A few days ago during Google I/O the company took the wraps off a version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 that also incorporated a Google Nexus experience. the key difference between it and the existing version of the S4 is that Google version would run stock Android Jelly Bean and that means it is much more customisable by the maker. So on the Google model, for example, you wouldn't have those Samsung apps and interface.
Well the bad news is that it doesn't appear to be heading to the UK, at least for now. Google has confirmed that the handset, which will be available in the U.S. on June 26, will only be US for the time being.
There is clearly a demand for Stock Android on both sides of the Atlantic, so it will be interesting to see if any other makers - coughs, HTC - offer it.
Believe it or not there is still a market for stupidly expensive designer mobile phones. And it doesn't matter that much if their specs are ever or so out of date as long as they are finished in something shiny.
If you love the idea of gold mobi then you then you are sure as hell going to love the Porsche Design P'9981 BlackBerry which was unveiled today.
On the downside - it is a bit old school. It runs the BB OX 7.1 platform (not the shiny new BB10 platform the brand's newer handset runs on) sports a 2.8-inch touchscreen, 1.2GHz processor, 768MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and 5MP camera.
Basically it is a mid market BlackBerry, and specs wise you would be much better off the recently launched Z10
However what the Z10 doesn't have is this model's stainless steel case which has been covered in a layer of titanium before having a 24-carat gold coating applied. Very shiny!
If you do fancy one though you'll have to move quickly as there are only 25 models in existence. You can however buy the non gold-plated version for £1,250.
Huawei's ongoing attempt to become a major player in the UK phone market is getting a significant shot in the arm next month as the company brings its Ascend P2 mobile to the UK.
The company says that the mobile is the most highly-specified and high profile smartphone Huawei has so far announced for the UK market.
So why the buzz? Well it is a high-end smartphone with a very decent spec.It is super slim (its frame is 8.4mm) and sports a 4.7inch Corning Gorilla® Glass screen.
It headline feature though is that Huawei claims it is the first smartphone to launch in the UK that is compatible with 'Category 4 LTE' networks. This means it will work with the upcoming even faster 4G networks that networks will launch in the future.
The Ascend P2 also boasts a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, a large 2420mAh battery, a 13 megapixel camera with HDR, and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera to support self-portrait and video shooting. There's also a dedicated camera key on the side of the phone which enables one-click to activate the camera from stand-by, and two to take the shot. It runs Android 4.1 OS and is available in black and white in June.
One of the big surprises of recent days has been the meteoric rise of the photo app Snapchat. It has gone from a standing start to take top spot in the iTunes app chart and is apparently hugely popular with the tech savvy kids.
So why has it been such a hit?
Essentially Snapchat is a way for a user to take an image on an iPhone or an Android handset, and then send it to a friend. After the friend has had the image for ten seconds it disappears forever. It isn't tracked by Google and no other person can see it.
And then you realise quite why it has been so popular. It is because people are sending each other, ahem, naughty photos which then disappear. It is basically sexting on steroids.
The bad news is though is that those phone to might not always disappear in the way that the user had expected
In a blog post here, Richard Hickman, lead examiner for Decipher Forensics' Snapchat research, has explained how he figured out how to recover photos from the Android version of Snapchat in a matter of days. He is now working on the iOS version of Snapchat.
"Most people think that once [phone data] is deleted it's gone - especially with Snapchat - and most people don't even know there are companies like us that can get these things back because they think it's gone," Hickman told The Guardian.
It does make me wonder whether everything we do online, not matter if we delete it, is still available to someone somewhere. If that is the case, then what does that really say about privacy online? It just underlines once again that stuff you share doesn't go away and may one day come back to haunt you.
So you want a cheap, but reliable phone and don't give a monkeys about big screens or fancy operating systems. Well Nokia is once again coming to your aid. The company seems intent on cornering this low-end, old school market with its Asha range of phones. And it has announced a new one today the Asha 501.
In theory these handsets are largely aimed at developing markets, where Nokia is doing well, but looking at the specs and the design I do think then might have a cult hit on their hands with these phones in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. This phone, which has the freebie messaging service WhatsApp built in, is already causing a buzz.
Back to the 501. Nokia is billing it as an affordable smartphone in that it is first to run on the new Asha platform which has been optimised for this type of phone. Just like Android and iOS users can create apps for Asha, so hopefully you will see a lot of your favourite apps landing very soon.
On to the phone then. It has a three inch touch screen, comes in a choice of six striking colours and features two parts - a removable casing and the scratch-resistant glass display.
It is light - it weighs only 91 grams, has amazing battery life (Nokia claims that it runs for 48 hours on standdy) has on board Wi-Fi and packs a 3.2 mega pixel camera.
Nokia says they have also kept the interface simple with the user offered the choice of two main screens: 'home' and Fastlane. Home is a traditional, icon-based view for launching individual apps or accessing a specific feature, like the dialler or phone settings. The new Fastlane view sports recently accessed contacts, social networks and apps.
The phone also comes with Nokia Xpress browser which the maker says compresses Internet data by up to 90% to make mobile browsing faster and more affordable.
Lastly the phone is going to be cheap. It will sell for $99 and that's before any network subsidies.
Fancy a new BlackBerry but haven't got the funds to secure one of their new high-end phones the Z10 and Q10. Well the good news is that BlackBerry appears to have a new budget-ish mobile that runs its new 10 operating system and it won't be too long before it arrives. In fact it could even be unveiled at the BlackBerry Live conference later this month.
Chinese gadget blog DGtle has a pretty impressive leak which not only includes several images but also the specs. It thinks that the BlackBerry R10 will feature a 3.1-inch display with 720p resolution like the Q10, a 5-megapixel camera, 8GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM and a 1,800 mAh battery.
Those kind of specs bring it underneath the Q10 and mean that it will be mid price-ish in the UK. There has been some criticism of the brand that it chose to focus on high end smartphones for its relaunch and hasn't offerd hard core BlackBerry users a cheaper upgrade option.
There are a shed load more of Samsung Galaxy Note 3 rumours this morning, some of which are more believable than others.
A trusted source has been chatting to Sammobile and seems to have confirmed a lot of what we have heard before, namely that the new Samsung mobile will have a 5.99inch screen, an Exynos 5 Octa chip and an eight-core GPU.
The source says that the new device will borrow a lot of tech from the Galaxy S4 including the Super AMOLED technology, a Full HD resolution (1080p) and many of the software tweaks on that handset.
Other rumours include a 13-megapixel camera and that the phone will run the latest version of Android with TouchWiz on top.
The bit that doesn't sound quite so convincing is that the source says that the phone will launch in June.
There are two reasons why this might not be the case. Firstly Samsung has another big screen handset - the Mega - launching in June in the Far east and Europe - would it makes sense to announce the pair simultaneously? Probably not.
Also the first two Notes were debuted at the IFA exhibition in Berlin and that isn't unlit August.
There are also rumours that there are three different versions of the Note in circulation including one with a flexible screen.
There are some fascinating rumours flowing around the web today about an upcoming phone from Sony. And if half of them are true it appears that the Japanese giant might just be about to unveil a mobile that might not only put the iPhone 5 in the shade, but also eclipse the Samsung Galaxy S4 as the coolest, most advanced mobile on sale.
Yesterday there were rumours about the so-called Honami flagship phone and how it would pack Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 quad-core chip clocked at a staggering 2.3GHz - way faster that any of its rivals. Also that it would be powered by a huge 3,000mAh battery pack that would deliver running times that are well clear of rival smartphones
The phone is also suggested to have a 5-inch Full HD 1080p display running 'Triluminos' technology for more vivid, natural colours, as well as Sony's IPS White Magic tech and the Sony Mobile Bravia Engine 2.
Today's leak concern two other key elements of the handset - the case and its camera.
As for the case you can forget plastic. The reports says that the phone will be made from glass, metal and carbon fibre, and be absolutely stunning to look at.
Most intriguing of all are the details about the camera. The company, which obviously has a significant heritage in photographic industry, seem to finally deliver in endowing the phone with a 20-megapixel camera accompanied by a huge 1/1.6-inch Exmor RS sensor. This will put it alongside the Nokia 808 PureView - which has a Nokia's 1/1.2-inch sensor. It will also apparently Xenon and dual-LED flashes and feature some innovative software and a new interface.Basically it is going to be able to take some superb images.
I guess it will also have all the features that have made the Xperia Z such a hit like its waterproof screen.
So Apple today has made the original iPhone obsolete, which could be bad news for Greg? So who is Greg? Well he was the first person to buy an iPhone in New York as he was first in the queue in the Apple Store back in the summer of 2007.
It is fascinating to compare the two original iPhone launches - the one in New York and the one that followed in November in London.
Greg in New York was Mr Media Savvy, a professional queuer who seemingly would stand in line for the opening of an envelope. Susi Weaser, editor of Shiny Shiny at the time, collared him and asked him the question that everyone really wanted to know the answer to, what did he do when he needed to go to the toilet?
Fast forward a few months to London and there was just a handful of people in the queue in what was a fairly low key affair. The most interesting is that the first guy looks absolutely knackered.
Future UK iPhone launches would go on to be more like the US one. Maybe it is another example of how we have acquired some of our behaviour traits from our transatlantic cousins via the web.
Got an original first generation Apple iPhone - this one rather than this one? Well your phone if you are still using it, is about to be labelled obsolete by the company which means that it will no longer be serviced by Apple's retail network.
if you want to get it fixed then you have until June 11th to get it sorted after that you will have to find your own non-Apple dealer.
The original Apple iPhone will always be remembered as the handset that introduced Apple's innovative iOS and its ground breaking app universe (which was opened up to developers a year later) and at the same time delivered a touch screen experience that was way ahead of its rivals.
Apart from those two game-changing innovations the phone was in fact fairly primitive. Unlike almost every other high end phone at the time it didn't run on 3G network but instead used the slower EDGE network which meant it was borderline useless for the web when not on Wi-Fi. It had a two mega pixel camera (most of its contemporaries were five MP by then) which was still image capture only and wouldn't record video. Its battery performance took a lot of stick too.
Nevertheless the original iPhone laid the groundwork for the Apple 3Gs which followed in 2010 and arguably established the iPhone as the most successful and coveted handset in the world.
Interestingly the version one only sold six million units. Which is a lot, but nothing compared to the 3Gs's which sold over a million units in its first weekend.
Usually the tablet costs around £200, so that would mean £150 off the tablet's price.
I think this is just the start. It would make so much sense for say Amazon to offer a free Kindle provided you agreed to spend a certain amount of money on books each year - think a Spotify type subscription.
Then there are other magazine publishers who could in theory offer cheaper tablets as an incentive to pay for yearly subs too. It makes so much sense - if they want to ensure that their tablet readerships goes up why not offer readers a tablet?
I don't think you will be getting a free iPad with your Daily Star just yet, but if you are thinking about buying a tablet it might be worth seeing if you can get it free or cheap with some great content too.
Here is a slightly odd one. French tech blog Nowhere Else has published a roadmap that suggests the iPhone 5S will be available to pre-order from June 20.
The document comes from Japanese telecom KDDI's "au" wireless service and says that the June pre-order will be followed by a July launch. Details about the phone include news of a 13MP camera and the inclusion of iOS 7.
This is one leak that we are not buying. Most of the information that is coming from Apple suppliers is that the phone will be delayed and that it might not even arrive until late autumn. The key issues appear to be problems involved in integrating a fingerprint sensor. Also, during Apple's latest earnings call, CEO Tim Cook did point towards Q3 as being the company's quarter for "surprises" and innovative new products.
Also as Tech digest points out the doc doesn't look very legitimate
The laminated sheet is said to closely mirror the "cheat sheets" that forgetful in-store sales assistants refer to when pushing new products on customers. But considering they're often printed at point of sale from widely-circulated PDFs (usually only with a company header changing between rival stores) this wouldn't have been too difficult to fake.
So you can't rule out a July launch for the iPhone 5S but I'd be amazed if this one turned out to be accurate.
Fancy a phone with a big screen and we mean really big. Then the Samsung Galaxy III, which is as yet unannounced is sure to launch this year and the rumours are that its screen will be just shy of six inches.
Well we might know a little more about the phone now courtesy of a leak that has been picked up by Sammobile.
The image and the information that comes with it seem to confirms a screen of a 5.99-inch full HD 1,920 x 1,080 display. It also boasts a Exynos 5410 Octa chipset - containing A15 and A7 processors, which are clocked at 2GHz and 1.7GHz, respectively.
So when we likely to see it?
Well if form is anything to go buy then it should arrive in in August, at Berlin's IFA consumer electronics show, after all this is where the Note I and Note II were unveiled in 2011 and 2012. It will then most likely debut in October.
Incidentally Samsung has another huge screen mobile - the mega which has a 6.3inch screen and is coming to the UK In may.
Last week Nokia unveiled the Asha 210 - the very first phone with a dedicated WhatsApp button. Now the FT has run a story claiming that chat apps like WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage are now more popular than text messaging.
It suggests that the network's cash cow could be under serious threat. In case you haven't heard or used it yet WhatsApp is a free messaging service for mobiles that effectively replaces text messaging. You can use the app to send text messages, along with images and more, and you don't pay for them as the message is included in your data plan. As the FT puts it WhatsApp "has done to SMS on mobile phones what Skype did to international calling on landlines.
The FT (linked here) now says that there were more instant messages being sent daily by the end of last year than there were text messages. In terms of figures it reckons that 41bn app, based messages will be sent each day this year - that's double the number of text messages.
WhatsApp's Chief executive Jan Joum recently said that the firm has more active users than Twitter which claims more than 200 million people use its service at least once a month.
Some rather good news for BlackBerry. Apparently the Q10 - the new phone with the integrated QWERTY keyboard has become the fastest-ever selling consumer electronics product in Selfridges.
This is quite probably because it was an exclusive partnership with the store and the brand but nevertheless the stock sold out in a very impressive two hours.
Julian Slim, Head of Home and Leisure comments: "The BlackBerry Q10 has been, without a doubt, the most highly anticipated smartphone we have ever sold and is already our most successful. Our partnership has proven to be a powerful combination of great technology and commercial success."
Rob Orr, Managing Director, UK and Ireland, BlackBerry, added: "This initial success at Selfridges highlights the strong consumer demand for a high-end physical keyboard smartphone."
So who are the top ten smartphone manufacturers in the world? Samsung check, Apple check. Coolpad? Who? Well the Chinese maker has just delivered its Q1 sales figures and according to this analyst has moved into the world's top ten smartphone brands replacing - get this - BlackBerry.
Apparently Coolpad's sales are 6.8 million, way above both Nokia (now in 10th) and Blackberry (which drops to 11th) whose sales this quarter are 6.1 and 6.0 million, respectively.
Coolpad is a Chinese brand - made by China Wireless - whose sales trajectory is starting to mirror other Chinese brands like Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo.
The downer though for BlackBerry is that as recently as recently as 2010 it was the world's second largest smartphone maker. Then again Nokia was top dog in 2011 Q1 - just two years ago.
Tomi Ahonen thinks it is temporary blip for BlackBerry and that the positive response to its 10 series range should propel it back into the list in Q2. As for Nokia, it seems like it is pinning its hopes on developing markets with phones like these to engineer a revival.
It is one of the hottest things in mobile. Its owners claims that it has more users than Twitter. And it might be about to revolutionise how we use mobile phones. So how come so few people have heard of WhatsApp?
Ok, so you might be a hardcore user, but for many people the announcement of a dedicated WhatsApp button on the new Nokia Asha 210 lead them to ask the question what exactly is WhatsApp?
Put simply it is a free messaging service for mobiles that effectively replaces text messaging. You can use the app to send text messages, along with images and more, and you don't pay for them as the message is included in your data plan. As the FT puts it WhatsApp "has done to SMS on mobile phones what Skype did to international calling on landlines.
The app, which can be downloaded to the iPhone, Android handsets, BlackBerrys and other mobiles has been hugely successful in the Far East and is doing well in the US too.
Chief executive Jan Joum recently said that the firm has more active users than Twitter which claims more than 200 million people use its service at least once a month.
The BBC reports that according to a study published by tech consultancy Ovum, WhatsApp is the world's third most popular social messaging service after Facebook Chat and Google Chat.
So Joum may be right about Twitter.
The tie up with Nokia, and the dedicated button on the Asha 210, makes a lot of sense. Although the device might attract some budget buyers in richer countries it is largely aimed at developing markets where the Finnish brand is establishing itself. In many of those markets WhatsApp is one of a series of apps that replace text messaging.
You really couldn't make this one up. Samsung have done an Apple. Several times in the past Apple have had supply issues with their new launches (especially in the UK) blaming the popularity of the device for the lack of on sale units..
Now in classic Apple style Samsung has said that they expect the roll out of the Galaxy S4 in the US to be delayed because of ' unexpectedly strong demand.'
The company said
"Due to overwhelming global demand of Galaxy S4, the initial supply may be limited. We expect to fulfill inventory to meet demands in the coming weeks."
At T-Mobile, online orders will now begin April 29 instead of Wednesday as initially planned because of "an unexpected delay with inventory deliveries." Sprint will take online orders starting Saturday as planned, but the phone will be sold at retail outlets only as it becomes available.
Only AT&T said everything was on track and the S4 would go on sale this Saturday as planned.
Samsung does need to get the launch right. The phone could sell as many as 10 million units in its first month so while a day or two delay is fine, longer would be troublesome. Unless of course this is a clever marketing ploy and the company has already factored the delay into their business plans.
As far as we know the UK launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is on schedule- as it reportedly is in many other parts of the globe. Almost all the major networks have planned to be shipping the phone to their customers tomorrow - April 26th - and so far there is no sign that they won't hit their targets.
So BlackBerry needs a big touch screen phablet to keep up with its rivals. But its hardcore fans love that keyboard and want it on board too. Now it could add a keyboard to a big five inch screen, but that phone would not exactly be pocketable.
So what should BlackBerry do?
Well how about resurrect the slider? It is been a while since we saw a sliding phone, but adding a keyboard to a phablet could be a work of genius.
As has been rumoured for a couple of days now Nokia has unveiled a new phone with an integrated QWERTY keyboard targeted at users who spend a lot of time texting or messaging. The Nokia Asha 210 won't trouble smartphone buyers too much but this phone is aimed squarely at those for whom messaging if their number one reason to own a handset. I guess it will also play well in developing countries where Nokia is currently doing very well.
It also sports a dedicated WhatsApp instant messaging service button. This integrates with the 210's phone book user can chat right from the phone's address book.
Key features include a 2.4-inch QVGA (320×240) display, 64Mb of memory, a two mega pixel camera and from the box support for Facebook and Twitter. Also included is the Nokia Xpress Browser which uses cloud-based technology to reduce web pages by up to 90 per cent of their size thereby keeping data usage low.
In keeping with the Asha range the handset has a very long battery life of 46 days standby with the Single SIM model; up to 24 days with Dual SIM. It will be available in yellow, cyan, black, magenta and white and is expected to be priced at around £50 when it goes on sale in the second quarter of 2013.