC) next week, but the firm has now confirmed that it won't. Younghee Lee, Head of Marketing for Samsung's Mobile Device Division, told The Guardian that plans are instead being drawn up to launch the company's …
James Sherwood, 13 Feb 2009

Tizen devices are HERE.... Hello, Samsung Gear 2 smartwatches

The next generation of Samsung's Gear smartwatches is based on its homegrown Tizen mobile OS, rather than Android, the Korean chaebol has revealed. Samsung unveiled two new Tizen-powered watch models – the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo – at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona over the weekend. Like their predecessor, the new …
Neil McAllister, 24 Feb 2014

Rip up telco red-tape so they can take on Viber, WhatsApp, says Brazil

Brazil's communications minister says the country is looking at a new telecommunications regulatory regime, to take into account the rise of services like Viber and WhatsApp. Speaking at Mobile World Congress, minister Paulo Bernardo said the quality-of-service requirements placed on incumbents (Telefonica, Embratel and Hi) is …
France_24_TV_SM

TV jacket spied at MWC

French news service France 24 has discovered the true meaning of mobile TV: jackets with integrated TV screens. France_24_TV_01 France 24's TV jacket Big-screen beauties were spotted wondering the halls of Mobile World Congress in Spain today, each wearing padded jackets with rear-mounted TV screens built in. Inside each …
James Sherwood, 17 Feb 2009

Speaking in Tech: The BEST GADGETS pit mobile tech devs against NETWORK ENEMIES

speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This week, tech podcast host Greg Knieriemen comes to you live from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with two special guests. They have a really interesting chat about what kind of value data analytics actually has as well as whether the principle of net neutrality can …
Team Register, 26 Feb 2014

Taiwan Mobile unveils Granny-tracker smart bracelet

State-of-the-art smartwatches and wearables are garnering many of the headlines at the Mobile World Congress this week, but in Taiwan a local operator has a different idea – a smart bracelet designed specifically for the elderly. The wearable device is fitted with NFC technology so that the user can swipe it over an NFC-enabled …
Phil Muncaster, 26 Feb 2014
Photo of Satya Nadella and Stephen Elop

That's right, MICROSOFT is an ANDROID vendor after Nokia gobble

Nokia won't be changing its strategy now that it's been gobbled up by Microsoft, its former CEO Stephen Elop has said. Elop, who has returned to Redmond after almost a four-year absence to head up the software giant's new Devices Group, said in a blog post on Friday that we'll continue to see the same mix of Nokia-branded …
Neil McAllister, 26 Apr 2014
Japan

Japanese boffins build 'earring PC' for hands-free computing

Japanese boffins have unveiled a prototype of a tiny 17 gram PC which can be worn like an earring and operated by facial expression. The awkwardly named “Earclip-type Wearable PC” is being developed at Hiroshima City University, according to AFP. Crammed onto the device are a chip,storage, GPS, compass, barometer, speaker, …
Phil Muncaster, 03 Mar 2014

Hey 4G bods: We need to make 'phonecalls' with our 'voices', too

It’s well documented that voice is little more than an afterthought on 4G. That’s now being addressed, says Paul Gowans from network tech specialist JDSU, but it will be some time before you can reliably pick up a 4G phone and make a call to another one. JDSU runs services for all kinds of networks, not just mobile. It does …
Simon Rockman, 25 Feb 2014
frustration_anger_irritation_annoyance pain

Blink once to turn right: Samsung asks software dev Teleca to talk Tizen

Symphony Teleca is the company the big equipment manufacturers go to when they want software written. Unlike most development houses it doesn't do apps for iPhone and Android and, er that's it. Teleca writes low level code and was commissioned by Samsung to look at the Tizen engine. Teleca head of mobile and media biz, Andrew …
Simon Rockman, 27 Feb 2014

Nokia to Devs: PLEASE DON'T make Nokiadroid apps look like WinPho

Nokia is telling developers not to make their Nokia Android apps look like Windows Phone apps. Nokia has been explaining how much work is needed to port Android apps to its new Nokia X range, which uses the AOSP Android open source base. The Finns reckons 75 per cent of apps need no modification at all, but 25 per cent will …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Feb 2014

LG offers BRAIN-SAVING CANCER-BL... er 'good luck charms'

What LG would like us to be writing about is its Knock Code – a system which takes the idea of drawing a shape to unlock a phone and replaces it with a Simon-style pattern of taps. That might have been the case if LG hadn’t chosen to promote the technology by handing out a, ahem, "radiation shield". This will "protect" you, but …
Simon Rockman, 25 Feb 2014

Say WHAT? Qualcomm, MediaTek scrap over who has best 'marketing gimmick' octocore

Qualcomm launched its first 8-core processors at Mobile World Congress this week, after last year describing octocore chips as "a marketing gimmick". “You can’t take eight lawnmower engines, put them together and now claim you have an eight-cylinder Ferrari," Qualcomm's senior VP Anand Chandrasekher said last year. "We don’t do …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Feb 2014
Block diagram of Imagination Technologies PowerVR GX6650

Imagination details mucho macho PowerVR GX6650 mobile GPU

At last month's Consumer Electronics show, UK chip designer Imagination Technologies unveiled its new PowerVR Series6XT Rogue GPU architecture for SoCs. On Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, it released details of what it calls "the shining star of the PowerVR Series6XT," the PowerVR GX6650. Block diagram of …
Rik Myslewski, 25 Feb 2014

Sony enlists Michael Jackson's GHOST to flog Xperia Z2

Sony has announced the new Xperia Z2, an Android KitKat phone, as a predictable progression on the Z1 and has enlisted the help of the its single-gloved departed partner, popstar Michael Jackson, to help pimp it out. Despite the slightly larger 5.2-inch screen size, the new phone is a mere 2.8mm lengthier than its predecessor at …
Simon Rockman, 24 Feb 2014
ZTE Goes blue

Cheap'n'cheerful Chinese mobesters ZTE launch Firefox phones

As Telefonica pushes Firefox as a foil to the dominance of Apple and Android, ZTE is keen to play ball with a couple of new Firefox phones. Called the Open C and Open II, they are looking to ship more than one million devices this year. The new phones run Firefox OS 1.3. It’s Telefonica’s strategy to sell Firefox phones to users …
Simon Rockman, 24 Feb 2014
BlackBerry logo

BlackBerry brings back call, end keys, touchpad to Q20 keyboard cutie

BlackBerry has admitted that its made its some of its traditional users who stayed loyal to the company very fed up when it dropped some of its best-loved features. At Mobile World Congress today, the company formerly known as RIM said it would bring back the classic trackpad as well as Call ("Send"), End and Menu keys to a …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Feb 2014
Tree sampling in the Monteverde cloud forest. Credit: Jorge Porras

Hey, Apple. THIS is how you flog iPhones in new markets

Last year mobile phone trade-in firm eRecyclingCorps announced that they had recycled 10 million phones in the past four years. This year they said they'd chewed through the same 10 mill in the last year alone. It would be nice to think that people recycle old phones out of a love for the planet, but the company has found …
Simon Rockman, 26 Feb 2014

Samsung and Apple BEWARE: Huawei is coming to eat your lunch

Richard Yu, Huawei's consumer boss, was one of the highlights of the presentations at Mobile World Congress. This is not because he's easy to understand; like a French president travelling overseas, he makes no concessions to his pronunciation advisors. It's because he thinks everyone else is rubbish. Huawei's new range …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Feb 2014
Global Wireless solutions coverage testing backpack

Mobe operators, need to check your network? There’s an app for that

US mobile network checking company Global Wireless Solutions says there is a gap between its traditional way of testing mobile coverage using vans driving around with $300k of testing kit in the back and crowd-sourced reports on quality of mobile network coverage. The problem with using vans to check networks goes beyond cost. …
Simon Rockman, 24 Feb 2014
Nokia Lumia Windows Phone Update

Microsoft courts mobe-makers, tweaks Windows 8 for WIMPs

In a pre-show presentation in Barcelona, where Mobile World Congress starts this week, Microsoft has confirmed some new features coming in Windows Phone 8.1 and the Windows 8.1 update coming this (northern) spring and assured phone makers it won't hang them out to dry. Redmond has let it be know that Windows desktop/tablet and …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2014
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)

WhatsApp no threat to BBM: Blackberry bod says pretender's buyout will HELP ailing firm

You could forgive BlackBerry for being grumpy after Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $16bn. After all, WhatsApp is a very obvious knock-off of BlackBerry's BBM. But for years BlackBerry kept BBM locked inside BlackBerry phones - and only last year opened it up as a real cross platform OTT messaging app. Did BlackBerry kick itself …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Feb 2014

Nokia launches Android range: X marks the growing low-cost spot

Three years after it announced a switch to Windows Phone, Nokia launched a family of Android-based phones today at Mobile World Congress 2014. Nokia's new X family of mobes... The first three devices revealed today at Mobile World Congress adopt the same strategy Amazon has with Android: use the open-source base and develop …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Feb 2014
modu_speaker_jacket_SM

More Modu jackets seen at MWC

Modu is determined to make its modular phone concept fly, so it’s designed a range of new jackets for the device. modu_speaker_jacket Modu's music jacket's a phone on one side and a sound system on the other Despite only officially announcing the phone – also called Modu - last week, the device will soon have five additional …

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

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
The Register breaking news

Not so fast, BlackBerry. Now Samsung wants your tasty biz mobe pie

Samsung is touting a new package called KNOX that attempts to split an Android device in two separate halves, one for business and the other for personal use. Fresh from tussling with Apple for global smartphone supremacy, the South Koreans are now ready to tear into BlackBerry and invade its home turf of enterprise users. …
Bill Ray, 25 Feb 2013
The Register breaking news

Cisco CEO: Mobile cloud threat for service providers

Network pitchman John Chambers has cautioned service providers that they risk being stranded by the mobile cloud. Chambers, chief executive of Cisco, is reported to have said that the mobile cloud has descended and will change the service provider industry forever. Telcos who don’t adapt risk getting left behind, he told the …
Gavin Clarke, 28 Feb 2012
Fujitsu logo

Fujitsu flaunts Tegra 3 for future phones

Fujitsu aims to blow the roof off Mobile World Congress (MWC) next week when it formally launches its latest smartphone, which packs the five-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor - the best a man can get. The quin-blade razor five-core handset has yet to be officially named, but Fujitsu has followed competitors' suits and prematurely …
Caleb Cox, 22 Feb 2012
LG

LG touts Tegra 3 talker

LG has revealed what it has in store for next week's Mobile World Congress (MWC): specifically its Nvidia Tegra 3-based smartphone, the Optimus 4X HD. LG Optimus 4X HD The 4X HD joins a party of five-core smartphones heading to MWC, where it will be joined by Fujitsu, which flaunted its own Tegra 3 offering yesterday. LG's …
Caleb Cox, 23 Feb 2012
Sony

Sony Xperia U slips out ahead of launch

Sony is set to launch a shrunken version of its Xperia S handset at MWC 2012, after images of the Xperia U leaked online. While specs are yet to be officially unveiled, the Sony Xperia U will apparently feature a 3.5in, WVGA display powered with a 1GHz processor, Brazilian site Xataka reports. Xperia U and Xperia S Unlike the …
Caleb Cox, 21 Feb 2012

Chipzilla just won't quit: Intel touts 64-bit Atoms for Android phones, tabs

Intel has launched one new 64-bit, Android-capable Atom processor platform – "Merrifield" – taken the wraps off a future one – "Moorefield" – and introduced a new LTE modem in its latest bid to crack the mobile market as well as position itself for the buzzword du jour, the Internet of Things. "Today we are announcing leading …
Rik Myslewski, 24 Feb 2014
Panasonic Eluga Power

Panasonic invests smartphone with Eluga Power

Reg Hardware Mobile Week Panasonic has shown off its second Eluga smartphone, only a week after unveiling the first of its new Android handset line. Panasonic Eluga Power The new model, the Eluga Power, debuted at Mobile World Congress (MWC) today. It sports a 5in, 1280 x 720 screen - the basic Eluga is a 4.3in, 960 x 540 …
Tony Smith, 27 Feb 2012
The Register breaking news

Brit biz stops coked-up moist pocketstrokers ruining your pub lunch

Unlike digestive biscuits, mobile phones do not react well to being dunked. With perhaps this in mind, two companies at Mobile World Congress claim to have the best technologies for treating phones to make them waterproof. Ruggedised mobes at the bottom of fish tanks have appeared at MWC before, but what makes this particular …
Simon Rockman, 27 Feb 2013
The Register breaking news

Fujitsu to get oldsters out the house and thoroughly caned

Fujitsu exhibited a prototype of its GPS-enabled walking stick yesterday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The futuristic stick is aimed at getting older people out of the house, but would be equally at home slung over the arm of an Apple hipster while their iPod Nikes are in the wash. The user can configure their route on …
Simon Rockman, 26 Feb 2013