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Smartphones now 38% of mobile phone sales

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Research from GFK Retail & Technology has found that sales of Android based smartphones has increased from 3% to 12% of monthly contract sales in just the last few weeks. The Google mobile platform has an overall market share of 6% with one in five smartphones running on Android. The success is based on the release of the Nexus One and the HTC Desire, Legend and Tattoo which have boosted sales. Smartphones now account for 38% of mobile phone sales, most of these on a contract basis.

A study highlighted in the Environmental Science and Technology journal has found that simply getting outdoors can cause huge improvements in mental health, within just 5 minutes. They looked at low tech activities such as gardening, cycling, boating, farming, walking and horse-riding and found that these had the strongest impact on younger people and those who already have mental health issues. A stronger effect was seen when the exercise was taken in areas which also has water such as a lake, river or the ocean. The researchers described the exercise as "green" and thought that employers should encourage outside time for staff and that the government should do more to encourage outdoor physical activity. Paul Farmer from Mind also said that doctors should prescribe green exercise rather than drugs where appropriate for depression.

An undercover study by Which? has found that 10 out of 14 installers of solar thermal systems exaggerate claims of potential energy savings. The news comes as the government is attempting to regulate the industry ahead of their tariff for renewable heat which comes in next year. Their investigation found that high pressure tactics were used in the sale if these items and the benefits were overstated by as much as 40%. One company even claimed that a saving of £35,000 could be made over just 20 years. It is generally recognised that savings due to the technology would be in the region of just 10%. Many customers simply do not know what is reasonable when it comes to energy savings and a government campaign explaining the benefits should be rolled out according to Tobi Kellner from the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales.

Customers queued from 4am outside the American owned Bestbuy store in Essex to be the first people in the new store this week. The first customers were able to purchase a 32 inch TV for just £180 and a Black Wii bundle for less than £100. The company also offered a refund to anyone who bought a TV worth more than £499, if England failed to win the world cup. Staff known as "blueshirts" and their advisory staff known as "the geek squad" do not work on commission, but are schooled in American style pushy sales techniques, something for which they are criticised in the US. More stores are planned for Southampton, The West Midlands, Croydon and Bristol in the coming months.

Technology company Fusion Garage has revealed the release date for its JooJoo 3G Tablet and has started taking orders for when it becomes available at the end of May. Similar to the iPad, the JooJoo has a 12.1 inch screen and will run flash content - something which the iPad will not. The tablet has a 4GB drive and 1GB of RAM. The makers describe it as having the largest app store in the world - the internet.

Research from Argos has discovered that one in five families who take camping breaks do so because it gives them welcome relief from modern technology. More than 50% of UK families go camping at least once a year and 62% were happy to leave the TV at home. 60% were happy not have their laptop and 47% didn't miss their games console. Just 1% thought that a GPS device would be handy while camping and fewer than 3% wanted to take their hair straightener with them. Mark Steel from Argos stated that the results show that camping is a less stressful holiday and children usually enjoy getting back to basics.

Green technology has become an election issue for the Labour and Liberal Democrats parties with both promising to create thousands of jobs in the industry. Labour have said they will create 400,000 jobs in the green economy with 40% of energy coming from low carbon sources by 2020. They will also create 20,000 new places in universities in the science, technology and engineering subjects. The Liberal Democrats said they will create 100,000 jobs and promised the creation of an electricity grid to use new clean energy. It also said it will invest in green technology and encourage the rest of Europe to do the same.

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