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Apple to switch HUMAN iPhone-juicer-fiddlers with ROBOTS – report

Apple is preparing to replace the worker drones on its iPhone battery production line with robot replacements. According to industry sources in Taipei, Apple will automate its battery production later this year. It has already automated the manufacture of iMacs and Mac Pros. Younger Chinese workers are becoming less and less …
Jasper Hamill, 24 Mar 2014
Lenovo K800

Restless PC biz Lenovo blows $100m to gobble 2,500 mobe tech patents

Lenovo has inked a patent deal which looks to expand the company's reach into the mobile computing world. Wireless intellectual property broker Unwired Planet said it will take $100m in cash from the Chinese electronics giant in exchange for about 2,500 "issued and pending US and foreign patents" covering wireless broadband and …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Mar 2014

Nokia tries to lure Android porters with free Nokia X mobes

Event Nokia has started encouraging Android developers to support its Nokia X platform. The phones, primarily aimed at developing markets, run a highly customised version of Android and to ensure compatibility Nokia has wound up its developer outreach programme. Next week Monday – 24 March – Nokia will be around the corner from …
Simon Rockman, 19 Mar 2014
Photo of Apple iPhone 5C in a range of colors

8GB iPhone 5c is real, but no market-maker

Apple's stroll towards the bottom of smartphone market has seen it officially, if quietly, release an iPhone 5c with a mere eight gigabytes of storage. The new model appeared on Apple's Australian online store today priced at $AUD679. The 16GB and 32GB models are $739 and $869 respectively. It has long been assumed that the 5c …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Mar 2014

Apple rakes in 60% of profits in still-surging smartphone market

The global smartphone market continues to skyrocket, and Apple and its iPhone line continue to slurp up the lion's share of that market's profits despite holding a relatively small marketshare when compared to arch-competitor Samsung. Percentage of operating profit from mobile phones (globally, select vendors) Apple pulls in an …
Rik Myslewski, 18 Mar 2014
Back of iPhone 5

Pegatron goes on hiring spree as iPhone 6 release date approaches

Taiwanese tech outfit Pegatron is reportedly preparing to open a new factory in China to build the iPhone 6. The new factory is said to be opening on the outskirts of Shanghai, according to Reuters. Foxconn – aka Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. – is also likely to start building the new iPhone, although it is not known which …
Jasper Hamill, 18 Mar 2014
Photo of Apple iPhone 5C in a range of colors

Is Apple about unleash a cheaper 8GB iPhone 5C? O2 'leak' suggests: Yes

An Apple iPhone 5C with 8GB of storage is rumored to emerge this week, according to reports and a leaked photo. A German-language blog obtained an internal email to staff at mobile network O2 in the Euro nation to support the claims: the leaked memo describes a new addition to the iPhone 5C family, specifically a handset …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Mar 2014
Back of iPhone 5

iPhone 6 FEELS your heat, wetness... and it'll TELL Apple – report

A Chinese Apple analyst has claimed the next iPhone will be fitted with sensors which can detect pressure, humidity and temperature. In a post on her Weibo page, ESM-China's chief analyst Sun Chang Xu said top-ranking fruity sources had told her about Cupertino's plans. Google provided the following translation of Sun's post …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Mar 2014
President Obama takes selfie at Nelson mandela's funeral

Apple patents the super-soaraway selfie system of the future

Apple has embarked on a mission to allow fanbois to take the best quality mobile phone selfies in the history of humanity. As well as a new section in the iTunes store specifically dedicated to "Sharing Selfie" apps which allow fanbois to share pictures of their ugly mug, the fruity firm has patented a system to allow them to …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Mar 2014
O2_uni_charger

Europe approves common charger standard for mobe-makers

The European Parliament has signed off on its proposal to force mobile phone makers to adopt a common charging standard. The new regulation means that if mobe-makers' want to meet European standards for “radio equipment” they'll have to ensure their products will have to be chargeable using micro-USB. But there are ways out of …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Mar 2014
Samsung logo

Samsung puts ultrasonic echolocation cover on a smartphone for the blind

The visually impaired will be able to use their smartphones to see for them, using an ultrasonic case Samsung has made for its low-end Galaxy Core Advance handset. Samsung ultrasound cover The machine that goes ping The Samsung Ultrasonic Cover pings a signal much like a bat and uses the reflection to identify objects within …
Iain Thomson, 15 Mar 2014
A shot taken with the iPhone 5c

iOS 8 screencaps leak: Text editor, dictaphone and 'tips' on the way

The first screenshots of iOS 8 have leaked online after being posted on the Chinese microblogging service Weibo. Although Apple have not officially confirmed whether the images are real, web whisperers certainly think they are for real. Apart from Healthbook, which is presumably a health app, the new additions to iOS 8 are …
Jasper Hamill, 14 Mar 2014
Nokia Black Lumia Windows Phone Update

Microsoft gives away Windows Phone 8 licences in India – report

Microsoft convinced two Indian mobe-makers to use Windows Phone by letting them install it for free, according to The Times of India. The paper's report says Lava and Karbonn, both of which announced their Windows Phone plans at the Mobile World Congress, only signed up after “... when Microsoft agreed to remove the licence fee …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Mar 2014
Huawei Ascend P6

Huawei: We'll sell a dual-boot Android, Windows 8 smartphone because, well, isn't it obvious?

Huawei is planning an assault on the American smartphone market with a dual-boot smartphone running both Google's Android operating system and Redmond's Windows Phone. "With Windows Phone, one direction for us – and one that we are now following – is dual OS. Dual OS as in Android and Windows together," Shao Yang, Huawei's chief …
Iain Thomson, 13 Mar 2014
Blade Runner screenshot

Backdoor snoops can access files on your Samsung phone via the cell network – claim

Updated The developers of Replicant, a pure free-software version of Android, claim to have discovered a security hole in certain Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets – one so serious that it could potentially grant an attacker remote access to the device's file system. Among the devices said to be vulnerable are the Nexus S, Galaxy S, …
Neil McAllister, 13 Mar 2014
Ubuntu smartphones

Dying for an Ubuntu Linux phone? Here's how much it'll cost you

Just because Ubuntu Mobile is based on Linux doesn't mean Ubuntu handsets will be really cheap, like phones running some other open-source mobile operating systems. Speaking at the CeBIT conference in Hanover, Germany on Tuesday, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said we should expect the first Ubuntu phones to be "mid-high …
Neil McAllister, 12 Mar 2014
india

Apple India to put mini-shops in suburbs to flog entry-level kit

Apple’s ramping up its presence in India with the launch of a range of small brick-and-mortar stores selling mainly entry-level iPhones and fondleslabs, according to a local report. The shops will be set up by disties Redington and Ingram Micro, as well as other partners, in the neighbourhoods of major and tier two cities, …
Phil Muncaster, 12 Mar 2014

Windows Phone beats BLACKBERRY in mobe OS popularity stakes

The difference is small, and they are both way behind the leaders, but online data analytics specialists comScore have reported that while usage of Windows Phone stayed steady as a rock at 3.2 per cent, BlackBerry slipped half a percent down at 3.1 per cent. This puts Windows in third place, behind Apple (at 41.7 per cent) and …
Simon Rockman, 12 Mar 2014

Finally! Some actual, novel tech: Apple patent to revive geriatric gear

Apple has received a patent for a method of detecting if an electronic device's operating parameters are being adversely affected by aging circuitry, and if so changing those parameters remotely through adjustments to its firmware. US Patent 8,671,170, "Modifying operating parameters of a device based on aging information," …
Rik Myslewski, 11 Mar 2014
Onyx_Boox_the_non-gaming_phone

Blurred lines: Android e-ink mobe claims TWO-WEEK battery life

Chinese handset manufacturer Onyx has announced the 3G OnyxPhone E43, a mobile-phone-cum-e-reader, claiming a whopping two weeks on its 1800mAh battery. The e-ink smartphone has a 4.3-inch display which dramatically improves battery life. How long it lasts will of course depend on how much you use it; e-ink only uses power when …
Simon Rockman, 11 Mar 2014
Suitcase bulging with cash

Galaxy S5 launch parties to fizzle in Samsung's back yard

The launch of Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone the Galaxy S5 could be derailed in its home market after the South Korean government slapped a business ban on the country’s three largest operators. The 45-day ban will prevent SK Telecom, KT Corporation and LG UPlus from signing up new customers, selling new phones or …
Phil Muncaster, 11 Mar 2014
Caltech's phased array chip

Projector on a smartphone? There's a chip for that

Caltech researchers have demonstrated a chip they hope will one day let smartphones act as projectors. Instead of the light sources, image and lenses needed for a traditional projector, the Caltech chip uses an optical phased array (OPA) to create a projected image from a single laser diode – along the way eliminating the need …

TSMC sole supplier of Apple's A8? NO WAY, says Samsung, US TOO

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) may not have the exclusive contract to fab Apple's next-generation mobile processor, the A8, after all, as had previously been suggested. Last week, China's Commercial Times reported that TSMC had ramped up production of the new chip and that it would replace Apple's erstwhile …
Neil McAllister, 10 Mar 2014
Photo of the Starship Enterprise's sick bay

Does Apple's iOS 7 make you physically SICK? Try swallowing version 7.1

Apple has released its first major update for iOS 7 — version 7.1, natch — which brings "improvements and bug fixes" to iDevices, including better Touch ID fingerprint recognition, the option to further reduce the on-screen animations that sickened some users, and a boost to performance on the iPhone 4. Details of Apple's iOS 7 …
Rik Myslewski, 10 Mar 2014
Steve Jobs and John Sculley

John Sculley set to take on Apple in India with budget smartmobes

John Sculley, the former Apple CEO best known as the man who fired Steve Jobs, is making a move in the Indian smartphone market with a new venture which will sell Rs.12,000 ($US197) handsets to the masses. Inflexionpoint, the global “IT supply chain company” he founded, owns China-based distributor Dragon Technology, which will …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Mar 2014

So long, Samsung! TSMC is fabbing Apple's A8 chip, insiders claim

The next generation of Apple's custom system on a chip (SoC) for mobile devices will be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) rather than Samsung, and so will several other chips to be used in the forthcoming iPhone 6, a report has claimed. According to Taiwanese financial newspaper Commercial Times, …
9.7-inch Apple iPad 2 (left) and 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab (right)

US judge Koh won't ban old Samsung gear, tells Apple: Your patents aren't that amazing

A US judge has struck down Apple's request for an injunction banning the import of Samsung gadgets that had infringed its patents. California District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled on Thursday that the iPhone giant had not shown it would suffer from the import and sales of nearly two dozen of Sammy's older Galaxy mobile products – …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Mar 2014

MEEELLIONS of unloved iPhone 5Cs gather dust in warehouses – report

Apple may be sitting on as many as three million unsold units of its little-loved iPhone 5c, according to reports from the Taiwanese electronics manufacturing industry. The supply-chain sleuths at DigiTimes claim that around one million units of Cupertino's plasticky handset are sitting on telecom carriers' and distributors' …
LG D958 G Flex Android handset

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

Live Chat 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, 6 Mar 2014
EE 4G result

Got 4G? Wake up, grandad. We're doing 4.5G LTE-A in London - EE chief

Olaf Swantee, the CEO of EE, says that his network is planning a scorching 300Mb/s upgrade to its London coverage using the LTE-A (LTE-Advanced) specification. This will roll out in South London first and then to cover the whole of the area within the M25. While Swantee claims that this will make London the place with the …
Simon Rockman, 5 Mar 2014

Hot, fit, SWEATY users stroke Backbeats model, beg: DON'T CALL US

While the new Plantronics Bluetooth sports headset does have a microphone and you can make phone calls – that’s really not the intention. The whole phonecall bit features is listed as the ninth item in a 10-item feature list – and even then with the phrase “BackBeat FIT headphones built-in microphone allows users to take and …
Simon Rockman, 5 Mar 2014
John Chen

Would you work for BlackBerry boss Chen? He says his biz has 50:50 chance of success

Will BlackBerry be able to recover from its recent woes and once again become a profitable company? To hear BlackBerry CEO John Chen tell it, the chances of his turnaround strategy succeeding are about as good as a coin toss. In a newly published interview with the Financial Times that was conducted during the Mobile World …
Steve Ballmer as Doctor Evil

Steve Ballmer: Thanks to me, Microsoft screwed up a decade in phones

Vid Steve Ballmer's greatest regret from his time at Microsoft is that he flubbed his company's attempts at smartphones and mobile computing. That's what he said on Tuesday during his first public appearance since stepping down as CEO of the software goliath. Speaking before an audience of graduate students, business owners, and the …

Apple granted patent for two-faced iPhone with wraparound touchscreen

Just under one year after a nearly identical application was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, Apple has been granted a patent for a "consumer electronic product" – read: smartphone – with a curving display that wraps completely around the device. Illustration from Apple patent 'Electronic device with wrap around …
Rik Myslewski, 4 Mar 2014
Motorola Moto X

X-rated Android antics: Motorola's Moto X puts boot in chunky brother

Review When the Moto X was launched in the US back in August, it was a pretty big deal. Why? Because it was the first handset wholly conceived by Motorola under Google's stewardship, it was assembled in the States itself rather than the Far East, it was available with a dizzying number of personalisation options thanks to the Moto …
Alun Taylor, 4 Mar 2014

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

MWC 2014 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. …
Angry woman on mobile

Anti-snoop Blackphone hits shelves in June: NOW we'll see how much you value privacy

The launch of the privacy-focused Blackphone attracted plenty of attention at Mobile World Congress last week, but security experts are already warning privacy-conscious potential users not to get too carried away. The technology has limitations and even its developers acknowledge it is not "NSA-proof". Blackphone is scheduled …
John Leyden, 3 Mar 2014
Un Frog

French silver foxes use Fujitsu's Grandroid mobes... to send each other selfies

One of the features of the Fujitsu Stylistic phone, a device targeted at the older French market and sold by Orange France, is its dedicated social network. The Raku-Raku phones Fujitsu sells in Japan have a similar feature, and the silver-haired beta testers of the er, francophone, will soon be using it to get friendly with …
Simon Rockman, 28 Feb 2014
channel_partners_deal_handshake

Lenovo banks on $1 BEELLION Moto turnaround in SIX quarters

Lenovo boss Yang Yuanqing has boasted that he can wipe Motorola Mobility’s $1bn-a-year (£600m) losses in just six quarters once his firm takes the helm at the handset maker. Yang told Bloomberg on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress this week that he could make the turnaround without the need to cut any jobs. “Don’t be …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Feb 2014
Project Ara

Mix-and-match mobiles: Google unveils Project Ara dev conference

Google says it is planning a series of three online developer conferences this year in support of Project Ara, the modular mobile phone design being developed by its Motorola Mobility division. Announced last year, Ara is a unique concept that will allow users to build their own devices from a collection of snap-together parts. …
Neil McAllister, 27 Feb 2014

HTC One grabs BEST SMARTPHONE gong

MWC 2014 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
Tree sampling in the Monteverde cloud forest. Credit: Jorge Porras

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

MWC 2014 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