NFC technology is starting to be widely deployed – except for the iPhone and for webOS, it is available on all other handset platforms. Sadly, so far, it was difficult to find something to test your NFC handset on – it is much like the problem of storing an impressive Galaxy Note II in a Galaxy Note II case where no one can see it.

In the inner city of Milan, a trial has now been set up by a local carrier. It allows users to use their handsets to perform the following actions:

  • Use vouchers
  • Pay for food
  • Find out about sightseeing spots

Find out more via the URL below – videos from the 3GSM can sadly not be embedded:

Prices tend to change frequently, especially as inflation raises. At some point, using a digital screen becomes more affordable than permanentely reprinting paper price tags.

While running across a store in Vienna, I stumbled across this – a e-ink based price tag:
epaperpricetag tnl e paper displays used for price tags

Looks like the price of the technology is becoming lower and lower – have you seen any weird e-paper applications recently?

Convergence has been a key term in the industry for some time – Apps on TV is little more than a smartphone connected to a TV screen for fun and profit.

In China, tablets now attack the TV sets themselves. PandoDaily now reports the following about a new Tablet from Tencent:

With a 26-inch screen, it is really a new kind of TV.
The device is geared for media consumption rather than creation, and comes with a high-speed video player, a music library, photo album, and “high-definition video communications”. It’s available for sale in China now at the frankly pretty incredible price of RMB1,999 ($314)

What do you think?

Even though I personally remain fully convinced that RIM is developing well and will not be sold, the company nevertheless is discussed a lot in the analyst community.

A firm named Firmex has now provided us with the following graphic evaluating possible buyers:
rim sale infographic firmex Who could buy RIM

Not much to add here…

2a Bridgestone to give up on e paper productionThe (usually monochrome) e-paper technology is used commonly in all kinds of e-readers due to the ultra-low power usage.

Bridgestone, one of the largest makers of these screens, now gives up on them:

Tokyo (May, 15 2012) — Bridgestone Corporation today announced plans to withdraw from electronic paper business.

The company has made this decision after careful consideration of its options and in accordance with its management principal of “selection and concentration” which Bridgestone is implementing to put an increased focus on its core businesses to provide maximum value to its customers and shareholders. Due to increasing competition and rapidly declining prices in the liquid crystal panel business, the company decided that the best course of action for its overall business is to exit the electronic paper market.

Exact timing for the withdrawal is still being determined but the company expects to conclude its production of electronic paper by the end of October 2012.

Even though thus sounds quite a bit strange at first glance, it does make sense – according to optometricists, the backlit OLED screens are more comfortable (read: more ergonomically) to read when looking at textual information. In addition to that, e-paper is unusable when it comes to creating smart tablets which are to run operating systems like Android – let’s see what this will lead us to…

Last year, dual core smartphones were all the rage – after LG dropped its Optimus 2X, 60 million devices followed suite.

At the MWC, we now see the first quad core handsets. As all of them run on Android, please visit our sister site to find out more:

In desktop computing, it is now difficult to find a single-core processor. In smartphones, the situation is not quite as strict – but dual core CPUs are catching on fast.

Berg Insight has sent us the following, interesting bit of data:

Preliminary data from Berg Insight show that sales of high-end smartphones equipped with dual-core application processors reached 60 million units worldwide in 2011. The first smartphones with dual-core processors were unveiled at the beginning of 2011 with sales starting in February 2011. One year later, at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, several handset vendors are expected to announce their first smartphones with quad-core processors. As quad-core processors gradually find their way into high-end devices, adoption of dual-core processors will accelerate in the mid-range smartphone segment.

Looking back at the time of the introduction of HT-capable CPUs, quite a few applications experienced race conditions due to the new “paralellism”. So, definitely test your app on a dual core phone…

Dear Readers,
thanks to a total power grid failure by NS HighSpeed, my train which was scheduled to arrive in Amsterdam at 9h25 has arrived only at like 13h00.

But, I am here now:
 DevCon Europe   /me now there

DevCon Europe Reporting starts soon – visit our sister site TamsBlackBerry to find out more:

In the good old days of the Palm OS, the main issue faced by Palm was the odd resultion: a base resolution of 160×160 made scaling to more “common” resolutions was difficult.

Apple has had a similar problem with its 480×320 resolution, but managed to follow it up. Samsung is now at 800×480, and the question is what will follow next (and what is technically possible).

A PR company has now sent me the following:

MicroOLED, a maker of highly power-efficient superior image quality microdisplays for near-to-eye applications, today introduced a new 5.4 million pixel density 0.61 inch diagonal, low power consumption OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Display) microdisplay on silicon for applications demanding high picture quality, such as professional camera and camcorder equipment, night vision systems and head-mounted displays used in surgery.

The ultra-compact 5.4 million-pixel microdisplay with a sub-pixel pitch of 4.7 micrometres by 4.7 micrometres is the highest pixel density OLED microdisplay available today. By doubling the pixel density of comparable products, MicroOLED has eliminated the gap between pixels. With no black matrix present, the resulting image resolution is of the highest quality. This makes the 5.4 million-pixel 0.61 inch diagonal microdisplay most suitable for defense, medical and professional camera applications that demand sharp images with very smooth transitional tones.

As of this writing, no data on availability is given – but it looks like the resolution war can continue!

Samsung’s growth (especially at the expense of Nokia) has been tremendous – in Austria, the “shared maximal damage” policy against the Finnish manufacturer has worked out extraordinarily well.

Mobile World Live now reports the following:

Samsung is set to report smartphone shipments of well over 20 million when it reports Q3 numbers next week, a tally that will establish it as the world’s largest smartphone vendor – at least until Apple can begin to count sales of its new iPhone 4S.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the 20 million figure would top Apple’s latest quarterly iPhone sales of 17.1 million and Nokia’s 16.8 million smartphones for Q3. The Apple quarter ended 24 September, prior to the launch of iPhone 4S, and sales were down from the previous quarter suggesting many were waiting to buy the new model.

Not much to add here…

The data from the Swedish case manufacturer Krusell is extraordinarily useful as it shows “real world” data rather than the more power-user-centric data collected from things like in-app analytics.

For September 2011, the data looks as following:

PRESS RELEASE – Krusell – TOP-10 selling phones for September 2011.

1. (1) Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
2. (2) Apple iPhone 4
3. (3) Nokia 3720 Classic
4. (-) Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray
5. (7) Samsung B2100
6. (-) HTC Sensation
7. (-) Sony Ericsson Arc S
8. (8) Nokia 6303 Classic
9. (6) Samsung GT-B2710 / Xcover 271
10. (-) Nokia E52
() = Last month’s position.

The headline for Krusell’s Top Seller list of September is that in Top 3, nothing has changed from last month. Samsung Galaxy II is still the number one selling case. What is more interesting on the list is that Sony Ericsson is climbing the list with both Ray and Arc, says Ulf Sandberg CEO at Krusell. The new updated Arc S, with as a new processor and updated software has got a lot of good media which shows in the statistics. Also Ray has been met with positive feedback, and the target for Q4 is set high on this device.

Not much to add here…except that Sony Ericsson is infamous for its bad product quality and customer service…

News about RIM have not been too rosey recently – the iPhone will eat them, Palm’s firesale will kill them, etc etc.

However, the following chart clearly speaks a different language – Research in Motion’s BlackBerry has the most loyal customers:
brand loyality phones UK smartphone brand loyality   or   thanks, BBM

Not much to add here…except that having a reliable service and a critical mass of users is a sure-fire way to make a living…

After HP’s initial announcement to end webOS device sales, many considered Samsung a prime candidate for licensing the operating system.

Mobile Business Briefing now reports that Samsung is uninterested:

Samsung has moved to distance itself from talk over which vendor could purchase HP’s webOS platform, while Qualcomm has emerged as a possible surprise contender.

QualComm’s motivations are described as following:

Gold believes that Qualcomm is the most logical candidate, for a number of reasons. He notes that webOS only runs on Qualcomm chips, and that the San Diego firm is involved in the OS space (Brew) but would benefit from stronger traction in software.

What do you think?

In the beginning, color screens were based on transmissive technology – this led to horrible outdoor readability. Devices like the Palm m505 had reflective screens with a slightly weaker indoor contrast, but excellent outdoor readability.

Transmissive screens like the one on the Palm Tungsten T3 has decent outdoor readability for better indoor contrast – as most phones get sold in-doors, it was clear that outdoor readability was not too important an issue for most manufacturers.

LG nas now introduced an Android device called Optimus Sol.
lg optimus sol LG Optimus Sol   outdoor readability returns

It has totally specs, but is advertised as following:

has a two-fold advanced reflection rate compared to standard AMOLED displays

Could this signal the return of reflective screens? I’d be all for it…

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