Top Ten Mobile Phone News Stories of the Week

Enjoy our roundup of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed this week including Nokia and ST-Ericsson’s partnership, BBM Music leaving beta and a look at Nokia Maps on Windows Phone 7.

1. Nokia Plumps for ST-Ericsson Chips

As rumoured in May, Nokia has announced a partnership with chip manufacturer ST-Ericsson. The company will supply processors to Nokia, who’ll fit them inside their future smartphones including their Windows Phone handsets. ST-Ericsson will adapt their high performance, power efficient NovaThor platform specifically for the brand, and it represents a departure from the previously Microsoft-enforced usage of Qualcomm processors in WP7 handsets.

2. LG Optimus U1 Going to Korea

Another massive screen Android phone is most likely headed for the Korean market. Called the Optimus U1, details are thin right now but there’s a good chance it’ll be running Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Some leaked press shots show the U1 to be a very slim candybar with an 8 megapixel camera, but as yet there’s no indication when or exactly where the phone will be released.

3. BBM Music Out of Beta, But Not Out in the UK

RIM has taken its BBM Music service out of beta and launched it in the BlackBerry App World, except at the moment, it’s only available in the US, Canada and Australia. It’s a shame too, as for once it’s an interesting new system from RIM. It works by selecting 50 songs when you sign-up, but in addition to those you get access to all your BBM friends’ 50 songs too – expanding your collection to a maximum of 1300 titles. There’s a free 60-day trial, and BBM Music costs $4.99 per month once this period finishes.

4. EA to Offer Exclusive Games to Nokia

Need another reason to buy a Nokia Windows Phone 7 handset? Try this: Electronic Arts have announced they’ll be bringing a range of twenty exclusive games to Nokia’s new range of WP7 devices, including titles from Chillingo and Hasbro. Titles have yet to be confirmed.

5. Alcatel One Touch 995 Gets Latest Android Version

Alcatel isn’t the biggest name in UK mobile, but with the Alcatel One Touch 995 that could all change.  It’s a new Android device with a 4.3-inch screen, a 1.4GHz processor and Gingerbread on-board; however Alcatel say it’ll be getting an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich after release. The rumour is the phone will make its official debut at Mobile World Congress 2012, and it’ll retail for as little as 200 euros when it goes on sale.

6. Manufacturers Still Committed to Feature Phones

While much of the news concentrates on more exciting smartphones, feature phones still make up 60 – 70% of the market, and manufacturers are still committed to producing them. Speaking at the Open Mobile World conference this week, LG commented that the lower price point made them attractive to buyers, while Samsung pointed out the benefits of these low cost handsets in emerging markets.

7.  Excited about Nokia Maps on WP7?

Nokia Maps will be coming to all Windows Phone 7 devices soon, bringing improved mapping, more detail and a larger collection of points-of-interest over the OS’s existing Bing Maps system. It’ll appear inside the Marketplace soon but if you can’t wait, take a look at the demo video below.

8. Android Tops UK User Charts

New research shows that Android is by far the most popular choice for UK smartphone buyers. According to Kantar ComTech, 49.9% of all smartphones in the UK are powered by Google Android, compared to 22.5% for BlackBerry and 18.5% for iOS and the iPhone.

9. Sky Go Coming to Android

The Sky Go app, which lets mobile users watch Sky TV, will finally be coming to Android sometime in the coming months. It has been available on the iPhone and iPad for some time, but the channel has been forced to delay the Android app due to the fragmented nature of the OS, claiming it takes longer to build and test an app.

10. Stuart Hughes.  Stop.  Please

Apple’s minimalist iPad 2 design not gaudy enough for you?  Then pop over to ‘luxury’ designer company Stuart Hughes, who’ll decorate the tablet with 52 diamonds in the Apple symbol, some 75 million-year-old ammolite rock dust and finally, shavings from a T-Rex’s thigh bone.  Yes, that’s a dinosaur bone.  The price for this monstrosity?  A frankly obscene $8 million.

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