Posted by: James
The retailing division of Phones 4u Finance plc, Phones 4u, one of the UK’s leading mobile phone retailers, today publishes a trading update for the month of December 2012. Total sales for the period were £121.6m, up 23.3% compared with December 2011, with like-for-like sales up 15.8%. For the full year total sales were up 20.7% with full-year like-for-like sales up 11.9%. Online sales continue to grow strongly with revenue up 47.3% in December year-on-year and up 73.2% for the full year.
The strong growth is primarily driven by contract volumes which were up 34.8% year-on-year in December and up 26.8% for the full year.
Tim Whiting Group Chief Executive said:
“Phones 4u is focused on giving customers excellent choice and value, and we continue to trade well in challenging market conditions. Our impressive Christmas numbers are reflective of consistently strong performance throughout 2012 as we continue to grow market share, especially amongst customers looking for the latest high-end smartphones purchased on contracts.
“It is the knowledge and experience of our 6,000 staff and their commitment to give outstanding service that has delivered these results. At a time of continued economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever that we give our customers clear advice on the next generation of smartphones and technology.”
Nice to see business is so good in the mobile space.
Posted by: James
Qualcomm officially unveiled their new Snapdragon lineup. They are moving away from the "S" series naming convention. Their new chips will be called the Snapdragon 200, 400, 600 & 800. The 200 series will be their budget-friendly chips, and the 400 will be for the moderate crowd. The 600 and 800 are left for the high-end flagship devices. Of course, we are most excited by the upper echelon chips, so here’s a breakdown of specs for Qualcomm’s newest beastly tech:
We teased the Iconia B1 last week, and had a strong suspicion it would be launched at CES this week. It turns out we were right, and some folks from Phandroid were able to video the tablet in action at the tech show. The tablet will only debut in Europe and Latin America, which is sad news for folks in the US. It will retail for $119 Euros (about $160 US Dollars). Here’s a spec breakdown:
This seems like a pretty competitive price point, and could do really well in the markets it is destined for. Check out the hands on over at Phandroid.
Posted by: Gareth
Nuance Communications Inc. and ZTE Corporation have announced a multiyear collaboration where Nuance’s voice capabilities will be integrated as part of a new portfolio of ZTE Android devices worldwide. The result will be a diverse set of mobile applications and devices that foster a more natural, human interaction between people and their ZTE phones – in more than 25 languages. Among those applications is ZTE’s new Car Mode application unveiled at CES 2013 in Las Vegas.
Car Mode integrates Nuance’s powerful voice capabilities to let users speak to stay connected to the people and content they love, without bringing additional manual-visual distractions into the car. Taking advantage of Nuance’s automotive-grade voice technology and expertise, ZTE’s Car Mode application is embedded within the device to provide people with a reliable, always available hands-free, eyes-free access to the phone functions that are used the most while driving, such as making phone calls, reading text messages and accessing music. At the same time, no network or data connection is required and the app is designed for noisy automotive environments.
People simply engage Car Mode with a hands-free wake-up word, and the app is at their command to dial contacts and numbers, launch navigation apps, get the local weather, and play music on the device. Furthermore, Car Mode announces incoming callers and reads incoming text messages aloud with Nuance’s natural text to speech, and allows people to barge in with new voice commands or cancel incoming audio when needed. Car Mode also features a “Do not disturb” mode where drivers can further minimise distractions by blocking all incoming calls and text messages until they arrive at their destination – with notifications available of the calls and text messages missed.
Over at CES this week Huawei have announced their first Windows Phone 8 device to be launched. The Ascend W1 is set to be a low cost Windows Phone and here in the UK will initially be an exclusive on O2.
Prices are not yet confirmed but if I was to have a guess I would imagine it would be in the region of the £150 mark. With its 4 inch screen the W1 will feel right at home in many peoples hands and if the price is right it could well be a big hit on the pay as you go scene? In addition, Huawei say the Ascend W1′s battery has a standby time of up to four days which will be an attraction to many consumers.
Posted by: James
Another big phone has been announced at CES in Las Vegas, this time by ZTE who are proud to show off the Grand S. The Android 4.1 handset sports a 5 inch 1920 x 1080p HD display and that’s just the start of the good stuff.
Under the hood is a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage. Combined with a rear facing 13MP camera and a 2MP front, both can record video in full HD.
The device is bound for China in the next couple of months and as yet we are not aware that it will make its way to our shores, but often we get similar or a variant. Fingers crossed at this one looks pretty kick ass.
Posted by: James