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Japan Siri manga drawing girl

Japan tells operators: Put a SIM lock in a new mobe? You'd better UNLOCK it for FREE

From May next year, all mobile phones sold in Japan will either arrive unlocked or be able to be unlocked. An edict from Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has stipulated that the mobile phone operators will have to unlock phones free of charge if the customer requests it. This is aimed at making the pricing …
Simon Rockman, 3 Nov 2014
let's mock the Greeks

Greeks BEST in WORLD – at, er, breaking their mobile phones

Insurance is dull. Mobile phone insurance is doubly so, to spice it up insurance company SquareTrade has published figures for how good people in different countries are at using their phones without falling over. It transpires that the Poles and Belgians are very good, while the Greeks and Italians are the most likely to have a …
Simon Rockman, 3 Nov 2014

That 'TECH-FREE' Nophone? It was already out years ago

A “tech free” phone has raised over $18,000 on Kickstarter. The electronics-free "NoPhone" provides “a rectangle of smooth, cold plastic to clutch without forgoing any potential engagement with your direct environment” – according to its makers. The NoPhone Backers receive a 3D-printed model of the dummy, which is itself a …
gavel_judgment_channel

Samsung says teaming up with mobe-maker Microsoft could violate antitrust law

Samsung has taken a new tack in its ongoing patent royalty spat with Microsoft, claiming that its former partnership with Redmond should be considered null and void as it could violate US antitrust law. Microsoft is suing Samsung for $6.9m in interest on royalties that it says it's owed under the terms of a 2011 business …
Galaxy

Samsung launches 'perfect pair' of skinny mid-range phones

The world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturer has unveiled two new Galaxy devices aimed at halting its falling market share and plummeting profits. The Samsung Galaxy A3 is 130.1 x 65.5 x 6.9mm, and 110g with a 4.5-inch screen, while the A5 is 139.3 x 69.7 x 6.7mm and 123g with a 5-inch screen. For comparison, the flagship …
Simon Rockman, 31 Oct 2014
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 …

Humanity now making about 41 mobes EACH SECOND

The world is now manufacturing just under 42 mobile phones a second thanks to an uptick in global production, IDC's presumably-very-tired handset-counters say. The firm's latest quarterly phone count found shipped 327 million mobiles in the year's third quarter. Do the math: there's 7,862,400 seconds in 91 days. Divide 327m by …
Darren Pauli, 30 Oct 2014

Hate the BlackBerry Z10 and Passport? How about this dusty old flashback instead?

The barren husk of BlackBerry is looking to recapture a stake in the smartphone market by going back to its roots as a maker of business communication devices. The company said that its upcoming BlackBerry Classic (née Q20) handset, which is expected to launch in November, will hearken back to the days when BlackBerry's name was …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Oct 2014
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY

Half of all fanbois and gurlz have finally installed iOS 8 on their iThings, hammering home the point that Apple's new mobile operating system is much less popular than previous versions. A glance at the Apple developer support page reveals that 52 percent of users have now installed iOS 8 on their iPhone or fondleslab, which …
Jasper Hamill, 29 Oct 2014
Samsung Galaxy Alpha

This is why we CAN have nice things: Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Review It must sting Samsung that the criticism most often levelled at the manufacturer is that its flagship Galaxy S devices feel cheap and plasticky. And for once the criticism is not just coming from Apple fans. Samsung Galaxy Alpha Samsung's Galaxy Alpha: looks like all the others in the range at first glance The Galaxy S3, S4 …
Alun Taylor, 29 Oct 2014

Find My Phone does just one thing but Samsung's messed it up

Researcher Mohamed Baset has reported a zero day flaw that allows hackers to lock a host of Samsung phones with the lost device feature. Baset (@SymbianSyMoh) uploaded a proof of concept video to YouTube showing how to lock a Samsung phone using a cross site request forgery vulnerability in the Find My Mobile feature. Phones …
Darren Pauli, 29 Oct 2014
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon sells Fire Phone in UK ... on CONTRACT

Hasn’t Amazon sold mobile phones before? Wasn’t the first third party deal Amazon did in Europe with Carphone Warehouse back in 2001? The answers are no... and yes. Amazon UK has been selling mobile phones for more than a decade and there are lots of resellers who will sell you anything from a Samsung Alpha to a Sony Z3, but …
Simon Rockman, 28 Oct 2014

Lumia 830: Microsoft hopes to seduce with slim 'affordable' model

The Lumia 830, which is already available in the UK, is another midrange Lumia (from Microsoft, but it retains the Nokia brand) fighting for your attention. It squeaks in at under £300 SIM-free (it's £279 on PAYG at EE) or is free on contracts at around £25/month. I must admit, before the device arrived, the omens weren't good …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Oct 2014
LG Nuclun mobile SoC

LG taps TSMC to bake its first-ever mobile chip

South Korea's LG Electronics has announced its first self-made mobile system-on-chip (SoC), along with plans to debut the chip in a new smartphone to be released within the week. Nuclun (LG says it's pronounced "NOO-klun," somewhat like how Americans pronounce "nuclear") is an eight-core application processor based on ARM's big. …
Neil McAllister, 25 Oct 2014

Microsoft discovers long-lost phone division down back of sofa

Nokia phones generated $2.6bn in revenue for Microsoft as the division arrested its decline. Redmond sold 9.3m Lumia devices in the quarter, the most ever. In the quarter a year ago, Nokia (then the owner) shifted 8.8m Lumias. In June only 5.8m Lumias moved. The company had failed to refresh its product line as it, and other …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Oct 2014
Glorious future of China

Smartphone giant _____ puts citizens' private data beyond reach of oppressive regime _____

Chinese Apple wannabe Xiaomi says it's spent much of the past year migrating its online services out of its Beijing data centers so that it can better serve customers in international markets. The Middle Kingdom's smartphone upstart is virtually unknown in the West but is already outselling Samsung in China and has lately moved …
Neil McAllister, 22 Oct 2014
Un Frog

Nokia France leak: Windows Phone DUMPED in Microsoft Lumia revamp

The French wing of Microsoft's Nokia mobile device division appears to have confirmed some Windows Phone rebranding efforts that have been rumored for the past few months. Earlier this year, leaked legal documents related to Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services business revealed that Redmond was only given 18 …
Neil McAllister, 22 Oct 2014
Daniel Craig in Skyfall

NSA approves Samsung Knox for use by TOP SECRET g-men

US spooks will be allowed to access sensitive government information on their KNOX-locked Samsung gadgets from now on. The South Korean company has been heavily pushing its new KNOX security product and it looks as though its efforts have paid off. The National Security Agency has now approved nine Samsung devices, including the …
Jennifer Baker, 21 Oct 2014
OnePlus One Android smartphone

OnePlus One cut-price Android phone on sale to all... for 1 HOUR

Word-of-mouth sensation the OnePlus One smartphone finally goes on general sale to the public next week – six months after the phone was launched, and after a number of not-always successful promotional gimmicks. But only in 16 territories. And you only have an hour on Monday to check out. OnePlus One Android smartphone Like …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Oct 2014
VMware Monster VM

VMware gives up on dual-persona smartphone concept

VMware has walked away from the idea of dual-persona smartphones, according to John Marshall, senior veep and general manager of the company's Airwatch division. Virtzilla had the idea of dual-persona phones back in about 2011, when it floated the notion of a Mobile Virtual Platform (MVP) hypervisor. The plan was for handset- …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2014
Apple iPhone 6

Apple flings iOS 8.1 at world+dog: Our AMAZEBALLS 9-step installation guide

Apple has rolled out iOS 8.1, enabling features on the iPhone 6 and other new Apple devices. The company said the 8.1 update will allow users to begin using the Apple Pay platform with their iPhone 6 and 6 Plus NFC-enabled handsets. This allows users to link their bank accounts with the Apple Pay software, so when the phone is …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Oct 2014

China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog

Last week Apple CEO Tim Cook was very happy that the iPhone 6 is at last going on sale in China. But it seems the Chinese government has its own plans for owners of the new device. According to censorship watchdog Greatfire.org, Chinese state hackers began staging a massive man-in-the-middle attack against Apple iCloud.com users …
Iain Thomson, 20 Oct 2014
Sony Xperia Z3 Android smartphone

Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?

Review The decisions that must be going on at Sony’s mobile R&D division are certainly intriguing, if not baffling. Six months after it was launched, the Xperia Z2 has been replaced by the Z3 and barely nine months after it was launched, the Z1 Compact has been replaced by the Z3 Compact (there wasn’t a Z2 Compact, so don’t panic). …
Alun Taylor, 20 Oct 2014
Image two from the patent document

Hey, iPhone 6 fanbois: Apple's bonk to 'Pay' app IS GO

Apple will open up its new bonk-to-pay system to its newest phones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, today, allowing fanbois to bonk shiny-shinys to purchase stuff online or at 220,000 stores. However, non-Americans need not cut up their cards just yet, because Apple Pay is only available Stateside and it is unclear when it will …
Jasper Hamill, 20 Oct 2014

WAITER! There's a Flappy Bird in my Lollipop!

Google's practice of leaving Easter Eggs in Android appears to have continued, with a chap spotting a Flappy Bird clone in the new version 5.0, aka Lollipop, release. Here's his video of how to invoke the game, and a look at its gameplay. That Flappy Bird aficionados among you will notice that the game scrolls from right to …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Man, that iPhone 6 Plus won't fit in my pocket. Oh, here's a mobe store that'll resize my jeans

A retailer in China has found a novel way to accommodate the added dimensions of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus – adjust customers' pants* to fit the large handset. Tech in Asia spotted a China Unicom store offering free tailor services to customers who purchase Apple's 5.5in phablet. The in-store tailor. Credit: Amakura on Weibo The …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Oct 2014
Apple iPhone 6

iPhone 6 shunned by fanbois in Apple's GREAT FAIL of CHINA

The belated Chinese launch of the iPhone 6 appears to have been a total flop after just 100 people queued outside a flagship store to buy the new mobe. In most parts of the world, the launch of a new Apple iPhone causes a level of fanboi hysteria that is more like a One Direction concert than a consumer technology launch. But …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Oct 2014
Asus Padfone

Intel, Asus charge sneak into US mobe market with ATOM-powered PadFone X mini

Intel on Wednesday reached a new milestone in its quest to become a player in the mobile phone market, with the launch of the first-ever Atom-powered Android 4.4 smartphone for the US market. The Asus PadFone X mini will feature not just a dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 processor clocked at 1.6GHz but also an Intel XMM 7160 LTE …
Neil McAllister, 15 Oct 2014
flames_fire_destruction

PANTS on FIRE? Too late for you. But others will benefit from singed trouser phone alert

Boffins at Stanford University have invented a system which could banish the dreaded trouser fire to the annals of tech history. Regular readers of The Reg will know that the batteries used in mobile phones have a horrible tendency to blow up at inopportune moments. Whether it's an iPad Nano going kaboom in Japan, a Swiss woman …
Jasper Hamill, 14 Oct 2014
Nokia sign dismantled, with letters rearranged to spell 'ONKIA'

Finnish PM: Apple has DESTROYED FINLAND

The Prime Minister of Finland has claimed that Apple destroyed his country's biggest industry: mobile phone manufacturing. As if that wasn't bad enough, Alexander Stubb went on to say that Cupertino had also annihilated the paper-making industry, which was his nation's other pride and joy. However, a leading Finnish analyst has …
Jasper Hamill, 14 Oct 2014
Apple iPhone 6

Apple's iPhone bonk to 'Pay' app launches on Monday

Update Cupertino's plans to dominate the world of pay-by-bonk have been exposed following the leak of what appears to be a TOP-SECRET Apple Pay training manual. All Apple staffers will apparently take part in an hour's training on the new bonk-to-pay system, which is expected to be launched later this month following an event on 16 …
Jasper Hamill, 13 Oct 2014
Kindle Big Brother

Cops and spies should blame THEMSELVES for smartphone crypto 'problem' - Hyppönen

IP Expo Law enforcement and intel agencies have no right to complain about the improved security of smartphones because they brought the problem on themselves, according to security guru Mikko Hyppönen. Policing and government officials on both sides of the Atlantic have been vociferous in their complaints about Apple and Google's …
John Leyden, 13 Oct 2014
Photo of Jonathan Ive

Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe

The boss of Chinese Android mobile firm, Xiaomi, has smacked back at Apple designer Jony Ive's remarks about "iPhone-inspired" smartphones, telling him to try the phones before he slags them off. Lin Bin wants Ive sent to the sin bin after he appeared to claim that Xiaomi had nicked Apple's mobe designs. "Xiaomi is a very open …
Jasper Hamill, 13 Oct 2014
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Rupert Murdoch outs self as iPhone 6 fanboi

Rupert Murdoch has outed himself as an Apple fanboi. In one of the mogul's regular and oddly-contextless tweets, Murdoch admits to having recently acquired an iPhone 6 after first making some very anodyne comments on the fact that old spacecraft scarcely packed enough computing power to play a decent game of Tetris. Endeavour …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Oct 2014
Killer whale

OMG, we're gonna be invaded by NEXUS 6 replicants – no, wait. It's just a rumored phablet

Google is reportedly planning to get into the phablet market with a 5.9-inch handset code named Shamu: the device is expected to emerge later this month, and the Android operating system will be updated to support it. Two sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that the new handset will be manufactured by …
Iain Thomson, 10 Oct 2014
Apple iPhone 5c: attempting to bend or break the case

Foxconn exec on iPhone 6: You're BENDING it WRONG

The head of Apple partner Foxconn has blamed the flexible iPhone 6 scandal — now using the grimly predictable suffix "gate" — on nasty, gossiping rivals. "Bendgate" video bloggers claim the new iPhone, when strapped to fanbois' thighs, has been losing its shape quicker than Man Utd's back four. CEO Terry Gou maintains that …
Jasper Hamill, 9 Oct 2014

HTC débuts Desire Eye, 'GoPro-slapper' RE digital snapper

HTC doesn’t reckon it needs any funding next year or even the one after that, according to its chief financial officer, who spoke at the launch of HTC's Desire Eye, a new Android phone with a 13MP camera for "selfies". Chialin Chang told Reuters that the Taiwanese firm has no debt, $1.7bn in cash and isn’t worried about tapping …
BlackBerry Passport

Vulture takes BlackBerry's Passport through customs

Review Absent for almost a year, BlackBerry has returned to the fray with the striking Passport, an updated OS and Blend – a secure desktop companion for the phone. BlackBerry Passport Daring to be different: BlackBerry's Passport There are two distinguishing features in this device: first, its display is square and very wide. …

Siri ... why is this semi headed RIGHT AT ME? Phone apps distracting as ever – new study

Using your phone's cyber-slave by voice while focusing on the road? You're not as safe as you think, according to AAA. The US auto club said it found apps such as Siri, and in-car personal assistant systems, are far more distracting than expected. A study [PDF] AAA carried out with the University of Utah found that using voice …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Oct 2014
Apple iPad 3 aka new iPad

Is Apple incubating a Macbook, iPad bastard child?

What do you think would happen if an iPad made sweet, sweet love to a Macbook? Just go with it please, for the sake of argument. It would give birth to a misshapen, outsized fondleslab, running a delicate and (probably) delicious integration of OSX and iOS. And a full suite of apps, naturally. But it's not going to happen, is …
Jasper Hamill, 7 Oct 2014
Eve in the Garden of Eden talking to a rather angry God on Snapchat

PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 SHUNNED by refusenik fanbois

Apple has failed to persuade the fanboi legions to abandon the old versions of its mobile operating system and plunge into the many pleasures of iOS 8. Adoption rates of the new version of iOS 8 have stalled, with equal numbers of Apple fanfolk using both the new and old operating system. If true, this means the rollout of iOS …
Jasper Hamill, 7 Oct 2014

How much is Microsoft earning from its Android taxes again?

Analysis We’ve known for years that Microsoft makes more money from Google’s Android than Google does itself – but now we have a better idea of how much hidden “tax” is included in the price of an Android handset. That’s because Samsung and Microsoft have fallen out, and Redmond’s lawsuit sheds light on the secretive world of patent …