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Nokia Cements No.1 Spot In UK, BlackBerry Grabs Fourth Place From LG

It seems as though the fight for smartphone supremacy is still raging unabated, with Nokia stretching their lead on Samsung to remain the leader in the UK mobile phone market.

Surprisingly, Samsung stole the top spot in the tail end of 2009, going hard in the run up to Christmas with 33% of the market in their touch driven grip – evergreen prepay sellers like the Samsung Tocco Lite were a major contributing factor.

Spurred by the first phones to sport Nokia’s new ‘letter plus single number’ nomenclature – the X3 and X6 – as well as the E72 business handset, the Finnish phone maker reclaimed the no. 1 spot in early January, with around 30% of the UK market sewn up.

The Korean manufacturer is still firing off a salvo of strong handsets including the Samsung Genio Slide and Genio QWERTY, as well as starting 2010 with a heavy advertising push towards the female demographic with the Android-powered Galaxy Portal.

Hinging on the handset’s ability to use augmented reality to find the nearest shoe shops and bars (seriously), Samsung aims to increase their (according to Gfk stats) 21% share.

Sony Ericsson remains steadfast at number three, despite the many troubles they faced in bringing their flagship Satio, Aino and XPERIA X2 phones to the UK.

Dispelling a disappointing fourth quarter to the annals of history, they manufacturer is pinning their hopes on the high-def credentials of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz, with a phalanx of Android phones in hot pursuit.

With the Google-powered trio of the XPERIA X10, X10 mini and the X10 mini pro alongside the Vivaz and QWERTY-fied Vivaz pro, Sony Ericsson is focusing on a core group of smartphones to suit all tastes.

Fourth place is a bit of a surprise, with BlackBerry stealing the spot from Korean manufacturer LG in a last ditch bid for smartphone supremacy.

Canadian firm Research In Motion – makers of the BlackBerry – have been successful in targetting the prepay market with handsets like the Curve 8520, as well as benefitting greatly from the brand’s mainstream popularity amongst the ‘celebutante’ crowd.

This has seen the firm raise their cut of the UK market to a healthy 11%, leapfrogging LG despite the company’s first foray into Android waters with the InTouch Max GW620.

Still going strong with between 8 and 9% of the market, the Korean manufacturer looks to continues to innovate at both ends of the spectrum.

Despite being the first manufacturer announced to work with Windows Phone 7 Series as well as exploring Intel’s smartphone tech with the GW900, LG are still focussing on the feature phone heartland with a range of devices with the Cookie Fresh and Cookie Plus.

Despite the iPhone’s seeming ubiquity on British streets, Apple’s iconic device only has a small fraction of the market at large.

What is certain is that the industry’s inevitable shift towards a ‘smartphone democracy’ will mean that what was once bleeding edge tech will trickle down to affordable price points more quickly than ever, whilst still keeping those top tier handsets for the geeky elite (ourselves included) to flash down the pub.

We’ll be sure, as ever, to let you know how to get those hot handsets on the best mobile phone deals

Thanks, Mobile News.


Samsung C3510 Genoa: Bargain Fashion Phone Makes European Debut

The gorgeous cut price touchscreen handset that enjoyed an Indian summer as the Corby Pop has finally made it to British shores as the Samsung C3510 Genoa.

This bargain blower inherits the good looks of the Samsung family, looking much like the Genio Touch variant albeit with slightly reduced specs to make it even more affordable.

The C3510′s 2.8-inch touchscreen is resistive rather than capacitive (if you don’t know what that means, you won’t notice!), the changeable Fashion Jacket rear is absent whilst the snapper has been stepped down from 2 megapixels to 1.3 – not a great loss.

On the plus side, the C3510 Genoa now has support for a 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as a little weight around the midriff…

The social networking integration and live updates have made the jump to the Genoa intact, with homescreen widgets that give easy access to displaying and posting status updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Samsung C3510 deals will be available on e2Save from the 9th of February, with a free handset at only £15 per month on Orange deal already available on pre-order.

If you need a cheap ticket to the touchscreen party, the C3510 Genoa is one of the best!

Samsung Genio Slide Shakes Up Touchscreen Game, Vodafone Timed Exclusive

A phone for those that expect a little bit more for their social networking handset now, the Samsung Genio Slide launches today as a Vodafone timed exclusive with some refreshingly high-end features!

This handset is the third in the highly successful Genio range, following up the Genio Touch and text-friendly Genio QWERTY with a great device that offers the best of both worlds.

The 2.8″ touchscreen makes the Genio Slide perfect as a full touch phone, sporting 3G support as well as GPS to find your way in a pinch.

Other Genio Slide features that wouldn’t be out of place in a smartphone include support for BBC iPlayer, Facebook integration for instant messages and status updates, and even wi-fi connectivity for those who just can’t get enough of the social stratosphere.

A four row slide out keyboard is the icing on an already sumptuous cake, whilst the 3-megapixel camera is more than good enough for capturing those compromising situations…

Memory is a mere 100MB, but nothing a microSD card can’t handle, whilst the deals available make the Genio Slide a steal!

With the handset available for free, £15 per month gets 75 minutes and 250 texts on a 24 month deal, whilst an (increasingly rare) 12 month offer gives 300 minutes and unlimited texts for £30 per month.

Sems like after dominating the touchscreen game in 2009, Samsung are gunning for the mid-range market with a vengeance!


Samsung Genio Touch To Get Wi-Fi Boost?

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Whilst the Samsung Genio Touch has seen huge success as an affordable touchscreen handset (and a rave review from ourselves), one of our few reservations was the lack of wireless connectivity in the device.

Well, it seems like the Genio Touch (answering to the name ‘Corby’ outdie the UK) will be getting upgraded to support wi-fi with a new model, dubbed the Corby S53650W.

The rest of the bargain blower’s specs will be staying put, keeping the changable covers and social networking skills that made the Genio a multi-million seller in only three months.

Samsung are no strangers to releasing ‘remixes’ of their handsets, with the S5230 Star/Tocco Lite recently receiving a Wi-Fi boost and a similar ‘W’ suffix, but unfortunately dodging a Blighty release and only being made available overseas.

We’re currently getting in touch with Samsung to see if this souped up touchphone will be in UK stores in the new year, whilst maintaining the Genio Touch’s impressively low price point.

Source

Social Networking on Mobiles: Esoteric or Essential?

motorola-DEXT-2Time was once that talking and texting were more than sufficient functionality for a mobile phone.

The fact that mobile phones could keep people connected irrespective of time and place made them the social networking tool.

No more notes left on the fridge, no more answerphone messages or waiting by payphones, the mobile as a primary means of communication was a turning point that increased people’s voracious appetite for instant gratification.

The downside of this is that now everyone has to know what was going on, all of the time. Which is fine, because everyone else is only too happy to broadcast the minutiae of their daily lives from the comfort of a computer.

More erudite than text, more vivid than picture messages, these sites serve as mini-blogs where thoughts, feelings, rants and regaling of tall tales became commonplace.

All the while mobile phones have been missing out, out of step with the explosion of social sites. Up until recently, attempts to take social networking mobile have been little more than a paltry logo in a phone menu serving as a bookmark, with the use of a mobile-optimised site painfully unintuitive to use upon its languid arrival.

Whether these sites actually serve a purpose is moot. People are inextricably linked to them, their Wall acting as a meeting point, their homepage reflecting personality and acting as a virtual pinboard for all their photos, messages and moods. The need to maintain these with more frequency was overwhelming, and only recently has mobile truly stepped up to fill that void.

The shift has only gathered pace now that cutting-edge mobile phone tech has become a mass market commodity. 3G connectivity is now a necessity rather than a luxury, as are full QWERTY keyboards. The fact that Samsung has managed to sell over 9 million units of their Tocco Lite in a mere six months (and 3 million of the Genio Touch in two months) is a stark sign that touch screen phones are no longer the preserve of CEOs and ardent early adopters.

The initial wave of social networking on mobile seemed to embrace the concept of ‘push’, not in the sense of the instant forwarding of mail, but rather in the nature of beaming out alerts and updates with the mobile phone acting as a beacon to the world.

Little more than text windows, these light servings of social media at least enabled access to the core functionality of a site, without the drain that the profusion of images, Farmville updates and sheep throwing usually faced with when logging onto Facebook. Log in, look at the status updates of others, add a new one of your own, log off. Simple.

Despite seeming like the latest bandwagon to jump on, the latest phones have shifted from a push service to one of ‘pull’, drawing information from a variety of social networking hubs to populate a handset full of unique personal information.

Handsets like the Palm Pre, Motorola DEXT and the forthcoming Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 all ‘pull’ data from these sites (once given permission) effortlessly, adding contact names and images to phone numbers, drawing status updates and alerts to present them in full view. The latter two operate on Google’s Android operating system, a platform engineered to make the most of the mobile web. Novel additions like tracks listened to on Last.fm and recent tweets truly add a vibracy and level of interaction with contacts that has never been seen before.

This idea of pulling data from social networking sites has managed to transcend the mobile phone entirely with offerings like Vodafone 360, termed as an internet service that brings phone, email, chat and social network contacts together in one place.

Debuting on their Linux-driven Samsung 360 H1 and 360 M1 phones, Vodafone 360 is designed as being able to exist independently of a particular mobile or manufacturer, acting as a separate entity to keep friends connected (and using data, presumably) on their network.

With plans to serve 360 up as an application for iPhone when the coveted device arrives onto the carrier in early 2010, Vodafone realises that the value and longevity this kind of additional service can extend far beyond shilling a particular handset and in fact become a reason to join their network over another.

Whilst far from a novelty prior to Apple’s device, mobile applications where somewhat of a dark art until the iPhone became an alluring proof of concept for the casual observer, whilst their App Store gave a prominent shop window for these wares to be displayed. Many of these apps piggyback on the fun side of social networking sites, enabling multiple status updates or grouping of content to be done with ease.

Naturally the world’s manufacturers have followed suit, causing dedicated social applications to be created for practically every phone platform, and literally hundreds of third party solutions for micro-blogging and the like.

Sony Ericsson phones like the Yari have Facebook functionality built into the device, enabling a rich and vivid user experience directly from the homepage. A stream of the latest status updates from friends and presented directly onto the home screen, and a single press enables a response, with the ability to add status updates and reply to Inbox messages without missing a beat.

This is the instant gratification users have been clamouring for, that seamless integration of social networking into core functionality, rather than lip service and laggy web apps that do little to enhance the online experience.

INQ1The INQ1 from 3 is a revolutionary handset, not only in the degree of connectivity between on- and offline content, pooling of contact information from social networking sites, but also offering instant messaging over Windows Live and VoIP calls over Skype, all in an eminently affordable phone.

Treating social networking and internet connectivity as integral functionality rather than a marketer’s bullet point, the INQ1 was rightly recognised as a landmark device, and put the meagre offerings from many supposedly smart phones to shame.

With the new INQ Mini 3G, they have added support for today’s trending topic – Twitter – whilst giving the phone itself a much needed reboot in the style stakes. The micro-blogging service currently has the pulses racing of the social elite, and it is a natural fit for mobiles to dip into the world of hashtags and retweets.

Having said that, the value of Twitter as a real-time news service cannot be ignored, as breaking events from the Hudson River plane crash to the Balloon Boy saga have been documented in up-to-the-minute 140 character glory on mobiles.

The brevity and constraints of Twitter are enablers to get messages out there with a minimum of fluff, rather than the destroyer of the English language that school professors make it out to be.

The portable nature of a mobile phone combined with the ubiquity and connective tissue of social media sites are finally realising the potential of everyone becoming a news source, first on the scene whether a raging inferno or an underground rave.

Everyone always online regardless of location, with the ability to exchange pictures, jokes and occasionally useful information makes the current age of mobile phone the most exciting since the heady days of extendable aerials and Snake.

Mobile phones have certainly caught up with social networking, and it is up to the sites to pick up the slack. Video streaming, geo-targeting nearby friends Google-Latitude style, multi-player gaming – there is so much more that the medium can offer when unshackled from the constraints of a desktop computer.

When the current crop of networking site adopt the added functionality that a mobile phone can bring, rather than making Facebook a bit more phone-sized, only then might it become essential in our daily lives.

Samsung Genio Review: Fresh And Funky Handset For The Budget Market!

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It seems like only yesterday that the yoof-friendly Samsung Genio was unveiled to a baying crowd of The Saturdays fans in trendy North London…that’s probably because it was.

Nonetheless, GSMArena were quick off the mark to review the bright and bashy mobile phone, and came away impressed with the customised cartoon user interface, head-turning design and changeable Fashion Jackets which enable the Genio to act as the ultimate fashion accessory!

With a 2.8″ capacitive display, the S3650 Genio (dubbed the Corby elsewhere on the planet) proved responsive and fun to use, whilst the Facebook, MySpace and Twitter integration cement the handset as ideal for the connected generation. Inheriting many of the appealing traits of the Samsung Jet including one-finger zoom and the TouchWiz interface, it certainly

Direct uploads to YouTube and Flickr see the genial Genio stray into smart phone waters, whilst the 2 megapixel camera, FM radio, Bluetooth and music recognition make it a phone which kids won’t be embarrassed to bring out on the bus.

Downsides? Well, they understand that the Genio is a budget blower, but the lack of 3G and Wi-Fi on such a web-savvy mobile makes surfing and status updates pretty slow.

Also the lack of a virtual keyboard (it remains as 12 numerical buttons, rather than a QWERTY), no flash on the camera and absent accelerometer might bother the technophiles of GSMArena, but kids will be too busy happy slapping or texting each other to notice…

Given the pocket-friendly price of the Samsung Genio, the balance of specs and fashion seems to tick all the boxes for mobile phone fans and mini-fashionistas alike.

Check out full Samsung Genio specs on Omio.com.

genio fashion jackets