Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed this week including the now award-winning Galaxy S III, Microsoft’s new logo and the announcement of the Archos 101 XS tablet.
1. Samsung Galaxy S III is the European Mobile Phone of the Year
Samsung has sent out a press release trumpeting the Galaxy S III’s win at this year’s European Imaging and Sound Association awards, where it scooped up the European Mobile Phone 2012-2013 trophy. The judges are quoted as saying Samsung’s flagship phone was “the clear winner”.
2. Three Grabs 1800MHz Spectrum in Everything Everywhere Sale
As a condition of the merger between Orange and T-Mobile, a slice of its joint 1800MHz spectrum had to be sold off, and it has been announced that Three is the highest bidder. However, it won’t gain control of the first 10MHz slices until September next year, and the remainder will follow in 2015. This ensures that Three can’t muscle in on Everything Everywhere’s plans to use the 1800MHz spectrum for 4G later this year.
3. Archos 101 XS Announced
Archos has announced a new tablet for the UK market. The 101 XS is a slim – just 8mm – Android tablet with a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 pixel touchscreen, a 1.5GHz dual-core Texas Instruments processor and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich installed. It comes with a clever keyboard dock that doubles as a cover for the screen too, which you can see in action in the video below. It’ll cost £299 when it reaches the shops at the end of September and best of all, Archos says a 4.1 Jelly Bean update should arrive before November.
4. Samsung to Ignore Bada and Tizen This Year
Samsung has indicated it will concentrate on making new Android and Windows Phone 8 devices for the remainder of 2012. This is significant because it was hoped the first Samsung phone using the Tizen operating system would launch this year, but it appears to have been pushed to 2013 instead. Whether Bada has been completely abandoned already isn’t clear.
5. Facebook’s Instagram Acquisition Cleared
Facebook has been given the go-ahead by the Federal Trade Commission in the USA to acquire Instagram. The shock announcement came earlier this year, and received its blessing in the UK last week.
6. Microsoft Unveils New Logo
Everything Everywhere may have taken the title of “most bizarre” new logo this week, but Microsoft has swooped in to grab the “most unimaginative” prize with its own new masthead. For its first change in 25 years, Microsoft has used a group of four different coloured squares along with its name in the Seqoe font, and it’s very, um, nice.
7. ZTE Blade III Detailed
The third version of ZTE’s successful Blade Android phones – best known under the Orange San Francisco name – has been spotted on a Finnish retailer’s website. It has a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, a 5 megapixel camera and the same 3.5-inch touchscreen, although this time it’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich installed.
8. Acer Liquid Gallant and Gallant Duo Announced
Despite the IFA show still being a week away, Acer has revealed two of the phones it will be taking along to Berlin: The Liquid Gallant and Liquid Gallant Duo. Both are identical apart from the Duo offering dual-SIM card support, and they run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a 4.3-inch touchscreen, a 1GHz processor and a 5 megapixel camera. Release information will follow at the show.
9. Motorola and Verizon to Hold New York Press Conference
Motorola, along with US network Verizon, will be holding a joint press conference in New York City on 5 September, where it’s expected they will announce at least one new device. Here in the UK, there’s not much point in getting excited, as Verizon’s CDMA phones aren’t compatible with our GSM networks. But there’s a good chance the new device(s) could be launched internationally in the future, so look out for our coverage on the day.
10. Verizon Names its LG Optimus Vu Variant
In the USA, phones are often given different names depending on which network it launches. This week, the forthcoming Optimus Vu tablet/smartphone hybrid has been spotted under the name of the 4G LTE Intuition on the Verizon network, indicating LG is about to release the Vu in the USA. While the Vu is also about to launch internationally too, there are rumours it’ll get an upgrade to a quad-core processor, presumably in countries where 4G isn’t available.