Vodaphone have announced they will be selling the Google Nexus One phone in the UK from April 30. For just £35 per month, on a two year contract, customers will get the first Google branded phone for free. Google will also be selling the phone direct to customers, flying in the face of how phones are usually marketed. Users have access to more than 40,000 applications as well as satellite navigation and voice activated search functions. The phone will use the Google Android platform, which took 9% of the US market last year.
Huge American electrical retailer Best Buy is to launch an attack on the UK market. Chief Executive Brian Dunn will be opening the first store this week in Thurrock, Essex, promising a shale up of the electrical retail sector. The American giant which controls 21% of the US market, will offer more than just electrical products, they also offer services in the form of technology support. Top products included a service to transfer mobile contacts, a service to set up parental controls on a computer plus tutorials and consultations both online and in-store. Staff have also been trained for nine weeks at a special academy to understand each product. Experts have suggested that UK shoppers will welcome the different approach and will flock to the 80 stores which are planned to be running by 2013. Comet, being one of the largest electrical retailers in the UK, have not rested on their laurels since the announcement of the store opening and have opened a large store directly opposite.
American owned company PIPS Technology is testing a new system for detecting drivers who speed on UK roads. The SpeedSpike system measures the average speed between two points using satellites and cameras to catch license plate numbers. It is thought that the system could be used on residential streets and around schools to allow traffic police to focus their energies elsewhere. The company say that the system will work in all weathers and 24 hours a day. They also point out it is low cost and easy to install.
UK chip maker ARM has denied rumours that Apple is about to launch a takeover. The rumours started after the company's shares increased following rumours of the bid. Apple is ARM's largest client and Apple has expressed an interest in getting better control of the companies which provide components for its products. City traders have estimated that ARM could be worth £5.2bn. ARM CEO Warren East has said that while they appreciate the share increase, companies can gain access to their technology with having to buy the company.
Samsung have launched an £8m ad campaign to promote the release of their 3D televisions which go on sale this week. The glossy ads are full of special effects to give people an idea of what 3D television might be like. 3D TV sets will also be released by Sony and Panasonic who have, as yet, not released details of their marketing strategy. LG have said they will be hoping to secure a 25% market share by the end of the year. Experts are describing the marketing buzz as a "3D Summer" and expect the sets to be the next big thing. Despite this, 3D channels and content are still thin on the ground.
Scientists from the University of Reading used a technique for measuring Saharan dust clouds to gather data about the Icelandic volcano which erupted last week, causing planes to be grounded and many passengers to be stranded. A miniature laser system, mounted on a weather balloon, has been gathering data and transmitting it to the MET office. The system gave information on the position of the plume, the size, the particle concentration and its electrical charge. The system recorded a 600 metre-thick layer of dust at 4km high which contained extremely abrasive dust particles. The MET office have said that a jet engine would ingest 60 billion of these particles every second.
Interactive TV company Strategy & Technology has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise which recognises achievement in sales of products internationally and an effective marketing strategy. Founded in 1996, S&T offers software which will facilitate the creation and display of interactive content used by digital TV broadcasters. The company has also been closely associated with the switch-over to digital TV in the UK. The company say that in the future they have plans to add catch-up and video-on-demand services to their list of products.
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