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 the forthcoming release of a BlackBerry smartphone, a great result for LG, and a possible look at Samsung’s Tizen phone.

1. LG Sells 13 Million Smartphones

LG has released its latest financial results for the final three months of 2013. The report shows considerable growth in its mobile division, with a 29 percent increase in revenues over the same period in 2012, and a grand total of 13.2 million smartphones sold. This is an equally impressive 54 percent more than in 2012.

2. Yahoo Could be Planning Google Now Rival

Yahoo has bought up Incredible Labs, a US tech firm behind the Donna personal assistant app for iOS. Donna provides traffic updates, weather information and handy tips relating to your daily schedule, so it looks like the search firm may have its eye on taking on Google popular personalised service with an app of its own at some point in the future.

3. BlackBerry to Launch New Phones at MWC 2014

The chairman of Foxconn has told the Taiwanese media that BlackBerry will be revealing new hardware at Mobile World Congress next month. During its last financial review, BlackBerry announced it would be working with Foxconn to produce its future smartphones, and that the first devices could come in March. There’s no information on the phones themselves, and whether they’ll be running BlackBerry 10 or the older BlackBerry OS 7. Not seen what BlackBerry’s been doing lately? Take a look at our review of the Q5 handset below.

4. Galaxy Grand Neo Shows Up on Samsung’s Website

The unannounced Galaxy Grand Neo has been spotted on Samsung’s own website. The device has a 5-inch touchscreen, a quad-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 5-megapixel rear camera. It runs Android, but it’s not clear which version, plus it will come in a variety of colours including orange and green. With no official announcement, we don’t know if the Grand Neo will make it to the UK.

5. US Could Replace Phone Numbers with IP Addresses

The day when we all talk over Skype rather than old copper telecom cables could be inching closer. The FCC, the US government body that oversees communications within the country, is planning a trial that will see companies submitting ideas for a how a phone system based entirely on VoIP would operate. While this may work in cities,  problems are anticipated for isolated, rural communities and for anyone making an emergency call, but the results will be very interesting to see.

6. Nokia X Benchmark Results Spotted

The Nokia X, also known as the Nokia Normandy, has made an appearance on a benchmarking test website. According to the data, it performs in a similar way to the Sony Xperia C, but also managed to outpace the Lumia 1020. We have a feeling this says more about the 41 megapixel camera phone than it does about the Nokia X’s potential abilities. If the Nokia X is going to be revealed, it’s rumoured to be a replacement to Nokia’s Asha range.

7. Facebook Announces Paper, an iPhone-only News App

Paper is the latest mobile app from Facebook, and the first to come from its Creative Labs department. It’s a social news reader app which pulls news stories from your News Feed, and adds in curated content from Facebook’s own editorial team. These are presented in an attractive way, and the app has an unusual gesture control system, plus you can post your own content and photos which will show up in your friends’ Paper app. Take a look at the video below to see it in action.

8. Acer Planning Wearable Device for Late 2014

Acer is the latest company to anonymously send out word it’s working on a wearable device, although it hasn’t said whether it’ll be a watch, a set of smart glasses, or something else entirely. The rumour comes from an unnamed source inside Acer, who stated the new gadget would be ‘distinctive,’ and arrive before the end of 2014, but not before the summer.

9. Leaked S Voice Screenshot Hints at TouchWiz Redesign

If a leaked screenshot is genuine, Samsung may have given its S Voice virtual assistant a makeover, which could come as a larger TouchWiz redesign. The screen shows the various things S Voice can do, which is still less than Google Now, but on a very minimalist scale. Perhaps Samsung will be bringing out a new look TouchWiz interface to go along with the Galaxy S5?

10. Archos Launches Neon Range of Tablets

Archos has unveiled three new tablets, all under the Neon brand name. The 90 Neon has a 9-inch, 480×800 pixel resolution screen, a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, and 1GB of RAM. The 97 Neon’s screen measures 9.7-inches and has a 1024×768 resolution, plus a 1.6GHz quad-core chip. Finally, the 101 Neon has a 10.1-inch display and a quad-core processor, but the resolution drops to 1024 x 600.

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