Mobile and Smartphone News – 2008 to 2011


Over the years I have blogged on various mobile phone news items. To make your life easier, here they all are in one easy to read article. The news starts with Google, then there are updates about Vodafone, Nokia and Microsoft. Not breaking news anymore, but then that is why they are being archived!

Google Android Release Day

Oct 22, 2008

There are signs that mobile phones are starting to account for a larger share of web search queries on mobile-phones, and the trend is growing faster that analysts predicted. Tomorrow the first “Google phone” is being released, which means a phone with the Google Android operating system installed.

Google’s Android operating system allows developers to create programs for mobile phones. T-Mobile USA Inc., a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG, will release the first Android-powered phone, the G1, on Oct. 22 in the U.S.

[Google I/O] The Android demo/presentation by Steve Horowitz

According to a M:Metrics, a company which tracks use of the mobile internet, 62 per cent of search queries by UK mobiles are performed by Google, compared with 7 per cent by Microsoft.

Android is also an open-source operating system, meaning that developers can access the code and create software that works with the device. Apple has announced a similar initiative which allows developers to create software for the iPhone.

Google’s G1 Mobile Phone – The Future of the Mobile Internet?

Nov 3, 2008

Last week Google launched their first mobile phone. Named the Google G1, it is positioned to compete with Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry. It will be available exclusively from T-Mobile during the initial phase. The handset is the first of several expected to use Google’s phone operating system, called Android. It is thought that Android may also be part of a future project which is aiming to create a new PC operating system to rival Microsoft’s Windows and the open source Linux distributions, which are growing in popularity.

The G1 will allow users to access webmail (Google’s Gmail) and surf the net. This will allow Google to increase advertising revenues, as it could potentially start to dominate the mobile advertising market in the same way that its Adwords program dominates internet advertising.

Unlike the iPhone, Google has allowed developers to create free software for the handset. Although Apple does let consumers download extra software, it is tightly controlled and many applications must be paid for.
The Gl will be available free to customers signing up for T-Mobile’s £40 plus tariffs, which include unlimited data for web surfing.

Some mobile phone experts think that the G1 will struggle to compete with the iPhone. Ernest Doku, of mobile phone comparison site, said: “Despite the popularity of the Google brand, the Gl’s design lacks the inherent cool factor that made the iPhone 3G such a mass market success.”

Ernest Doku believes Google could tarnish its brand if the phone fails: “The launch of the Gl is important not only because it is Google’s first foray into the mobile market, but because it’s also the launch of an entirely new mobile phone operating system. Android is the equivalent of releasing an alternative to Microsoft’s Windows — and equally as risky.”

We do not agree with this. In the last few years, Linux distributions have become more popular, by proving to be more accessible to mainstream web users. The Ubuntu distribution of Linux is the most popular version, with an estimated 8 million users. PC manufacturers such as Dell and Asus, makers of the Eee PC, are now supplying their computers with Linux pre-installed.

Google recently launched its own web browser, Chrome. It is not aiming to rival Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox initially, which is why some people predict that Google is looking at the bigger picture with respect to the evolving internet. Current browser platforms such as Firefox and IE may not be able to display and manage the next generation of the internet. Google appears to be positioning itself to ensure that it is the market leader once the “Web3.0” revolution hits.

Google Video Chat – Rival to Skype?

Nov 13, 2008 

For some time now Skype has been the leader in free chat (VOIP) and video conferencing. However, Google has developed video chat functionality within GMail, its one free webmail service. This is potentially going to be a big blow for Skype, who are owned by Whereas Skype has to be downloaded first, anyone with a Google account will have access to free video chat with other Google account holders (although a small plugin is required).

Here is Google’s explanation on their new video chat tool:

Video chatting from Gmail is as easy as sending an instant message. With our team spread out across Google offices in Sweden and the U.S., it’s been really handy in helping us work together. Just click on the new “Video & more” menu in a Gmail chat window and select “Start video chat” or “Start voice chat.” You can switch to a full screen view or pop out the chat window and change the size and positioning as you wish. Of course, not everyone has a webcam, but even if you don’t, you can still have voice conversations alongside your email and regular chat. Take a look at this short video to see more:

Gmail voice and video chat will be rolled out globally over the next day or so for Macs and PCs. The first time you use this feature, you’ll be prompted to download and install a small plugin. To get started, visit or click on the “Options” menu in a Gmail chat window and choose “Add voice/video chat.” Find out more on our Gmail Blog.

You can learn more about Google Voice and Video Chat here.

Microsoft Reveals the iPhone and Android Rival

Feb 16, 2009

Microsoft has announced that it is confident that its latest mobile phone software is solid enough to knock iPhone off its pedestal. This also does not bode well for Google’s Android phone, the G1.

Microsoft claim that there new mobile phone software is more user friendly than its rivals, and also provides a better email client than the Blackberry. It is also claimed that Microsoft handsets will allow users to surf the web offline, although it is not clear how they plan this at the moment. This news follows the announcement last week that Microsoft are planning to open Hight Street retail stores to compete directly with Apple. The mobile internet is the future of the internet, and the key players, Apple, Google and Microsoft are positioning themselves now. Google need to take a stronger stance and push Android out to more mobile companies if it is to compete with MS and Apple.

Nokia Opens Its Doors To Skype

Feb 17, 2009

Nokia has announced that it is planning to offer Skype on some new mobile phones. Skype allows free Skype to Skype calls and also discounted calls on Skype Out. Customers can also have their own Skype In telephone number. Three, the UK network provider, already offer Skype, however Nokia is a much larger player. Really this is a win-win solution for phone networks, as it takes traffic away from their own networks and places it on mobile internet networks. However this is not good news for mobile internet users who are likely to see more congestion at busy times as the move to the mobile internet becomes more popular.

Reyanair Allows Mobile Phones on its Flights

Feb 20, 2009

Ryanair has announced that it will allow customers to use their mobile phones while flying. Previously mobile phones were banned due to concerns that they could interfere with flight controls, and also because some passengers do not like to hear other people on the phone.

Research has shown that there is no risk to flight safety. Also mobile phones are allowed on trains, so passengers should be used to it. This is great news for people with mobile internet phones, especially those that run web businesses.

Vodafone Are Looking To Takeover T-Mobile

Jun 29, 2009

The world’s largest mobile phone company has declared that it is interested in taking over the German cell phone company, T-Mobile.

T-Mobile has been losing market share recently, and even though it won the contract to supply the handsets for Google’s first Android based mobile, the G1, this has not been enough to give T-Mobile the competitive edge that it needs to regain some lost ground in Europe.

If Vodafone is successful it will control 40% of the UK’s mobile phone market.

This will certainly be a massive shake-up in the mobile phones market. It could also be excellent news for 3G users (i.e. T-mobile’s G1 users) with improved 3G coverage meaning less downtime for G1 users.

Nokia and Microsoft to Produce New Smartphones

Aug 13, 2009 

Nokia and Microsoft and joining forces to produce a new range of smartphones (mobiles with internet access, email, social networking etc.).

Between them they hope to strengthen their market position against the highly successful Blackberry from RIM, and the newcomer Google and its Android Mobiles. Google worked with T-mobile to produce the G1 which is still prooving to have great potential, and there is news that Orange are bringing out up to 10 new Android handsets.

The Blackberry is still the favourite for corporate business, but the iPhone from Apple. Android and MS are all on their tail.

Up to date Microsoft mobile browsers have been slated by the techies, but if they can pull off something special with Nokia, these two super brands could easily destroy all the competition.

T-Mobile & Orange To Merge Mobile Phone Businesses

Sep 11, 2009

News is afoot that T-Mobile and Orange are planning to merge their businesses and make a united stand against the growing competition. This could be good news for Google and its Android Mobile OS as potentially G1 and its successors could be marketed to a much greater audience. One of the downfalls of Android / G1 in the UK has been the fact that T-Mobile have the only handsets at the moment, which is great if you live under a T-Mobile antenna, but no so much fun if you move around a lot, as coverage is certainly sporadic at times.

“Following yesterday’s news that T-Mobile was the subject of bids from Vodafone and Telefonica (the Spanish owner of the O2 brand), comes today’s announcement that T-Mobile is to merge with France Telecom’s UK brand Orange.” Source: Shareholders Portal

Orange mostly have the HTC 3G smartphones at the moment,as well as the Blackberry, and T-mobile sells many Blackberry contracts, plus a growing number of Android phones.

The future of mobile technology is certainly 3G, and with improvements in coverage and speed, more people will use mobile phone browsers as standard. This merger is going to give the resultant company (T-Orange?) a huge market share in the UK, and will be a kick in the balls for Vodafone.

Nokia and Microsoft Smart Phone Partnership

Nokia and Microsoft have formed a partnership to attempt to take on Apple iPhone and Google Android in the smart mobile market.

Already the buns are flying as Google has reportedly said that two mating turkeys will not create an eagle.

Nokia have been in the mobile phone hardware market for years, and Microsoft have been building mobile phone operating systems since mobile Internet began.

MS mobile phones have always come last place though to Android and iPhone. Will a Nokia partnership really get their software on the right track?

Nokia Job Losses

Feb 11, 2011

Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop, has announced that there will be substantial job losses as a result of this new mobile partnership.

“a war of ecosystems” – Stephen Elop

Stephen Elop described the current trend in mobile phones as being a “war of ecosystems”. We think that he is referring to the platforms / operating systems that are now competing. Nokia has always been a phone hardware company, and the rise of Apple and Android has resulted in a fall in its market share as other hardware companies are involved in those devices.

This partnership will put Nokia back on the map and position them within the most well known and trusted ecosystem there is, Microsoft.


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