Monday 10 December 2012

10/12/2012: Huawei strikes European deals, Windows Phone 8 seeing good initial sales? Android malware problems resurface and much more!

Huawei opens new R&D facility in Finland and they ink a deal with Three UK!

   So what happens when you get a Chinese mobile company who's on the up and a Finnish company on a serious downer and with all their eggs in the Windows Phone basket? Well apparently you get a new research and development centre in Finland!

   Huawei have announced that they are planning to launch their eleventh European research centre and they expect to add 100 more staff at this centre and this is part of their three to five year plan to double their European employees from 7,000 to 14,000! The budget from the next five years at the Finland R&D facility is 70 million Euros which is equivalent to $91 million! Finland seems like a good place to grow given there are now 3,700 ex-Nokia employees who have recently been laid off and are in need of some work!

   Huawei's spokesman, Roland Sladek said, "Europe has proven to be quite an open business environment for Huawei", especially when contrasted with the U.S. congressional decision which alleged Huawei's equipment could be used for Chinese espionage. Huawei was also blocked from assisting in the Australian roll out of a $38 billion national high-speed broadband network project because of 'unspecified security concerns'.

   Huawei are keen to grow their handset business because only 22% of their current income is from mobile phones. Although, this doesn't mean that their attention will be diverted from their other offerings. Huawei announced that they won a services deal with the mobile network Three in the UK. This will see Huawei look after Three's ICT infrastructure and their network at large, they will be taking over from ST-Ericsson!
Reuters and Telecoms via Twitter (1) (2).

Windows Phone 8 off to a good start?

   Windows Phone 7 was a strange one; it was fluid, fast, it barely ever stuttered even on distinctly average hardware, but it didn't sell well. Perhaps it was affected by Android's spec race or maybe there wasn't enough apps for people? But, Windows Phone 8 is out now and if Facebook app log in details can tell us anything, then Windows Phone 8 might have got off to a relatively good start compared to its predecessor!

   According to data from WMPowerUser this October and November alone saw 657,000 monthly active users checking their Facebook's through the dedicated Windows Phone 8 app. That compares very favourably with the numbers for 2011 which saw less than 150,000 Windows Phone 7 active users in the same months! This seems pretty conclusive even if it is just Facebook information. 

   If this is indeed the start of some very good news for Windows Phone 8, then we can expect to see quite a good amount of sales reported back from HTC and Nokia, despite the pair only launching their flagships, the Lumia 920 and HTC 8X, at the beginning of November.

  Steve Ballmer has already said that Microsoft has seen four times the WP7 numbers with WP8 devices, and if we work on the knowledge that there were 2.8 million WP7 devices in Q4 last year, then it's not too much to expect 10 million WP8 sales by the start of 2013! If those numbers can be realised then expect a big influx of apps to the platform!
Via PhoneArena.

Android malware is still a problem despite Google's recent efforts!

   We hoped Google had tightened up security in their recent versions of Android with the introduction of a native security scanner and their Bouncer system on the Play Store. It would appear they've not been entirely successful. Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with its 'app verification' only picked up 15.3% of known malware, according to a study conducted by North Carolina State University computer science professor, Xuxian Jiang.

   After this random malware tests were run with the more popular Android security programs, things such as; Avast, AVG, TrendMicro, Symantec, BitDefender, ClamAV, F-Secure, Fortinet, Kaspersky, and Kingsoft. With these programs installed the rate of detection varying from 51%, all the way up to 100 percent. Android 4.2 wasn't so successful; it only caught 20% of the threats on its own.

   You can see all of NC State University's findings here and if you haven't got an anti-virus on your phone we strongly urge you to reconsider!
Via IntoMobile.

In other news:

  • It seems that a new Pantech Vega (the IM-A860) has popped up on the popular GLBenchmark database! This device looks set to feature a 1920×1080p screen, a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, Adreno 320 GPU, and 4G LTE support. Unfortunately the benchmark doesn't tell us more than that but, if we hear anything else we'll let you know!
    Via AndroidGuys.
  • Motorola has announced it will close 'most' of their operations in South Korea; including selling mobile phones. This is part of Motorola's new restructuring under Google's stewardship and most of the 600 jobs in Korea will go, only 10% will be offered the chance to stay on if they don't mind relocating!
    Via TheVerge.
  • Amazon has hacked a pretty good $50 off the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD for today only! You can get the discount on the 32GB WiFi-only and 32GB LTE editions only. Just type in the code FIREHD89 and your saving will be applied.
    Via Engadget.
  • Carphone Warehouse is currently offering spare iPhone and Android chargers for 1p if you download their app and fill in all your details! Incidentally you can also get 10% off accessories once you've got the app! You can check out the full details here!
    Via Twitter.
  • Police in Mildura, Australia, have warned against using Apple maps in the area after 'at least four documented cases' of people getting lost en their way to the town after following Apple's guidance!

    The most recent example was of a man who ended up stranded for 24 hours last week in temperatures of up to 46 degrees centigrade! The Senior Police Sargeant said, "We've had at least four documented cases... The map puts it at least 70 kilometres from where it should be. We have had people bogged down in sunset country."

    So just in case you're driving around the land down under any time soon, perhaps a couple of maps might be a better guide than your iPhone!
    Via TheGuardian.
  • Google is reportedly working on integrating Google Now with their Chrome browser! We think this would be a great replacement for iGoogle, if you're still rocking that!
    Via PocketNow.
  • LG has announced that their L-series of devices has reached 10 million sales! They said their success, although modest, was down to them offering numerous devices at different price points and in a variety of sizes! Hopefully this will press LG into pushing out some more software updates!
    Via Engadget.
  • Asus has announced that their Padfone 2 will be getting an update to Android 4.1 in the near future! It'll land OTA on your device soon, if it hasn't already!
    Via Engadget.
  • Have you heard of the tale of the sliding Lumia's? Neither had we until we stumbled across this video today! We believe in the paranormal, but in this case there's something going on inside that Lumia 920 that won't stay on your desk! In this case WPCentral put it down to the low-friction screen on the Lumia and the angle of the computer when it's shut, most computers don't actually close flat!
    Via WPCentral

And finally, this is the first official teaser from RIM of their upcoming BB10 devices! We're not sure about the textured back as that implies plastic, but we're more than happy to give it a chance!



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