The love affair with the mobile phone appears to have faltered a little, with worldwide mobile phone sales down for the second quarter in a row, according to new figures from Gartner. But is this just a small hiatus as consumers wait for the next round of handsets from Apple and Samsung to hit the shelves later this year, or a sign of something deeper?
Gartner is clearly a little worried, as it is paring back its earlier estimates for 2012 handset sales by between 25m and 40m units. Its not a huge drop, only about 2 per cent of the estimated 1.9bn unit sales this year, but Anshul Gupta, analyst at Gartner says he has been a little surprised by the fall. Read more
Coffee and techies go together like donuts and policemen, one the voracious consumer of the other. They have named programming languages after the stuff. And so the alliance between Starbucks and Jack Dorsey’s Square mobile payments start-up seems quite natural.
Starbucks has never been shy of experimenting with technology, having been one of the first US coffee shop chains to offer customers free wi-fi access. Starbucks also has its own mobile app, which allows customers to pay for their coffees using a phone. Although these mobile payments are still just a tiny fraction of overall revenues, it is considered one of the most successful mobile payments systems in use so far. Read more
Karsten Nohl, the celebrity mobile cryptography expert, has been at it again. Two years ago he caused a stir by showing that the secret code that protects GSM mobile handsets was easy to crack, leaving phone calls open to interception by third parties.
This year, he is due to show that handsets can also be hijacked to make unauthorised calls and send text messages, running up huge bills without their owners’ knowledge. GSM networks, which are vulnerable to this flaw, are used by around 80 per cent of the world’s mobile users. Read more