Top Ten Mobile Phone News Stories of the Week

Welcome to 2010 and the first weekly roundup of the mobile phone news stories you may have missed this week.  With the CES show in Las Vegas just getting under way, we should be seeing more than a few new handsets and mobile accessories – speaking of which…

1.  LG Calm Windows Mobile 7 Fears.

During LG’s press event at CES the subject of Windows Mobile 7 came up.  Ever since the news of its delay until at least the end of this year, there have been concerns it may not show up until 2011, however LG have said they are definitely expecting it this year, thus putting various minds at rest.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X22.  No More Xperia X2 for the UK.

It has been a long and arduous journey for the Xperia X2, and now it’s looking like it wasn’t really worth it, as Vodafone – who were down as the exclusive network for the phone – have decided not to back it after all.  With no current home for the X2, Sony Ericsson has no choice but to cancel its UK launch entirely.  It’ll be available elsewhere of course, so anyone desperate for the phone will be able to source one, but this news cannot be good for Sony Ericsson, as the X2 represented not only their top-end business smartphone, but their first Windows Mobile 6.5 phone too.

3.   Cute Sony Ericsson Robyn Spotted.

Aw, bless!  Who could not fail to love the cute little Robyn, especially when it’s pictured next to the monstrous looking Xperia X10!  Aside from it running Android, nothing else is known about this return to small phones for Sony Ericsson, but we look forward to learning more!

4.  Is the 12 Month Contract Set for a Comeback?

Research has shown a tenfold increase in 2009 for those mobile owners tied down by a two-year contract, however analysts are predicting this will reverse itself next year when 12 month contracts will become more common thanks to higher priced handsets.  MobileToday’s interesting article does cite some network sources, who clearly don’t agree with the speculation, saying that 24-month contracts offer the best value for consumers.

5.  HTC to Launch First BREW Smartphone.

You may remember BREW, the Qualcomm backed operating system, and you’ll certainly be aware of HTC, and now the two are coming together with the launch of the Smart, which they describe as an ‘aggressively priced’ phone.  It’ll be equipped with HTC Sense, a 2 megapixel camera and a touchscreen, but at this stage there is no word on connectivity.  We can expect a springtime launch in Europe.

6.  Lenovo LePhone Debuts at CES.

Whether the Android-based LePhone – a name we cannot hear without thinking of the Le Car, the US name for the Renault 5 – makes it to European shores or not is unknown, however the 3.7″ AMOLED screen, GPS, Wi-Fi and 1Ghz Snapdragon processor makes us hope it does.

7.  Motorola Backflip Heading for UK.

The Backflip is best described as a DEXT with a QWERTY keyboard.  Nothing very exciting there admittedly, but the Backflip does have a party piece, in that its pivoting screen can flip towards you and away from the rest of the phone, making it look like an 80s digital alarm clock!  Android 1.5 keeps things in order along with 3G, GPS, Wi-Fi and a 5 megapixel camera for taking snaps.

8.  HD Voice Coming to the UK.

Remember Orange HD Voice, which we chatted about when it was launched in Moldova last year?  Well, it has obviously been a success as Orange is going to be bringing it to the UK later this year.  The service promises much improved call quality from phones which support the codec.

9.  T-Mobile/Orange Merger Not All Smooth Sailing.

Vodafone, O2 and 3 have asked UK based competition regulators to investigate the merger of Orange and T-Mobile, preferring not to trust the word of the Brussels-based EU investigators.   As The Register points out, this concern is likely centred around business rather than ensuring customers get the best deal.

10.  You’ll Talk All Day When Fueled By Coke.

That’s the theory behind this unusual concept phone, which sees bio-batteries recharged with Coca Cola powering a mobile phone!  Although you’ll think you’re just pouring in a dark fizzy liquid, what you’ll actually be doing is pouring in actual science – a clever solution to a continuing problem.

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