Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed this week including Samsung’s Tizen software caught on video, news of the LG Optimus 4X HD launch and Siri doing battle with some heavily armed burglars.
1. Research in Motion Announce New Executive Hires
Research in Motion has announced that ex-Sony and Sony Ericsson vice president Kristian Tear has joined the company as COO, while former LightSquared marketing vice president, Frank Boulben will come onboard as chief marketing officer. These are both important positions within the company, and show CEO Thorsten Heins is keen to build a new team around him.
2. Tegra 3 Powered Toshiba Excite Tablet Released
Toshiba has released the Excite 10, a new tablet which uses Nvidia’s Tegra 3 quad-core processor and comes with Android 4.0 installed as standard. As the name suggests, it has a 10-inch screen, plus a pair of cameras – 5 megapixel at the back and 2 megapixel at the front – a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal memory, and a chassis which measures just 8mm thick. It’s available in the US for $399, where it’ll join a 13-inch model too.
3. Tizen Developer Phone Caught on Video
Tizen is the latest open source operating system being worked on by Intel, this time with help from Samsung, and a developer phone running the software has been caught on video. The hardware will probably never go on sale, but does have a large 4-inch-plus screen and a dual-core processor, hinting at Tizen being suitable for higher end phones, while the software has a similar look to Samsung’s TouchWiz. The first Tizen phones are expected to go on sale later this year, and you can see the OS in action in the video below.
4. LG Optimus 4X HD Out in June
The exciting quad-core LG Optimus 4X HD smartphone is expected to launch in the UK no later than July. It’s a direct competitor to the new Samsung Galaxy S III – which will beat it on to shelves, despite being announced several months after the LG phone – and the HTC One X, and boasts not only the 1.5GHz Tegra 3 chip, but Android 4.0 and a 4.7-inch touchscreen too.
5. Rovio Considers IPO
Angry Birds developer Rovio is considering filing for its initial public offering, after revealing it made $106 million last year in total, $62 million of which was profit. Valuations of the company sit around the $9 billion mark.
6. Fuel Cell Charger on Sale Soon
A company in the USA, Brookstone, will soon be selling a fuel cell charger unit, that will be able to recharge a phone between 10 and 15 times before it runs out. Powered by cells filled with lighter fluid, the charger unit is the same size as a large phone, while the cells are as small as a box of matches. Fuel cell charging systems like this are perfect for anyone who don’t always have access to a mains charger, but always need a charged phone. Pricing has yet to be revealed.
7. Spoof Video Sees Siri Ready for Battle
Siri has seen more than her fair share of spoof videos, but this one is easily the most ‘exciting.’ Made under the premise that Siri was adapted from military software, it shows Siri helping a guy defeat some intruders in his home. Check out the cool Alienreference near the beginning! Watch the video below.
8. ZTE Reveals 2011 Figures
In a press release, ZTE has revealed that it shipped 15 million smartphones around the world last year, a massive 400% increase over the previous year. The US market is proving to be its biggest, and the company will be releasing a range of handsets there this year, including a pair of tablets, the Optik and the V96, the latter of which will connect to 4G LTE networks.
9. O2 Releases TU Me VoIP App
Initially for the iPhone only, TU Me is a Skype-challenging VoIP app designed by 02′s parent company Telefonica. It’s free to use at the moment, and allows users to call and message other TU Me users, but it appears O2 may charge for its use in the future. An Android app is also planned, and a desktop version is likely to be introduced too.
10. Zynga Branches Out into Arcade Games
Famed for its wealth of social games such as FarmVille and Mafia Wars, Zynga has announced it will be releasing an arcade game through its own website and on Facebook, but we can’t imagine a mobile app will be far behind. Named Bubble Safari, it sounds like yet another ‘bubble shooter’ style game, but if you want to give it a try, it should be out as you read this.