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BlackBerry Classic QWERTY key smartphone

Samsung BlackBerry gobble DENIED: We're not for sale to Sammy – execs

Samsung was today rumored to be eyeing up acquiring BlackBerry for $7.5bn – until the Canadian biz point-blank shot down the anonymous claims within hours later. Reuters cited unnamed well-placed sources in announcing the South Korean giant was in talks with BlackBerry so it could snap up the troubled phone maker's patent …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jan 2015
Samsung Z1

Samsung's first Tizen smartphone is HERE ... by which we mean India

The first commercially available phone running Samsung's Linux-based Tizen mobile OS has finally launched in India, and proud papa Sammy says this is only the beginning for Tizen in 2015. We've been hearing rumblings about the Samsung Z1 for months now, but actually finding a market for the device has proved difficult for the …
Neil McAllister, 14 Jan 2015
Project Ara - swappable hardware mobile

Google unleashes build-it-yourself 'Ara' SLABLET phones (in Puerto Rico)

Google will this year launch its modular DIY smartphone, dubbed Project Ara, but only in the US territory of Puerto Rico. Ara, announced by Google 15 months ago, was developed by Motorola's Advanced Technologies and Products (ATAP) group as a fully modular system where components such as batteries, screens, GPS and cameras, can …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jan 2015
Jeff Bezos shows off the Amazon Fire Phone

Speaking in Tech: Amazon Fire Phone – 'insanity' but 'genius'

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This episode of El Reg's techcast is hosted by the whole gang: Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch, and Sarah Vela. Our special guest for this episode is Nick Weaver, Director of Intel SDI Labs at Intel. This week the crew chews on three big topics. Firstly, is Amazon's Fire Phone …
Team Register, 14 Jan 2015
iPhone smuggler

UNDER A VEST: Man cuffed for smuggling 94 iPhones strapped to his body

Pic Chinese authorities have captured a man trying to smuggle 94 iPhones strapped to his body into the Middle Kingdom. Photos shared by the state's People's Daily newspaper show the man stripped of his outerwear to expose an elaborate layer of Apple handsets fastened with plastic wrap and duct tape to his torso, abdomen, groin and …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jan 2015
BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry Enterprise chief: Yes, we did leave users behind

Interview BlackBerry's previous management left its users behind and underused a vital asset, its enterprise chief told El Reg in a wide-ranging interview. John Sims is part of the rescue team brought in a year ago, when the Canadian giant was at rock bottom – and was seemingly on the wrong end of every trend in the business. The company …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jan 2015
iPhone forensics beaten image

iPhone addiction will RUIN YOUR LIFE – if only that were true

Research has confirmed the unthinkable: perfectly normal, rational people turn into anxious sweaty moronic wrecks when they're separated from their beloved smartphones. Case closed, right? Well, if by normal people you mean American journalism undergraduates, by stupid you mean they can't to finish a word search in five minutes …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jan 2015
An Android robot blushes from embarrassment

Android users are massive wan … er … smut consumers

Stats from self-pleasuring site Pornhub (link vaguely NSFW - no pics but still contains the word Pornhub) show that mobile viewing has overtaken desktop, and Android is the OS of choice for viewers of its select content. The, ahem, growth is in part down to the site removing its limit on the number of videos a day that can be …
Simon Rockman, 12 Jan 2015
HTC Desire Eye Android smartphone

HTC Desire Eye: The Android superior selfie shooter

Review Why has HTC’s flagship M8 One not been more popular? It’s visually arresting, critically highly regarded, has a great display, and is very well made. It should sell more strongly than it does. Of course there are some negatives. The 4MP large-pixel camera is a bit of a strange fish, some regard the ostentatious speakers as ugly …
Alun Taylor, 12 Jan 2015
Lenovo's P90

Lenovo hopes to say Hello Moto to smartphone cash

A year after buying Motorola, Lenovo is looking to sell a lot of its once highly popular phones. The Chinese company expects the brand to account for 40 per cent of the smartphones it sells next year. Combined Motorola and Lenovo sales of smartphones last year were 85 million. This would make it the third-largest smartphone …
Simon Rockman, 9 Jan 2015

Sardine fishing in Kerala: Who benefits from mobile phones?

Worstall on Wednesday We're now 30 years into the mobile phone era here in Good Old Blighty, with that first call having been made back on New Year's Day. And it's worth asking who has really benefited from this technology: something which, when considered, will lead us to being able to tell big government fan Professor Mariana Mazzucato to take a …
Tim Worstall, 7 Jan 2015
Koda's First phone

Kodak fires a Bullitt at oldsters with 3G mobe launch

CES 2015 Kodak has launched its first mobile phone, the Kodak IM5 smartphone. It's aimed at the more mature users who are looking at moving to a smartphone but want a brand they find reassuring. The device is made by Bullitt Group, best known for its Caterpillar rugged phones. The IM5 is a fairly standard Android phone with a 13Mp …
Simon Rockman, 6 Jan 2015
Lumia 215

Cheap Android phones? Bah! How about a $29 mobe from Microsoft?

Microsoft has reaffirmed its commitment to the absolute bottom of the mobile market with a new, web-capable phone that will retail for just $29. In a blog post announcing the device on Monday, Microsoft described the Nokia 215 as its "most affordable internet-ready phone" – but that doesn't make it a smartphone. If you recall, …
Smartphones

Secretive Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi gets TALKY over HUGE sales

Chinese tech giant Xiaomi racked up 74.3bn yuan ($11.97bn) in pre-tax revenue last year, the company's president Bin Lin said today. The vendor apparently had a mega 135 per cent growth spurt in 2014, after it sold more than 61 million smartphones during the 12-month period. Xiaomi's co-founder didn't offer any details on …
Team Register, 4 Jan 2015
Apple iPhone 4s, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus

Apple's 16GB iPhones are a big fat lie, claims iOS 8 storage hog lawsuit

Apple is being sued by fans upset about how much storage space iOS takes up on their iPhones, iPads and iPods. A class-action lawsuit (PDF), filed in California by Paul Orshan and Christopher Endara, alleged the OS uses so much flash memory that the advertised device capacity is misleading. The sueball was lobbed at Cupertino …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Jan 2015
Huawei Campus Shenzhen Bantian

Huawei? Apple and Samsung's worst nightmare, pal

Huawei claims to have banked over $11bn in smartphone revenue in 2014 despite falling short of its volume prediction. Consumer chief Richard Yu says the Chinese giant shifted 75 million units in the year, a little short of the 80 million it had predicted - but still up 40 per cent from 2013, the WSJ reports. Three of the top …
Dom Joly

30 years ago today, the first commercial UK 'mobile' phone call was made

The first mobile phone calls were made on Cellnet and Vodafone 30 years ago today. The companies we know as Vodafone and O2 today were Racal-Vodafone and Securicor-Cellnet back then, phones were the size of a small suitcase and only did voice. They didn’t even let you assign names to the numbers in the phonebook. The two …
Simon Rockman, 1 Jan 2015
BlackBerry Classic QWERTY key smartphone

QWERTY-tastic BlackBerry Classic actually a classic

Review BlackBerry has looked into the abyss and seen ... a vintage BlackBerry staring back. Two years on from a catastrophic “modernisation”, BlackBerry has finally made a modern BlackBerry that people who used and liked a classic QWERTY keyboard BlackBerry will feel right at home with. Which accounts for the name. Natch. BlackBerry …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Dec 2014
Android icon desktop toys

El Reg's Giant Mobile Industry Roundup of 2014

Part 1 It has been a crowded year in mobile. Apple breathed life into its iPhone brand, Google tried to take control of Android, while Microsoft fell asleep at the wheel. The Chinese handset tide began to reach Europe. Nokia waved goodbye to its phone division and jumped back in with a tablet – and an unusual business proposition. …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Dec 2014
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Analysts claim itty bitty iPhone Mini to land next year

The next Apple iPhone won't be a larger handset, but rather a budget-priced miniature model, according to industry analysts. A note from Zacks Equity Research suggests that the Cupertino giant is readying a lower-priced, 4-inch version of the iPhone 6 for release next year. Target sales for such a phone, Zacks reckons, are a …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Dec 2014
Microsoft LUMIA NOKIA 530

Key to Windows mobe app sales? Er, LOW MEMORY, of course

Microsoft is imploring developers to keep an eye on memory budgets when coding for the Windows Phone. Downloads from the Windows and Windows Phone Store are dominated by version 8.1 (Windows), with 92 per cent of downloads using Metro the update of the new look operating system. Of the Windows phone downloads, 8.1 again …
Simon Rockman, 30 Dec 2014
Sold under the Au brand by Japanese network KFFI

SEXY GOLD FireFOXY LADY hits Japan in transparent kimono today

Japan's Au mobile network has launched a transparent-cased Firefox OS phone, in an unusual move for the free software community into an already well-established market. Mozilla's mobile OS is focused on the world's emerging markets, and particularly places such as South America where the operators - led by Telefonica - are keen …
Simon Rockman, 25 Dec 2014
Sidewalk mobile phone lane in China

Xiaomi: It really ISN'T a biz-miracle idiot tax like Apple

Worstall on Wednesday The lads over at Business Insider seem to be getting a little over-excited about Xiaomi's latest fund raising exercise, claiming in their headline that it's the Apple of China. Well, no, not really, Apple is the Apple of China. Making cute kit and selling it in volume isn't the definitive point about Apple itself so a company …
Tim Worstall, 24 Dec 2014
The Elements Phone

Pond, rocks or quicksand in your 1km garden? Get a rugged DECT phone

BT has launched a new cordless phone, named Elements, designed for challenging environments - notably your garden or a forecourt of some kind - and incorporating a range of 1km, or 0.625 of a mile, if you prefer. Built to IP67 it’s dustproof, waterproof to 1m, and is a successor to an earlier BT phone of the same name. BT is …
Simon Rockman, 24 Dec 2014
Nokia Black Lumia Windows Phone Update

Windows Phone bumping along the bottom

Microsoft has revealed a new batch of data about Windows Phone's fortunes, and it seems Redmond's mobile efforts are doing best at the low end of the market. The good news is that Windows Phone 8.1 is now accounting for 65 per cent of Windows Phone app downloads, with Windows Phone 7 at under five per cent. The most popular …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Dec 2014
Samsung's Jong-Deok Choi

Stop Xiaomi, oh stop Xiaomi: Samsung to debut Tizen mobe in India in January

Hope springs eternal for Samsung and its Linux-based Tizen OS, which reportedly will find its way onto a smartphone early next year, despite repeated delays. According to the Korea Economic Daily, Sammy will release its first Tizen handset – dubbed the Samsung Z1 – in India on January 18, 2015 at a price of "less than 100,000 …
Neil McAllister, 23 Dec 2014
Jeff Bezos shows off the Amazon Fire Phone

If at first you don't succeed ... Fire, FIRE again: Amazon mulls smartphone sequel

Amazon hasn't learned its lesson from the thundering belly flop of its Fire Phone, and according to some accounts it's apparently beavering away at a second version. The giant retailer launched the Fire Phone in June to much fanfare after a hush-hush development cycle. But despite the handset's novel "3D" display and baked-in …
Neil McAllister, 20 Dec 2014
BlackBerry

BlackBerry CEO Chen says to expect profits ... in 2016

In a conference call with financial analysts on Friday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the firm kept costs under control and even eked out a meager profit in the third quarter of its fiscal 2015, but he couldn't hide that the ailing mobe-maker's revenues continued their steady decline. BlackBerry brought in revenues of $793m for …
Neil McAllister, 19 Dec 2014

Banish the fear of Big Brother when you bring in BYOD

As I have said before, bring your own device (BYOD) can be a difficult concept to sell. After all, you are basically saying to users: “We want you to supply your own IT equipment but we want to be able to control the corporate data and applications that go on it.” Yes, you can sweeten the pill by offering a financial incentive …
Dave Cartwright, 18 Dec 2014

Pitch Black: New BlackBerry Classic is aimed at the old-school

Hands on How can a phone maker sell out of its new smartmobe in advance when no one even knew what was inside? BlackBerry has somehow managed that feat. Click to enlarge pics Back in February it announced the Classic, which be could be ordered online last month, and until today nobody knew the specifications. “Too many things …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Dec 2014
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Little big phone: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, a toothsome hand-fulla Android

Review This has been a year of pain for Android phone makers, and Sony has suffered as much in this over-saturated market as anyone. But manufacturers' pain is your gain. Sony's overlooked Z3 Compact is, for you if not Sony, the happy result. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Sony's Xperia Z3 Compact: the flagship for smaller pockets It’s a …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Dec 2014
Smartphones

Watch out, Samsung! 3 of top 5 smartphone makers are now Chinese

It was more bad news for Samsung in the third quarter of 2014, as the Korean smartphone maker saw its global market share shrink by nearly 8 per cent, year on year, with most of it going to Chinese rivals. According to the latest figures from Gartner, Samsung remains the worldwide smartphone king, but its market share was just …
Neil McAllister, 16 Dec 2014
Monty Python Wafer Thin Mints

Secretive Chinese smartmobe colossus Xiaomi is on WAFER thin margins

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi is operating on the thinnest of margins to keep its handset prices low, according to a filing with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The Chinese phone-maker, that’s creeping up on Western manufacturers, made a profit of $56.2m on $4.3bn in revenue last year. That gives the firm operating margins of …
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Canadian watchdog goes to court to probe Apple's iPhone deals with mobe networks

Watchdogs in Canada are investigating Apple over concerns the iPhone giant violated antitrust laws in its dealings with Canadian telcos. A spokesperson for Canada's Competition Bureau confirmed the Cupertino goliath is the subject of a probe into possible violations of the nation's Competition Act. "I can confirm that the …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Dec 2014
management regulation1

China's smartmobe darling Xiaomi locked out of India

Simmering tensions over smartphone patents in India are heating up, with a court smacking down Chinese mobe-maker Xiaomi following a patent infringement claim by Ericsson. The Delhi High Court granted Ericsson an ex parte injunction against the Chinese vendor, according to intellectual property blog Spicy IP, because Xiaomi had …
Yotaphone 2

Yotaphone 2: The two-faced pocket-stroker with '100 hours' batt life

Pics "Battery anxiety" is a mobile phone buzzphrase that has been bandied about for some time – highlighting the trade-off we've made with large touchscreens, multi-core processors and our obsession with using the darn things. Yotaphone 2 The Yotaphone 2: six-day battery life, anyone? Bigger form factors can slot in a bigger …
Bob Dormon, 4 Dec 2014
android tongue

Another lick of Lollipop: Google updates latest Android to 5.0.1

Google is pushing out version 5.0.1 of Lollipop, the first update to the latest version of Android. Users of Nexus 7 (2013 model), Nexus 9, and Nexus 10 devices can now download the update from Google. You can also find the source for the Android Open Source Project version here. There is no official list of changes, but users …
Tim Anderson, 3 Dec 2014

IDC revises mobe sales forecasts. New crystal ball, anyone?

Comment Analyst outfit IDC says that the rate of increase in smartphone sales is going to fall – but not as fast as it had previously predicted. The company, which in February this year predicted that global sales of smartphones would be 1.2 billion units, has taken note of that figure being much closer to 1.3bn, the company had …
Simon Rockman, 3 Dec 2014
Android 5.0 "Lollipop"

Speaking in Tech: Android 5.0 Lollipop is a TRAIN WRECK

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise It's an info-packed episode of El Reg's techcast today, with regular hosts Greg Knieriemen and Sarah Vela joined by ex-VMware bod special guest Dr John Troyer of TechReckoning.com. Ed Saipetch is away this week, but the week in tech still receives a thorough going-over... …
Team Register, 3 Dec 2014
Planetoid crashes into primordial Earth

Apple patents NEVERSMASH iPHONE for fumbling fondlers

Apple has filed a patent that could save iPhones from certain death when they crash to the ground. The patent is called "protective mechanism for an electronic device" and allows an iThing to rotate whilst in freefall. When it begins its journey to terminal velocity, the iPhone will be saved by a motor connected to an " …
Jasper Hamill, 2 Dec 2014
Broke - empty pockets

Huawei: 'Nobody made any money in Windows Phone'

Windows Phone has never paid off for Microsoft's hardware partners, Chinese smartphone maker Huawei has claimed. "We didn't make any money in Windows Phone," Huawei head of international media affairs Joe Kelly told the Seattle Times in a recent interview. "Nobody made any money in Windows Phone." This isn't the first time …
Nuke blast

Ex-GCHQ boss: Hey, UK.gov, have you heard how crap iPhone biometrics are?

Comment If you're an ex-GCHQ spook, it seems the BBC will leap to attention when you've words of wisdom to impart about mobile security. Dear old Auntie Beeb has reported that former GCHQ boss Sir John Adye doesn’t trust the biometric security in the iPhone 6. As a story it’s got everything: top spy chief with a knighthood, mistrust of …
Simon Rockman, 1 Dec 2014