smartphones

When HTC chief executive Peter Chou said this month that he was on the lookout for further acquisitions, he wasn’t kidding. The Taiwanese smartphone company on Tuesday announced it had acquired Inquisitive Minds, a US company that developed Zoodles, a kids-friendly browser designed to give children a safe browsing environment. Read more

It is no secret that HTC is keen to move beyond hardware manufacturing to online services and content – it had earlier acquired or partnered with, variously, a games provider (OnLive), a mobile video specialist (Saffron Digital), an e-books company (Kobo), and a music streaming service (Taiwan’s KKBox).

But its ambitions may range further still. Cher Wang, HTC chairwoman, recently revealed for the first time that the Taiwanese smartphone maker had considered acquiring a mobile operating platform. Read more

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC clearly did not take Chinese New Year off. On the first day after public holidays ended, HTC announced it had made two investments that could expand its online offerings.

The first is buying a US$40m stake in OnLive, the company offering console-style games over the internet. The second is a GBP30m acquisition of Saffron Digital, a London-based mobile video specialist. Read more

Six phone models and 20 months after they joined forces, the smartphone alliance between Asus, the Taiwanese computer maker, and Garmin, the US global positioning device company, is over – at least in its original form.

The two companies on Tuesday announced a new mode of cooperation. Instead of jointly developing Garmin Asus branded phones, Garmin will now only provide its navigation software to Asus, on an exclusive basis for the Android platform. Phones from the Taiwanese company, the world’s fifth-biggest PC maker, will from now on be Asus-branded in front, with a “Garmin Navigation” logo on the back. Read more

Chris Nuttall

A new Dell tablet with an innovative swivel-screen that turns it into a netbook grabbed all the attention at Intel’s developer forum on Tuesday.

But smartphones running the chipmaker’s Atom processor were notable in their absence again, suggesting Intel is making heavy weather of breaking into the key mobile handset industry. Read more

Joseph Menn

Dell on Tuesday began selling its first US smartphone, a model using an older version of Google’s Android operating system and seen as a lower-end entry that will be followed by more sophisticated models.

The Dell Aero joins a throng of competitors, even among Android phones, which now collectively outsell Apple’s iPhone. Read more

Another day, another raft of new patent infringement lawsuits. Thursday saw Apple file new claims against Taiwan’s HTC, this time alleging that the smartphone maker infringed patents including the technology for the “slide to unlock” start screen. Read more

David Gelles

CTIA – The Wireless Association is one of those industry groups that annually descend on a marquee city with a massive trade show, flooding the streets with badge-wearing conference-goers, and hotels and local businesses with dollars.

For five of the last seven years, CTIA’s show has been in San Francisco, as it will be this October. But this year’s show will be the last one in the City by the Bay for the foreseeable future.

The group is taking its show elsewhere (along with 68,000 attendees and $80m in economic activity according to CTIA), a response to the cellphone radiation law passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Read more

David Gelles

Is the low-level radiation emitted from cellphones bad for your health?

The scientific evidence is inconclusive, but the debate is nonetheless gaining steam as more and more smartphones fly off the shelves and into people’s front pockets.

The city of San Francisco is expected to pass a law today that will require retailers to display the amount of radiation emitted by the cellphones they sell. And an app that monitors the real-time radiation level of your phone is getting blocked from Apple’s App Store. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Nokia‘s latest restructuring, announced yesterday, is just one aspect of its many-fronted smartphone war.

As Nokia’s senior vice president of design and user experience, Marko Ahtisaari is the man charged with leading the software and hardware designers who must craft the challenger to the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices that the Finns have so far lacked. Read more