BARCELONA, Spain--Asus has taken the wrapper off its new FonePad device, a 7-inch Android tablet that contains all the necessary tech to make phone calls. It also costs a mere $249, or £179. If Asus can sell what is basically a giant phone at half the cost of a high-end smartphone, why are smartphones so expensive in the first place?
I put the question to Asus, and while I didn't get a single, clear answer, I was given some clues.
"[With] small devices," Asus' regional director Jonahan Santaub said, "Often there's more engineering, development, … 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--ZTE's V98 tablet was initially announced in September of last year but it's shown its face again at Mobile World Congress. The V98 is a 10-inch tablet packing an Intel Atom processor and full-fat Windows 8. I went in for a closer look.
In terms of design, the V98 is pretty unremarkable. The front is home to an unbroken sheet of glass, bordered by machined aluminum edging. That metal continues all the way around the back too. The full-metal jacket gives the V98 a more premium feel, although aesthetically, it's unlikely to get your heart racing.… 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--Tossing its name into the supersize phone ring, ZTE demoed its Grand Memo at this year's MWC. Strutting a massive 5.7-inch screen, the handset belongs to the company's family of 4G LTE-enabled devices, which includes the hyped-up flagship, the Grand S, launched at CES in January. The Grand Memo will be available in China starting in March, with a later European launch in Q2.
BARCELONA, Spain--Nokia has just thrown the curtains open on its new additions to the Windows Phone 8-packing Lumia range. The baby of the bunch -- the Lumia 520 -- starts at only 139 euros (around $185 or 120 pounds) making it the cheapest way into Windows Phone you'll find But Nokia's Vice President of Smart Devices Marketing, Hans Henrik Lund, hinted that even cheaper Lumias could be on the way.