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Pocket Picks round-up: July 30th - Apple ruling the roost, Mozilla planning mobile OS, first Mango Windows Phone unveiled, budget Facebook handset now on Vodafone

All the latest handset and app news from Pocket Gamer’s sister site

Pocket Picks Update Android, thumbnail 1
With all the talk of Android taking over the smartphone market, you may be forgiven for thinking that Apple was dead and buried under the Google horde.

But as figures this week reveal, while Android may be growing as a mobile OS, in terms of smartphone sales the Cupertino company dominates the world’s smartphone market with its iPhone 4, despite being one of the most expensive handsets available to buy.

That’s also in spite of the last iPhone having been released over a year ago - no other major smartphone maker would ever dream of leaving its range alone for that length of time.

With some surveys already suggesting that 35 per cent of users are considering the iPhone 5 as their next phone, despite there being literally no proven information as to what the device will be like, I doubt Apple’s going to be too worried about losing its share any time soon.

Anaylst: Apple the world’s top smartphone vendor in second quarter of the year

apple-logo-pocket-picks-1Strategy Analytics was forced to swallow its own pride this week, after revealing that its figures showed Apple to be the number one smartphone maker in the world, despite earlier claims that Samsung would grab that particular mantle this time around.

iPhone sales totalled over 20 million worldwide in the second quarter of the year, just narrowly beating sales of the South Korean rival by under a million units.

Nokia was, predictably, the biggest loser, with the Finnish firm listed at a miserable 15 per cent of the total global market, down from 38 per cent this time last year.

Overall, the research and consultung firm claimed that smartphone sales over the past year had grown by an impressive 76 per cent from the same quarter in 2011, representing an increase in sales to 110 million.

Vodafone launches budget Facebook phone

vodafone-555-blue-pocket-picksI’m personally not too sure of what to make of the Facebook Phone phenomenon that’s sweeping the low- and mid-range phones at the moment (with HTC going all out to take this part of the market with its recent releases), but Vodafone seems confident enough in their appeal to launch it’s very own Facebook-buttoned handset - the 555 Blue.

Despite sounding like a quote from Aliens (and Starcraft, obscure quotation fans), the 555 Blue is far from futuristic, sporting a proprietary OS, a two-megapixel camera, and no wi-fi or 3G connection - it’s EDGE only.

Of course, all this culling of hardware means it’s going to be dirt-cheap, and it does feature a dedicated blue Facebook button on its QWERTY keyboard for instant access to the social network.

We’re expecting the phone to launch next month for just £70 on PAYG.

Mozilla planning to create a new mobile operating system

mozilla-logo-pocket-picksMozilla, the maker behind web browser Firefox and email client Thunderbird, has announced that it is creating its own operating system for mobile called BootTo Gecko.

BootTo Gecko (or B2G) is effectively positioned as the mobile equivalent of Google’s net-only Chrome OS, running a bare-bones version of Android to communicate directly with the system’s hardware.

It’s still in the early stages of development, so we’ll have to wait a while to see how exactly Mozilla'll pull it off, but one thing’s for sure - it really needs to change the name to something a little more catchy.

‘IceGecko’ and ‘LightningStoat’ are our two suggestions, Mozilla.

First Windows Phone Mango handset to be the Fujitsu IS12T

Nokia won’t be the first manufacturer with Windows Phone Mango pre-installed on its phones, it seems, if this week’s news is anything to go by.

That honour may well end up being granted to Fujitsu, who unveiled its IS12T (catchy...) in Japan this week.

The handset will be available in the fourth quarter of the year, and has a 13.2-megapixel camera positioned behind its 3.7-inch screen.

Alas, the handset won’t be made available outside of Japan, so our UK and US readers can forget about taking giant-sized photos with their Windows Phone for the time being.

Viber’s VOIP app launches on Android

viber-pocket-picksViber has just launched its Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service for making calls over the Internet on Android this week, having previously been available on iOS.

The advantage Viber has over arch-nemesis Skype is that you don’t need to sign up to the service and hand over all your personal details to yet another company to use it - it uses solely your mobile number as your ID.

It’s also free to make calls to other users with the app no matter where in the world you’re both located, which is great news if you have a bunch of friends / family that you can persuade to download and run the app.

Reviewer photo
Will Wilson 30 July 2011
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