SIM-Free Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy Mega 6.3 and Galaxy S4 Active to Be Available in the UK Soon
For those of you not looking to join into a contract and have a fair amount of cash to spare, some of Samsung's latest devices will be available to buy unlocked pretty shortly. With the Galaxy Mega 6.3 going up for sale at £455 launching July 1st, the Galaxy S4 Mini is going to cost £377 or so and will be hitting some time in July as well. the start of the show for most of you is perhaps going to be the Galaxy S4 Active, which is essentially a Galaxy S4 you can wait and covered in dust. Carrying the same internals as the Galaxy S4, you'd expect a similar price and you'd be right. The Galaxy S4 Active will be available for £486 or so.
Three Acquires O2's Irish Network
Three UK have officially announced that they've bought O2 Ireland from Telefonica. In the deal, Three UK will pay â‚¬780 Million if the deal is approved and goes through, along with another â‚¬70 Million if financial targets are met. This leaves Three with 37.2% of the Irish wireless marketplace and should give them good positioning when setting up a new LTE-based network. It's interesting that Telefonica let their Irish branch go but, it could work out well for O2, as they're now free to solely focus on the UK.
Three to Stock Acer's Liquid E2
While Acer continue to make some decent smartphones, they've never really had too much luck getting onto the UK Networks. The Liquid E2 might be a sign of things to change however, as the device will be coming to the Three. Acer's latest mid-range device looks like a solid offering, with a quad-core 1.2 Ghz CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 4.5-inch qHD display, an 8MP camera and stereo speakers with DTS Support. Three have a page live on their website to register your interest.
British Airways to Tweak Electronic Device Policy
Those of you that fly BA might be itchy to turn on your smartphone as soon as you land – as we all are – and now, British Airways are going to allow that. THey're changing their policy and from now on, instead of waiting to turn your phone on when the plane has reached the terminal building, you can turn it on as soon as you've landed. Which isn't really that big of a change but, it could be a sign of things to come.
EE Expands LTE Coverage With 11 New Towns
Those waiting for 4G LTE to hit their town might have some good news as EE are turning on LTE in 11 more towns this week. The following towns are getting super-fast speeds:
The network is also hoping to achieve 70% LTE coverage of the nation by the end of this year, and 98% by the end of 2014. Looks like O2, Vodafone and Three have some serious catching-up to do!
The Xperia Z Ultra: How Much Will it Cost and Which Networks Will Have It
This week, Sony shocked the world by announcing the world's largest "smartphone", which you can take a closer look of here. For those of you thinking "I can get on board with this massive phone" you'll be wanting to know how much it's going to cost, right? Well, Clove have it up for pre-order at £599.99 inc. VAT, with prices around Europe pretty much confirming that high price tag. Network wise, Three UK have confirmed they'll be selling the device. So, once again Sony have an expensive smartphone for us but, we suppose it is better value than the original Z was and with a quad-core CPU at 2.2 Ghz, you'd expect to pay a premium.
AT&T is Looking to Move into Europe; UK May be in Firing Line
AT&T may have failed to buy T-Mobile in the US but, that hasn't ruined their appetite and there are rumors flying around that AT&T is looking to move into Europe. There's talk that the company might like to buy – or at least heavily invest – in networks here in the UK as well as in the continent. Spain have pretty much said no to the US giant but, they've got their sights on EE, Three and perhaps even O2 UK. There's little known at the moment but, with Verizon moving into Canada, AT&T might be looking across the pond to expand. Would they be welcome here? Would OFCOM allow it? (Who are we kidding, they don't know what they're doing).
Samsung's Galaxy S4 Mini and Galaxy Mega Now in Stock and Ready to Order at Clove
As we discussed above, the Galaxy S4 Mini and the Galaxy Mega are headed to UK shelves. Now, the S4 Mini and the Mega 6.3 are ready to order from Clove. The S4 Mini will set you back £377 or so, and the Mega around £455. Devices won't be dispatched until June 29th, to keep things in line with the official launch and so you should expect your devices no later than the middle of the first week of July!
Food for Thought on the UK Mobile Market
Rounding out this week's roundup of Android news for the UK, we'll leave you in the hands of this lovely infographic of the UK wireless market from MobileUnlocked. Covering such things as why people would switch, who would see the most users and the like, the infographic is a nice look at what the UK thinks of the market right now.
Galaxy S III Case Giveaway!
If you've stuck with me this far, then well done! You're about to get rewarded well, one of you is anyway. Thanks to the folks at Phones4U, who've been having a bit of a clear out at the moment, we've got a Galaxy S III case to give away to our UK Readers. Sorry to those in Europe we're only going to ship this to the UK. This is a Ballistic case for the Galaxy S III and is rated to protect your device up to 5ft drops. So, for those builders and clumsy folk out there, this is the case for you! If you're looking to get your hands on this rugged case – which would be perfect for festival season! – then all you have to do is e-mail me with your address at tom.dawson [at] androidheadlines.com. The first person to e-mail me will have this case shipped out to them in the post. Simple as that! Thanks for reading guys and I'll be back next week with another dose of Android News for the UK!