Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed this week including talk of a Microsoft Surface phone, O2′s cancellation of Android 4.0 for some Xperia phones, and Samsung’s impressive Galaxy S III sales performance.
1. Microsoft Could be Planning a Surface Phone
A reference to a Microsoft Surface Phone has made an appearance in some benchmark tests. Aside from the name, there’s absolutely no information about the phone, or in fact, anything aside from the name to indicate it’s even real though. Microsoft has upset enough of its hardware partners with the Surface tablets, and could possibly upset even more if it releases its own phone.
2. O2 Cans Certain Android 4.0 Updates
O2 has made the unusual decision of cancelling the Android 4.0 updates for the Xperia Ray, Xperia Arc and Xperia Neo, stating that the updates didn’t meet the standards needed to be sent out to customers. The problems were apparently in the areas of speed and performance, and due to the inability to “roll back” to Android 2.3 Gingerbread, O2 decided to err on the side of caution.
3. Samsung has Sold 20 million Galaxy S III Phones
Samsung has announced that it has sold 20 million Galaxy S III smartphones in the first 100 days of release. With the aid of some maths, that equates to 200,000 per day.
4. Amazon Announces Kindle Paperwhite.
At its special event in Los Angeles last night, Amazon revealed a new Kindle e-reader to go along with the new Kindle Fire HD tablets. The Kindle Paperwhite has a brand new, front-lit touchscreen display, which offers improved whites and blacks, plus 25% more contrast. Amazingly, it has an 8 week battery life, even with the light and Wi-Fi turned on. It’s out in the US on 1 October, but no international release date has been confirmed.
5. T-Mobile Launches Clever Connect
T-Mobile has launched Clever Connect, a VoIP service for its customers, which is available as an iOS and Android app right now. It works over both 3G and Wi-Fi, but is available strictly on a trial basis only at the moment. If you and your friends are lucky enough to be in on the trial, you’ll be able to make free calls to each other.
6. Hootsuite Acquires Seesmic
Cross-platform social media client Seesmic has been acquired by the cross-platform social media client Hootsuite. As is obvious, they have lots in common, but Seesmic has the bonus of providing access to Ping.fm, yet another cross-platform social media client! Seesmic will be absorbed into Hootsuite, so expect relevant smartphone apps to disappear or be revised in the near future.
7. Do You Know the Difference Between 3G and Wi-Fi?
The developers of a new app named Instabridge, have produced a short video in which people are asked if they know what Wi-Fi is, what 3G is, and the difference between the two. If you like videos featuring bemused members of the public, you’ll love this. After having a chuckle, ask yourself the same questions and see how you do.
8. Grooveshark becomes an HTML 5 App
After being removed from pretty much every application store out there, music streaming service Grooveshark has decided to cut out the middleman and re-invent itself as an HTML 5 app. Initially it will only be available in the US, but in the coming months it’ll go live internationally too. There are some reports it’s working in the UK already though.
9. Nokia Music Launched in the USA
To coincide with the launch of the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, Nokia has launched its free streaming music service, Nokia Music, in the USA. It has been available in the UK and Europe for some time, and offers both streaming and offline listening, and the chance to create up to 150 playlists.
10. LG Announces the Intuition in the USA
Following the news that the Optimus Vu won’t be coming to the UK this year, LG has announced a 4G LTE variant for the USA called the Intuition. It’s headed for the Verizon network and has been upgraded to include Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The LG Intuition will be out on 10 September.