Archive for the ‘phones’ Category
The first transmission of spoken word was done using a copper cable. It was conducted by Graham Bell, the inventor of telephone, in 1876. Following that, Giuliemo Marconi built a device that didn’t use cable – it was named the radio.
Wireless communication was utilized in American public services, such as police or fire department. It brought an idea to create telephone systems based on individual frequencies. There was a need to divide the whole land into smaller areas known as cells (that’s why Americans call mobiles – cellphones), which were used by transceivers , that could repetitively use the same frequency.
It took some years before new frequencies were assigned and antennas were set to provide mobile coverage. In the eighties first systems were introduced. Firstly in Europe (Scandinavia) then in the United States, which launched AMPS system. The European version of AMPS was TACS and it was adapted by the United Kingdom and Ireland. In the beginnings all of the system worked individually so they couldn’t communicate between each other. These were the grandfathers of modern mobile communication, which had limited capabilities and were analogue.
In the end of eighties Europe has designed a new communication system. It was a digital system known as GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) which was introduced in 1991. Since then, GSM became a global system used across the world, that allows not only calling but also sending data, such as text messages. To this day mobile communication is based on the GSM standard.
Since then the technology has improved , there were new faster standards introduced that allowed video calls or fast connection to the Internet. The mobile devices became lighter, more efficient and packed with variety of functions that made them something more than simple telephones. Due to the fact of multiple mobile operators functioning in one country, each European country has a huge web of antennas that provide mobile coverage even in the most remote places of Europe.
Three UK has secured an exclusive right to distribute state-of-the-art HTC Desire Eye smartphone.
Come November, Three will start offering the newest HTC masterpiece as the sole distributor in the UK. The talked-about phone is HTC Desire Eye which is a duo-camera monster. HTC wants to cater for the needs of the newest generation which is snapping photos like crazy. That is why the Taiwan manufacturer equipped the phone with two 13 megapixel cameras, so that not only can you take a high resolution photo of the surroundings, but also make a perfect selfie. HTC sees this camera as something much more than the most impressive selfie snapper, as it is also suitable for video chatting which turns out to be a trend among young adults nowadays.
Desire Eye will obviously be the flagship of the Desire line. In terms of specifications it is not the most powerful device on the market but it houses a 2.3 GHz Snapdragon chip which makes it a solid smartphone. The screen is 5.2” which is bigger than HTC One. Interestingly, the phone is water-resistant up to 1m for about 30 minutes – this is great considering that they achieved it without any ugly flaps.
Head of devices at Three UK Sylvia Chind commented on this announcement saying “We are delighted that Three is the exclusive operator partner for the HTC Desire Eye in the UK. The new Re camera opens up a new world of creative opportunity and by utilising the many editing and upload features, our customers can share their videos and photos effortlessly across our reliable network.”
There has been no announcement about the pricing of the phone, so as soon as more details emerge we will inform you.
ASDA wants to lure more customers by offering the cheapest PAYG mobile phone in the market.
ASDA seems to want to tap into budget customers who want to get affordable mobile phones at lowest cost possible. To do so the supermarket chain introduced a PAYG mobile phone on the cheap for merely 5 pounds. Surprisingly, the price is exactly just £5 as customers are not made to purchase any additional top-ups or sign up for any special tariff. Additionally, the phone comes with a T-Mobile PAYG SIM card.
The phone in question is Alcatel 1010. This handset is a very simple device and it has only basic features such as MP3 player, 3MB of memory and a wireless FM radio. If you are looking for a cutting-edge phone then Alcatel 1010 is not your choice, however, this feature phone is a very practical device if you want to use it just to call and text. It weighs around 60g, its dimensions are 106x46x13mm, and it has a small 1.45” screen with 65k colour display. This gives the phone long battery life which is a rarity in today’s world of power-hungry smartphones.
ASDA is not the first store to introduce extremely cheap mobile devices. Earlier this year, Tesco launched its own-branded tablet Tesco Hudl. Again it is not a state-of-the-art device but a sturdy and affordable budget version of popular tablets. Supermarket chains aim at people who look for new ways to save money and the period before Christmas is the season for saving money to spend it on gifts.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has announced that new iPhones sold almost twice as good as the previous model during the first weekend.
Apple revealed that 9 million of new Cupertino-made iPhones were sold during the launch weekend. This topped last year result of 5 million registered by iPhone 5. Tim Cook said that this was their best iPhone launch yet. Truth to be told, the demand was so high that people who ordered those phones online may have to wait couple of weeks more before they will get their new Apple device.
The release in the UK was also quite satisfactory as operators and retailers allegedly say that new iPhones are selling well and probably they will be out of stock soon. This is good news for Apple, as initially pre-orders on iPhone 5C were lower than expected. However, we should remember that iPhone 5 was also quite positively received last year, but as time passed it started losing to Android smartphones.
Meanwhile, last week we also had the launch of iOS 7 (which come pre-installed in new iPhones) that was also a record-breaking event as Apple reported couple of days ago that it had 200 million devices running on the new operating system – a record for software upgrade launch.
Now you can upgrade your phone online using Carphone Warehouse website as long as you have been with an operator for 6 months.
On May 17, Carphone Warehouse launched a new service for Pay As You Go SIM card users which will enable them to upgrade their phones to models like Nokia Lumia 520 or Samsung Galaxy Ace. PAYG upgrade is an offer that lets you get a new phone at a discounted phone, however, you will need to have a PAYG SIM card from one of the main operators (O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone or Virgin) and be their customer for 6 months. The terms and conditions vary depending on operator, but generally you will need to have a PAYG SIM card for half a year and use it once or twice in that period. If you eligible for that offer, you may get a new phone with up to 40% discount (usually around 10-15%) using Carphone Warehouse website.
To sum up, the benefits of PAYG upgrade is that you can keep the same tariff, the same phone number and get a new phone at a better price. It sounds like a fair deal, and it has been available at Carphone Warehouse outlets before but you should remember that you will get better discounts if you request an upgrade online.
CPW seems to have other PAYG offers in the pipeline that will be launched later this year. Carphone Warehouse Europe CEO Roger Taylor said: ‘Prepay remains a big part of our business. As a specialist we see this as our role to be strong in contract, Sim-only and prepay.’
Blackberry, formerly known as RIM, announced that this year it focuses on launching mid-level and upper-tier smartphones with their newest OS – BlackBerry 10. It means that PAYG customers most likely will not have any opportunities to get a device with BlackBerry 10 in a pay-as-you-go deal. This announcement comes as a disappointment to many customers as they would like to see Blackberry 10-powered phones at a lower price.
The new Z10, which was first to have BB10 OS, turned out to be very successful as BlackBerry reports it has sold three times as many phones on the first day than any previous device produced by the Canadian producer. There have been no figures released concerning Z10 sales. However, market analyst Peter Jefferies said “We believe Carphone Warehouse is seeing widespread sell-outs while O2, Vodafone, Orange and EE are seeing robust demand”.
New BB10 phones might have a huge impact on Blackberry’s market share and hopefully next year we will see some pay-as-you-go low-cost smartphones with this new software. Surely, the company would like to have a phone that will match in popularity with the famous Curve 9320.
HTC Mini is a new accessory to be used with new large display phones. Essentially, it is a second mini phone, hence the name, which can be used to access the basic functionality of a phone: calling, texting or accessing calendar entries. It looks like a cross of a phone from the last century and Apple’s remote controller. You can use HTC Mini not only to take calls but also to remotely access some of the other features of your main phone, such as taking pictures or setting alarm off. However, all together it sounds like a crazy idea. Why would you like to have a second phone that is paired with your main phone? To answer the question you will have to understand one of the main buzzwords of 2013 – a phablet. A phablet is word which was coined by combining the words phone and tablet and describes an informal class of smartphones with screen sizes ranging between 5 and 7 inches. That kind of devices is supposed to rise this year on the mobile phone market. A good and successful pioneer of the phablet class is Samsung Note. HTC has released its own phablet, called HTC Butterfly and some people see its massive size as a problem for daily use. To tackle such issue the producer invented HTC Mini which allows customers to use their phones without reaching deep and taking out the cumbersome Butterfly.
Whether HTC Mini will catch on is a big question. It is hard to say how practical it will be and if customers will even want to carry two phones. However, HTC Mini shows that mobile phone designers are having problems as smartphones are becoming ridiculously huge and soon they will not be practical as phones but rather will be used as a mobile computer like a tablet.
Vodafone UK has launched a new deal that offers second-hand smartphones at discounted prices. This new deal, known as The Nearly New, is mainly targeted at Pay As You Go customers so they get top smartphones at affordable prices and use more mobile internet services. Vodafone said that for PAYG customers, Nearly New deal means getting a refurbished phone with lower up-front cost, while contract customers will instead pay less monthly for phones. All of the phones are those which were returned by customers in very good conditions. Such phones are wiped clean and re-boxed with appropriate accessories.
Nearly new smartphones will be available to all PAYG customers in all Vodafone stores, while pay monthly customers can pick a nearly new phone only at selected stores or online according to stock levels. Obviously due to variations in returned handsets, smartphone models on The Nearly New deal will vary from month to month. Currently the deal includes:
iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS for Pay As You Go customers and Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X for contract-owners. To show what kind of savings Vodafone offers compare the price of a refurbished 8GB iPhone 4 available as a pay-as-you-go model for £250 with the price of £405 for a brand-new model. Pay monthly deals are not so alluring, as Vodafone announced that a nearly new Samsung Galaxy S III will be offered for free on £33 tariff, while to get a free brand new Galaxy S III you need to sign up for £37 plan at least.
All pay-as-you-go Nearly New handsets come with a 12-month warranty, while the pay monthly pre-owned devices come with 24-month warranties.
Carphone Warehouse (CPW) forecasts that smartphones for less than £100 will revive the PAYG market during Christmas. Roger Taylor, CEO of Carphone Warehouse Group, predicts that this Christmas is the time for smartphones. The mobile phone retailer is also positive about the fact that the newest high-end smartphones that were launched on the market this year will be high on Christmas wish lists. However, they are just a part of the market. Taylor’s company thinks that this year affordable smart phones will actually facilitate the recovery of pay-as-you-go market, which used to be the backbone of high street retailers.
Cheap smartphones to boost PAYG market
This means that beside shipping the leading edge phones like iPhone 5, Galaxy S III or Lumia 820 for contract customers, CPW will put more emphasis on selling prepaid smartphones. The company will offer a set of smartphones for less than £100 through series of deals that will come in December. For example, right now you can get the low-end smartphone with a price of tag below 100 quids with additional 10% discount, so Samsung Galaxy Ace, Sony Xperia Tipo or Motorola MotoSmart are there to grasp for around £80.
Remember that you need to add £10 extra to all CPW’s prices of pay as you go smartphones. This is a top-up that you will buy to get a phone with a PAYG SIM card.
The time will show whether Roger Taylor’s predictions are right and we will see a comeback of PAYG SIM card bundles with smartphones.
The widely renowned Google Nexus 4 will land at Three UK on December 13. Three UK has announced that it will start selling the Silicon Valley giant’s phone on the British Isles in time for Christmas. The phone will be available both on a contract and in a PAYG SIM card deal. You can get the smartphone for £29 with the One Plan (£35 a month) or in a pay-as-you-go option for £399.99 plus obviously a top-up. The phone itself is remarkably good, all pundits agree that the phone offers a good price for value and its specifications are really top-notch. Nexus for has a 4.7 inch display which is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 2. The screen is HD touchscreen with 16 million colors. This quad-core phone is shipped with Android OS 4.2 (Jelly Bean) and there are two options available: 8GB or 16GB of memory. The two cons of the phone is not-the-best camera, which even tough has 8megapixels could do much better. The other thing is the lack of 4G capability. But even with those two small drawback the phone has sold out instantaneously at Google Play. The first supply was sold in around 30 minutes, another batch earlier this month disappeared almost as quick.
The reason for such good sales is that Nexus 4 costs only £239 at Google Play, which is way better than £399.99 at Three UK. So actually the best deal is to order the phone straight from Google. However, right now the demand is so high that the waiting time on Google Play shows 8-9 weeks. If you want the phone this year, the only possible way is to get it from Three UK (or O2). Otherwise you might wait forever before Google ships it to you.