Top Ten Mobile Phone News Stories of the Week

Enjoy our roundup of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed this week including a slew of new international phone announcements, Vodafone’s PlayStation Vita announcement and Android ICS running on an HTC G1!

1. Windows Phone Marketplace Shows Growth

A new report sheds some light on how the Windows Phone Marketplace is performing. Most importantly, the data shows that 1300 new paid apps are being added every month, along with 1650 free apps, and a steady increase in the amount of new developers submitting apps too. More than 121,000 apps are downloaded everyday in the USA, with the primary category being games.

2. PlayStation Vita Coming to Vodafone in 2012

The PlayStation Vita is Sony’s PSP replacement, and the new handheld console has been announced as coming to Vodafone at the end of February 2012. Vodafone will provide a 3G SIM for online activities plus a free game to get you started. The Vita isn’t a phone though, but Skype will be on hand for VoIP calls.

3. LG Plan Launch Event for 1 December

It has been a while since LG made a song and dance about a new device, but this will change on 1 December, when they’ll be launching a new phone at an exclusive event. Although it’s not clear from the invite what the phone will be, the speculation is that it’ll be the Nitro HD, a 4G phone set for a US network. Here’s hoping they’ll be giving us a new phone in Europe too.

4. Asus Padfone Still Coming Soon, Benchmarks Released

Remember the unusual Asus Padfone announcement? Yes, we know it was a while ago but it appears the project is still alive, as demonstrated by a series of benchmark figures made public this week. The phone will use one of Qualcomm’s super-special new S4 processors and an Adreno 225 GPU, plus 4G connection speeds in the USA. Right now the Padfone has Android Gingerbread and could be going on sale as soon as Christmas.

5. Samsung Galaxy Xcover Coming to UK

The Xcover is a rugged version of the popular Samsung Galaxy S, which meets the IP67 certification level and is resistant to dust, grime and the odd light dip in the drink too. If you’re wanting a tough Galaxy S you’ll be pleased to know it’s getting a limited release in December when it’ll cost a touch over £220.  The phone runs Android Gingerbread and has 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS, but has an underclocked 800Mhz processor instead of the full-on 1GHz chip in the Galaxy S.

6. Nexus Prime Name Snapped Up by Verizon

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was for a long time rumoured to be named the Nexus Prime, but this of course proved not to be the case when it as announced. However the name may not have been abandoned, as an advert shows that US network Verizon will use it for their CDMA version of the phone. It’s expected to hit the shelves before Christmas.

7.  Ice Cream Sandwich on an HTC G1!

Amazingly, a hacker has crammed Google’s newest version of Android onto its oldest piece of hardware, the HTC G1! The video below shows it in action, well, as much ‘action’ as you’d expect from a phone made in 2008 using software from 2011. It’s all a bit slow and the screen rotation doesn’t work, but it’s still an incredible feat getting it on there in the first place!

8. Motorola Announce the XT615

A new Motorola Android phone has been announced for the Chinese market. The XT615 has a thin chassis measuring just 9.8mm, a 4-inch touchscreen, Android Gingerbread onboard, an 8 megapixel camera along with a forward-facing video call lens and an 800MHz processor. It’s set for release during December, but there’s no word whether this good-looking, if solidly mid-range, Android phone will make it to Europe in the future.

9. Budget Samsung Illusion Hits Verizon

Another Samsung Android phone has been announced in the USA, this time called the Illusion. It has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, a 3 megapixel camera, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 512MB RAM, GPS, Wi-Fi and 2GB of internal memory. As you’d expect for a smartphone with those specs, it’s not going to be hugely expensive, and it’ll make do with Android Gingerbread too. It’s out in January.

10. Google Updates iOS Search App

While an app update on its own isn’t all that newsworthy, Google’s updated Search app for iOS in very interesting, as it has been given universal support for the iPad. Now it provides an almost Chrome OS-like experience on the tablet by incorporating Search, Gmail, Docs, Reader, Google+ and almost every other service you can think of into one place. You almost don’t need to leave the app at all…

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