Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on those sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!
Hurl your handset! It’s a sport
The Olympics may be over, but there are still plenty of opportunities to see athletes from around the world do amazing things. This weekend some of Finland’s strongest arms hurled phones into the air in the country’s annual Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships. While the event attracts its share of amateur phone-tossers, there are serious competitors as well. Finland’s Jonna Mattero is a hammer-throwing expert who won the women’s distance competition by hurling her handset 139 feet. The winner of the men’s distance competition was Ere Karjalainen, who set a new record for the contest by throwing his phone 332 feet. Karjalainen says a day of drinking before the contest helped him win. The Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships have been held in Finland for 12 years now. Finland, of course, is also home to Nokia, until recently the world’s leading manufacturer of mobile phones. The contest’s organizers say that people in Finland like to throw old handsets because “Finland is known as the home country of the mobile phones and Finns have always been very fashion-conscious about the phones.” Then there’s the phone-rage issue, another reason for tossing the devices. According to the Mobile Phone Throwing website, “Mobile phone is an essential part of us that connects us to nearly anywhere in the world, but when you most need it the battery runs out or your sweetheart doesn’t answer or someone doesn’t return your call. Hope, anticipation, passion and frustration concentrates on [the] mobile phone.” … Read more
Samsung invests in Austin chip facility
Samsung Electronics says it will invest $3 – $4 billion to upgrade an Austin memory-chip making plant so that it can produce chips for mobile devices. That’s almost twice as much as the company reportedly invested in a South Korean chip-making facility earlier this year. It’s also the largest investment ever made in Texas by a non-U.S. company. Samsung (005930.KS) plays on both sides of the mobile device market, making chips for its own devices as well as for those produced by its arch-rival Apple (AAPL). The A5 processor that powers the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2 is made by Samsung in Austin. Like its Chinese rival Huawei, Samsung is investing heavily in mobile processors as a way to benefit from the demand for mobile devices and exercise more control over its own supply chain. Production at the Austin plant is expected to be in full swing by the second half of next year. … Read more
IBM eyes mobile
More time is needed to understand the impact of the advent of mobile devices and tools in corporate business. Talking with members of the press during the IBM Forum held August 15-16 in São Paulo, the new IBM Brazil president, Rodrigo Kede, said the company has worked in the back office to enable mobility for end users. “We are not on the front end. Actually, we are all trying to understand how mobility and social networking will change people’s lives,” he said. Kede did not answer RCR Wireless News’ question about IBM’s rumored interest in acquiring RIM’s enterprise services unit, which is considered to be the company’s most valuable asset. “Regarding mobility, IBM works on the technology level,” he said. It is important to highlight that IBM has acquired new assets in the past, aiming to boost its mobile work. In May, IBM unveiled Mobile Foundation, a portfolio of products and services designed to help organizations capitalize on the proliferation of mobile environments. Aimed at solutions for laptops, smartphones and tablets, the new offering follows IBM’s acquisition of Worklight and targets a $22-billion-market that is expected to grow to $36 billion by 2015. … Read more
FirstNet’s first board announced
The public safety and first responder community received a boost as Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank rounded out the 15-member board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). FirstNet will be responsible for shaping and overseeing the development and deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network. FirstNet was established earlier this year to shepherd the deployment of a nationwide public safety network, which has languished over the past decade following calls for such a network in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The board consists of three permanent members, and 12 members chosen by the Secretary of Commerce. The permanent members are the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Attorney General Eric Holder, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (currently Acting Director Jeffrey Zients). … Read more
Google plans cuts at Motorola Mobility
Google reported today in a government filing that it plans to cut 4,000 jobs, or about 20% of Motorola Mobility’s workforce in an attempt to streamline operations and “shifting the emphasis from feature phones to more innovative and profitable devices.” The company, which acquired Motorola Mobility earlier this year for $12.5 billion, noted in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that two-thirds of the job cuts would impact operations outside the United States. The Chicago Tribune reported that the handset maker would cut about 700 jobs in the Chicago area, or about 23% of its workforce, leaving approximately 2,300 employees in the area. That move could set up a battle with the local government as Motorola Mobility had previously agreed to keep at least 2,500 jobs in the area in return for tax credits. “These changes are designed to return Motorola’s mobile devices unit to profitability, after it lost money in fourteen of the last sixteen quarters,” Google noted in the SEC filing. “That said, investors should expect to see significant revenue variability for Motorola for several quarters. While lower expenses are likely to lag the immediate negative impact to revenue, Google sees these actions as a key step for Motorola to achieve sustainable profitability.” Motorola Mobility posted an $86 million loss during the first quarter of this year, which followed several quarters of losses ahead of Google’s acquisition. … Read more
Global mobile phone sales dip
Worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users decreased 2.3% in the second quarter of 2012 to 419 million units, according to Gartner, Inc. Samsung remained the leader and accounted for 21.6% of the total market, higher than its 16.3% global share in 2Q11. Finland-based Nokia remained in second place with a 19.9% market share, which shows the company’s decline from its 22.8% share in the second quarter of 2011. In the third place, Apple held 6.9%, followed by ZTE (4.3%), LG Electronics (3.4%) and Huawei Device (2.6%). Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, explained that demand slowed because of the challenging economic environment and users postponing upgrades to take advantage of high-profile device launches and promotions available later in the year. Smartphone sales accounted for 36.7% of total mobile phone sales and grew 42.7% in the second quarter of 2012, while demand for feature phones continued to decline, significantly weakening the overall mobile phone market. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.