Tech news from around the web:

France Telecom and Publicis are to set up a joint venture-capital fund focused on European technology start-ups, according to Bloomberg. The size of the fund may be greater than €100m ($139m), people close to the plan told Bloomberg.

Apple has had its patent for the “slide to unlock” control used on its devices confirmed, ZDNet reports. This puts every Android phone and tablet that uses the same process to unlock their screens in the line of fire from Apple’s patent lawyers, ZDNet warns. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Downloads of Android’s apps overtook those of Apple’s iOS apps in the second quarter of 2001, Business Insider reports. According to figures from ABI Research, the market shares of Android and iOS were 44% and 31% respectively. However, Apple still gets more downloads per user than Android. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Research In Motion has run into a problem over its BBX operating system – the blending of its QNX and existing BlackBerry software, PaidContent reports. Basis International, which makes software-development tools, has sent a cease and desist letter and a threat of further legal action to RIM on the basis that the new operating system’s name is too similar to Basis’s flagship product, BBx. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer told attendees at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco that Nokia is planning to launch new devices running Windows Phone operating software next week at Nokia World, PaidContent reports. The new phones will be the first Windows handsets produced by Nokia under its partnership with Microsoft. Read more

Samsung and Google have unveiled their response to Apple’s iPhone 4S and its latest operating system in the shape of the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, using the new 4.0 version of Google’s Android software.

The handset, unveiled on Wednesday in Hong Kong, features 4G speeds, an improved camera and the biggest screen to be offered by Samsung on a phone, at 4.65 inches. It will be on sale in November.

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Tech news from around the web:

Google is in talks with major record labels to expand its online music service and open an MP3 store that would compete with Apple and Amazon, the New York Times reports. The music store is expected to be linked to Google’s existing cloud service, Music Beta, which lets people back up their songs on remote servers and stream them to mobile phones and other devices. Read more

By Dan Thomas

Google wants to get the world talking using their Androids with an application that will translate speech into any of 14 languages.

Although lacking a cute moniker as Apple’s also loquacious new personal assistant (“hello Siri”), Google Conversation will allow many Android users to speak to each other in their own languages – albeit in a slightly robotic female voice. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Apple is in talks with several Hollywood movie studios about a plan to let consumers buy movies and stream them to the company’s devices such as the iPad and iPhone, according to Bloomberg. Apple is looking to make the films available via its iCloud service, two people close to the negotiations told Bloomberg. Read more

A round-up of reaction to the launch of the Apple iPhone 4S:

Apple has come under criticism for failing to manage expectations and speculation about a new iPhone model. Mashable comments that the company usually follows a policy of “under-promising and over-delivering” when it comes to product launches – citing the example of how Apple handled rumours of a retina display screen on the iPad2.

So what happened to the back channels this time? It seems especially odd, considering Apple is still trying to establish Tim Cook as an effective replacement for Steve Jobs, that expectations for his first event weren’t dampened accordingly. But only in the last few days did stories about the iPhone 4S begin to appear, and not from the usual trusted sources. The vast majority of the technology world was still expecting an iPhone 5, and with good reason.

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Chris Nuttall

Apple has unveiled a new version of the iPhone, with the same design as its existing handset but upgrading its hardware, software and services to stay ahead of smartphone rivals.

The iPhone 4S, available from October 14,  has the same dual-core processor as the iPad 2, an improved camera, 4G data speeds and better battery life. There will be a “World” version of the phone that can be used on different networks and Sprint has been added as a carrier. Apple emphasised improvements in a new version of the operating system – iOS 5 – and demonstrated a voice-recognition personal assistant called Siri.

Our live reporting from the event as it happened and reaction to the news is after the jump. Read more