Nokia is in no rush to make its phone-designing comeback, still seeking partners

If it perhaps felt like Nokia’s own executives and spokespersons weren’t very certain about the company’s future in the consumer hardware-manufacturing field, that’s because the slowly recovering Finnish tech outfit is still focused mainly on the network segment.

Meanwhile, CEO Rajeev Suri at MWC 2016 in Barcelona once again confirmed an interest in designing, then outsourcing actual production and distribution of new Nokia-branded smartphones. But apparently, “there doesn’t need to be a rush”, and the end product(s) must “feel like Nokia, what Nokia was known for.”

New iOS 9.3 beta 4 arrives – but what’s happening with Apple Pencil support?

In Barcelona this week, phone makers are showing off hardware running all variety of mobile platforms: Android, Windows 10 Mobile, Cyanogen OS, Ubuntu, and more. That list is missing at least one very prominent operating system, but it won’t be long now before Apple and iOS are at the center of our attention, with rumors pointing to a mid-March hardware launch event. In preparation for its latest gear, Apple’s been hard at work on its next version of iOS, and going back the past few weeks now we’ve been tracking its progress on iOS 9.3. Today we see the release of the latest iOS 9.3 beta, while we also pick up some possibly troubling news about a change for how an important Apple accessory operates.

MediaTek Helio P20 chipset cranks blazing speeds for the best mid-rangers

MediaTek is still a strong believer in a full-bore approach to applications processing. Its new Helio P20 chipset, just debuted at MWC, shows that belief off.

Still, for a spec sheet that yells of big numbers, the company has put a restraint on what this silicon can power — think “badass mid-range phone,” if you can.

The P20 uses the Cortex-A53 for all eight cores, clockable up to 2.3GHz. It has three RAM bays — two for LPDDR4X at 1.6GHz, one LPDDR3 at 933MHz. A newer Mali T-880 GPU gets into the mix here, clocked at 900MHz. The chipset’s LTE modem is said to offer Category 6 speeds (300Mbps down/50Mbps up).

Verizon 5G network now in mobile field tests, to be ready in 2017

5G is all the darn rage these days. Three of the US’s top-tier carriers have committed to developing the technology including Verizon.

The company took the time at MWC to promote its efforts in collaboration with Ericsson, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung to develop and test every aspect of its 5G standard with regards to speed, latency and scale. Some goals include bringing gigabit wireless broadband to homes, high-traffic concentrations and commercial purposes like telemedicine and mobile blueprinting.

Sony Xperia X family priced in Europe, X and X Performance headed for the US

Knowing Sony’s spotty track record in terms of timely US expansions of its chiefly Asian and European-focused Xperia handhelds, it was only natural to fear the surprising new X, X Performance and XA might never pursue their American dream.

But while we still have no idea exactly when are the “mid-rangers” supposed to start selling stateside and for how much, pre-registration pages on the Japanese OEM’s US website suggest a happy ending is in store.

T-Mobile previews Samsung Galaxy S7 with underwater unboxing video

If you thought Samsung couldn’t possibly one-up the unboxing craziness of that pre-release llama video from last week, well, you were most likely right. But T-Mobile comes pretty darn close with a weirdly hilarious 2-minute underwater clip starring Product Manager, Engineer and Tech Evangelist Des, aka Desmond Smith, mumbling his way through an unorthodox Galaxy S7 unboxing.

The whole thing should probably start with a “don’t try this at home” warning, since the retail container is obviously ruined by water, and we doubt the wall charger, USB cable and SIM card are doing great too.


The San Bernardino iPhone: FBI dismisses iCloud siphoning as victims side against Apple

As the papers, folders, experts, laypeople, presidential candidates and lawyers line up to play their role in what could be the start of a legal saga that will determine how government treads upon encryption, it seems that the party who may hold the most emotional sway in this case have chosen a side.

Stephen Larson, a federal judge turned private lawyer, is now representing some of the victims of the San Bernardino shootings and has said to Reuters that they will file legal briefs on the side of the government.

The government has ordered Apple to create a version of its iOS mobile platform that will allow investigators unlimited attempts at entry into Syed Farook’s iPhone 5c without triggering a data wipe. Farook, along with his wife, killed 14 people and wounded 22 others at the Inland Regional Center in December.

FREETEL continues expansion push with REI at MWC 2016

You can’t blame FREETEL for trying to make a name for itself.

We saw the company make a concerted push of its current smartphones back at CES. Now, it has a new Android Marshmallow phone and, in the spirit of the OPPO F1, it’s got an aluminium back panel with diamond-cut edges. And in the spirit of the more expensive phones this year, it has two rear cameras, too.

Then again, it’s not about the spirit as it is about the beautiful and elegant looks — that’s what the Japanese kanji 麗 (pronounced “rei”) stands for. It also seems wise — as the kanji 怜 symbolizes (again, pronounced “rei”).