Smartphones

Robert Cookson

As apps go, Ant Smasher sounds simple enough. The free game, which has been downloaded more than 50m times from the Google Play app store, allows mobile phone users to entertain themselves by squishing digital ants as they scurry down the screen. Splat, splat, splat.

But Ant Smasher has a dark side. It is one of a growing wave of apps that contains “adware” – aggressive advertising technology that displays ads in a phone’s notification bar and other places outside of the app itself, without consent. Read more >>

Paul Taylor

A new mobile service operator called ItsOn aims to shake up the US smartphone business by offering users the ability to tailor their voice, text and data plans precisely, and – perhaps most interestingly – buy data by the app.

The company’s Zact service – a play on the word ‘exact’ – operates as a cloud-based mobile virtual network operator, buying capacity on Sprint Nextel’s 4G/LTE network and reselling it to its own customers via a smartphone app or web page.

 Read more >>

BlackBerry 10Research In Motion unveils the BlackBerry 10 today amid the greatest degree of anticipation and scrutiny in the company’s history. At events in New York, Toronto and London, the Canadian manufacturer is launching a new operating system and two smartphones.

The company and CEO Thorsten Heins are betting it will secure RIM’s future – and even its survival – in a tough marketplace where it has lost share to Apple’s iPhone and Android-based devices. Read more >>

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 07: Qualcomm Inc., Chairman and CEO Dr. Paul E. Jacobs speaks during a keynote address at the 2013 International CES at The Venetian on January 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs from January 8-11 and is expected to feature 3,100 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 150,000 attendees. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Qualcomm’s “Born Mobile” sign towers over other billboards; its booth is one of the biggest and its chief executive delivered the main keynote speech, with appearances by music and film celebrities and even Sesame Street’s Big Bird.

For a company that has traditionally avoided the limelight and not emphasised its brand in its customers’ products, the world’s biggest maker of mobile chips by shipments appears to be using this year’s international Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as its coming-out party.

 Read more >>

Surging mobile sales drove earnings at Samsung Electronics to another record, despite competition from Apple’s iPhone 5. The FT’s Simon Mundy reports from Seoul on how Samsung beat analysts’ forecasts and how the company is positioned.

Yota smartphone | Source: VedomostiCalling someone two-faced isn’t exactly flattering – but for a new Russian smartphone, it’s the key feature.

Yota, the company mostly known for offering mobile broadband services in places like Russia and Nicaragua, has come up with a very innovative concept for its first own mobile phone handset.

The phone will have a dual screen – a typical LCD on one side and an e-paper display on the other side for prolonged reading without draining the battery.

 Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

AT&T has launched two smartphones licensed to kill the opposition with their specifications.

I felt rather like Q, 007’s gadget meister, in testing the Sony Xperia TL (a.k.a. the Bond phone), and the LG Optimus G quad-core, LTE smartphone, available since November 2 for $100 and $200 respectively with their two-year contracts. Read more >>

Richard Waters

If it’s Monday, it must be Windows Phone 8. Not to mention Google’s Nexus range. Would you prefer that in four, seven or ten inches?

At this time of year, the flow of new smartphones, tablets and things that defy categorisation becomes a flood. But the message left by the latest deluge of hardware (which includes a new iPad mini last week) is a somewhat paradoxical one: with the number and type of screens proliferating, the real key now lies in integration between machines, not in the devices themselves. Read more >>

Paul Taylor

Motorola’s new Droid Razr M is the first smartphone launched by the company since it was acquired by Google in a deal that closed last month.

The Razr M was one of three new Droids launched on Wednesday at a splashy event in New York’s Gotham Hall by Dennis Woodside, a Google veteran and Motorola’s new chief executive. It is however the only one of the three which is available for pre- order immediately. (It will ship by September 13.) Read more >>

Paul Taylor

It’s not all bad news for Research in Motion, the struggling Canadian maker of the BlackBerry family of smartphones and Playbook tablet.

A US district court judge struck down a $147.5m jury award against RIM,  ruling that the BlackBerry maker did not infringe patents owned by Mformation Technologies. Read more >>