Trend predicted by Apple CEOs Jobs, Cook: tablets up 188 percent from Q1 2012
A report from market analysts IDC looking at market conditions in the United Kingdom says that in the first quarter of 2013, tablet shipments outpaced the combined desktop and notebook PC for the first time. A total of 2.8 million tablets were shipped in Q1, outpacing the 2.3 million PC units (which include Macs alongside Windows desktops and laptops) by a half-million units -- a rise of 188 percent year-over-year. While the report is limited to the UK, the results likely foreshadow future trends elsewhere.
4G subscriber numbers after five months of service in UK
British carrier Everything Everywhere, known as EE, has revealed that 318,000 people have signed up for its 4G LTE service, just five months after it launched the first 4G network in the country. The carrier hopes to extend the number past 1 million UK customers using its high-speed network by the end of the year.
Harvester restaurant creates special offer for iPhone users only
A UK restaurant chain is experimenting with an iPhone-only coupon, usable through Apple's Passbook app, in an effort to attract new customers. The Harvester coupon, which offers £5 ($7.60) off any bill of £30 ($45.70) or more, "exceeded our expectations," according to the chain, with a nearly five percent redemption rate (similar ads generally see only a 1-2 percent redemption rate in most industries). The promotion was limited only to iPhone users who had Passbook, a feature of iOS 6 -- but the app is catching on with other businesses.
Google Map Maker extended to United Kingdom
Google has added the United Kingdom to the list of countries able to contribute improvements to its mapping data. Enabled in North Korea earlier this year, Google Map Maker allows users to submit adjustments to the main Google Maps database, including new roads not picked up from Street View cars, changes in coastlines, and areas not usually covered by Google's normal cartography efforts. The changes are then periodically reviewed and rolled into Google Maps itself.
Carrier to test 4G connections over multiple bands
British carrier EE is planning to double its spectrum allocation and increase its 4G speed in the country, before other phone networks are able to launch their own 4G LTE offerings. It plans to roll out its expanded spectrum service to 10 cities by June, and to trial carrier aggregation in an effort to provide even more bandwidth to its service.
Apple refusing to refund £3,700 bill, paper
A UK policeman, Doug Crossnan, has reported his 13-year-old son Cameron for fraud after he spent £3,700 on in-game purchases on his iPad, the Daily Mail reports. Doug tells the paper that his son was unaware he was being charged for the purchases, but that Apple has so far refused to make a refund. The fraud charge, he explains, is now the only way to recoup the money, since he needs a crime reference number for any hope of a claim.
New OS not able to advance further than BlackBerry 7 in certifications
BlackBerry's new BB10 software and hardware package has failed tests performed by the UK's Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG) and will not be used for work above the "restricted" level, two levels below "secret." Allegedly, the BB10 and BlackBerry Balance software firewall -- which is intended to separate work and personal data -- does not adequately prevent the transfer of information between accounts.
Spotify lifts five-play track limit on free accounts in UK
Spotify has lifted its five-play restriction on tracks used in its ad-supported free service in the United Kingdom. The play-limit, preventing users from listening to the same track too many times once an account is six-months old, is revoked for all users, with previously greyed-out and blocked tracks now able to be played again. While France is the last remaining country to have a five-play limit, all free accounts are still restricted to a maximum of 10 hours of music per month.
Leeds store marks rare Thursday opening
Plans for three new Apple Stores have emerged. Apple itself has announced a location in England; the Trinity Leeds outlet is launching on Thursday, in a shopping center opening on the same day. Thursday store openings are rare for Apple, which normally prefers weekends, especially Saturdays.
Legal tide so far in Apple's favor
A judge in a London court has ruled against a Samsung claim that Apple is violating a standards-essential 3G data patent. "We are disappointed by the court's decision," says a Samsung spokeswoman in an official statement. "Upon a thorough review of the judgment, we will decide whether to file an appeal. For decades, we have heavily invested in pioneering the development of technological innovations in the mobile industry, which have been constantly reflected in our products."
Deal worth $307M leaves Telefonica to work on 4G services
BskyB is acquiring Telefonica UK's landline and home broadband services. The deal, claimed to be worth around £200 million ($307 million) will see Sky become the second largest Internet service provider in the country, thanks to the addition of an extra 500,000 customers from Telefonica's Internet services, O2 and BE.
Carriers show expected shipping dates of March 15th
The HTC One has been made available to pre-order in the UK, ahead of an expected street date of March 15th. A number of carriers, including Vodafone and Three UK, have started to offer the flagship HTC device, with other retailers also offering an already-unlocked version for £510 ($780) including taxes. Another color of HTC One has also been revealed by the manufacturer.
Full interview for BBC show 'Blue Peter' now available
Sir Jonathan Ive, the head of design at Apple and the recent winner of an honor from UK children's television institution Blue Peter gave the program a rare look inside his work area, along with a brief interview that points out how carefully the designer thinks about every aspect of a design question. Also included in the video, which has now made its way to YouTube, is a rare look at an aluminum molding machine in Ive's lab, and some product designs from viewers.
Total of 4G auction winning bids lower than anticipated
UK regulator Ofcom has closed its 4G spectrum auction earlier than anticipated. Mainstream British carriers Vodafone, Telefonica, Everything Everywhere, and Three, as well as BT subsidiary Niche Spectrum Ventures, have won various sections of the 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum bands, though the money earned by the UK Treasury through the auction is far below what it expected.
UK store still stuck at 1-3 business days
The iPad mini is now officially "in stock" at Apple's online store in many countries. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US have all made the change. Some notable exceptions include places like the UK, Germany, and France, where the tablet is listed as shipping in one to three business days.
Children's show award relatively rare
BBC TV show Blue Peter has awarded the show's gold badge to lead Apple designer Jonathan Ive. Although from a children's show, the gold badge is nevertheless rare, having only been given out to about 1,000 people since the show went on the air in 1958. Some past winners have included soccer star David Beckham and Harry Potter author JK Rowling.
Claims four network-related patents infringed by carrier
Google has countersued UK telecommunications giant British Telecom over the use of our network-related patents. The countersuit is in retaliation over BT's original lawsuit, which claimed Google infringed BT-owned patents in the development of Android, Google Maps, other related services, and also basic search functions.
Glitch may prevent people from connecting to networks
(Updated with new iOS 6.1.1 rumors) Carriers Vodafone UK and 3 Austria have issued statements elaborating on problems with the iPhone 4S and iOS 6.1. "We’re aware of an issue caused by Apple iPhone 4S handsets that have been upgraded to iOS 6.1 which impacts performance on 3G. Some customers may occasionally experience difficulty in connecting to the network to make or receive calls or texts or to connect to the internet [sic]," Vodafone's notice begins.
YouTube joins BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 in on-demand service
British free-to-air satellite television provider Freesat will be allowing users to view YouTube videos through it's set-top box. The app will soon launch on the service under it's web-based On Demand service, and joins existing streaming offerings from the BBC, ITV, and soon Channel 4 and Channel 5.
Suggests 6.1.1 may solve 3G issues
Carrier Vodafone UK is warning iPhone 4S owners against upgrading to iOS 6.1, accounts say. "If you've not already downloaded iOS 6.1 for your iPhone 4s [sic], please hold off for the next version while Apple fixes 3G performance issues. Thanks," reads a text message being sent out to subscribers. Vodafone hasn't gone into any more detail on performance problems.
Existing 3G-service customers to access 4G LTE when rolled out
British carrier Three is planning to offer 4G service without requiring any changes to existing contracts, including those with an unlimited data allowance. Customers will be able to access the 4G signal on current 3G contracts without needing to pay a premium or lose any of their existing data allowance, so long as they are using smartphones capable of connecting to it, and are in an area covered by the signal.
Group claims Google promised privacy
A group of 12 people in the UK are suing Google for tracking their browsing habits via Apple's Safari browser, says The Telegraph. The case is being handled by a lawfirm called Olswang, which says that between the summer of 2011 and the spring of 2012, cookies in Safari were generating profiles of users without their knowledge, despite promises by Google and default settings in the browser. "Google has a responsibility to consumers and should be accountable for the trust placed in them. We hope that they will take this opportunity to give Safari users a proper explanation about what happened, to apologize and, where appropriate, compensate the victims of their intrusion," says Olswang partner Dan Tench.
Only second UK carrier to offer Visual Voicemail
UK carrier EE has turned on Visual Voicemail for iPhone 5 owners. Visual Voicemail allows people to treat voicemail like an email inbox, instead having to call a carrier's number and respond to prompts. With EE, though, the option is only available to iPhone 5 owners subscribed to a 4GEE plan. Data consumed by voicemail doesn't count against any caps.
Construction to start late 2013, finishing in 2016
Google will be building a new UK headquarters in Kings Cross which could eventually cost £1 billion ($1.6 billion) when completed. A 2.4-acre plot of land in one of London's largest redevelopment plans will play host to the construction of a one million square foot office for the search company, said to be completed some time in 2016.
Third High Street chain to do so in seven-day period
Movie rentals company Blockbuster's United Kingdom arm has applied for bankruptcy protection after 24 years of operation. The move takes place in the same one-week period as photography chain Jessops and music retailer HMV headed into administration in the UK, unable to battle online retailers and providers of online and post-based services
Tough holiday sales, online retailers to blame for financial issues
UK retailer HMV is going into administration after a lengthy battle for custom against online retailers, shortly after photography chain Jessops did the same and closed its stores. Accountancy firm Deloitte will be operating the chain in the interim while searching for a buyer, and hopes to keep the 4,300 staff and 239 stores of the music, games, and film retailer open until a suitable plan of action has been outlined.
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.
New purchases stopped, gift cards still accepted
Spotify has stopped users in the United Kingdom from buying music tracks. A notice stating "We're no longer supporting new download purchases on Spotify" appears when users attempt to purchase songs on the service, with the link leading to the download store FAQ not offering any immediate explanation for the change in policy.
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.
Lawsuits still being pursued, Samsung says
Samsung has dropped patent injunction applications against Apple in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, a senior executive tells the Wall Street Journal. All of the injunctions were related to wireless communications. Samsung notes that despite the withdrawal of the applications -- which is said to have been voluntary -- lawsuits accusing Apple of patent infringement remain ongoing.
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.
Shrunk 3G femtocell takes less room, passes power through
UK carrier Vodafone has released a second version of its Sure Signal box. The refreshed 3G-broadcasting femtocell compacts the internals from the router-sized original into a pass-through plug design, which not only takes up as much space as a plug-in air freshener, but also allows the power socket to be completely usable by other devices.
Streaming service first to offer UltraViolet purchasing in UK
Literary retail chain Barnes & Noble has opened its Nook Video movie and TV store in the United Kingdom. The video service is also the first digital retailer in the UK to offer UltraViolet titles for sale, allowing customers to buy films through the system as well as registering codes from purchased DVDs and Blu-Ray discs bought in stores.
Cyber Emergency Response Team, Cyber Reserve to start in 2013
The UK government is updating its Cyber Security Strategy by creating two computer-related bodies of people. A Cyber Reserve of computer technicians will work with the military to fight online threats is being set up, as well as a task force geared towards helping defend businesses and public sector organizations from similar attacks.
Google Nexus 7 added to newspaper paywall subscription deal
UK newspaper The Times is offering a discounted Google Nexus 7 as part of a subscription deal. The digital-only subscription would offer access to content hidden behind the paywall for 18 months as well as the 32GB variant of the tablet as a bundle deal. This is seen as an attempt to coerce British readers to pay for its online content, something that newspapers are finding tricky to do.
Continued requests to keep details confidential ignored by government
More details about Amazon's UK tax affairs have been released to the public by the British government, despite requests for secrecy. The ongoing Parliament's Public Accounts Select Committee released details supplied by the retailer relating to taxes, with the provided evidence showing that a total of £1.8 million ($2.9 million) in corporation tax was paid in 2011.
Supplied sales information requested to remain confidential
Amazon has released details on its Black Friday and Cyber Monday Kindle sales, calling the two days the "best ever for the Kindle family." The figures are released at the same time as confidential sales figures for the company's UK operations were published by a parliamentary committee investigating its British tax affairs.
Claims to offer 25 percent of profits, 10 percent of bills to charity
A new phone network in the UK has launched, with a focus on donating to charity. Titled The People's Operator, the carrier will offer a quarter of the company's profits to good causes through its own charitable foundation, as well as allowing customers to donate 10-percent of their monthly costs directly to a cause of their own choice.
Year-long contract offers new handsets, quicker upgrades
UK mobile network Vodafone has introduced a new phone contract that offers handset leasing. Called Red Hot, customers can pay for a contract for a 12-month period with unlimited calls, unlimited texts, insurance, and 2GB of data allowance, with the option of switching the handset for a newer model after the year's rental has completed.
Spectrum auction set to finish before April 2013
UK regulator Ofcom has issued rules for the upcoming 4G spectrum auction in the country. The newly-released timetable will see network operators such as Vodafone and O2 submit bids for spectrum from January onwards, with the combined reserve prices for the 800MHz and 2.6GHz ranges being auctioned totaling over £1.3 billion ($2 billion).
Payment under 'indemnity' basis due to 'false and misleading' information
Apple has been ordered to pay Samsung's costs in its UK legal battle. The Court of Appeal made the order under an "indemnity basis," typically higher than the normal "standard" basis of legal costs, due to the "false and misleading" information placed by Apple in the first court-ordered statement on its website.
White space control could lead to free national public Wi-Fi
Google and Microsoft are both seeking control of the UK's unused spectrum, according to reports. The white spaces, sections of radio spectrum used as a buffer between bands employed by mobile, radio, and television services, could potentially be used by the technology giants to offer nationwide broadband services to the population.
RIM 7-inch tablet has faster processor, fixed storage
Blackberry has released the PlayBook 3G+ in the United Kingdom. The tablet has been made available in the country with a single storage capacity of 32GB, and while the 3G data connection is a welcome addition, it does not have the capability of connecting to the newly-launched and faster national 4G network.
Toned-down statement in response to UK Court order
Apple has updated its website in order to follow a court ruling for a second time. After the UK Court of Appeal attacked the original attempt, deeming it non-compliant, Apple has put another notice up for UK-based website viewers. While toned down from the original attacking-style of the first version, the new statement forces users to scroll down in order to see it in the first place.
Published statement toned down from non-compliant text
Apple has published its first printed "apology" statement, as mandated by the UK Court of Appeal. The statement appears at the bottom of page five of The Guardian, and is seemingly more restrained in its wording compared to the version that appeared on its website, which has since been removed from view.
Apple to publish amended statement within 48 hours
Apple has been attacked by the UK Court of Appeal over how the company worded its acknowledgment that Samsung did not infringe on iPad design patents. The original statement was considered not to be compliant with the court order, and Apple has been instructed to republish a more appropriate statement on its website.
Carrier turns on 4G coverage in 11 cities
Everything Everywhere has turned on its 4G network in the UK. The new network, jointly created by Orange and T-Mobile, has gone live in 11 cities across the country, in the first wave of the carrier's national rollout that will see 98 percent of the UK population covered by the end of the year 2014.
Store photos, staff confirm launch, pricing
Google will be releasing the 32-gigabyte version of its Nexus 7 tablet either today or tomorrow. The 7-inch tablet will be launched despite the cancellation of the press event in New York, caused by Hurricane Sandy, and has been confirmed to take place in both the UK and the US, as well as a price-drop for the 16GB version. The same cannot be said for the expected 10-inch version, which is more likely to be a future release.
Published judgement includes coolness comments
Apple has updated its website to comply with a court order in the UK. A small link at the bottom of apple.com/uk titled "Samsung/Apple UK judgement" takes visitors to a seperate page, explaining that the High Courty of Justice of England and Wales found the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9, and Tab 7.7 do not infringe one of Apple's design patents.
Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited to move Freeview channels
The UK may have a quicker overall rollout of faster mobile network services than previously thought. Mobile carriers Everything Everywhere, O2, Vodafone, and Three have stopped their legal threats, and have joined together to create a company specifically to aid in deploying LTE services in the 800MHz band by clearing it of TV signals.