Top Ten Mobile Phone News Stories of the Week

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Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed including Samsung’s Galaxy Note sales, BlackBerry getting closer to selling up, and the world’s first Tegra 4 phone.

1. Samsung Sells 40 Million Big-Screen Note Phones

If you needed proof of the original phablet’s popularity, here it is, as Samsung has confirmed it has sold a total of 40 million Galaxy Note handsets around the world. It broke the number down into two, as the original Note sold 10 million, leaving a massive 30 million for the Note 2. With the arrival of the Galaxy Note 3, we wonder what that figure will be this time next year.

2. BlackBerry Receives Bid for Company

BlackBerry has been having a tough year, and confirmed recently it was looking for a buyer for the firm. Now, it has said a bid has been received from Fairfax Financial Holdings for $4.7 billion, although no agreement has been reached. The due diligence stage is expected to take six weeks, after which we’ll hear more on whether the deal will go through.

3. Sony Video Explains the SmartWatch 2

Smartwatches are big this year, and Sony was one of the first major manufacturers to release a next-gen product. However, not everyone gets smartwatches just yet, so the company has released a short video to demonstrate exactly how they can enrich your life. The SmartWatch 2 was announced in June, but has only recently gone on sale, which is why Sony’s keen to remind you the Galaxy Gear isn’t the only smartwatch out there. Check out the video below.

4. BlackBerry Messenger Coming to the Desktop

Although BBM suffered some last minute problems and hasn’t made it to iOS or Android yet, BlackBerry is still working on a desktop application, which it demonstrated during its Jam Asia event this week. It could help gain BBM more attention, as competitors such as WhatsApp don’t currently offer a similar desktop app. There’s no word on release though.

5. World’s First Tegra 4 Phone Comes to China

ZTE has announced the ZTE Geek, a phone with a very silly name, but a very cool processor, as it’s powered by the Nvidia Tegra 4. It’s the first phone to use the chip, but at the moment it’s only headed for Chinese networks. It’s a shame, as the spec is good – a 5-inch, 1080p screen, 2GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel camera – and the price is the equivalent of about £190.

6. HTC One Android 4.3 Update Coming Soon

Good news for owners of the HTC One, an Android 4.3 update complete with an enhanced version of Sense 5 should be coming your way very soon. The news comes from the XDA Developers forum, where members are reporting the new software has just started to arrive. Unlocked phones are certain to be first in the queue, but others should follow soon afterwards. Time to check Software Update on your phone? And you can check out our review of HTC’s flagship below.

7. Samsung Launches a Galaxy S4 Gold Edition

Samsung’s Arabian Twitter account has posted a picture of the Galaxy S4 Gold Edition, coming to the region soon. It’s as you’d expect a gold Galaxy S4 to be, but to spice it up, Samsung will offer it in both pink gold and brown gold. There’s no word on when it will go on sale, or the price, but provided it’s not real gold, that part should stay the same as the regular models.

8. ZTE Plans Next Firefox Phone for 2014

ZTE has already released the ZTE Open with Mozilla’s Firefox OS installed, and has spoken about its plans for the near future. A vice president for the company said the second Firefox phone from ZTE would arrive in early 2014, and have a bigger screen, a dual-core processor, and a new user interface. Despite the changes, the price will still be very competitive.  So far, ZTE has sold 100,000 Open phones through European networks and its eBay store.

9. Archos Gamepad 2 Leaked

A sequel to the Archos Gamepad has been leaked. The new tablet retains the same screen-flanking physical gaming controls which made the first one standout, but the 7-inch screen should get a higher 1280×800 pixel resolution, while the processor may be swapped for a 1.6GHz dual-core chip. Its release date isn’t known, but we can hope it’s soon and that the competitive £130 price of its predecessor will be kept.

10. Cut The Rope 2 Coming in 2013

We’re big fans of Cut the Rope, the popular mobile game featuring the hungry monster Om Nom, and after the success of Cut the Rope: Time Travel, developers ZeptoLab has confirmed we’ll be getting a new installment of the game before the end of the year. Cut the Rope 2  should have, “New twists on classic gameplay, never seen before characters, interactive environments and a captivating story”. We can’t wait.

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