Google led the creation of Open Handset Alliance, a consortium involving a number of telco and manufacturers . As its first act the Alliance released Android, an open source operating system for mobiles complete of SDK and API. The SDK includes a working emulator and half a dozen example applications. The idea to establish an open platform for mobile developers is very good but not particularly new: project Openmoko has been working to a similar concept for several months and went as far as to release a developer version of the handset. Read the rest of this entry »
Apple started to sell iPhone in Europe. In Germany the price is €399 for the handset, that is $586! Either they don’t get currency exchange or they think ripping off Europeans is OK. Moreover, on top of that you need a mandatory 24-month subscription plan at €49 a month (100 min/month voice calls). In total it’s €1575 ($2316!).
By comparison, at the same price I can buy a Blackberry Curve 8310 (more feature rich with GPS receiver, SD memory, MMS) and a subscription plan with flat data and 400 min/month voice included. And there’s no 24-month term: I can stop this contract after one month if I don’t like it, and pay just for that.
No wonder few people cared when Apple stores opened in Germany last night…
I’ve just read this article appeared on the last IEEE Spectrum issue. They talk about a breach in Vodafone Greece’s core network, a list of phone numbers intercepted and the apparent suicide of a technician in charge of Network Planning Management after he discovered the problem and alerted his supervisors about it. Read the rest of this entry »
Oh yes, I do remember those days at the end of last millennium when WAP was the latest innovation in mobile technology and the first phones equipped with a browser were hitting the market: Siemens S35, Nokia 7110, Ericsson R380, Motorola Timeport… I had an S35i and I loved it. Black and orange straight monochromatic display, just 3 lines by 14 chars worth of text, almost no graphics.
GPRS was yet to come, we had just CSD at 9600bps and we had to pay by air time, just like a normal phone call. It basically felt like going back to BBS age and use a modem over analogic PSTN, but with a textual browser that you could carry with you anywhere.
Phones didn’t come pre-configured and setting up one was tricky. For each carrier you had to enter a different dial-up number, user and password, gateway IP address and port, plus strange settings like connectionless. Of course people would never remember those parameters by heart and would look them up on the Internet. Read the rest of this entry »