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back to article HTC One grabs BEST SMARTPHONE gong

The GSM Association (GSMA) announced the 19th Annual Global Mobile awards at its Mobile World Congress now underway in Barcelona, and the award for Best smartphone didn't go to an offering by either of the two market leaders – Apple and Samsung – but instead to a company that's been facing some challenges of late: HTC won for …

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Apple sucked their business out from under them?

Last time I looked the mobile phone companies were making handsome profits. What Apple did is stopped them from dictating to their users what their phones could do and what features they would have. This has turned out to be good for both the consumer and the cell companies. The consumer gets what they actually want and the cell companies have been selling vastly more phones (and charging extra for data plans).

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FAIL

Re: Apple sucked their business out from under them?

A rather rose tinted view there and Im an apple fan. What Apple did was stop network operators dictating to consumers and take charge of the ditacting themselves - with such gems as no copy/paste and you must create an email from your photo album to attach a photo - but not the other way around. And lest we forget - its still bloody difficult to attach something non-media related to an iphone email.

Apple may have taken Touch OS'es in a phone form factor to new heights of polish and usability but lets not pretend they are a consumer champion - they aint.

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You think that I was saying that this was just good for Apple?

Android, Windows Phone et al have all benefitted by Apple breaking the cell co's lock on what features a phone would have. Before the iPhone they were shipping heavily customised, ugly (both in the case and UI) phones with only the features they wanted you to have. These days you have a huge choice and can add features after the fact in the form of apps.

You also failed to counter the argument that the cell companies weren't losing money. Show me a poor cell company that has been hurt by this move.

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Re: Apple sucked their business out from under them?

"The consumer gets what they actually want and the cell companies have been selling vastly more phones (and charging extra for data plans)."

How wrong can you get? What this consumer actually wants is to be charged less for data plans.

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Trollface

Re: Apple sucked their business out from under them?

And 10 euro bills that cost 9 euro's, and proper summers too.

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Re: Apple sucked their business out from under them? @Tromos

No, they want phones to perform the functions that they like. They will pay for that capability. They don't need to buy smart phones (dumb phones and feature phones are still available), but they value the extra capabilities.

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Re: Apple sucked their business out from under them? @Gordon 10

BTW, you're an Apple fan and you don't know how to do things like copy/paste, insert a photo into an email etc that have been a standard part of the system for years now?

The point here is that the phone manufacturers get to compete with each other over what features they can cram into the phone. There's a much wider range of choices. If Apple doesn't give you what you want then look at Samsung, LG, Nokia or whoever the hell else. They aren't being restricted or homogenised by the carriers.

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Re: You think that I was saying that this was just good for Apple?

"Before the iPhone they were shipping heavily customised, ugly (both in the case and UI) phones with only the features they wanted you to have."

I started using Windows Mobile-based smartphones several years before the iPhone was launched, and whilst they might not have set new standards in design or ease of use, they were also more tweakable by the end user than the iPhone ever has been, and the heavy customisation you mention was generally nothing more than a network-specific bootscreen and smattering of preinstalled apps. Even in the pre-smartphone days, I don't recall there being much of a difference between the same handsets supplied by different networks.

So to suggest that it took the iPhone to break the network stranglehold over what we could do with our phones is a bit wide of the mark. Also somewhat ironic, given how much control Apple themselves exert (or certainly used to in the earlier days - I'll admit things have improved somewhat in the last couple of years) over the iPhone - it doesn't really matter if the walls around your garden are erected by the network operator or the phone manufacturer, it's still a walled garden...

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Facepalm

James Cordon doing awards *again*? Whaddaguy.

Did he say "make it so?"

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Re: Apple sucked their business out from under them?

A slight correction...

Before Apple jumped in, and made tethering a "paid for" update for the iphone, the rest of world+dog had been tethering and using their 1GB/month data as they wished.

Since then all the mobile carriers seem to have got fussy over exactly how you're using that 1GB/month, and charging you if you want to tether it off to something else...

What difference does it make exactly? It's a 1GB/month contract! Why should you care if I use 1GB on my phone, or do exactly the same on my laptop via a tether... It's still coming out of the same 1GB/month pot!

So thank you Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tethering...

Well that's an interesting take on the situation!

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Re: Tethering...

Apple made tethering something that the cellco's could turn on or off. The rumour is this was for contractual reasons. Some operators chose to make it a chargeable option, others give you it for free. On the Android platform they don't have this level of control (and you can download apps that provide the feature anyway). The consumer gets the choice of picking a carrier that includes tethering if this is important to them, or picking a different brand of phone. How is this a problem for the consumer and not competitive?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple sucked their business out from under them?

Apple took a cut of carrier revenue for each iPhone contract. This raised the price of contracts for all. If you notice some carriers advertise an iPhone contract which has a nice little loading, compared to getting the same contract without specifying iPhone in front of it. Same contract, just put the SIM in your iPhone, no difference.

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Re: Apple sucked their business out from under them?

You're contradicting yourself. Either Apple's slice of iPhone contracts is putting everyone's bill up (evidence please) or non-iPhone contracts are cheaper.

The examples of contracts I've seen either include the cost of the handset in the monthly price (so you can have a cheaper phone for less money, hardly surprising) or they cost the same and the only reason they have "iPhone" in the title is because they come with a nano SIM. From what I can see contracts for higher end Android phones cost about the same and you can get deals on low to mid range Android devices at lower rates.

Non of this has anything to do with the question of what evidence there is that Apple have killed off the cellco's business. Show me some evidence that this is the case.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You think that I was saying that this was just good for Apple?

iPhone made the smartphone mass market instead of a geek toy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple sucked their business out from under them?

and you must create an email from your photo album to attach a photo - but not the other way around. And lest we forget - its still bloody difficult to attach something non-media related to an iphone email.

I must admit I'm using a Galaxy S4 and the gmail app and I can't find a way to attach photos in the app when I reply to an email... I have to go to the photo album to 'share' it as an email...

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Re: Apple sucked their business out from under them?

"I must admit I'm using a Galaxy S4 and the gmail app and I can't find a way to attach photos in the app when I reply to an email.."

It might be better for your image if you avoid admitting you can't figure out how to press Menu > Attach photo.

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Re: Apple sucked their business out from under them?

What Apple did was stop users from having features. Copy and paste? MMS? Video calling? Had to wait years for that.

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Re: You think that I was saying that this was just good for Apple?

Except the 2007 iphone couldn't even run apps - yet even bog standard feature phones from 2005 or earlier could. As noted in other comments, the iphone lacked features, and took years to catch up.

The only customisation I'm aware of is them sticking their own application stores or website links on there, but that still happens, everything from Kindle Fire to Tesco Hudl. (And you can hardly argue that it was good that 3rd party customisation was provided by applications "thanks to Apple", whilst whinging that networks provided 3rd party applications!)

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Re: You think that I was saying that this was just good for Apple?

You misspelled Symbian (or later, Android). The early iphone sales were nothing compare to other smartphone platforms, and later it was Android that dominated. Even Windows Mobile outsold the iphone in the early years, it was so pathetic.

The best selling smartphone of all time is the 2009 Nokia 5230. And that was just one of many Nokia smartphones. That made the smartphone mass-market - but unfortunately, you've probably never even heard of the device, because the UK media just harped on about the poorly selling Apple phones all the time.

The first few iphones were the geek toys, whilst everyone else was using Blackberry, Symbian, Android. Not to mention that anything before iphone 4 could hardly be called a smartphone - the first one couldn't even do apps!

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James Cordon

considerably less funny than earache.

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Re: James Cordon

I would go one further and say he's even less funny than toothache that results in root canal work.

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Re: James Cordon

My dentist (sadly now retired, though his successor is pretty good) did a whole lot of root canal work on me without my suffering nearly as much discomfort as I get sitting through a bad comedian. And that's with being shown titanium pins that seem to be longer than the depth of your jaw.

If your dentist isn't that good, perhaps you should ask around.

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Heh

Corden's response to being dissed was to wait until the SK chap was off stage, then to ask the audience if seconds later anyone remembered who he was.

This would have worked if the same person hadn't won the next award, the Outstanding Overall Mobile Technology: The CTO's Choice.

Oh, that is glorious

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Well done HTC

I spent a long time deciding which phone to upgrade from my trusty N8. The HTC ticked my boxes on solid hardware, decent screen and trying something different with a camera rather than shoving more pixels in. It's a shame they are struggling as a company, they have the ability to produce decent kit and do a good job of trying to differentiate from the crowd.

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Anonymous Coward

More metal kit that blocks and thus drops more calls.

Form over function wins it, how cute.

Maybe they could also make polo neck pullover with metal rings to stretch our necks upwards?

They might well go down a treat with the same 'look at me' buyer.

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Re: More metal kit that blocks and thus drops more calls.

As an ex HTC One user i absolutely concur.

Looks fantastic, great screen and toys.

But...

...terrible call quaility (drop outs and random voice volume), iffy connection, almost impossible to hold (too slim and slippery and frankly blummin uncomfortable). If anyone has worked out a way of putting it down without dropping the thing I'd like to know how.

Still, it is very shiny - Mmmmmm.

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Re: More metal kit that blocks and thus drops more calls.

Perhaps try the Ballistic shell Gel Case. Works a treat :)

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Re: More metal kit that blocks and thus drops more calls.

I have never had a single issue with call quality, signal quality (O2) is fantastic except in the middle of nowhere.

Regarding the grip of the sleek bit of kit, I agree. I went for a Trident Aegis case as I had one on the Sensation. Adds a fair bit of clunk and you lose the phones poncy wow factor but it's an excellent, sturdy case with added rubber for grip.

http://www.tridentcase.com/shop-products/htc-one/aegis-case-htc-one.aspx

I love HTC, last three phones have been theirs and I hope they don't go down the toilet as I imagine I will stick with them.

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Re: More metal kit that blocks and thus drops more calls.

No. If an Apple phone is dropping calls you are holding it wrong.

Besides, my iPhone works fine in my car, airplane and blast shielded command bunker. I believe someone has explained some things to you incorrectly. Don't sweat it. Chin up and press on. Things will continue on without you worrying about them, no reason to stress yourself.

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Re: More metal kit that blocks and thus drops more calls.

Same on the HTC one V. Looks fantastic, especially for a mid range droid. But if you pick it up and hold it normally (i.e. with your hand at the bottom) the call ends as you cover the one bit of plastic that lets the signal through. Shame really, I like metal cases, and bought it partly because of that. But my old Nokia 6300 didn't have this problem, as Nokia cleverly put the bit of plastic at the top, where you don't tend to hold it.

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Re: More metal kit that blocks and thus drops more calls.

Never had call quality issues, I can hold it perfectly, don't drop it when putting it down etc... So I'm not sure what the problem is with it?

I say the award is very much deserved!

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Re: More metal kit that blocks and thus drops more calls.

> If anyone has worked out a way of putting it down without dropping the thing I'd like to know how.

Maybe drink less?

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Re: More metal kit that blocks and thus drops more calls.

Jesus. There's a few extra thick types on here today. I wonder if there's a correlation between people with poor reading comprehension and Daily Mail, Fox News or Yahoo! News regulars? I bet there is.

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Re: More metal kit that blocks and thus drops more calls.

Most got as far as "my iPhone works..." and headed for the downvote button.

Don't worry. Some of us can still read.

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Re: More metal kit that blocks and thus drops more calls.

Otterbox Commuter case...looks great, adds grip, seals ports from water. Because the One is so thin to begin with, even the massive Otterbox still results in a phone+case that is manageable in size.

I have the dual-SIM version (imported from China), and one SIM is O2, the other Voda. The Voda drops connections, has iffy voice quality, etc. The O2 is MUCH better, at least where I live and travel in London. So it may be down more to the network than the phone....

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Re: More metal kit that blocks and thus drops more calls.

"Perhaps try the Ballistic shell Gel Case. Works a treat :)"

Care to explain how the gel counteracts the signal-blocking of the metal case ?

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Re: More metal kit that blocks and thus drops more calls.

Actually, two separate sections of the metal case are used as antennae. The phone is designed to switch between antennae when/if the signal fades on one. As mentioned elsewhere, call-dropping is likely a carrier issue.

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"...regularly employs a performer – although one who is probably only thinking of the cheque".

I've never been to an awards ceremony where the host 'personality' looks remotely comfortable, or for that matter, puts in a good performance. I always get the impression they hate it. Having said that, if you attend an awards ceremony, and remeber anything that happened the next day, you are certainly not trying hard enough. One time, I attended an awards evening, and it was not until days later that I found out it had been presented by Jimmy Carr, who at least I'd heard of. I must have been pissed beyond belief.

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You are correct on all points.

I'm almost certain that people hate those presenter roles because it is not what they know how to do, and they can't say no because they've got to pay back the favors that the people running the show have done for them.

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In a previous work life my company had Huw Edwards host an awards evening. He was urbane, witty and had clearly done his homework about the company and its bigwigs. The organisers of the MWC clearly hadn't bothered watching Corden's efforts at hosting the Brits for the past five years, otherwise they would have gone for someone more professional. Like Sam Fox and Mick Fleeetwood.

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Was at an awards ceremony last October hosted by Jimmy Carr - not one of my favourite performers it has to be said, but he made the evening an enjoyable one - particularly as he pretty much slagged off each award (e.g. 'Best Use Of Phone Technology In A Call Centre - er, it's a f****** call centre! What could the best use possibly be?' etc) whilst the organisers looked on rather sheepishly.

Corden? Talent vacuum.

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Presenting awards isn't a big field you know. You've got a few big names in any field that are known for doing it well and you can't get them for everything. Plus, that would be boring. So you have to lasso someone else into doing it and they don't want to do it but like I said its favors. Unless it's a high profile national or global award they usually don't even get paid or have their travel or hotel paid for. It costs them money to make those awards presentations. I'm sorry you didn't know how those things work.

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Devil

BEST SMARTPHONE

Is this 'Best Smartphone' in the same way that ITV is 'Channel of the Year'?

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Re: BEST SMARTPHONE

Yes. But there's no shame in that. All industry events see the prizes awarded to the organisers themselves, or to whoever bought the expensive tables at the front of the award ceremony, or a year's worth of advertising with the organiser and the like.

I have yet to see any "award" in commerce,media, tech or elsewhere that is awarded on actual merit or objective analysis.

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Best Solution for Growing Smaller

Won by Blackberry?

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It's a nice phone and there are obviously many people who are quite content to be without a replaceable battery and MicroSD card slot but I don't personally know any. It can be argued that the iPhone and my Nokia N9 justify holding one's nose and making an exception on the basis of the OS but the HTC One is just another Android device and surely not the be-all and end-all. Still, if this helps them pull through, then why not.

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Anonymous Coward

All your friends are geeks.

The HTC one has stereo speakers that are very good for a phone. That alone is better than most other phones out there.

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"The HTC one has stereo speakers that are very good for a phone. That alone is better than most other phones out there."

Wow ! you must be a real audiophile then ;-)

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