China unveils ‘world’s fastest smartphone’

Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment group, has unveiled what it claims is the world’s fastest smartphone and announced a 60% annual rise in shipments of its mobile devices.

Headlining at the mobile phone industry’s annual gathering in Barcelona, which opened its doors a day after hundreds of thousands of demonstrators rallied across Spain in protest at national austerity, Huawei presented its latest device to run on Google’s Android software.

The Ascend P2 connects to the web two or three times faster than other smartphones when using Wi-Fi, its maker claims, downloading high-definition films in minutes and videos, songs and eBooks in just seconds.

In the Christmas quarter, Huawei overtook BlackBerry to become the world’s third largest smartphone maker. Although it is some way behind Samsung and Apple, its less expensive but high-performing handsets are attracting a growing following.

It shipped a total of 127m consumer devices last year, of which 32m were smartphones alongside more basic “feature” phones, home broadband modems and dongles to connect laptops to mobile networks.

The division generated $7.5bn of revenues in 2012, a 10% increase on the previous year. Overall income including sales of network equipment to telecoms companies totalled $35.4bn, bringing Huawei level for the first time with the market leader Ericsson.

For the full story check out The Guardian

Touch 3.1 – Introducing Audio & Video

Touch (formerly PingChat!) Released version 3.1 update with sound and video sharing and also includes important performance and stability improvements. Update is now available today on iOS, Android and BlackBerry.

What is Touch?
Touch formerly PingChat is a mobile app that allows you to be intimately connected with those most important to you.

Jon (Touch Team), says:
We believe that audio and video sharing will help bring your conversations to a whole new level. Now, you can easily and privately express yourself through text, emoticons, pictures, videos, sounds and voice clips. For those of you that have been following us since the days of PingChat! we know you will be excited by this announcement. When we initially introduced Touch, we made a decision to take our time to rebuild video and audio sharing up to the quality standard we strive for. We took that time and built an experience that is truly cross-platform and mobile. We appreciate and thank you for your patience as we worked to reintroduce these features.

The new release provides users with even more ways to connect and communicate with their closest relationships, through video and audio messages and voice notes. Touch 3.1 can be downloaded at Touch supports iOS devices (OS version 3.0+), as well as Android (1.6+) and Blackberry (5.0+).

However we did notice “Performing Migration” does take some time after opening the app.

Be sure to download the update directly from your app store, or by navigating to

BlackBerry service crash affects BBM messaging for millions

BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have been experiencing problems with emails and messaging due to a power outage in Slough, UK. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Tens of millions of BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have been unable to receive or send emails and messages through their phones, following an outage at the server systems of parent company Research In Motion (RIM) in Slough, Berkshire.

The outage, which occurred at about 11am BST on Monday, was still affecting users more than four hours later with no time given for when it was expected to be resolved.

The company released a brief acknowledgement of the problem at 3.30pm, saying: “We are working to resolve an issue currently impacting some BlackBerry subscribers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We’re investigating, and we apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused while this is resolved.

BlackBerry systems receive and send emails and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) communications via encrypted connections to RIM servers located around the world. The systems are particularly popular in a number of Middle East countries where they allow secure communication that the government cannot tap. RIM has come into conflict with a number of governments around the world, which have demanded oversight of email and BBM messages.

The failure will be a huge embarrassment for the company, which has been successful in building up its user base in the so-called “EMEA” (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region even while it has been losing users in North America.

At the end of August, RIM claimed that it had more than 70 million subscribers around the world. In July it claimed to have added 1 million subscribers in the EMEA region in less than three weeks. It would certainly have more than 10 million users in the total region.

The cause of the outage is not known, but one former RIM employee has told the Guardian that RIM has been ignoring problems with its server architecture that could prove its downfall for years. “They didn’t start looking at scalability until about 2007, when they had around 8m active devices,” the former employee said: “The attitude was, ‘We’re going to grow and grow but making sure our infrastructure can support it isn’t a priority.’ They have their own clunky infrastructure to do something that you don’t really need a clunky infrastructure to do anymore.”

The dramatic growth in the number of subscribers worldwide – nearly tenfold since 2007 – will have put serious strain on RIM’s servers if such scalability has not been addressed urgently.

BlackBerry Bold Touch makes brief appearance on RIM’s website

BlackBerry Bold Touch.

As you may have have been able to discern from the multitude of leaks that have surfaced over the past few months, RIM is apparently getting set to debut a new touchscreen-equipped BlackBerry Bold at BlackBerry World next week. While still not completely official, that’s now been all but confirmed by RIM itself, which briefly featured the teaser pictured above on its website before pulling it for reasons unknown. As you can see, RIM apparently couldn’t help itself and promised that it will be a “bold step ahead,” and it appears that the phone is unsurprisingly running BlackBerry 7, which until recently was better known as OS 6.1. Of course, that’s hardly the only news we’re expecting to hear at BlackBerry World, and you can be sure we’ll be there to brave the puns and bring it all to you.

source; CrackBerry

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