Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed this week including Google Play introducing gift cards, US network AT&T taking measures to prevent texting whilst driving, and some surprising survey results involving sex and the iPhone 5.
1. HTC Boss Admits Company’s Mistakes
A leaked memo from HTC CEO Peter Chou discovered by the Wall Street Journal has indicated that the Taiwanese manufacturer hasn’t had the best 2012 so far, despite the relative success enjoyed by the HTC One X and One X. In the document, Chou admits that his company “has grown too fast” in the past two years and that it has faced difficulties in executing strategies. The leak come in the wake of HTC readjusting its third quarter projections to come in at between $2.3 to $2.7bn, a 23% percent decrease from Q2.
2. Google Maps for Android gets Public Transport Filter
An update to Google Maps for Android has bought greater choice for users in the form of a public transport filter, providing the option to display a specific mode of public transport on the map, negating the requirement to sift through several. Version 6.10 allows bus, tram or underground information to be toggled between, and station pages have had a bit of tweak to display more information including departure times and the distance to nearby stations.
3. US Network Demo Computer-Monitored Driving Tech
AT&T is urging both its staff and subscribers s to pledge never to text and drive – and is willing to turn supergrass and out teenagers that break that promise. A new initiative encourages those who make a pledge to keep their phone in their pocket whilst on the road can sign in to a Facebook and dedicate it to the memory of anyone killed by a texting driver. AT&T also encourages parents might to take technical measures to ensure their kids’ don’t weaken. See the well-meaning-but-slightly-Orwellian surveillance tech in the video below:
4. Samsung vs Apple Patent Case Judge: “Put Down The Crack Pipe”
The perpetual legal wrangling by Samsung and Apple over various alleged patent infringements relating to the Korean manufacturer’s supposed appropriation of i-Device designs appears to have made more than just the tech press weary. Presiding judge Justice Lucy Koh issued a terse rebuke to Apple attorneys who reportedly moved to call a conga-line of witnesses to the stand despite only having just over six hours left to cross-examine Samsung’s witnesses, questioning whether Apple’s legal team were “smoking crack” for thinking they could get away with their current strategy. Admittedly, this was not the kind of crack we’d envisaged appearing in the case.
5. Design Company Screws with Expectant iPhone 5 Fans
Swedish company Day 4 decided to have some fun this week and demonstrate how easy it is to start an Apple rumour, and how eager tech blogs will publish pretty much anything iPhone 5-related, verified or not. The Scandinavian agency spun a yarn suggesting that Apple had invented a new asymmetrical screw for use in its latest iPhone in an attempt to stop customers opening up the device. The rumour was almost instantly picked up and ran by several prominent tech sites (but not Dialaphone we might add). A blog post on Day 4′s website published the next day detailed exactly how the company pulled it off.
6. Sky Sounds Death Knell for the TV remote
Scrabbling around looking for a misplaced remote control could soon be a thing of the past thanks to UK satelllite broadcaster Sky’s unveiling of an an iPad app that turns the Apple tablet into a giant Sky remote. The update to the Sky+ app allows users to change channels, record programmes, rewind shows, and even see what’s stored on their Sky+ planner. Integrated programme guides are also included and there are plans for a further upgrade to bring ’social TV’ features to the app. Check out the functionality in the video below:
7. WebOS Finds New Home in Gram
Almost forgotten platform WebOS is set to be given a new lease of life after the demise of Palm as HP embarks upon a plan to create a new company called Gram from its embers. According to AllThingsD, HP has salvaged assets from the closure of Palm and is about to announce Gram, a new subsidiary to play home to the soon-to-be-released open source version of WebOS. The hardware arm of Palm close for good in the wake of the flop that was the HP TouchPad leading to the announcement in late 2011 that WebOS it was to go open source in a bid to keep it alive.
8. Google Play Store Introduces Giftcards
Showing an admirable amount of respect for the wishes of its customers, Google is introducing a gift card scheme to the Google Play app store following calls from customers. Support for the gift card service has been uncovered in the code for the latest update to Google’s app store and images of the cards themselves later emerged online. The move sees Google catching up with fierce rival Apple who’s iTunes has had a similar system in place for some time.
9. Budget Chinese Devices Put Pressure On Apple
China’s booming smartphone market is set this year to overtake the United States as the world’s largest, aided and abetted by a host of little-known local firms producing cheap phones to squeeze market share from U.S. giant Apple Inc’s iPhone. Industry researcher IDC estimates that in China last year, smartphones costing less than $200 made up 40% of shipments, while devices costing $700 and more accounted for 11% of the market.
10. Study Finds Men Willing to Give Up Sex for Early Glimpse of iPhone 5
A survey by online gambling site RoxyPalace has thrown up some surprising results concerning the soon-to-be-released iPhone 5, and in particular what men would be willing to sacrifice in return for getting their hands on one ahead of launch. Apparently, one in eleven men would give up sex to bag the next-gen iPhone a month early, whilst 14% said they’d without booze. And who said that all men think about is sex?