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LG G4 mini spotted in an European carrier’s price list

LG G4 mini leak

LG G4 mini leak

Multiple reports over the past few weeks have mentioned that LG will be prepping the launch of a mini LG G4. We even came across a couple of device names to substantiate these claims, but nothing more was available on that front. That might be changing today though with an European carrier’s price list inadvertently revealing the existence of the LG G4 mini smartphone.

The Hungarian wing of Vodafone made the revelation and although the listing has been removed, the image is for all to see. It is being said that the smartphone will pack a 5 inch 720p display along with the octa core 64-bit Snapdragon 615 SoC. So it’s clear that this isn’t the LG G4c that the rumors had leaked out a few days ago as that handset was said to be packing the low end Snapdragon 410 chipset inside.

There are several other details about multiple LG devices out there, but none of them have been conclusive so far. Keeping that in mind, we’ll wait for LG to make an announcement before jumping to conclusions. Would you like to see a mini variant of the LG G4?

Source: Tech2.hu – Translated

Via: GSM Arena

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 now up for pre-order in the UK

Samsung-Galaxy-S5

Samsung’s latest flagship is now available for pre-ordering in the UK, right on the scheduled date that was announced a couple of days ago. Major retailers Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4u and Amazon are now taking pre-orders, and so are carriers Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three, with the SIM-free price starting from as low as £559.99.  (more…)

Verizon will complete the buyout of Vodafone’s stake in the company today

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless was started as a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone with 55 and 45% of the stake respectively. But in December, Verizon Communications proposed to buy back Vodafone’s stake in the company as part of a deal worth $130 Billion. Today, the two companies will formally sign the papers bringing an end to Vodafone’s partnership with America’s largest carrier. This will make Verizon Communications the sole owner of Verizon Wireless, much to the joy of investors and shareholders. With this buyout, Vodafone will slip down to become the fourth biggest carrier in the world (previously second) behind China Mobile, AT&T and Verizon.

A spokesperson for Verizon, Robert Varrettoni confirmed that the deal is being finalized today, so we might have official confirmation from either carrier soon. With Vodafone now free from Verizon Wireless, it is being speculated that AT&T will look to acquire the UK based carrier. The CEOs of Vodafone and AT&T are expected to be present during the MWC event, where a potential discussion could take place. We’ll keep you updated for more on this possible acquisition.

Via: Bloomberg

Google Nexus 5 Availability and Pricing Roundup – Why to Buy, Where to Buy, Where Not to Buy

Do you need mystery leading up to product announcements in order to pull off box-office hits in the mobile landscape? Many people would say yes, definitely, but Google is about to prove them all wrong.

Every in and out concerning Big G and LG’s Nexus 5 was known and documented well before the thing became official, yet a lot of folks tuned in to the rather unglitzy, lackluster official presentation last week. And by the looks of it, the entire world wants in on the Nexus fun.

Nexus5_lead

Otherwise, how can you explain the initial Google Play stocks have been exhausted already and the earliest Nexus 5 cravers could hope to get their grubby hands on a “precious” is November 8 via Sprint? You can’t now, can you?

All that being said, let’s cut the bs and lend a helping hand to anyone looking to score an N5. Ladies and gents, here’s why, where and for how much to buy Google’s ace in the hole and why and where not to buy it:    

Google Nexus 5 – Why to Buy

It’s not rocket science. People dig the N5 because, on paper, it’s everything the N4 isn’t and can take on most competing giants for a fraction of their price. Okay, so it may not be powered by a swanky 64-bit CPU, like we know what rival.

Nexus-5-Screen

And its camera and battery look a little underwhelming (emphasis on “little”), compared to, say, the LG G2 or Sony’s Xperia Z1. But what about the Snapdragon 800 power? And 2 GB RAM, and splendid 4.95-inch Full HD screen, and skinny 8.6 mm profile, and even the 16 and 32 GB storage options?

Can you find them elsewhere? Sure you can, but you’ll either have to compromise on build quality and brand reliability going for some unknown OEM from China, or pay north of 600 bucks outright. Meanwhile, the N5 starts at $350 and runs pure vanilla Android 4.4 KitKat, with no unnecessary bells and whistles on top.

Where to Buy

The “where” of the equation is also simple… in theory, but in reality things are much more complex and complicated. As long as you have a choice, don’t even think about it and get the Nexus 5 via Google’s Play Store sans contractual obligations.

Nexus 5 Google Play

There are no strings attached, no headaches and, best of all, the 5-incher won’t cost you an arm and a leg, going in the US for $350 with 16 GB of built-in storage and $400 with double the memory and in the UK for £299/£339. Valid both in black and white.

Now, as things stand, Americans have to wait between two and four weeks for the handheld to leave Google’s warehouses, whereas in GB it’s six to 14 days. Sounds like an eternity, but the alternatives are not worth the premiums.

The number three wireless carrier stateside, Sprint, is one of those alternatives, with the Nexus 5 up for pre-orders and shipping from November 8. However, the price “leaps” to $150 with 2-year pacts or 50 bucks if you bring your number from a different network. That’s not so bad, you say? It’s actually cheaper? Think again and, this time, do the math on the long haul. Also, think long and hard. Will you be as much in love with the device two years from now as you are today? I highly doubt it.

Nexus 5 Sprint

If you’re still willing to pen a pact, know that Best Buy sells Sprint’s Nexus 5 as well, for $150 and with November 8 set as an ETA. As for carrier AT&T and “UnCarrier” T-Mobile, they’ve only confirmed they’ll be getting the beast sooner or later, mentioning nothing on exact dates and pricing, which is never a good sign.

In the UK, Carphone Warehouse currently estimates white units will next be delivered November 7, with black models following eight full days later. Both can be had with Vodafone and O2 contracts, as well as SIM-free for an incredibly low £295 ($470).

Nexus 5 Carphone

Finally, Brits can choose to take their business directly to O2, which offers the in-stock (!!!) N5 for no upfront charge on select plans and a luxurious £530 outright.

Where and Why Not to Buy

There are a number of reasons you could snub the newest member of the Nexus family or at least hold off on your purchase. The availability woes alone are bound to discourage a number of prospective buyers. Also, there are those that just can’t settle for anything less than the best and, even Google has to admit it, the Nexus 5 is not the absolute bestest smartphone.

Certainly not in the battery life department and probably not as far as its camera goes either. And don’t even get me started on the lack of external storage.

Nexus-5

As to where not to buy it, beware primarily of eBay duds. Better yet, don’t use eBay period. Not for purchasing mobile devices. Things are at the moment not as bonkers as they were last year, when charlatans were asking as much as 1,000 bucks for unlocked N4s, but there are sellers hoping to offload some N5s for around $600 a pop.

Granted, I can’t go so far as to say the entire of eBay is rotten and there are trusted sellers that charge in the vicinity of $450, but why make your life complicated when you can make it simple? That goes for more “serious” retailers as well, including Amazon and even AT&T or Best Buy.

Nexus 5 official

 

In other words, it’s best to just not settle for a penny north of Google’s recommended pricing. However hard it may be to wait. And trust me, your Play Store time will come at one point. Who knows, maybe LG learned a thing or two from last year’s N4 availability debacle, so things might be much smoother this time around.

Verizon confirms $130 billion deal to buy Vodafone’s 45% stake in carrier

verizon-wireless-deal-with-vodafone

verizon-wireless-deal-with-vodafone

When Verizon and Vodafone set out to create Verizon Wireless, through the merger of Bell Atlantic Mobile and GTE Wireless, the idea was to create a successful network in the US. In the past thirteen years, the carrier has grown to the most popular in the US, surpassing long-time holder AT&T.

Verizon and Vodafone shared the company 55/45 respectively, but rumblings early this spring started the rumours of Verizon wanting to buy the company back from Vodafone. This was met with Vodafone saying if they had to they would look for a merger or buyout themselves, convinced the US market is the future of carrier profits.

The news today comes as a surprise, simply because Vodafone and Verizon boards unanimously agreed on the move. This is one of the biggest deals in recent history, but does not surpass Vodafone’s deal with Mannesmann for $185 billion.

Verizon will now take full control of the company and this will give the company huge profits in the next few years, provided Verizon Wireless continues to keep a steady line of subscribers, they currently have somewhere around 100 million.

On Vodafone’s end, the company will get a nice pile of cash, split $58.9 billion in cash, $60.2 billion in Verizon stock and $11.1 billion from other transactions. This could be used to start other ventures in Europe and Australia, perhaps kickstarting 4G movements.

Big deals have failed before and the huge successes are few and far between, AOL and Time Warner is the biggest example of overpaying for something that will not give any reward in terms of content or profit. Verizon obviously knows what it is doing as it goes to buy Verizon Wireless, but was 45% of the company really worth $130 billion.

Vodafone Smart Tab III Tablets With Android 4.2 Coming Soon

New reports indicate that Vodafone will soon be launching a new line of tablets called the Smart Tab III. The devices will be made by Lenovo but will come with a Vodafone branding. Lenovo is also the same company that made the Smart Tab II which was released under the Vodafone branding in 2012.

vodafone

There will be two devices under the Smart Tab III line; one has a 7 inch display while the other uses a 10 inch display. Both will already be running on android 4.2 straight out of the box. While pricing details haven’t been revealed yet it’s expected that they will be affordable since these are in-house developed tablets with the carrier branding.

vodafone-smart-tab-iii-7-10

Here are the details of the Smart Tab III 7 inch as listed on the Bluetooth SIG page.

“Vodafone Smart Tab III7 Tablet PC provides a full internet experience on the go, as well as delivering excellent performance for media and gaming. Your connectivity, data and messaging needs are fully supported via Wi-Fi, allowing you to communicate anytime and anywhere. Some of the many functions of your new Smart Tab III7 include: AndroidTM 4.2, 10” IPS display (1280×800) MediaTek 1GHz Processor, Support GSM/GPRS/EDGE/WCDMA,WLAN (802.11 b/g/n)/Bluetooth 4.0.”

And here are the details for the 10 inch model

“Vodafone Smart Tab III10 Tablet PC provides a full internet experience on the go, as well as delivering excellent performance for media and gaming. Your connectivity, data and messaging needs are fully supported via Wi-Fi, allowing you to communicate anytime and anywhere. Some of the many functions of your new Smart Tab III10 include: AndroidTM 4.2, 10” IPS display (1280×800) MediaTek 1GHz Processor, Support GSM/GPRS/EDGE/WCDMA,WLAN (802.11 b/g/n)/Bluetooth 4.0.”

There’s still no announcement as to when these tablets will become available but it’s probably going to be released in the UK first.

via unwiredview

Vodafone acquires Kabel Deutschland for $10.1 billion

vodafone

vodafone

Vodafone has reached a deal with Kabel Deutschland to acquire the company for $10.1 billion or €7.7 billion. Vodafone will use their subsidiary Vodafone Vierte Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH to offer a voluntary public tender offer at €87 per share in cash.

Kabel Deutschland has been under Vodafone’s radar for a while, previously declining an offer from the telecommunications company for €7.2 billion ($9.4 billion), deeming it inadequate for the company. Liberty Global has also tried to make a small move for the German TV company, but with no luck against Vodafone.

Vodafone’s business in Europe has started to stagnate as other mobile carriers gain more subscribers. This has made Vodafone look into TV and other businesses, to try and push their brand further. Kabel Deutschland will continue to work as their own company, although it won’t be long before Vodafone start to put work into the TV scene in Germany.

This is yet another big acquisition to add for Vodafone, who have previously paid out in excess of $200 billion for companies.

Via: The Next Web

Source: BBC News

Vodafone launches £50 Smart Mini

vodafone-smart-mini

vodafone-smart-mini

Larry Page said on stage at Google I/O the price of hardware would soon surmount to little over $1 and the profit margins for companies like Apple would be huge.

We are starting to see this, with Vodafone launching the Smart Mini for a cool £50 off contract. The Smart Mini does not have impressive specs, but for little over a month contract with the Galaxy S4, it is pretty impressive.

The Smart Mini comes with a 3.5-inch, 320×480 resolution display, 1GHz single-core MediaTek CPU with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a microSD slot for expansion.

Looking at them specs on a high-tier level is useless, but against a smartphone like the iPhone 4, which is still $450 off contract, it reveals a lot about how cheap it is to get all these smartphone components.

The Vodafone budget phone also comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Some day, we will have to differentiate smartphone from budget phone, perhaps they will become the new feature phone.

Source: Vodafone

Verizon preparing $100 billion bid for Vodafone stake in Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the combination of Vodafone and Verizon’s joint US venture and has been one of the most successful ventures in mobile history, with the carrier currently number one in the United States.

Impressively, Verizon Wireless has managed to shoot past AT&T, the well known but quite unpopular carrier, in terms of customer feedback. They have also held off opposition from Sprint and T-Mobile.

Verizon Wants All of Verizon Wireless

Now the American company may be prepared to buy Vodafone’s 45% stake in the company, making Verizon the full owner of Verizon Wireless, the company has hired advisors to see if this move is possible.

The two companies had been rumoured to make some sort of merger, but negotiations over valuation have made Verizon restless and they are now working to take the company over.

UKs top provider and second biggest carrier in the world is prepared to listen to offers, although we doubt Vodafone will want this aggressive approach from Verizon to become anything more than an idea.

Verizon Wireless: What’s It Worth?

For Vodafone, this is still a very profitable venture and they will want to keep it that way – the merger allows both companies to settle differences, although it doesn’t boast either company above the other.

Verizon Wireless currently carries about 130 million smartphones in the US and is hitting $30 billion in revenue with $1 billion net income.

Verizon currently makes about $120 billion revenue per year and $2 billion net profit, this deal would take time to finalise and we suspect Verizon will be paying Vodafone back for a while.

Source: Reuters 

HTC M7 spotted in Vodafone’s inventory system

htc-m7

HTC will be announcing its flagship phone, HTC M7, very soon. It is one of the most interesting high end device that is going to be announced this month, and since it is going to be a high end device, there are lot of enthusiasts waiting for it and the particular device is no stranger to leaks and rumors.

The recent leak comes from a passionate individual who has managed to snap two photos of Vodafone Germany’s inventory system somehow, and the content of the images are pretty interesting. Among various other HTC devices, even the HTC M7 is listed, and if the images are to be believed, we can expect the device in two color variants including black and silver.

Talking of the device, we have some leaked specs. The device will supposedly be powered by a quad-core Qualcomm processor, a 4.7-inch 1920 x 1080 (full HD) display, 32GB of internal storage, no microSD card slot, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and 2-megapixel front-facing camera. The device will also feature HTC Sense 5.0, which is the latest iteration of the HTC Sense, and the M7 will be the first device to run it.

20130204-htc-m7-vodafone-01-jpg

This high end flagship device will be announced on February 19th, and it will be a pre-MWC announcement. You can expect to have a look of HTC M7 at the Mobile World Congress that will be held in Barcelona. The device is expected to be available as early as March 8th, and this early launch should give the device an upper hand over the Samsung Galaxy S IV which will be launched few months later. It should be noted that HTC hasn’t had pretty good results last year despite having very good products in its line-up. This new device should make the manufacturer popular again as most of the top carriers will be carrying the device in the US.

According to a highly reliable source for HTC Source, the HTC M7 will be made available via T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T on the U.S. launch day. Verizon will also sell the device, but it is said that it will make it to the Big Red a bit later, and the reason for that may be the fact that Verizon has an extensive marketing campaign up and running for the HTC Droid DNA, and since the Droid DNA is selling pretty well, the carrier sees no rush to launch a new flagship product.

There are a few devices in the market with 5 inch screen having FHD resolution, but the M7 will stand out of the crowd because it has a smaller 4.7 inch screen with 1080p HD resolution, which translates to a whopping 468ppi in pixel density. To give a perspective on that, the pixel density of retina display on Apple’s flagship iPhone 5 is 326ppi.

According to the gossip, the device will be first made available in Europe and US carriers will follow suite a few weeks later. We will know the exact date at HTC’s press event on February 19th. What’s your take on HTC M7?

source: HTCInside

T-Mobile US CEO Philipp Humm Resigns to Join Vodafone UK

The chief executive of T-Mobile US Philipp Humm resigns from his post and will be replaced by the Chief Operating Officer Jim Alling. It has been confirmed by the management that Humm will also be leaving the TMo’s mother company, Deutsche Telekom, and will return home to his family in Europe. As much as the company wants to be open about the issue, the real reason why Humm is resigning was not disclosed leaving everyone to speculate about it.

In May 2010, T-Mobile US hired him but he later became the CEO by November of the same year. Expert analysts believe Humm was hired simply because of the upcoming merger between T-Mobile and AT&T that started in March 2011. The said merger hasn’t been accepted by the people and even roused controversies pushing the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice to disapprove it.

On December 19, 2011 AT&T finally abandoned the merger after several petitions from third-party carriers like Sprint Nextel. One of the reasons why there were a lot of parties that opposed it is that it could reduce the competition in the US mobile market and may directly affect the rates of the services had FCC and DOJ approved of it.

Humm was hired to oversee the merger, analysts said. But since it was junked by concerned government agencies, T-Mobile has to let go of him. At least, that’s the most apparent reason for his resignation after the company declined to give further details. Prior to his appointment as T-Mobile CEO in the US, he also served as head of the same company in Germany and Europe. Basically, he had all the skills needed to oversee the attempted merger with AT&T.

T-Mobile is the fourth largest mobile operator in the United States. However, its rank does not necessarily mean it is closer to the competition as it has just an estimated 33.4 million subscribers while AT&T and Verizon Wireless have 104 million and 93 million subscribers, respectively.

Analyst Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates said that Deutsche Telekom, the mother company of T-Mobile, signaled that it wants to leave the US mobile market after years of struggle to acquire a bigger chunk. Humm’s resignation could easily be linked to this. However, just today, The Wall Street Journal published a report suggesting that the ex-CEO of T-Mobile will actually become the chief executive of Vodafone to oversee operations in Northern and Central Europe.

Vodafone Offered Palm Vein Reader for Smartphone Recharging

Vodafone has improved the Vodafone VIP Recharge Truck this year with infrared Palm Vein Readers to track consumers.

Vodafone has made its presence known in UK festivals in the past through the Vodafone VIP Recharge Truck. Previously, it offered to recharge smartphones that have gone low on battery on these events because of heavy use such as picture-taking and video-recording. It had a capacity to charge as many as 2,000 phones at once. To keep track of consumers last year and to avoid the seemingly inevitable phone mix-up or the stealing of other people’s phones, Vodafone made use of wristbands with barcodes and photos of the phone owners.

This year, Vodafone makes the process easy both for their staff and the consumers. Those who want to avail of Vodafone’s service simply have to place their hand onto a palm reader. The reader then will identify the consumer by means of the pattern that the blood vessels make. The machine then creates a vein map that identifies that consumer. It is a fast process that takes only a few seconds to finish, and is completely foolproof.

According to the UK phone company, this technology is already in use at Japanese banks. Vodafone adds that this technology is suitable even for an environment such as a festival, where many people’s hands are soaked in water or coated with mud. The palm reader works just the same even under these conditions and is very safe to use. Just the same, however, Vodafone is providing antibacterial wipes for the consumers. Vodafone also anticipates the needs of the crowd by providing chargers for various kinds of devices.

This is a good innovation that other companies might do well to replicate, especially in festivals where it is essential to have a fully-charged device in case people lose their companions.

HTC Brings 4G/LTE Android Phone To Europe

HTC has become the first OEM to bring a 4G/LTE Android powered smartphone to Europe. Vodafone and HTC are reporting that the first Android smartphone with 4G/LTE will be the HTC Velocity, a variant of the new HTC Vivid that was released to AT&T’s 4G/LTE network earlier this year.

The Velocity features a 4.5inch qHD screen at 540×960. It’s rockin a 1.5ghz dual core processor with an 8 megapixel camera on the back and 1.3 megapixel camera on the front. The Velocity is running Android 2.3 Gingerbread but will most likely see an upgrade to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.

The phone will be available in white in Europe.

The Velocity is expected in Germany first but could migrate to the rest of the continent very quickly as 4G/LTE networks expand.

source: Unwired

Galaxy Nexus Problems Reported, Vodafone Holds Release

According to a report on pocket-lint.com the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is experiencing some strange problems.

The biggest problem being reported is dubbed “SAV-Ghost” which stands for Self Aware Volume Ghost. According to reports from users on XDA and other forum websites their Samsung Galaxy Nexus devices are turning down automatically.

One XDA forum user, Jonnyguitar, reported:
“This morning the volume went down on its down. I actually saw the volume bar appear and decrease, as if I was pushing down on the rocker. It happened twice. Both times I was hammering the phone so perhaps it’s related to RAM? The first time I was moving six 400mb avi files from one folder to another using a file manager app, and listening to MP3s at the same time,”

More after the break
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