Proposals to help create single European mobile market
The European Commission (EC) has voted to scrap mobile charges caused through roaming in 2014. The vote, held by a group of 27 European Commissioners on Tuesday, fast-tracks the proposal to ban the extra charges on calls, texts, and data, with a view to having it implemented by carrier by the beginning of July next year.
Five-inch 1080p display, quad-core Snapdragon S4 used, 4G LTE missing
Chinese device manufacturer Oppo has put its Find 5 smartphone on sale in Europe. The mobile phone, available as an unlocked handset directly from Oppo itself via its European online store, offers a five-inch display with a 1080p resolution, giving it a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch, while inside is a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro running at 1.5GHz with 2GB of RAM.
Questionnaire asks if anti-competitive clauses in Apple contracts exist
The European Commission is looking into how Apple sells the iPhone in Europe, by asking carriers about their experience with the company. A questionnaire allegedly sent to carriers in the region asks if Apple's sales tactics are anti-competitive, a well as asking if Apple restricts the iPhone's use on some sort of technical level.
Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong set for May Surface Pro launch
The Microsoft Surface Pro will start shipping in a number of other countries later this month, as part of the company's plans to expand its retail availability further than the US, Canada, and China. The United Kingdom will see the device appearing on store shelves on May 23, while a number of markets in Europe looking to get the slate computer on May 30.
Expanded, multi-floor layout gives Mac maker showcase space
[Updated with video of grand opening] Europe's latest "showcase" Apple Store, the Kurfürstendamm outlet in Berlin that is set to open on Friday at 5pm local time, looks to take its place as one of the most beautiful on the continent -- comparing favorably to premiere stores in Paris and London among others. The large facility, with some 48,000 square feet, has room for luxuries like an expanded theater space and classically-appointed conference room, while still retaining a sleek and modern main sales floor at the ground level following extensive renovations to the century-old building.
Exchange of ownership for $774 million in cash, stock, to help simplify business
Electronics retailer Best Buy is selling its stake in Carphone Warehouse Group to co-owner Carphone Warehouse, in its continued efforts to financially turn itself around. The sale, which sees Best Buy exchange its holdings in the European entity for £500 million ($774 million) in cash and stock according to a statement, effectively ends Best Buy's faltering expansion into the continent.
Google agrees to label search results, links to competitors
Google has struck a deal with the European Commission, in order to end a two-year antitrust investigation into its search practices, according to a report. The legally binding agreement will see Google clearly labeling any search results that come up for its own products and services, and in some instances, providing links from competing search engines.
Google dismisses allegations
European acquisition could offer data-focused contracts
American carrier AT&T is looking towards expanding into Europe, according to insiders. The telecommunications giant may be making a bid to buy a mobile phone network, with the likelihood that the company will upgrade older generations of technology and improve the slow rate of 4G rollouts, as well as moving towards more modern pricing structures of contracts.
Satellite demonstration channel broadcasts 4K resolution content
The first channel dedicated to broadcasting Ultra HD content has launched in Europe. Operated by Eutelsat Communications, the channel started broadcasting demonstration footage on January 8th, with the aim of helping television manufacturers, satellite services, pay-TV operators and production companies in broadcasting their own content in the format.
Issue suspected to be Vodafone-specific problem
BlackBerry users in the UK, Europe and Africa using Vodafone are suffering from server issues. Research In Motion devices in affected regions are finding that data-related services, such as BlackBerry Messenger and e-mails, are not functioning normally, but the UK carrier assures it will be rectified by network engineers in the near future.
Fourth of 13 total gifts for UK, Canada, Europe users
Apple's 12 Days of Christmas app, available only in Canada, Mexico, the UK, Australia and New Zealand and parts of Europe, added to its list of gifts with a free HD episode of the critically-acclaimed BBC Drama Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. The episode in question, "A Study in Pink," is loosely based on the classic novel "A Study in Scarlet" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It originally aired as one of three episodes in the show's first series.
Promotional iTunes giveaway app not available in the US
Apple's 12 Days of Christmas app, available only in select regions (the UK, Canada, Europe), comes with a twist this year -- an early gift "to help you get started." The app, which celebrates the period between Christmas and the traditional date of the baptism of Christ, offers a set of free iTunes merchandise every day for the 12 days. The app normally doesn't begin announcing goodies until December 26, but this year has begun offering Rod Stewart's interpretation of "Let It Snow" as a free music video starting yesterday.
All litigation dropped, Le Monde claims Google paying 5 million euros
Google took to its European blog today, and announced that it has reached a settlement with Belgian publishers that launched a suit against it six years ago. In the suit, the publishers argued that Google linked to cached copies and utilized portions of French-language content illegally. All litigation has been dropped under the new deal, but some ambiguity exists as to what exactly the European publishers have received as part of the deal.
UK stores hinted at through landlord talks
Microsoft will be gauging the public reaction to Microsoft Stores in the US before expanding into Europe. The performance of existing US stores will decide the fate of potential store launches on the continent, though Microsoft has already launched permanent international branches in Canada and Puerto Rico successfully.
Sources suggest missing first-year target to blame
Panasonic is to withdraw from European mobile phone sales within the next six months, according to reports. If true, the exit would see the company move out from the continent, with leaks suggesting that it will most likely miss its self-set target of 1.5 million smartphone sales this financial year.
Android app store launch hints at Kindle Fire on continent
The Amazon Appstore is now available to Europeans in a localized format. The Android-based service from Amazon is up and running in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, with prices in local currency and a more regionalized list of apps being featured on its front page. The timing of the Appstore launch ahead of a press event suggests that the European launch of an Amazon tablet such as the Kindle Fire or it's likely replacement could be on the cards.
Economy, imminent Windows 8 release, tablet market cited
Mirroring global trends, PC market analyst firm Gartner reports that PC shipments in western Europe declined 2.4 percent in the second quarter of 2012 over the same period in 2011. Mobile PC shipments grew four percent, while desktop workstation shipments declined 12.8 percent. The professional PC market declined 5.3 percent, with 0.4 percent growth in the consumer PC market.
Prepaid Satellite Internet aimed at travellers, rural locations
Satellite operator Avanti Communications has started a pay-as-you-go satellite broadband service in Europe. The wholesale connection provider will now allow its service partners to sell the high-bandwidth Ka-band service to their customers based on bandwidth usage instead of a recurring monthly subscription. The aim of the new pricing scheme is to attract those who see satellite broadband as too expensive for their needs, especially those in remote locations or frequently travelling.
Bars deep packet inspection, wiretapping data
The government of the Netherlands has become the first European country to pass a net neutrality law. The legal precedent prevents internet service providers from traffic management except in the cases of congestion and network security, and also includes restrictions on ISPs performing deep packet inspection and other similar wiretapping techniques.
Timeframe for resolution remains unclear
European Union officials have reaffirmed their commitment to an ongoing Google antitrust investigation, however regulators have hinted that the probe may take much longer to complete. In a statement provided to , EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia admitted that "we are not there yet."
ViewSonic PLED-W200 has short throw and tiny size
ViewSonic has launched the PLED-W200 projector in Europe. It can display a 40-inch screen within a four-foot projection distance, weighs less than a pound, and is smaller than three stacked DVD cases.
US excluded from special offer
Starting slightly earlier this year than normal, Apple has released its 12 Days of Christmas companion app for its upcoming promotion in the UK and other parts of Europe, along with Canada. The promotional period, which runs from December 26th to the 6th of January, offers a free "gift" from the iTunes Store every 24 hours -- usually a song, app, movie rental or e-book.
Smartphones, in contrast, compliment viewing
A recent research study from carrier Orange has that, in Europe, tablet usage cannibalizes TV viewing. In contrast, smartphones tend to complement TV consumption. The research also found that tablet users are more likely to make purchases using the device than their handset counterparts.
Display detachable for other eyewear
Vuzix has announced that its Tac-Eye LT, a rugged monocular display mounted on Oakley's SI Ballistic M-Frame 2.0 protective glasses, is now available for customers in Europe. The system integrates a small AMOLED display with 852x600 resolution, enabling users to view content from a wearable computer or other video sources.
European high-end brand comes to US
European speaker maker Libratone has introduced two new speaker systems, the Live and Lounge, that are designed to work with Apple's AirPlay standard. The Lounge system is the larger of the two, offering Scandinavian aesthetics and a combination of ribbon-based tweeters and midrange drivers that are designed to disperse sound in different directions.
Sculptures to appear in European cities
Nikon appears to be the company behind a marketing campaign labeled "The Big Hands." Individuals in Europe have begun receiving postcards referencing The Big Hands and showing people holding their hands as if they are taking a picture with a camera, however the camera itself is absent from the images.
Change aims to aid aging musicians
The Council of the European Union has voted to extend copyright protection terms for sound recordings by 20 years. The move was widely supported by the recording industry, pushed through as a way to "help aging sessions musicians" by ensuring that royalties would not be cut off as the copyright holders were ready to retire.
Latest study continues disagreement over effects
A new study exploring the effects of cellular radiation has found no relationship between cellphone use and cancer in children and adolescents. The European study, which was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, aimed to focus on the potential risks for young users, amid concerns that children are more sensitive to radiation than adults.
International sales dominate Apple revenue
Apple has reportedly continued to experience a strong surge in revenue from overseas markets, according to data collected by analyst firm Capital IQ. Although the company's performance in the Americas has been spectacular, sales growth in Europe, Japan and the Asia Pacific has been even stronger. The company is said to have received only 41 percent of its overall revenue from international markets in 2005, however the overseas portion jumped to 56 percent by 2010.
Finland pricing starts at 549 Euros
Samsung has confirmed pricing and launch details for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 8.9 in select European countries, including Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. Customers in Sweden will be the first with a chance to buy the larger tablet, which is scheduled to arrive at the local mobile carrier TeliaSonera on June 29.
Ban would include mobile phones
Europe's Committee of Ministers has recommended placing new limits on electromagnetic emission levels. This would include banning mobile phones and other devices from classrooms and schools. The new rules would also force Wi-Fi and cell transmission tower builders to consult with local authorities and interest groups before constructing any new towers.
Soundtrackr also set to offer WP7 app
Microsoft has confirmed that Spotify will soon be available for Windows Phone 7 handsets. The music streaming service, currently limited to European markets, is also being offered as an app for Microsoft's aging smartphones running Windows Mobile 6.
Device offers similar features to the X3
Nokia has expanded its X-series handsets to include the X2, an entry-level music phone. The candybar design integrates a 2.2-inch QVGA screen and dual speakers inside the 13mm-thick housing. Music-centric features include dedicated playback keys, FM stereo support, and a microSD slot for memory expansion up to 16GB.
Customers can set their own cut-off limits
The European Commission has initiated part of its new roaming regulations for cellular providers based in countries of the EU. As of Monday, carriers are now required to introduce cut-off mechanisms designed to protect against "bill shock" when subscribers utilize data services while traveling throughout countries in Europe.
UK regulators ask to take over investigation
The UK's Office of Fair Trading has asked to review the proposed merger between France Telecom SA and Deutsche Telekom AG’s British units. The two companies do business in the UK as Orange and T-Mobile, respectively. Currently the deal is being examined by the European Commission, which will rule on the request by March 1. A review by the British agency would most likely delay the merger until next year.
European growth outstrips global figures
A multi-channel strategy is at least partly responsible for Apple's high fourth-quarter growth in Europe, says Pascal Cagni, Apple's general manager and VP for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India. Whereas growth was 20 percent in the Americas and 25 percent worldwide, combined European revenues advanced 45 percent. Some $2.491 billion was accumulated in the region, as compared to the $4.297 billion produced in the Americas.
Leaked pic corroborates earlier rumors
Several alleged screenshots from a Norwegian GameStop inventory system show what appears to be several 250GB PS3 bundles, according to Joystiq. The gaming systems have been paired with titles such as Need for Speed: Shift, FIFA 10, Uncharted 2, and Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time.
iPhone European sales
The iPhone 3G S appears to be selling swiftly in the European market, with O2 anticipating 50-percent higher sales than the iPhone 3G launch. The carrier is observing a ten-fold increase in average foot traffic, with entry in prime locations limited to customers purchasing a new iPhone. Availability in Italy has been expanded, with a third carrier set to offer the devices.
Europe iPhone 3G S prices
Several European carriers, including Orange in France and T-Mobile in Germany, have announced pricing for the iPhone 3G S. The new handset will be available from Orange on June 19th, with the 16GB model carrying a price of €149 (~$205 USD). Customers choosing the 32GB variant will have to pay €229 (~$315 USD) for the device.
HTC teaser invitation
HTC has sent invitations to a press event to be held in London, UK, according to PhoneMag.com. The teaser simply reads "Come see..." but does not provide any additional details regarding the focus of the event. The company already announced the HTC Snap earlier this year, although a number of reports have provided details surrounding the Android-based Hero handset. The device is said to launch exclusively through Orange in Europe later this year.
Apple battery controversy
Developing European Union guidelines could force Apple to adopt a more user- and environmentally-friendly approach to batteries, reports say. The legal body is currently in the process of drafting a "New Batteries Directive," which would expand on the present set of guidelines designed to make it easier to remove, dispose of and/or recycle old batteries. The present directive indicates that companies must make it simple to remove batteries from electronics; the proposed one would insist that batteries can be "readily removed" for replacement or disposal.
4GB fourth-gen Nano?
Select resellers are stocking a 4GB version of the new iPod nano, in spite of Apple's announced capacities, a report claims. Although the Nano is officially available only in 8 and 16GB versions, Dutch resellers HTR are said to be carrying a smaller model. A Belgian reseller, Lab9, suggests that Apple has released a limited number of 4GB players to resellers, which are generally being priced at €119.
Pan-European music OK'd
The European Commission has ordered music copyright organizations to allow pan-European licensing schemes, says the Associated Press. At present, companies looking to sell music throughout Europe must negotiate agreements with 24 separate collecting societies, scattered throughout the European Union. While this may protect national industries and culture, the Commission has ruled that it also breaks antitrust regulations, giving the societies monopolies in their respective homelands.
European music royalties
The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance has come out against proposed changes to how online music royalties are collected, writes the Associated Press. The conflict stems from an ongoing investigation by the European Commission, aimed at addressing antitrust concerns relating to the lack of Europe-wide royalty schemes. The Commission notes that currently, national copyright agencies have effective monopolies in their respective regions; there is also a need to negotiate as many as 27 separate royalty schemes for an album, something which may be hampering the spread of European music.
iPhone subsidy in US?
Apple will likely allow carriers to subsidize the sales of the iPhone, but will lose a portion of the monthly revenue, a new report claims. Supporting previous reports of an expected carrier subsidy in the UK, The Financial Times says that the iPhone is set to be sold at significantly lower prices in both the US and Western Europe -- perhaps as much as $200 lower than the price of the current iPhone (available for $399 in the US). The move, the report claims, is a "tacit acknowledgement by the US technology company that its previous sales strategy was not sustainable," although may have been a necessary for Apple to hit its self-created 10 million iPhone sales target for the calendar year, the report claims.
iPhone in Europe by August
The 3G broadband version of the iPhone should be on sale in at least some European countries before August, according to the New York Times. The newspaper cites an unidentified source "close to the situation," who says that the timing is connected to plans by Vodafone and Telecom Italia to release the phone across the continent. Specifically, Apple is said to want the 3G version on sale in new countries before the peak of the European vacation season, a time when many people might like to make use of functions such as the phone's mobile web browser.
iPhone exclusivity issue
Apple could be re-evaluating its iPhone exclusivity agreements in future global releases as it expands into Europe, Asia, Central, and South America. Spanish language news site CincoDias writes that the same business methodology that Apple used to successfully launch the iPhone in the US doesn't necessarily mean the approach works globally. The publication cites poor European sales – when contrasted to North American numbers – especially due to individuals compromising the device's exclusivity through alternative means.
KORE 2 Workshop dates
In brief: We have a review of FileMaker's Bento, dates for the KORE 2 workshop tour have been announced, Zerofractal Studios has debuted Tree3D, European Country Keynote themes are available, and 1 million copies of Parallels have been sold ... We have posted a review of FileMaker's Bento. In Bento, you choose customizable forms and a number of containers, each with a specific use. Bento veers away from the more technical database jargon and refers to its databases as Collections in a library and compares them with iTunes playlists. Text entry boxes still use the term fields, like its big brother FileMaker, but Bento includes templates so that you can skip the frustrating design process completely.
European iPhone efforts
Apple's general manager of operations in Europe, Pascal Cagni, has vowed that the company will improve sales of the iPhone on the continent. "We can incontestably do better in Europe," Cagni tells French newspaper Les Echos. While not completely disastrous, sales of the iPhone have been lower than expected in Europe, with France having only recently passed the 100,000 unit mark. Both Germany and the UK have slashed prices in order to boost sales, although this is likely to clear stock in advance of a 3G iPhone.