Top Ten Mobile Phone News Stories of the Week

Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed including HP’s return to making smartphones, Nokia’s return to Windows Phone 7 and Google bullying Acer.

1. HP Returning to Smartphones?

Hewlett Packard hasn’t dabbled in smartphones since it failed to resurrect Palm, however if a new set of benchmark figures are to be believed, it may be planning a return soon. A device under the name of the HP Bender has popped up in GLBenchmark‘s database, sporting a Snapdragon S4 processor, Android 4.0 and a screen with a 1366 x 720 pixel resolution. Whether it’ll ever see the light of day remains to be seen.

2. Nokia to Continue Producing Windows Phone 7 Handsets?

Despite Windows Phone 8 being the OS-of-the-moment at Nokia, a report from Digitimes says that the Finnish company hasn’t quite finished with Windows Phone 7, and will continue to produce phones running the older OS. The phones will be for the affordable end of the market, and won’t be applicable for an upgrade to Windows Phone 8. We could see some new WP7 phones before the end of the year.

3. Lenovo A660 Announced

Lenovo has added a waterproof Android phone to its range. The A660 runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and has a 4-inch touchscreen, a dual-core 1GHz processor and dual-SIM support. It has gained the all-important IP67 certification, making it dust as well as waterproof. It’ll be released in China initially, with other regions possible in the future.

4. LG and Qualcomm to Introduce New Phone in US

LG has sent out an invitation to a US event, where it will be joined by Qualcomm to introduce a new phone. The invite says “live without boundaries,” and the event will take place on 19 September. Speculation revolves around a US-spec Optimus G being announced.

5. Jelly Bean for the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 and S Advance

While they currently run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, two of Samsung’s mid-range phones, the Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy S Advance, have been declared ready for an upgrade. However, instead of Ice Cream Sandwich, they’ll both be getting 4.1 Jelly Bean instead, at least according to the latest rumours. As with everything related to Android updates, Samsung hasn’t said much on the subject, so as to when – or even if – this ever happens remains to be seen.

6. Apple on its Way to Winning Lawsuit Against Motorola

This time, Apple is fighting Motorola in the German courts, and could be on its way to another victory. Apple’s problem is with Motorola’s use of the rebounding animation when a list reaches the end, and according to reports, it has won a preliminary hearing. Next up is a request to ban the sale of certain Motorola products there, including the Defy, Atrix and Xoom tablet.

7. Google Cuts Off Prepaid Card

Google Wallet, the NFC-based wireless payment system, launched with a prepaid card and a selection of third-party credit card companies last year, but now all the credit card companies are onboard, Google is cancelling its own prepaid option. Users will have until 17 October to use any remaining balance. Google Wallet remains a US-only service, with no UK launch on the horizon.

8. Toys ‘R’ Us Gets Into the Hardware Game

Famous toy pedlars Toys R Us is about to launch its own tablet computer, aimed primarily at children. Called the Tabeo, it’s expected to go on sale on 21 October in the USA, where it’ll cost $150/£93. The small tablet runs Google Android and comes complete with 50 pre-installed games and a books application too. No UK release information has been provided.

9. Google Quashes Rival Product Launch Through Acer

According to reports, Acer was about to reveal a new smartphone using the Aliyun operating system, which is a rival to Google Android in the important Chinese market. Google reached out to Acer and warned them that it “would terminate Android product cooperation and related technical authorization with Acer”, should the launch go ahead. Acer complied with Google’s less-than subtle request and cancelled the event right at the last minute.

10. BlackBerry’s Out and Windows Phone 8 is in at Yahoo

Internet search company Yahoo has introduced a new staff incentive called “Yahoo! Smart Phones, Smart Fun,” which is basically the chance to get a company phone for free, along with your bill paid too. What makes it interesting is that the Windows Phone 8 Lumia 920 is one of the devices listed, while BlackBerry support has been dropped. The shape of things to come?

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