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23 Dec 12 Upgrade Samsung Galaxy S3 with Official Premium Suite XXELL4 Android 4.1.2 …

The update has officially made its way to several European countries. Soon, the update is to be pushed for unbranded Galaxy S3 devices in Germany, Switzerland, Asia, Africa, the rest of Europe and Latin America.

Interested readers can check this tutorial to upgrade their Galaxy S3 with the new firmware, but IBTimes UK will not be held responsible if you damage your device during installation.

Users can download the firmware depending on their location:


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19 Dec 12 Rocket Internet’s Mobile Payments Startup Payleven Expands Android Support …

More news in the European mobile payment dongle space this morning: Rocket Internet’s Payleven is expanding the availability of its Android app — previously only offered in Germany — to three more markets: the U.K., Italy and Poland, where the app can now be downloaded from Google’s Play Store.

Payleven’s iOS app is available in all markets it operates in — namely: the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy and Brazil — but Payleven said the Android ecosystem is a harder nut to crack, thanks to its diversity of hardware. A spokeswoman for Payleven said: “As Android decives have different hardware components, it needs refinement to ensure app liablity. So to actually launch Android perfectly in many countries is a long [process].”

Despite being more complex, having Android support is essential to growing user-base since Android is such a dominant smartphone platform — accounting for some 70 percent of all smartphone shipments globally. It’s also particularly popular in Europe — accounting for more than 70 percent of sales in Germany for instance (Kantar‘s figure).

Payleven’s Android app supports a range of Android devices — focusing on “popular” handsets including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy SII and Galaxy SIII, and the HTC One Series line: the One X, S and V.  The app allows merchants to accept card payments by using the dongle plugged into a compatible smartphone (or tablet). Payleven then takes a per transaction fee of 2.75%.

Payleven said all its apps support its current Swipe and Sign dongle — but will also support card payment processing via an upcoming Chip PIN dongle, due to launch in all Payleven’s European markets in early 2013.

It says it’s adding a Chip PIN product as the technology is more secure and is required to enter certain markets (such as France). ”Payleven is aiming to redefine the highest standard for mobile payment applications by offering a mobile ChipPIN solution with the only fully compliant card reader to accept all major debit and credit cards and provide users with full fraud protection,” said Ian Marsh, Payleven UK CEO co-founder, in a statement.


Payleven is a device that attaches to your smartphone or tablet with iOS or Android which allows credit card processing.

→ Learn more

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14 Dec 12 Bango adds operator billing support for Google Play

Bango’s partnership with Telstra to offer carrier billing, follows similar moves made by US and European network operators. Telefonica’s BlueVia platform has provided operator-billing for Google Play in Spain and Germany since Q3 2012. Telenor has also partnered with BlueVia to provide further support for operator billing. Verizon Wireless also recently became the last of the top four US operators to launch its carrier billing when its service went live on 31 October 2012 on Google Play.

The rise in operators offering carrier billing services underscores a growing effort from both application store owners and mobile network operators to offer alternative payment options, increase conversion rates, and utilize new billing platforms to monetise and enhance the end-user experience. Globally, payment providers and application store owners (Bango, RIM, Nokia) report 1x – 3x times revenue growth with carrier billing versus credit cards. With carrier billing platforms in place, the role of network operators shifts to address the larger connected mobile ecosystem of merchants, developers and customers.

The move is a positive one for Google, which has been improving its ability to monetise Android content throughout 2012. IHS research indicates that while Google Play still generates lower content revenue per addressable device, it is starting to close the gap on Apple’s iOS App Store. Verizon’s recent move to support billing for Google Play at the same time as it announced the closure of its own application store, illustrates how in many countries operators are recognizing the reality of their new role in the mobile content ecosystem. As operator’s own content services decline, the ability to provide billing support for other stores will be a key way for them to retain some stake in the mobile content business.

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25 May 12 Microsoft Wins Motorola Android Device Ban in Germany

Microsoft Motorola Injunction

Microsoft has won an injunction in a German court against Motorola Mobility Android devices, the company confirmed Thursday. The injunction arises from Motorola’s infringement of a Microsoft patent covering the transmission of long text messages by breaking them into multiple parts.

Motorola, now a subsidiary of Google, was charged by Microsoft with violating two European patents controlled by the Redmond software giant: EP 1,304,891, concerning text messages, and EP 0,669,021, which facilitated localizing applications into different languages. Motorola was not found to have violated the second patent.

Microsoft’s legal victory has no practical effect until or unless it decides to enforce it, an action that will require the posting of a €25 million (US$31 million) bond.

While there is no indication yet on whether Microsoft be forced to pursue enforcement of its injunction, the company obviously hopes that Motorola, in the face of defeat, will move quickly to arrange a licensing agreement. 

Microsoft spokesperson Thomas Baumgartner told GigaOM: “We are pleased the court agreed today that Motorola has infringed on Microsoft’s intellectual property and we hope Motorola will be willing to join other Android device makers by taking a license to our patents.”

Motorola issued its own statement in response: “We are pleased that the Munich Court ruled Motorola Mobility did not infringe Microsoft’s EP 0 669 021 patent, which relates to a specific way to localize programs. For Microsoft’s EP 1 304 891 patent, which relates to processing of long SMS messages, we expect a written decision from the court on June 1st and upon review, will explore all options including appeal. This is one element of a global dispute initiated by Microsoft.”

Today’s injunction in Germany is the latest development in an ongoing global battle between Microsoft and Motorola. This past Monday, Microsoft won an import ban on Motorola devices at the ITC over Motorola’s infringement of a Microsoft scheduling patent.

Earlier this month, Motorola was the victor in another German case relating to video compression patents, winning an injunction against Microsoft that could prevent the company from distributing its Xbox, Windows, Internet Explorer, and Windows Media Player products in the country if Motorola pursues enforcement pending a related US-based case.

[Teaser graphic elements via Shutterstock.]

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24 May 12 Microsoft wins Motorola Android ‘ban’ in Germany

Just days after Google closed its purchase of Motorola Mobility, Microsoft is seeking an injunction to ban the sale of  Android device sales in Germany.

The suit is based on Motorola’s alleged infringement of a text message patent held by Redmond. Of course, it’s also part of a German tit-for-tat battle between the companies — last time round it was Motorola that won a ‘ban’ on Microsoft’s Windows and Xbox sales.

The latest decision came through on Thursday afternoon from the Munich regional court. As usual, it won’t mean anything concrete until Microsoft tries to enforce it, which would require posting a €25 million ($31 million) bond. No word yet on whether Microsoft will do that.

What Microsoft spokesman Thomas Baumgartner did tell me was this:

“We are pleased the court agreed today that Motorola has infringed on Microsoft’s intellectual property and we hope Motorola will be willing to join other Android device makers by taking a license to our patents.”

Text messaging functionality is pretty fundamental stuff, but this isn’t one of those standards-essential patents that are supposed to be unusable as legal weapons.

It should be noted that Microsoft also won a U.S. import ban on Motorola’s Android devices in the last week, although the ITC also decided Moto deserved a ban on Xbox 360 imports a few days after that. The ITC rulings were preliminary rulings that do not go into force unless they are uphold by a large panel and then by the President.

In the past, the ITC has delayed the implementation of import bans in the mobile sector in order to allow companies to develop workarounds.

Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
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15 May 12 Google’s Android gains share in smartphones-survey

Tue May 15, 2012 5:00am EDT

* Android share surges in Spain, Italy, Germany

* Apple gains in US, Britain; slips in Europe

* Windows Phone share jumps to 3-6 pct on Nokia switch

* Nokia’s Symbian, RIM fall most

By Tarmo Virki

HELSINKI, May 15 (Reuters) – Google’s Android
smartphone software stretched its market lead in early 2012,
helped by new models from handset makers like Samsung and HTC
and piling the pressure on rivals like Research In Motion
and Nokia.

Research from Kantar WorldPanel on Tuesday showed Android
gaining share strongly in most of seven major markets -
Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United
States – in the 12 weeks to mid April.

In Spain and Italy, its market share more than doubled
year-on-year to 72 percent and 49 percent respectively, while it
almost doubled to 62 percent in Germany.

Strong demand for the iPhone 4S helped market No.2 Apple
narrow the gap with Android in the United States and
Britain, but its share slipped in continental Europe.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone began to show some signs
of growth thanks to Nokia’s decision to swap its legacy Symbian
platform for Windows.

Windows’ share in Germany more than doubled to 6 percent
over the past year, and climbed to 3-4 percent in Britain,
France, Italy and the United States.

These gains came at the expense of Nokia’s Symbian platform
and Canadian BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, the biggest
market share losers. RIM’s share in the U.S. market dropped to
just 3 percent from 9 percent a year earlier.

Kantar said HTC’s One X model made a strong start in
Britain, making the Top 10 list for the 12 week period even
though it was on sale for less than a week.

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06 May 12 NotCompatible Android Trojan; Spotify for iPad; Target Pulling Amazon Kindle

Security was top of mind on Wednesday, as Lookout Mobile Security reported that there are now hacked websites targeting Android devices with a new Android Trojan called NotCompatible, an attack vector previously only used to infect PCs with malware.

Lookout called the development “the first time hacked websites are being used to specifically target mobile devices.” Malware threats to Android phones in the past have largely come via apps.

In other news, just 5 percent of Android devices are running the latest version of the mobile operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich, according to stats released this week by Google.

Meanwhile, the streaming music service Spotify finally launched an iPad app. The Spotify for iPad app, which is now available in the App Store, lets users of Apple’s coveted tablet browse and play tracks from Spotify’s catalog of 17 million songs. iPad owners can enjoy the app for free during a 30-day trial, but will need to shell out $9.99 a month for a Spotify premium subscription to continue using it after the trial period.

And, if you’re in the market for a new Amazon Kindle, then don’t head to Target. The popular retailer confirmed yesterday that it will stop selling Amazon’s Kindle devices in the coming weeks. Kindle devices have already been pulled from the Target website. Searches for “Amazon Kindle” just bring up Kindle covers.

Also topping tech headlines on Wednesday:

For more from Angela, follow her on Twitter @amoscaritolo.

For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

Article source:,2817,2403919,00.asp

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23 Apr 12 Europe Loves Android, UK Loves Apple

Android is slowly pushing iOS into second place among Europe’s top five economies, according to a report published today.

InMobi, which claims to be the world’s largest independent mobile advertising network, reported that Android was the most popular operating system in three of the five top economies, with only the U.K. and Italy favoring Apple’s iOS. In Spain, Android has complete dominance with more than one in every two smartphones. And its dominance is growing, up from 45.9% in 2011Q4 to 54.3% in 2012Q1. The figures come from the ads the company serves.

Beleaguered Research in Motion, makers of the BlackBerry, can draw a small amount of comfort from the report. With the exception of Italy, it remains the third operating system in all major markets, and commands anywhere between 10% in Germany to 19% in Spain. Furthermore, the company managed to grow its market share in two of the five markets.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone didn’t manage to make an appearance in the figures. In Italy, Nokia’s moribund Symbian still accounted for 9% of the market.

The U.K.’s love affair with Apple seems unbreakable: iOS dominated the cellphone market and the country’s top three mobile devices were all made by Apple (the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch). Across the rest of Europe, Samsung’s GT-S5830 and BlackBerry’s 8520 proved popular.

According to John Stoneman, Director EME, for InMobi, countries tend to follow a particular development, dependent on the market conditions. “Typically what you see,” he said, “is the iPhone launches. Those people who want a smartphone and can afford it buy the iPhone. Later what you see is the growth of Android as people with less money enter the market. At that point the two operating systems will tend to slug it out.”

Speaking of other operating systems, Mr. Stoneman said there was no evidence yet of any impact by Windows Phone. “Frankly at the moment, Windows Phone is a rounding error.” Rim’s BlackBerry, he said, was very much still the third operating system, but there are significant problems. “Rim’s success remains its usability as a telecommunications device, not a mini-computer. The problem the BlackBerry has is the lack of a relevant developer network, an ecosystem. The choice for developers will be iPhone and Android, then mobile web. Rim is not even an after thought in most cases.”

Overall, the company reported strong growth in all markets across Europe.

Observers should be careful about reading too much into the figures since they represent just one company’s findings and can be heavily influenced by the penetration of InMobi in that market. Sample sizes vary from 9.5 billion ad impressions a quarter in the U.K., where the company has an office, to 1.8 billion in Italy.

Mobile operating system by country

Updated at 18:01 23 Apr 04: Added interview with John Stoneman, Director EME, for InMobi

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19 Apr 12 Ruukki Group to acquire EWW chrome processing facilities in Germany

Ruukki has announced that it intends to complete consolidation of its entire European business by acquiring the EWW chrome processing facilities in Germany and by terminating the profit and loss sharing arrangement with the RCS trading business in Malta. The total transaction value of a minimum EUR 25.3 million, payable to major RKKI shareholder, Kermas Limited, will consume a fair proportion of RKKI’s cash (EUR 66 million as end of 2011), but will provide it with complete ownership and control of the European businesses.

This transaction between RKKI and Kermas ends the remaining arrangements entered into in October 2008, when RKKI acquired the European business from Kermas.

The key features of the transaction are as follows:

EWW cash: RKKI is to acquire 100% of EWW for EUR 17.3 million cash (potentially adjustable up to EUR 20 million). EWW toll treats the chromite concentrate generated from RKKI’s Turkish mining operations and produces specialty alloys used in the automotive, aerospace and power generation industries.

RCS cash: The profit and loss sharing arrangement between RKKI and the RCS trading business, in relation to the marketing of these specialty alloy products and the Turkish chrome ore not sold to EWW, is to be terminated for EUR 8 million in cash. This equates to the amount estimated to be payable in future profits from 2011 to 2013.

Other: The 70.2 million options granted to Kermas, relating to the PL sharing arrangement, are to be cancelled, as are various lock up arrangements and management arrangements.

In effect, Kermas is to receive EUR 25.3 million cash, while relinquishing profit sharing arrangements and options. Given that Kermas is a 28.5% shareholder in RKKI, this constitutes a related party transaction and will therefore require shareholder approval the Annual General Meeting on the May 10th 2012.

The RKKI board values the 100% control that this transaction will provide and regards the transaction as the optimal use of available funds, and consistent with RKKI’s stated vision of being a major player in the chrome industry within five years. In the absence of further detail, we have to assume that the transaction is attractively accretive. More details on the transaction are to be distributed in a circular.

EWW is consolidated within RKKI’s accounts, but RKKI reports that in FY11A it generated a profit after tax of EUR 0.35 million, while the carrying value of its assets was EUR 22.6 million. RKKI is paying a minimum EUR 17.3 million for EWW.

Outlook: RKKI remains well positioned to benefit from a turnaround in the FeCr market, which is in turn aligned with global stainless steel production growth. In the meantime, we believe that it has the balance sheet to withstand a prolonged downturn and potentially even to acquire additional assets, expanding its mineral resource base in particular.

Source – Ruukki Group Plc


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22 Mar 12 Browser Survey Puts Chrome in First Place–for Just One Day

Browser Survey Puts Chrome in First Place--for Just One DayGoogle’s Chrome browser overtook Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, all versions combined, to become the number one browser for a single day last weekend, according to figures from website analytics company StatCounter.

Chrome was the most-used browser in Brazil, India and Russia on Sunday, enough to put it top of StatCounter’s worldwide browser ranking too, although it remained in second or third place in China, Germany and the U.S.

But by Monday, when many Internet users returned to work, it had slipped back behind Internet Explorer again.

Chrome usage typically rises on weekends and falls on working days, but this is the first time the browser has made it to first place, StatCounter said.

Version 15 of Chrome became the single-most-used browser version in the last week of November, with 23.6 percent of the market, narrowly ahead of version 8 of Internet Explorer, according to StatCounter. It had been regularly beating IE8 on weekends since October, the company said.

Chrome has an advantage in version-by-version comparisons such as this, as its autoupdate feature concentrates its market share in the latest version. Microsoft’s share is split more evenly between different versions of Internet Explorer as not all its users are willing or able to upgrade to the latest version. IE6 still lingers in many enterprises where in-house applications will not run on newer versions of the browser, while the latest version, IE9, will not run on Windows XP: users of that operating system are still stuck with IE8.

StatCounter bases its rankings on data about visits to 3 million websites, totalling around 15 billion page views per month.

One factor that may boost Chrome’s position in StatCounter’s all-versions rankings is the browser’s “prerendering” of pages: Versions of the browser released since June last year have attempted to predict which link a user will click on next and download it in advance. However, the downloaded page is only displayed if the user does click on the link.

StatCounter makes no allowance for Chrome’s prerendering in its results, although other Web analytics firms do. According to Net Applications, the additional prerendering features in version 17 of the browser inflate Chrome’s share by 4.14 percentage points.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at

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