mobile phones

SMS celebrates 20th birthday today

Text messaging, the service that has led to many ridiculously large phone bills and equally ridiculous acronyms, is celebrating its 20th birthday today. That may come as a surprise to some, considering that text messaging is often viewed as a phenomenon of the 2000s, but the first text message was actually sent on this day in 1992. What did that first text message say? Simply "Merry Christmas."

6 billion people now using mobile phones around the world

The smartphone industry may still be in its infancy, but the mobile phone market as a whole is not. Some of us have been using mobile phones since the early '80s, and the 30th anniversary of the first commercially available cell phone is actually coming up next year. Knowing that, it's no surprise that today, the International Telecommunications Union is reporting that six billion people around the world are using mobile phones.

Sony Mobile to layoff 1,000 employees over next two years

Dark days are ahead for some folks working at Sony Mobile, as today the Japanese company announced plans to layoff a total of 1,000 workers. Sony Mobile, as many of you will remember, was once the struggling Sony Ericsson, until Sony bought the company out earlier this year $1.3 billion. It sounds like Sony is having a difficult time getting the mobile division back on its feet, as it will have let 1,000 employees go by the time March 2014 rolls around.

Oakland police force AT&T to disable 2G towers

Lately, the Oakland Police Department has been having some issues with its brand new $18 million radio system. Apparently, the police have discovered the cause of all this interference, and it seems that 2G cell phone towers owned by AT&T are at least partially to blame. Obviously, having police officers who can't communicate with one another or with firefighters is no good, and AT&T has been forced to partially disable 16 of its towers as result.

Sharp planning glasses-free 3D phones for US, India & China in 2011

Sharp has put its 3.8-inch parallax-barrier glasses-free 3D display - as previewed at IFA 2010 - into a trio of Android smartphones, and as well as the Japanese launch kicking off next month, the company also intends to bring the technology to the US, India and China in 2011. In December, the Sharp GALAPAGOS 003SH and GALAPAGOS 005SH will each arrive on Japanese carrier Softbank, as well as the Sharp LYNX SH-03C on NTT DoCoMo. Each will support multitouch and 3D visuals; it's unclear whether Sharp will launch the same devices in the overseas markets, or put the parallax-barrier display into different phones. [via 3D-Display-Info]

Twenty Motorola Android phones worldwide this year [Updated]

Motorola intends to launch a total of twenty Android-based devices in 2010, the company's director of marketing for their mobile devices business has revealed, though not all of those handsets will necessarily hit every region.  Tom Satchwell, who heads up the company's marketing for all mobile devices, confirmed their ambitious plans at the Motorola XT720 launch today, as well as explaining how momentous a change was involved in shifting Motorola's loyalties to Android. In fact, that change has perhaps proved too swift for the carriers to keep up.  Like the Motorola MILESTONE - the European version of the DROID - the XT720 will initially launch via distributors as an unlocked handset, rather than through the carriers.  Motorola wouldn't - or couldn't - tell us when carrier availability might happen.  The risk they run is that consumers simply won't hear about the new devices, since they're not on show in the usual highstreet stores. Still, we're not going to argue with more choice in Android, and Motorola are certainly pushing the boat out when it comes to form factors and software builds.  Unlike HTC, who told us they don't intend to launch a non-Sense Android device (at least not with their own branding), Motorola are still planning to release handsets with and without MOTOBLUR.  They're also experimenting with the high-end features some users are now looking for, such as Xenon flashes with high-megapixel cameras.  Satchwell unsurprisingly wouldn't reveal what's next on the Motorola roadmap, but halfway through the year and there's still plenty to see. Update: Motorola have been in touch to clarify Satchwell's comments.  It turns out that, rather than 20 new phones being released in 2010 alone, he meant there will be, by the end of the year, a total of 20 different Motorola Android devices since the company's first models in 2009. [via SlashGear]

Android Sagem Puma Phone 2 tipped for 2011

Sagem are looking to Android for their next-gen Puma phone, as the French phone company commences rolling out the open-source OS across its range.  We caught up with the Puma phone - which is currently based on Sagem's home-grown platform - at a pre-launch event last night, and the company's executive VP of marketing and user experience confirmed that Sagem are considering an entry-level version of the sports/lifestyle themed device which would run Android.