Omio News Blog

Monthly Archives: February 2009

Samsung GM Interview : Android Phone Coming In Second Half Of 2009

derekA bit late from Mobile World Congress, but no less interesting is our interview with Samsung’s UK & Ireland General Manager Derek Williamson (pictured). He talks about the Samsung line up for 2009, their plans for an Android phone and why the new Omnia isn’t running on Windows Mobile…

OMIO: The original Samsung Tocco seemed to provide the best of both worlds, a high end experience on a bargain handset, and was a top seller of 2008 as a consequence. Was that your intention?

The Tocco is a beautiful device. The Tocco is still there, still performing well, and you’ll see our flagship product continuing the name in the UK as the Tocco Ultra. I think that’s recognition there is still a lot of momentum in Tocco, and both products will sit comfortably together in the marketplace.

By the very naming of it, the Samsung Tocco Ultra is the enhanced version, over and above the original. So the huge benefits of new ways of interaction, the full touch support will all be seen as a good way to appeal that handset to a wider part of the market.

OMIO: How are you aiming to market these two devices, will they have any cross-promotion?

We are aiming to ride of the momentum of the original Tocco, our above-the-line and channel marketing has recently been refreshed. We are looking to begin with the Tocco Ultra on the second or third week of March. That will become the new, very visible face of Samsung.

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OMIO: What are your plans for the Omnia HD?

That’s an even higher premium model in terms of its positioning. One of the things about the Samsung Omnia HD is that it lends itself very well to online advertising. We’ll be looking to have a strong campaign utilising that medium. If you think about the target audience we’re after with that sort of device, that’s where they will be.

Read more…

Apple iPhone 3G A Platinum Seller For O2

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Hardly surprising is that the iPhone 3G has been a huge seller for o2 in 2008. What is surprising is just how successful.

o2 sold over 1 million iPhones in ’08, making it the biggest seller by far throughout their lineup. Bucking the economic trend, o2 posted a 5.9% growth in revenue and 800,000 new subscribers, a large part of which was down to Apple’s iconic device.

Whilst SIMplicity and Prepay tariffs have also proved popular for o2, they admit that a large chunk of the 289,000 PAYG sign ups in 2008 were after the iPhone went that way too…

o2 did acknowledge the iPhone’s contribution to their successes in a statement: “This reflects the focus on higher value customers across various segments, market leading churn levels, as well as the strength of propositions such as … the iPhone (3G).”

With the back page of even today’s free London Metro newspaper emblazoned with an advert showing off the value of iPhone apps (above image), it looks like o2 is committed to continuing this success well into 2009.

Personally, I’m a bit done with the iPhone. It was cool when I was one of the early adopters who paid a horribly ballooned price for it, but now everyone and their friend has one… What do you guys think? Is the iPhone still cutting edge, or the default mobile for the masses?

Source: MacUser

HTC Touch Diamond / HTC Touch Diamond 2 Comparison : Evolution Or Revolution?

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MoDaCo has noticed these images put up by CNet Asia, where the HTC Touch Diamond is sat alongside the HTC Touch Diamond 2 to discover if this jewel unveiled at Mobile World Congress has any new facets!

Screen is perceptably larger, up from 2.8″ to 3.2″, but all that real estate on the front of the Touch Diamond 2 is at the expense of the touch sensitive D-pad. Guess we’ll never officially see that crazy multi-touch on the Diamond taken advantage of now…

I was one of the few that missed the bevelled back of the original in the Touch Diamond 2′s refined stylings, I thought that was why it was called the Diamond in the first place! Apparently, HTC listened to their fans, and made a phone that can actually rest flat on a table this time around. Which is fair enough.

All in all, it looks like exactly what it is. A bigger and badder reboot that addresses the few issues (adding a memory card slot, sexier display) whilst making a desirable Windows phone. Check out that new ‘flag’ button!

It’s also upgradable to WinMo 6.5 when that is revealed, so the Touch Dimaond 2 makes for an appealing futureproof device.

Stay tuned to Omio for prices and release dates, check out the HTC Touch Diamond 2 features on our main site, and see a mobile phone comparison of all the Diamond vs. Diamond 2 specs here!

Echelon: THE Perfect Mobile Phone?

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Imagine a mobile phone that is like the dream concierge. It can arrange flights, tickets to the most exclusive events, tell you how to get the girls and win money beyond your wildest dreams.

Only thing is, the owners really want it back, and they happen to be the government. With guns.

That is the premise for new action film Echelon Conspiracy, to be released on Friday 27th February in the US. With an all star cast including Martin Sheen, Ving Rhames, Jonathan Pryce and Edward Burns, it looks to be a “Bourne switches to T-Mobile” action thriller!

Check out the trailer below…

Explosions, car chases, people running around in states of undress…pretty faithful movie adaptation of Omio’s mobile phone reviews!

Looks to be the best mobile phone-based movie since Cellular, and we at Omio know our top phone-based movies.

Nokia N97 Release Date Revealed By Play.com…Again

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Not content with getting our pulses racing with a March Nokia N97 release date earlier in the year, Play.com are revealing their hand again with a pre-order date of June 23rd 2009.

Obviously, we can no longer take it as gospel, as their March date caused so much heat in the blogosphere that it got pulled, but it surely ties in with the Q2/June N97 release window that was confirmed at Mobile World Congress.

One sticking point…the price. £649.99. We know that it has 32GB of memory, has a 5 megapixel Carl-Zeiss lens and the newest and slickest Nokia interface…but £649.99?

There is no way that people will part with almost £700 for a mobile phone whilst the fabric of our economy unravels around us. I think that’ll be the most anyone could possibly charge, despite it being a cutting-edge (if flakey at present) piece of hardware.

Oh.

Source: Nokia N97 Blog

iPhone 3G In Japan: They’re Giving Them Away!

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Japanese network Softbank will be lowering the cost of the Apple iPhone 3G as low as 0 yen (£0), in an attempt to court the cost conscious shopper between now and May.

From tomorrow, any new sign-ups to a 24 month contract will get the 8GB model of the Apple iPhone for free as opposed to the original 23,040 yen (£163) price. The 16GB version will see it’s price plummet from 34,560 yen (£245) to a bargain 11,520 yen (£82).

The iPhone has seen relatively muted success in Japan as opposed to the clamour seen in the West and China recently, but any Western device that could wrestle the grip homegrown handsets have on cool kids there can be considered a huge victory.

Concessions like the 1 Seg tuner allowed Japanese shoppers to add familiar functionality like mobile TV to their iPhones, making them a match for the best Sony and Sharp had to offer…

Nokia Laptops

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Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia, revealed that the telecommunications giant might be entering the laptop market. As reported in Reuters the CEO said “We are looking very actively also at this opportunity,” in an interview with Finnish broadcaster YLE.

If Apple, a computer manufacturer can make a phone and Google, a search engine can make an operating system, why the hell can’t a mobile phone company make a laptop? This highlights the current trend of separate technologies merging together as with smartphones which combine functions from many different devices in one handset. In Kallasvuo’s view “what we know as a cellphone and what we know as a PC are in many ways converging,”.

Techtree

iPhone 3G one step closer to launching in China

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The 3G iPhone took a step closer to being launched into the Chinese market today, Chinatechnews.com reported.

The development could see the world’s best selling smartphone move into the world’s biggest market as early as May 2009. Ovum, a British consultancy firm, have been quoted as saying that China Unicom, the nationwide GSM and CDMA mobile provider, and Apple are close to finalising the move.

Rumours have been bouncing back and forth about this for a while. Even though China Mobile started early on with their Apple negotiations, the two sides failed to reach an agreement and at the beginning of the month China Unicom even reportedly sent a negotiating team to the US to make some headway on developments.

But if this latest update is true, and it seems to be, iPhone domination isn’t far off.

Ballmer: Windows Mobile 7 Coming In Space Year 2010

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Even though Windows Mobile 6.5 was only revealed last week, production on Windows Mobile 7 has been revealed as well underway, with a timeline of release in 2010.

Speaking of Microsoft’s future plans at their Strategic Update Meeting, CEO Steve Ballmer was optimistic of the advancements WinMo 7 will bring:

“We’re extending our offer to include not only the core platform, but applications and services. We’ve made a nice release announcement last week of Windows Mobile 6.5. We’ve got Windows Mobile 7 coming next year. We’re getting more and more synergy with Windows, so the browser improvements, et cetera, should be quite rapid.”

Rapid? Windows Mobile 7 in 2010, whilst we are in February? Compared to what we’re seeing from companies like LG and Samsung in response to the iPhone’s revolutionary user experience, we’d call that quite slow.

The Windows Mobile 6.5 demo at MWC was…uninspiring, but the commitment shown by both HTC and LG show that Microsoft has the support to carry them until their truly innovative operating system is complete.

HTC has even gone as far as planning to release their HTC Touch Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2 handsets with Windows Mobile 6.1, but allowing to be upgradable to 6.5 when it is ready.

Until then, we will have to make do with the honeycombs.

How To Add Facebook Status Updates For Contacts On Nokia 5800 XpressMusic!

Big ups to MixSynth for sending us these these tips to make the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic even more friendly…with Facebook status updates! There are a few steps, but now you can keep tabs on your mates wherever you are…

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ON YOUR COMPUTER

1. Log in to Facebook
2. Go to the Facebook profile of the friend you want updates from.
3. Look at your browser’s address bar; note down your friend’s “id” number (the number to the right of the letters “?id=”)
4. Type the following in your browser’s address bar and hit Enter: http://www.facebook.com/minifeed.php?filter=11
5. Add the letters “&id=” to the end of the text in the address bar, followed by your friend’s “id” number; hit Enter
6. Click the orange “RSS” icon in the address bar (Firefox) or tab bar (Internet Explorer)
7. You should see a feed of your friend’s most recent status updates; if not, try again from step 1
8. Note down the entire URL of the feed in the address bar; it should look something like this: http://www.facebook.com/feeds/status.php?id=XXXXXXXX&viewer=XXXXXXXX&key=XXXXXXXXXX&format=rss20 (where X’s are random numbers/letters)

ON YOUR 5800 XpressMusic

9. Select your friend in the Contacts Bar and press the “three lines” button
10. Press “Edit web feeds” then “Add web feed”
11. Change the “Title” to “XXX Facebook Status” or something similar (where XXX is your friend’s name)
12. Enter the URL of the feed you noted down where it says “Web address” and press “Done”
13. Your friend’s most recent status update should now be displayed when you select their icon from the Contacts Bar; if not, check you entered the feed URL correctly; you might also need to restart the phone

Repeat the above steps for up to four contacts in your Contacts Bar.

Don’t forget to refresh the feeds (RSS icon with “reload” arrows next to it) whenever you want to check for updates.

Cheers Mixsynth! Another cool way to use the “Human Interface” that Nokia was so excited about