Apple Has Opposition To “Nano SIM” Card

 

Smartphone vendors are uniting against Apple as the iPhone-maker attempts to make its miniature “nano-SIM” card technology the industry standard for the next generation of handsets, reports the Financial Times.

Apple is reportedly backed by most of the operators in Europe and has submitted its proposal to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

Nano-SIM technology is seen as an important step in the miniaturisation of smartphones but Motorola Mobility, Nokia and BlackBerry-maker RIM are opposing Apple’s attempts to make its own technology the industry standard.

The approach would mean all handset makers could use the design under licence – but there are fears that Apple may eventually own the patents on the technology. According to an FT source, the Apple design would also require a drawer-style design to protect it, forcing phone makers to re-engineer their devices.

Apple’s iPhone 4S and Nokia’s Lumia 800 already use micro-SIM cards but the nano-SIM technology will be a third smaller, leaving more space for other functions.

ETSI will make a decision on Apple’s proposals next week although the FT reports that the voting process in the independent committee has come under scrutiny following an attempt by Apple to increase its number of votes on the committee. Apple registered six European subsidiaries to become full members earlier this week with a decision on their membership due to take place today. Subsidiaries with revenue of more than EUR8 billion have up to 45 votes on the ETSI committee.

Nokia, which has the largest number of votes with 92, has questioned whether Apple should be able to obtain additional votes in this way.

 

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Apple and Google increase US smartphone share

Apple and Google strengthened their control of the US smartphone market in the three months ended January, with three out of four devices using their software, reports Bloomberg. According to new figures from ComScore, Apple powered 29.5 percent of US smartphones, on average, in the period, up from 28.1 percent in the prior three months, while Google’s Android had 48.6 percent market share, up 2.3 percentage points. BlackBerry-maker RIM saw its share drop to 15.2 percent from 17.2 percent.

 

 

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BlackBerry Warning, Weak Sales And Delays

Shares in BlackBerry-maker RIM slipped by as much as 7 percent in extended trading last night as the struggling firm reported another disappointing quarter, provided a weak sales outlook for the current period and pushed back the launch of its new device line.

For the quarter ended 26 November, net income came in at US$265 million, down 70 percent from a year ago, while sales came in at US$5.17 billion, down from US$5.5 billion. Although RIM had earlier warned of the poor numbers, the figures were still below most analyst forecasts.

It sold 14.1 million devices in the quarter, increasing its BlackBerry subscriber base to 75 million, up 5 million on the previous quarter. However, it shipped just 150,000 units of its PlayBook tablet.

More bad news was revealed on the earnings call by co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, who said that the first devices running the new BlackBerry 10 operating system would not now appear until late next year. The delay is apparently due to the firm having to wait on critical chipsets becoming available.

The delay could be highly damaging for the firm as it struggles to keep pace with rivals such as Apple, say analysts. “They’ve already got tepid developer support and then they’re going to be rolling out these phones right smack in the (midst) of an iPhone 5 (launch) most likely,” Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners, told Reuters. “By then the ecosystem runs the risk of being abandoned.”

The guidance for RIM’s current quarter – which includes the key holiday sales period – was also below par. The firm guided that profit will be between US$0.80 and US$0.95 per share, and said that sales will be between US$4.6 billion and US$4.9 billion. Analysts had projected profit of US$1.08 a share and sales of US$4.85 billion, according to Bloomberg data.

RIM said it expects BlackBerry shipments in the quarter to be between 11 million to 12 million. Analysts had projected 12.8 million units. According to Reuters, this would mark the first quarter-to-quarter decline in BlackBerry shipments for six years during the crucial sales season.

In a statement, RIM said that it “continues to have strong technology, unique service capabilities and a large installed base of customers, and we are more determined than ever to capitalise on our strengths to overcome the recent execution challenges surrounding product launches and the resulting financial performance.”

Its two co-CEOs, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, have agreed to take a pay-cut to just US$1 while they work through the problems. The firm faced renewed calls from shareholders yesterday to separate the roles of chairman and chief executive, which are currently held jointly by both Lazaridis and Balsillie.

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AT&T To Deploy LTE-Advanced In 2013

AT&T Labs CEO Krish Pabhu has said the US operator is planning to deploy an LTE-Advanced network in 2013, reports Engadget. LTE-Advanced is the next-generation version of LTE with theoretical peak downlink speeds of around 100Mb/s in the wide area and 1GB/s in fixed situations, low latency and wide spectrum bandwidths of up to 100MHz.

 

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Samsung Bendy-Screen Phones ‘Early 2012’

Bendy phones sound like science fiction – but the far-out gadgets could be on sale in just a few months’ time.

Both Samsung and Nokia are working on the technology.

Samsung executives have given the clearest signal yet of when we should expect to see the first ‘bendy’ phones hit the market – early 2012.
During a company results conference, investor relations chief Robert Yi said, ‘The flexible display, we are looking to introduce sometime in 2012, hopefully the earlier part.’
Yi said that the first devices to ship with flexible screens would be phones.

Other possible applications include ‘foldable’ iPad-style tablets.

It’s not an out-there prediction, either.

Rival smartphone giant Nokia unveiled a basic prototype of the Nokia Kinectic – a bendable smartphone – at Nokia World
Kinectic allowed users to bend the screen to control functions such as music and video.

Nokia refuses to say when its Kinectic smartphones will be on sale.

Earlier Samsung demonstrations have shown off OLED screens which can be folded over.

The company demonstrated ‘bendable’ AMOLED screens 4.5 inches across and just 0.3mm thick in January this year.
Another paper by Samsung scientists showed off an AMOLED screen with a section that could be folded over completely without cracking.

Earlier this year, reports leaked that Samsung had the capacity to manufacture large amounts of such screens by ‘early 2012’ – but no one knew what they might be for.

Skin was a project carried out by design students using the Samsung logo and Galaxy trademark.
 Samsung’s Galaxy Skin – unveiled as a concept earlier this year – could be on sale as early as Spring 2012, according to recent reports

 Layers of ‘Graphene’ – atom-thick layers of carbon – will be used to create paper-thin ‘foldable’ screens in the Samsung Galaxy Skin
‘Flexible’ screens have been demonstrated in various forms since as early as 2004 – with tech insiders suggesting that laptops or e-Book readers might one day take the form of a ‘pen’ housing a processor with a ‘sheet’ of paper-like screen wrapped around them.

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HTC Android Devices “Massive” Security Flaw

 

03 Oct 2011

 
Android Police reported a “massive security vulnerability in HTC Android devices,” stating that any app on an affected handset can access data including user account details and location information.

The report said the flaw was introduced with a recent update to “some” HTC devices, including a number of its flagship smartphones such as the Evo 3D, Evo 4G, and Thunderbolt. The company has added a “suite of logging tools that collected information” for an unspecified reason, without ensuring that this data is secured from other apps.

It was suggested that “theoretically, it may be possible to clone a device using only a small subset of the information leaked here.”

The information is accessed via the same system request that an app makes to connect to the internet. Android Police noted: “when you install a simple, innocent-looking new game from the Market that only asks for the INTERNET permission (to submit scores online, for example), you don’t expect it to read your phone log or list of emails.”

The report said that HTC was contacted on 24 September, with the company then given five business days before the vulnerability was made public. No comment was received in the interim. The company said it is “taking customers’ security seriously.”

 

Samsung Original Galaxy Tab Updated

 

Samsung announced its Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, an update to the vendor’s first Galaxy Tab device, launched last year. The device gains support for the Android Honeycomb platform, which specifically targets tablet devices, and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. It also includes HSPA + connectivity.

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