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xperia m4

Chasing pennies, Sony, Microsoft and smartphone biz rivals retreat to mid-range

MWC 2015 Before you read this, or any phone news at all this week, keep in mind one statistic. According to Strategy Analytics, for every Great British pound of profit made in the entire smartphone industry, Apple pocketed 89 pence. Everyone else is left with 11.7 pence. Everyone. In an industry that generates $300bn in wholesale revenue …
Android 5.0 "Lollipop"

Google's 'encrypted-by-default' Android is NOT encrypting by default

Updated Last year, Google said Android 5, codenamed Lollipop, will encrypt the contents of smartphones and tablets by default. Now it's had to do some backtracking. In short, despite Google's boasts that Lollipop will encrypt handhelds' data by default "out of the box," that simply isn't being enforced on all devices running Android 5. …
Iain Thomson, 2 Mar 2015

3 spectastic Lumias for price of 1 rival flagship: Microsoft sells biz on cheapie experience

MWC 2015 Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop emerged from cryogenic storage at Microsoft to announce two new phones and give a glimpse of mobile Office for Windows 10. But not a lot – more will be revealed at Microsoft’s developer event, Build, in April. Elop, who hasn’t been seen much since Microsoft completed its acquisition of Nokia’s …
Galaxy S6

Phabba-dabba-do: Samsung hypes up Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

MWC 2015 The grandeur of today's Samsung S6 phabgasm in Barcelona reminded your correspondent of the scene in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy when the day dawned for the announcement of the Answer (to life the universe and everything). Think pop concert, complete with glowing wristbands, dramatic music with drums and a stage the …
Simon Rockman, 1 Mar 2015
Acer M220 Windows Phone

Acer enters Windows Phone fray with cheap Liquid M220 mobe

MWC 2015 Acer is entering the Windows Phone market, with a low-end model that will retail for just €79, making it the cheapest mobile in the vendor’s range. The Taiwanese firm announced the Liquid M220 today in Barcelona, on the eve of Mobile World Congress. It has a 4-inch display with 233 pixels per inch, 512MB RAM, 8GB storage, 1.2GHz …
Tim Anderson, 1 Mar 2015
This black phone is a rival to Blackphone

Paranoid Android Kaymera smartmobe takes on Blackphone

MWC2015 Security specialist Kaymera – based in Herzliya, Israel – has launched a mobile security platform aimed at paranoid corporations. The Kaymera 360° software consists of a secure build of Android and accompanying MDM functions. The company describes it as a three-layer approach of protection, prevention and detection. Using a …
Simon Rockman, 27 Feb 2015
Moto E front and back view. Pic: Motorola

Moto E 2015: The builder's cheapie gets a serious upgrade

Hands On Why can't everybody make a bargain basement phone as well as Motorola? They're as fashionable as egg and chips in a 1970s Wimpy Bar, but the popularity of the small, robust, no-nonsense Moto E and G models has helped revived the brand. The Chinese-owned phone operation yesterday upgraded the Moto E yesterday, adding some quality …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Feb 2015

Leaky battery attack reveals the paths you walk in life

More than 100 mobile apps leak users' location regardless of whether they opt to keep the information private, according to researchers. Power consumption data is the source of the leaks, which make it possible to determine users' whereabouts with 90 percent accuracy. A quartet from Stanford University and Israeli defence …
Darren Pauli, 23 Feb 2015
Sleeping

Android malware hijacks power button, empties wallet while you sleep

Security biz AVG has spotted an outbreak of a new kind of Android malware that will come alive even when the phone is supposedly switched off. The software nasty is able to do this by hijacking the mobe's power-off sequence. Android malware No shutdown for you! Part of the Android shutdown sequence "After pressing the power …
Iain Thomson, 19 Feb 2015
Ryan Seacrest

TV Idol star's keyboard upstart idolizes our gear too much – BlackBerry

Blackberry has fired off a second lawsuit against Typo Innovations, claiming the celebrity-backed startup "slavishly copied" the design of its smartphones for the Typo2 – a physical keyboard strapped to iPhones. Typo's keyboard with Blackberry's Spot the difference In April, Blackberry won a court order against Typo, …
Iain Thomson, 18 Feb 2015
Qualcomm

Qualcomm bungs ARM's beefy 64-bit A72s into new mobe brains

Qualcomm today unveiled four additions to its family of Snapdragon system-on-chips – revealing the specs of some smartphones and tablets that'll appear later this year. Indeed, the California-based chip designer said its new Snapdragon 620, 618, 425 and 415 packages will turn up in gear shipping in the second half of 2015. Here …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Feb 2015
Windows 10 for phone

Windows 10 for phones: Stepping towards the One True Windows

Microsoft has released an early preview of Windows Phone 10, and we put it through its paces on a Lumia 630, one of just a few supported devices. In the official announcement, Director of Program Management Gabe Aul does not refer to Windows Phone 10, but rather “Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones”. It's all part of …
Tim Anderson, 18 Feb 2015
Works with gloves

Kyocera: Torque among yourselves on our unbreakable ruggedmobe

Japanese mobile phone manufacturer Kyocera is looking to re-enter the European mobile phone market with an exceptionally rugged phone called Torque. It won’t be the first time there have been Kyocera phones on sale in the UK: the company sold GSM devices here 15 years ago with the TG200 and there were dual-mode Iridium/GSM …
Simon Rockman, 13 Feb 2015
OnePlus One Android smartphone

So long, Cyanogen! OnePlus says its future belongs to OxygenOS

Upstart quasi-Android smartphone maker OnePlus says it has hired an assortment of "Android rockstars" for its OxygenOS team, who will be in charge of developing the homegrown firmware that will soon ship as standard on its phones. "Our team has some of the most talented industrial designers and mechanical engineers in the world …
Neil McAllister, 13 Feb 2015
Human cannonball

Microsoft launches wobbly Windows 10 phone preview for Lumia daredevils only

Some four months after it unveiled the first build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview, Microsoft has now kicked off the early access program for its smartphone OS, known as ... Windows 10 Technical Preview. The naming is in keeping with Redmond's insistence that Windows 10 will be a single operating system for all screens great …
Neil McAllister, 12 Feb 2015

HELP! Windows Phone update 8.1 broke my Lumia

Updated In less-than-pleasing news for Microsoft, a massive thread of Windows Phone moans is growing on its forums. Back in September 2014, Microsoft started rolling out Windows Phone update 8.1, with significant new features including the Cortana digital assistant and Word Flow keyboard. A nice update, but not for a subset of …
Tim Anderson, 12 Feb 2015
Mobile phone stolen by pickpocket

Now not even muggers want your iPhone

Bigwigs in London, New York City and San Francisco are well happy with the remote-triggered kill switches added to smartphones. And the three-city Save our Smartphones (SOS) coalition says mobe thefts are on the decrease. We're told: In San Francisco, overall smartphone thefts have dropped 27 per cent, and iPhone crime is down …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Feb 2015
Zombie cloud

NO BRAIN needed to use Samsung's next flagship mobe

Apple fanbois are often accused of ignoring all logic when purchasing iPhones. Samsung looks to be heading down the same path, as it has declared its next top-end smartphone “will be intelligent and do all the thinking for users.” Samsung's ambitions aren't to lobotomise users in all phases of a smartphone's operations. But the …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Feb 2015
Unlocked padlock

Let freedom RING! Americans can now legally liberate phones from axis of network evil

It's phone Independence Day as American mobe owners can now legally unlock their smartphones again from their network carriers – provided you've finished paying for them. Phone unlocking, allowing it to subscribe to a different network, was perfectly legal in the US until 2012, when the practice was banned in a review of the …
Iain Thomson, 11 Feb 2015
Yotaphone 2 dual-display Android smartphone

Russian revolution: YotaPhone 2 double-screen JANUS MOBE

Review The more touchscreen smartphones find homes, the more the world is cluttered with uniform, conformist devices. No matter who designs them or who makes them, they all look pretty much the same. Interesting decorative design can be found in abundance but true innovation is a rare bird. Yotaphone 2 dual-display Android smartphone …
Alun Taylor, 10 Feb 2015

Alibaba splurges $590m on mobile-maker Meizu. Xiaomi the money?

Alibaba, which held the largest IPO in history after raising $25bn, has bought a minority stake in Meizu, the Chinese manufacturer of Android-based smartphones. While recent releases such as the eight core Meizu M1note run standard Kit-Kat (with Lollipop to come), it is expected that Alibaba will want to see devices with its …
Simon Rockman, 9 Feb 2015

Microsoft: Even cheapo Lumias to get slimmed down Windows 10

The “next chapter” in Windows is coming to Microsoft's cheapo, mass-market Lumia phones. Microsoft is working to get Windows 10 working on devices with just 512MB RAM, including the Lumia 520. The news was tweeted by Microsoft operating systems group vice president Joe Belfiore on Sunday. Just one catch: small memory means …
Gavin Clarke, 9 Feb 2015
Ubuntu smartphones

Ubuntu smartphone to go on sale: It'll be harder to get than a new iPhone

The first Ubuntu Linux smartphones go on sale next week, after more than a year of chatter about the upcoming release. Spanish e-reader and 'slab maker BQ’s Aquarius E4.5 Ubuntu Edition will be sold online only during a series of flash sales prior to broader availability. Ubuntu is using flash sales, announced via Twitter, as a …
Gavin Clarke, 6 Feb 2015
Cheap kit kat

Indian phone buyers decide home is where the heart is

In most of the world, Samsung, Apple and MicroNokia battle it out for the crown as the top-selling mobile phone vendor. But in India, local hero Micromax has just taken the crown according to channel-centric analyst firm Canalys which reckons it has 22 per cent of the market, ahead of Samsung's 20 per cent. Canalys reckons the …

Watt the CHIP!? ARM pops out THE most powerful 64-bit Cortex for mobes'n'slabs

ARM today reveals its most impressive design yet: the 64-bit Cortex-A72 processor core, aimed at giving next year's smartphones and tablets extra oomph for games and such. We're told a 16nm A72 has about twice the performance of a 20nm Cortex-A57, and consumes about half the power. Chip manufacturers are expected to package four …
Probably a new Samsung smartmobe

Samsung gets KINKY with new Galaxy in 50 SHADES OF GREY

Samsung has let it be known it'll reveal whatever's depicted below in Barcelona on March 1st, the eve of 2015's Mobile World Congress. Probably a new Samsung smartmobe Oooh! Kinky! (Bigger kink here) The small print at bottom left reads "Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2015", so presumably the image and invite sent to media pertains …
Tim Cook as Mr T

Apple CEO: Fandroids are BINNING Android in favour of IPHONES

Apple is wolfing down KitKats and Lollipops for lunch after it emerged that most iPhone 6 users have come from Android. iBling salesman Tim Cook told the Wall Street Journal that only 15 per cent of iPhone 6 customers have upgraded from other iPhones. It’s the first time he’s given a number for this trend, and although he’s …
Simon Rockman, 30 Jan 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
Cyanogen

Microsoft 'showers gold' on anti-Google Cyanogen and its Android alternative

Microsoft will invest in alternative Android firmware startup Cyanogen, a report claims. Citing anonymous sources, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Microsoft is slated to become a minority investor in an approximately $70m funding round that will see Cyanogen valued "in the high hundreds of millions." The …
Neil McAllister, 29 Jan 2015
Gold Plate My BlackBerry Passport

Friends, Canadians, countrymen: Would you buy a GOLD PLATED BlackBerry Passport?

Review A couple of weeks ago, BlackBerry released a limited edition series of Passport phones plated with 24 karat gold. Priced at $999, the run was limited to just 50, each one numbered. To which you well ask, "Why?" Gold Plate My BlackBerry Passport Missed out on BlackBerry's own special edition? Goldgenie makes the case for …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Jan 2015

A year with Canada's Volvo-esque smartphone – The BlackBerry Z30

Comment Why return to the Blackberry Z30, a phone that's over a year old? Well, the smartphone has matured impressively since its launch in 2013, and BlackBerry is about to introduce a major revision to its software: BlackBerry OS 10.3.1. The Z30 remains the most up-to-date all-touchscreen BlackBerry to run this operating system. There …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Jan 2015

'Super-secure' BlackPhone pwned by super-silly txt msg bug

Exclusive The maker of BlackPhone – a mobile marketed as offering unusually high levels of security – has patched a critical vulnerability that allows hackers to run malicious code on the handsets. Attackers need little more than a phone number to send a message that can compromise the devices via the Silent Text application. The impact …
Darren Pauli, 27 Jan 2015
Nokia Lumia 830 group

What's that, Microsoft? Yep, a Lumia and Surface SALES BOOM

Microsoft shipped a record number of Lumia smartphones in the final quarter of calendar year 2014, as Surface revenue finally started to make an impression. Microsoft reported that 10.5 million Lumias shipped, the most in a quarter, on the strength of low-cost devices. However, to put that in perspective, Samsung sold over 78 …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jan 2015
Puzzlecluster concept

Linux chaps want to recycle your mobe as a supercomputer

A Finnish group of phone developers, hoping to get the world interested in modular smartphones, has proposed a nifty idea for re-using their phone motherboards: turn them into clusters. The Linux-based Puzzlephone project wants to extend the life of smartphones by making more of the phone replaceable, on the premise that most of …

Nexus 6 would have had a fingerprint reader, but Apple RUINED IT ALL

The former CEO of Motorola Mobility says the company's Nexus 6 phablet would have been a nicer piece of kit, were it not for Apple's inteference. Speaking in an interview with The Telegraph, Dennis Woodside said that his company was in the process of putting a fingerprint reader on its newest six-inch phone when Cook & Co …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jan 2015
1950s style illustration - Smiling woman talks into rotary phone

Landlines: The tech that just won't die

Feature For a huge number of Brits, mobiles have become our primary way of communicating, even when we're at home. When a call comes in, we know it's ours. We can reply with a text, or use apps like WhatsApp to communicate with friends abroad. Increasingly, we don't rely on our landline phones and, thanks to lax policing of the …
Nigel Whitfield, 25 Jan 2015
Nokia Lumia 830 group

Planning to upgrade your Lumia to Windows 10? NOT SO FAST

The latest word from Microsoft is that owners of Windows Phone 8 handsets won't necessarily be able to upgrade to Windows Phone 10 after all, in an apparent retreat from what the software giant has said previously. "Our goal is for the majority of the Lumia phones running Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 to join the Windows ecosystem …
Neil McAllister, 24 Jan 2015
John Chen

FORCE Apple to support BlackBerry hardware, demands John Chen

In a blog post on the BlackBerry website, CEO John Chen has called on regulators to force Apple and Netflix to support Blackberry hardware, claiming this forms part of the ongoing net neutrality debate. He argues that because BlackBerry has the eyes, ears and fingers of the most important people in the world – thanks to its …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jan 2015
The SAMSUNG GALAXY ALPHA lies on a white background, displays Home screen icons.

LEAKED: Samsung's iPHONE 6 KILLER... the Samsung Galaxy S6

Newly leaked specifications for the Samsung Galaxy S6 show the South Korean company taking the fight back to Apple. The expected flagship is expected to debut a year after we saw the S5 at Mobile World Congress. The “64-bit eight-core 14nm CPU which is 50% faster” could be the rumoured Snapdragon 820, but that’s likely to be …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jan 2015
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft just saved Windows Phone... Now stop whining

Analysis It's always jam mañana for Windows Phone owners. In 2011, the "Apollo" update (which became Windows Phone 8.0) would bring new riches. Then it was 8.1. Now it's mid-year before Windows Phone 10 devices can storm the market. So at the enthusiast end of the market, they're not a happy lot. There hasn't been a headline-grabbing, …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jan 2015
Microsoft Kinect

Microsoft wants LAMP for wireless mobe charger

Microsoft Research has put forward the idea of charging mobile phones with a beam of light. Explained in a paper titled AutoCharge: Automatically Charge Smartphones Using a Light Beam (PDF), the idea is to use a Kinect motion sensor to spot a phone, then focus a lamp on it to bathe phones in light and charge them wirelessly. …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jan 2015
Microsoft's Lumia 532 Dual-SIM

Microsoft rolls out even cheaper 'Notkia' Lumias

Windows Phones fanbois aren't happy that there's no new €600 flagship to fondle – but nobody can accuse Microsoft of complacency as it tackles the low-cost smartphone business. Microsoft's Lumia 435 The 435 – the cheapie with the front-facing camera Six months after it revealed its lowest cost model, Microsoft's phones …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jan 2015