Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed including a Nexus 7 successor, BBM Music’s closure, and 4G-equipped London taxis.
1. Nokia Catwalk Rumoured for 15 May Unveiling
The Nokia Catwalk is an unofficial device said to be the successor to the Lumia 920, and will feature a redesigned body made from aluminium rather than polycarbonate. According to an anonymous source speaking to My Nokia Blog, Nokia will be launching the Catwalk at a London event on 15 May. As this would be considerably less than a year into the Lumia 920′s life, that date sounds a little early to us, but it’s one to watch as the time approaches.
2. Nexus 7 Successor to Have Higher Resolution Screen?
A report published by Reuters suggests the Nexus 7 tablet will be replaced in July by a new model with a higher resolution screen. While the new Nexus 7 is still said to be built by Asus, the processor will be changed from a NVIDIA Tegra 3 to a Qualcomm Snapdragon instead. It was at last year’s Google I/O conference where the Nexus 7 was launched, so it’s reasonable to think we’ll see another at this year’s event, which is set for early May.
3. BBM Music Closes its Doors
BlackBerry has sent an email to all users of its BBM Music service, saying it’s to close its virtual doors on 2 June. BBM Music allowed users to create a 50-track playlist and share it with friends, who could all listen to each other’s playlists, and it opened in late 2011. BlackBerry won’t charge users after April, and is also giving subscribers a free 30-day pass to the similar Rdio app too. The idea was a good one, and it’s a shame it has ended so soon.
4. Samsung Galaxy Win Leaked
Samsung may be planning to launch another big screen smartphone, currently codenamed the Galaxy Win. Unlike the Galaxy S4, this won’t be a top of the range phone, as it could be equipped with a low-range Snapdragon 200 processor and a 4.7-inch screen with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution. Expect 3G connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0, a microSD card slot and a 5 megapixel camera to also feature. If the rumours are correct, the Win could be announced in May.
5. Samsung aims at younger buyers with the Galaxy Star
Samsung has announced a pair of cheap Android phones this week, the first of which is the Galaxy Star. It’s fitted with a 3-inch, 320 x 240 pixel touchscreen, a 1GHz processor, a 2 megapixel camera and 4GB of internal memory. The stand-out feature is the addition of Android 4.1, a rarity on a such a basic phone. It’ll be available as a dual-SIM model, but prices and a release schedule are yet to be confirmed.
6. Angry Birds Friends Coming to iOS and Android
Angry Birds Friends is Rovio’s social version of its popular mobile game, currently only found on Facebook, however the company has now announced the title will be coming to iOS and Android soon too. It’s the same game we all know and love, but it has a collaborative play mode, gifts to send and receive, and weekly tournaments. The only detail we’re waiting for is the exact release date.
7. The Samsung Galaxy Pocket Neo offers Jelly Bean on a Budget
After the Galaxy Star came the Pocket Neo, another basic Android phone. Like the Star, it has a 3-inch screen, a 2 megapixel camera and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but the processor has dropped to an 850MHz chip. Instead, the Pocket Neo gets GPS added to its feature list. Again, release and cost hasn’t been announced, but we’re expecting it to be cheap.
8. 5-inch Optimus G Pro Released in Japan
While we’re still waiting for the 5.5-inch version of LG’s Optimus G Pro smartphone/tablet hybrid, Japan has seen the release of its smaller, 5-inch sister phone which shares the same name. Designed specifically for the Japanese market, the phone has a Snapdragon 600 processor, a 13 megapixel camera and a big, 3000mAh battery. It runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and will connect to a 4G network. The main difference is the screen, which although slightly smaller, still retains the 1080p resolution.
9. EE Sponsors London Taxis, Adds 4G for Passengers
If you’re looking for a taxi in London or Birmingham over the next few months, make sure you hail one covered in EE’s distinctive livery. There are 50 such vehicles and inside, EE has fitted a 4G LTE MiFi unit, and when you connect your phone using Wi-Fi to it, you can experience EE’s 4G data speeds for free during your journey.
10. Apple’s Financial Figures for Q2 Out in April
Apple will release its Q2 2013 financial performance figures on 23 April, where we’ll hear about the latest iPhone figures following its launch in China, plus how iPad sales have been affected by the introduction of the 128GB model. Apple earnings calls usually provide some interesting snippets of news regarding the company’s future plans too.