We travel to Barcelona for MWC 2012
Electronista is traveling to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2012. Updates may come in at unusual times, but we should have updates over the weekend, especially mid-Sunday, as most of the cellphone and tablet world shows its hand. Hands-on coverage will continue through mid-week.
Euro iPhone discounts may have gone in SIM dispute
Apple's rumored fight over embedded iPhone SIMs may have cost it valuable carrier discounts. Sanford Bernstein analyst Robin Bienenstock noted that subsidies in larger European countries had been reduced by 40 to 150 euros ($53 to $198). The carriers had also pulled promo graphics from their main pages, the analyst said, suggesting they may have been reluctant to keep giving the phone its full attention.
Apple may pass on embedded SIMs only on iPhone 5
Apple's rumored decision to avoid embedded SIMs may have only been for the 2011 refresh, sources argued Tuesday. The company has purportedly reassured European carriers that the iPhone 5 will still depend on removable micro SIM cards but has given signs that it would shift over later on. Tips to the Financial Times didn't reveal whether that meant 2012 or still-longer plans.
Euro carriers warn Apple over embedded SIMs
European carriers are discussing the possibility of retaliating against Apple if it goes ahead with a rumored plan to use embedded SIMs in iPhones, leaks from the industry alleged Thursday night. The parent companies of O2, Orange and Vodafone have reportedly been worried that Apple was trying to take control of the "relationship" the carriers have by letting customers buy without having to talk to the carrier. An unnamed executive at one of the companies told the Financial Times that Apple could risk a "war" if carriers decided to stop subsidizing the iPhone on contract.
Wholesale Apps Community now 48 members strong
The Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) founded earlier this year has just aggregated 32 new members. The newcomers include Opera Software, Oracel, Fujitsu, Rogers and China Unicom, among others, joining the original 24 companies such as LG, Samsung, Telefonica and Orange. The goal of the alliance is to create a common, global app store that will offer software for multiple platforms and devices.
Macworld plans to bring iPhone to MWC 2011
Organizers for the GSM Association's Mobile World Congress revealed today that Apple would have an unofficial presence at the phone trade show through Macworld Mobile. The magazine will have full-day training and sessions for developers specific to iOS devices. The next Congress is due to start February 14 next year.
Wholesale Apps Community takes on Apple
The GSM Association today unveiled an alliance for a common app store platform meant to challenge Apple. Known as the Wholesale Applications Community, the service will create an open, standard way of developing and selling apps across multiple phone operating systems and networks. The partnership will include phone builders LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, as well as 24 major carriers that include all four major US networks and major internationals like China Mobile, Orange and Telefonica.
Newer GSM encryption hit using sandwich attack
The security of GSM phone calls dropped again late Monday with word that the standard's second, more guarded encryption standard has been broken. Following a first crack of the simpler standard, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science say they have cracked the A5/3 security cipher (nicknamed Kasumi) by using what's known as a "sandwich" attack. The group accomplished its goal by creating a distinguishing trait for the key and using just four related keys to determine the key for Kasumi itself.
Cellphone protocol deemed vulnerable
German software engineer Karsten Nohl said at the Chaos Communication Congress hacker expo today that he and a group have cracked and published the primary encryption code for GSM, the protocol that handles most non-3G cellphone calls. The team says it has used legal methods to break the A5/1 standard, which prevents easy snooping, and has made available a 'code book' of binary data that could theoretically be used to decipher the content of a call within hours or even minutes rather than weeks.
Universal Phone Chargers
Most cellphones could use a single, interoperable standard for their power chargers within three years if a GSM Association initiative proves successful. The partnership includes phone makers like LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson as well as carriers like AT&T, KTF, Telefonica, T-Mobile and Vodafone; all have developed a format that would use micro USB as the standard and cut the typical power use by about half. The plan would cut back on the number of chargers thrown out after switching phones as well as reduce the amount of energy used to keep phones running.