Welcome to another edition of the weekly recap of the top news that happened over the past 7 days in the mobile industry. Here are the most important items on the list:
Facebook is reportedly working on their own smartphone
Facebook is back to the idea of building their own phone with tight integration to the service and other social features, at least that’s what insiders say. According to several sources, Facebook has been approaching engineers and people with the know-how for tips and possible employment opportunities in the mobile area. Facebook has been toying with the idea for a long time, with their first attempts being abandoned due to the sheer difficulty of creating a phone from scratch (which they wanted to do). This time, they have a smarter approach, so we’ll see if they actually go through with it or not.
CyanogenMod reached 2 million installs, and the number is rapidly growing
CyanogenMod is officially the world’s most popular third party Android ROM made and distributed for free by developers and users of the Android OS. The custom ROM was born out of a desire to have a clean, fast and optimized Android installation on smartphones instead of the usual bogged down factory ROMs that are full of proprietary customizations and apps that just make things slower without improving the user experience. Last week, CyanogenMod had 2 million installations running around the world, and the number is growing considerably, with tens of thousands of new activations per week.
Motorola announces their Android 4.0 update
Motorola has finally announced their own version of the Android 4.0 operating system, and from the demo videos, it looks quite good, with a lot of useful features and a nice interface that remains mostly unchanged from the original Ice Cream Sandwich. The update will roll out across current smartphones in the following months, and the company will use the new build on any new smartphones, as well.
Toshiba is discontinuing netbook sales in the US, vows to focus on Ultrabooks
Toshiba is officially quitting the netbook business in the US, saying that the Ultrabooks are the future of laptops, and that may indeed be true – netbook sales have been dropping significantly over the past two years, with tablets and now Ultrabooks taking their place. The decision may have come fast, but it’s probably for the best.
Samsung started planting PIN pop-up stores in London to promote and sell the Galaxy S3
Samsung certainly has a lot of marketing put behind their new handset, and the “one more thing” they were talking about at the release of the phone turned out to be a retail sales plan, with special pop-up stores being deployed around London (for starters, other cities may follow soon) to promote the phone and let potential users try it out before they decide to buy it. This is yet another move that will most likely make the Galaxy S3 the most well sold Android smartphone of all times.
The iPhone 5’s purported back and front panels leaked
The iPhone 5 is hot in news these days, and talks about it have just intensified when two shots of the purported back and front panels of the phone were leaked in the wild. You can form a pretty good idea of the end design from these shots, and it looks like the iPhone 5 will have the same overall design as the iPhone 4S, only with a larger (or rather, longer) 4.1 inch display and an aluminum finish on the back instead of the Gorilla glass. That would certainly make the phone pretty attractive without changing the trademark design that most people know and love. Of course, we’re assuming the leaked back and front panels are real.
As always, stay tuned for more next week, and be sure to visit the site regularly for the latest news and opinion pieces on the latest products, gadgets and accessories.