If you're traveling between countries in the European Union, there's good news for your wallet: it won't be quite so thoroughly mugged by international roaming charges starting today. After a vote by the European Commission last month, wireless roaming charges for text, data, and voice usage are being forcibly reduced across its 28 member states. Today's policy change will lower maximum roaming charges to 45 European cents per megabyte, 24 cents per outgoing call minute, 7 cents per received call minute, and 8 cents for a text message, plus value-added tax in all cases.
Starting in July 2014, Europeans will be free of burdensome roaming charges as they travel across the European Union's 27 member states. This comes after officials voted to terminate such fees for voice calls, text messages, and internet access as part of a move to create a single European telecoms market. This is great news for French citizens hopping across the border to Germany, but it will have no impact on tourists from outside of the continent.
FairSearch Europe—a coalition of Google competitors or legal adversaries including, among others, Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle—has filed a complaint with the European Union alleging that Google is abusing its dominant OS position in the mobile market to push its own set of apps.
The group claims that Android is used "as a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today," pointing out that manufacturers have to agree to a certain set of rules requiring inclusion or placement of certain apps.
Motorola announced today through its official community blog that a RAZR "Developer Edition" (evidently based on the original Droid RAZR, not its newer MAXX counterpart) is in the works. The dev-friendly device will carry an unlockable bootloader and is poised to hit European markets relatively soon, with a (yet unspecified) unlockable device bound for the U.S. "in the coming months." Oddly enough, the blog post was pulled (perhaps it was published prematurely; Update: it's live once again), but luckily the text of the post has been retained:
If you haven't heard, Germany has pretty much become the hotspot for smartphone and tablet patent litigation. Most recently, HTC has been hitting headlines in its ongoing battle against IPCom, an intellectual property firm. IPCom claims that HTC's smartphones violate a number of its patents in the realm of 3G GSM technology. HTC says that the last time it made a phone which might have violated those patents was in 2009, and that it has since developed a workaround which does not infringe on IPCom's patents.
Now, this all based on one German online retailer (where imports of the Tab 10.1 were banned), but it's very interesting nonetheless. It appears that a new version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been launched in Germany, called the Tab 10.1N. The difference? So far, all we see is a re-designed bezel and the fact that it's now shipping with Android 3.2. Take a look at this comparison shot from Mobiflip:
The Tab 10.1N is above, and the old Tab 10.1 is below.
Looks like today is going to be a bad day for Samsung, as a Dutch court has just granted Apple's request for a preliminary injunction banning the sale and importation of the Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Ace smartphones from the European Union. This decision follows Apple's earlier victory in Germany where distribution of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was banned everywhere in the EU, save for the Netherlands.
It seems HTC has made good on its commitment to begin unlocking the bootloaders of its recently released handsets, starting with the European version of the HTC Sensation. You can find the instructions at HTC's developer portal, here. (You may need to log in). Also, here are the scary things you'll have to disclaim before beginning:
So, as long as you realize that your warranty will/might be voided all or in part, get cracking.