The rise of China as a major market for smartphone manufacturers is well-known and is helping lead to a shift to Chinese manufacturers rising to the top of the hill when it comes to market share on a global basis. Despite the huge market opportunity in China, manufacturers still want to expand into other global markets, including mature markets like the U.S. or several European markets like the U.K. Chinese manufacturer ZTE will get a boost in their efforts based on a move by Chinese president Xi Jinping who is planning to promote Chines products during visits with British officials by gifting them with ZTE Axon smartphones. Read more
At the beginning of December, HTC announced two new mid-range smartphones, the HTC Desire 620 and the HTC Desire 620G. Although the phones are very similar, there are a few hardware specs that differ, notably the processors used in each and the lack of 4G LTE support for the Desire 620G. When the devices were unveiled, HTC did not share any information regarding market availability outside of Taiwan. New information from HTC indicates the device will be sold in the U.K. starting in early 2015. Along with the U.K., HTC is also making the devices available in India later this month and other Asian markets may see the device this month as well.
Although YotaPhone recently demoed their second generation YotaPhone during MWC 2014, the new device is not expected to be available until much later this year. For buyers in the U.K. who are interested in the dual-display form factor that YotaPhone has developed, they do have a new option available. The first generation of the YotaPhone can now be ordered from the company’s web site for £419 ($694 USD). If you want to get used to having a second screen on the back of your smartphone, snapping up one of these devices may be the way to go. Hit the source link below if you are interested in placing an order.
After announcing the Sony SmartBand at MWC 2014 this week, Sony has wasted no time in starting the retail blitz to get the devices into the hands of buyers. On the Sony Mobile Store, the device has already shown up for pre-order for £79.99 ($134 USD) in the U.K. and €99 ($136 USD) for other European markets. Although, Sony indicated the devices would be available in a variety of colors, thus far black appears to be the only choice available for early adopters that want to be the first to get the devices onto their wrists.
The first units of the Sony SmartBand destined for European markets and the U.K. are expected to be delivered in early April. That will give buyers an opportunity to spend some time with the Lifelog application prior to having the device in hand as Sony says the app should be available in Google Play sometime in March.
source: Xperia Blog
HTC received some bad news today about their plans to sell the HTC One Mini in the U.K. – they can’t. That word came as part of ruling issued by Judge Richard Arnold in a case between Nokia and HTC involving chips in the HTC devices. Nokia claimed the chips were infringing patents they own. The sales ban will go into effect on December 6th. According to Judge Arnold, the HTC One is also infringing on Nokia’s patents, but he did not institute a sales ban while HTC appeals the ruling due to the “considerable” damage HTC would suffer. Even with that small reprieve, it appears HTC has agreed to stop importing any of their HTC One devices into the U.K. while an appeal is underway. Read more
U.K. owners of Samsung devices have a new option to find accessories, get questions answered, and generally “get the most out of” their devices thanks to a new app released by Samsung. The My Galaxy app has options for users to access Samsung World articles, shop an online store for accessories, receive exclusive offers, or receive support. Samsung indicates the app is capable of directing support requests to someone who can help if the device assistant is not able to answer a question.
Hit the break to check out some screenshots and get to the Google Play download link. Read more
Here’s some cool news for you UK readers, and only you UK readers. NOW TV’s streaming movie service is now available for Android devices and will allow you to stream movies whenever and wherever you want. If you have the “Sky Movie Pass” you can stream unlimited movies all day long and there is even a nifty “Play to Play” option for those of you who are afraid of commitments. Speaking of commitments, you can sign up right now for a free 30-day trial to see if this is something you can get down with. Pretty sweet, huh?
The Now TV app is now available in Google Play and brings access to a boat-load of great movie titles. Hit either of the links below to get started.
Google Play Download
Google has finally granted Great Britain VIP access to its Google Indoor Maps treatment. This means Android users of all can enjoy the complete indoor maps of around 40 U.K. venues, which includes everything from art galleries to sporting venues to airports to give users an inside look of their buildings. The neat thing about the recent expansion to Great Britain is the fact building owners can upload their own maps by contacting an independent Google Trusted Photographer—- which should ultimately allow the feature/service grow immediately. Looks like folks in that part of the Commonwealth are about to have their lives just a little bit easier.
We first heard about the Huawei MediaPad back in June when it was expected to be the first device to feature Android 3.2 Honeycomb. Huawei is now telling us the WiFi version will be available early next year in the U.K. for £275 (US$440). They will also offer a HSDPA+ (14.4 Mbps) version, but they are still negotiating with carriers, so we don’t have any pricing yet.
The specs include a 7-inch LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera, HDMI, and Android 3.2 Honeycomb.
With Motorola close to releasing the XOOM 2 and XOOM 2 Media Edition, we can expect some price slashing. Earlier in the month the 32GB version was dropped to £329 ($510), and Play.com is offering the same unit for £299 (€374.99) ($464).
Not a bad price, but I would jump on the ASUS Transformer before grabbing this one.