News Summary 26/02/10 – Palm’s problems, Opera’s Mobile Progress and a dream job on offer from Sony Ericsson.

With the busiest mobile week of the year just behind us, we’ve still managed to dig you out a selection of interesting news from the past few days. Palm’s financial results, an app for saving money on cabs in London and Scribd’s attempt to take on the big boys all feature this week.

  • Smart phone producer Palm has encountered further problems in their ongoing, seemingly losing battle against Apple for the high-end mobile market. An announcement to the stock exchange yesterday revealed that their profits are going to fall well below expected levels, with the new figure of around $300 million falling a full quarter lower than the prediction the company announced earlier in the year. The profit warning has seen the company’s shares fall to their lowest point for almost a year, with Palm’s handsets continuing to drop behind in terms of grabbing consumers. Experts have pointed to Verizon’s lack of marketing for the new Palm Pre stateside as a major contributing factor in the shortfall, suggesting that the major US service provider has little faith in Palm’s latest project. The new Pixi budget model, which costs a mere $99 might help revive the company, though most are anticipating further falls in profit in the future, with the array of smart phone competition growing by the day.

  • Last week we gave you the latest on Opera’s attempts to get their Internet systems taken up by iPhone, bringing you the heavily guarded preview from Barcelona. Of course, Opera never expected Apple to allow their software to make its way into their apps store, but other producers haven’t been so stringent. You can now get Opera on Symbian and Windows Mobile platforms, with critics claiming the system Opera use is a full five times faster than most of the more commonly installed browsers. Click here to view Opera’s mobile options.

  • Both Orange and T-Mobile have reported mammoth Christmas profits. The two companies are due to merge as soon as the last of their competition commission obstacles have been cleared, and both will be doing so on good terms, having had major cash ins over Christmas. While Orange’s success is in large part down to the company finally acquiring the iPhone, T-Mobile has pointed to increased subscriptions in the pay as you go market. Most mobile companies are getting increasingly competitive when it comes to price, and while sales and profits are both up, the margins made by many companies are falling. Orange will be particularly pleased, though, with 80% of their new customers having signed up to two-year deals, the standard deal for cheaper iPhones.

  • Document website Scribd is set to dive into the new mobile book market. With Amazon and Apple both launching major products aimed at developing the newfound market in the next few weeks, Scribd aim to circumnavigate devices like the iPad by providing content that’s accessible in a simple way, through a whole array of devices. While both Amazon and Apple will require their users to download content from specific sites, Scribd will provide generic content (which already includes books from the likes of major publisher Random House) that can be used on all the devices. CEO Trip Adler argues that buyers might be put off or confused by the lack of options that come with using specific machines, and hopes his website will capture a segment of the market by taking this middle ground. You can learn more about Scribd here.

  • Sony Ericsson has offered the ultimate music lover’s job to the candidate who uploads the most impressive 60-second ‘convincer’ to YouTube. The job will involve working with Sony’s ‘Pocket TV’ team as a runner on the second series of their music show. The role will include producing a blog using Sony’s new model the Vivaz, which will then be widely publicized, as well as the chance to socialize with a whole load of the world’s most famous musicians. The position is full time, paid, and runs from late spring to early summer 2010. To enter, just send your completed, inspirational video to PocketTV on YouTube, with the subject ‘Runner Competition’. For more information, click here.

  • A former Transport for London employee has produced the ultimate London cab application. Built with the aim of calculating probable costs from any one place in London to any other, the application uses a London map to calculate the cost based on current time of day and probable traffic, and bases its calculations on the TFL Taxi Tariffs. A great one when it comes to both avoiding being swindled and working out your transport options. You can grab it here for just 59p.
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