The first official day of Mobile World Congress was riddled with exciting launches and delivered press conferences from some of the big guns of the smartphone world. Without Samsung and HTC to stand in their way, the likes of Asus, LG and ZTE threw down the Android gauntlet, and Nokia revealed the latest handsets in its ever-expanding range of Windows Phone 8 devices.
Despite the early hour, CNET staff were out in force with not a bleary eye in sight to cover Nokia's 8.30 a.m. press conference. A series of budget and midrange handsets were launched, chief … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Mozilla and a slew of allies debuted Firefox OS this week -- but one powerful potential partner is passing.
That company is Samsung, which like Apple is a dominant smartphone maker. A high-level Samsung executive said at the Mobile World Congress show here that Samsung isn't interested in Mozilla's browser-based operating system.
That shouldn't come as a surprise given the company's other mobile operating system choices. Samsung is the top dog in the Android market -- its new flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone will debut March 14 -- and the most obvious OS alternative is … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Verizon Wireless plans to have several international 4G LTE roaming partners lined up by 2014, CNET has learned.
Executives from the wireless carrier, which boasts the world's largest LTE network, are in town to discuss potential roaming agreements, according to a company representative.
The first roaming partnerships will be announced in 2014. At least one Canadian company will be in the first wave of carriers, the representative said.
The move will allow Verizon customers to go overseas and still get a consistent high-speed wireless connection. The company has roaming deals for voice and some data services in 220 … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Sit Nokia CEO Stephen Elop down for a few moments, and one thing becomes immediately clear: Nokia is all about differentiating.
Ever since the beginning of the company's resurgence two years ago when it reshaped itself as a maker of Windows phones, Nokia has celebrated its difference, its European heritage, and even a level of quirkiness.
Today, Elop reinforced the message again and again as he addressed a small gathering of journalists at Mobile World Congress here.
Nokia Lumia designs are special, Elop says, since they're bold. The PureView imaging algorithms and camera stabilization springs are a … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Samsung's next flagship smartphone will play a key role in Visa's mobile payment ambitions.
The two companies unveiled a partnership today in which Samsung would incorporate Visa's PayWave mobile payment applet in its future devices, as well as use Visa to make it easier for customers to tie their Samsung phones to a financial institution and Visa account.
While not referenced specifically, the upcoming Galaxy S4 will be the flagship product for Visa's program, according to a person familiar with the partnership.
Samsung will be part of the Visa Ready Partner Program, which was announced … Read more
WebOS gets another shot at life thanks to LG Electronics.
LG is acquiring WebOS from Hewlett-Packard, with the intention to use the operating system not for its mobile phones, but in its smart televisions. With the deal, LG obtains the source code for WebOS, related documentation, engineering talent, and related WebOS Web sites. LG also gets HP licenses for use with its WebOS products, and patents HP obtained from Palm. The financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
The acquisition marks the end of a sad chapter of WebOS, an operating system that many saw promise in, but was … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Think Verizon Wireless or AT&T's 4G LTE network is fast? Check out Japan.NTT Docomo's CEO, Kaoru Kato, said he plans to offer download speeds of 112.5Mbps to his company's customers. The higher speeds should come shortly, he said. NTT Docomo is Japan's largest wireless carrier by customer base.
By comparison, Verizon and AT&T boasts speeds of 20Mbps on a good day and an uncluttered network. In practice, the speeds are more in the high single or low double digits.
LTE, Kato said during a keynote address at Mobile World … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Mobile network operators traditionally use Mobile World Congress to call for lower taxes and more wireless spectrum. This year, a new word has entered the wish list: harmonization.
The mobile industry today must deal with a hodgepodge of electromagnetic frequencies that differ from carrier to carrier and country to country. Franco Bernabe, chief executive of Telecom Italia, wants to see not just more spectrum for wireless operators, but also spectrum that's not so fragmented.
"It's not just about having the right amount of spectrum. It's critical that the spectrum is harmonized on a global basis,&… Read more
Samsung got the fiesta off to a flying start by lifting the lid on the Galaxy Note 8, an Android tablet to rival Apple's iPad Mini. It'll launch with Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean onboard and proudly packs a 1.6GHz quad-core chip with 2GB of RAM.
With an SD card slot, a home button, and S-Pen stylus support, the Note 8 offers a level of functionality the … Read more