Mobile operating systems have long been a popular theme at the word's biggest wireless trade show and the 2013 confab is no exception. Sunday brought us the announcement of the new Firefox mobile OS, and today the Tizen Association entered the game, as well. The group showed its new operating system at a press conference that closed the day. CNET's Luke Westaway and Rich Trenholm got their hands on an early device … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--It's Tizen's turn for the spotlight.
The upstart mobile operating system, shepherded into development by Samsung Electronics and Intel, made a splashy debut at an event at Mobile World Congress.
The operating system is seen as a potential alternative to the dominance of Android, and has been driven in part by demand by carriers for a more open OS that they can tinker with.
Beyond the two key players, the night was a celebration of other partners, including Huawei, which is joining the steering committee of the Tizen Association, and European wireless carrier Orange. Orange said that … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--"They call me the UI guy." This is Dennis Poon speaking, Huawei's global UI design director for device-maker, and the man in charge of the new Emotion UI interface that all but completely re-envisions Android on smartphones.
Sporting a textured brown blazer and collapsing comfortably onto a couch in Huawei's meeting room, it's apparent that Poon is a different breed of executive, easily cracking jokes and sharing stories as he discusses Emotion UI, the Android layer Huawei uses in its Ascend P2 and Ascend Mate.
Like the debut version shown this past summer, … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Announced in Japan last month for NTT Docomo, NEC's latest Android smartphone, the Medias W N-05E isn't quite your usual device. Like the YotaPhone, this dual-core handset sports two screens, and supposedly offers twice the fun. Unlike the YotaPhone though, it comes packed with twin 4.3-inch qHD displays that are fully colored.
Design As is always the case with a phone with two screens, NEC needed to find somewhere to tuck the second panel away when it's not in use. The solution is simple -- the W N-05E folds in half, keeping its form compact. … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Opera Software has dropped the new engine into its browser and now has begun revving it up.
At the Mobile World Congress show here, the company began showing for the first time its new WebKit-based version of Opera for Android. That browser is the first product from a completely overhauled product line and technology strategy for the company based in Oslo, Norway.
Opera is changing the browser engine at the core of its software, dumping its own Presto for the open-source WebKit used in Chrome and Safari. It's a radical change in many ways: many engineers are changing … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--One of the great things about a trade show like Mobile World Congress is seeing the cool phones and tablets we won't get. Hang on, did I say great? I meant depressing -- I'd love to get my hands on a 4G Android smartphone as powerful as the Fujitsu Arrows X F-02E, or a water-resistant 4G Windows 8 tablet like the Fujitsu Arrows Tab.
Both devices are only available in Japan, and unlikely to go on sale elsewhere. Which is a shame: the Arrows X F-02E, Fujitsu's flagship phone, has specs to die for -- and … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--After a rocky start, Samsung Electronics is finally seeing the light when it comes to the tablet business.
The Korean consumer electronics giant, already the world's largest handset manufacturer, plans to double its tablet sales from a year ago, according to Y.H. Lee, executive vice president of the company's mobile unit.
That would peg its sales to about 40 million units in 2013, although Samsung's hasn't officially disclosed its full-year 2012 unit sales yet.
"We expect to be very aggressive," Lee said in an interview with CNET.
The bullish expectation further underscores … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Nestled away in Hall 7 of Mobile World Congress is Beijing Big Ben Technology, a China-based company that makes SIM cards mostly out of paper. While the actual cards themselves are made of recyclable ABS plastic and metal (the contact points), the card's holder is actually made from 100 percent fiber paper. This material is far easier to recycle than the plastic that most cards are currently made from.
The company has been in the business of making paper SIMs for five years now, and claims that its products cost the same as the plastic cards. China Mobile … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Carriers love to bash companies like Skype and WhatsApp that provide services on top of their mobile networks at the Mobile World Congress trade show. But one thing was different this year: Viber Media founder and Chief Executive Talmon Marco entered the lion's den to defend the idea.
Viber's free messaging service, which competes directly with carriers' own high-profit services for text- and multimedia-messaging services, is a prime example of the despised over-the-top (OTT) approach. Marco showed no remorse for sapping telco revenues and argued that users are just moving to where the innovative, useful services are … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Part of what makes Nokia phones like the Lumia 920, and the new Lumia 720 and Lumia 520, so distinctive are their bright color options. And part of what makes those shades pop is the use of polycarbonate, a type of plastic, as the body material.
Although Nokia hasn't ruled out an all-metal body, speaking at Mobile World Congress with Hans Henrik Lund, Nokia's vice president of product marketing for smart devices, makes me think that we won't be seeing metal Lumias anytime soon.