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Mobile Lowdown 05-12-11: Twitter; Corduro; Huawei/ZTE

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Our look at some of the big stories in mobile today: Twitter launches a new mobile web app; Google-backed mobile payments company Corduro launches; and, in Europe, Huawei gets a win over ZTE in their ongoing patent dispute.

Twitter: It got its start in mobile, and is still used massively on handsets, so it’s no surprise that Twitter’s launched an updated site for mobile devices. The new site (pictured) looks and acts very similar to Twitter’s own mobile apps — including fast scrolling, autocompletion of contacts’ handles, and relatively quick input response (although I found it slower than using the app) — which should be instructive to those companies looking to do more on the mobile web.

It is designed for high-end smartphones rather than feature phones, and is part of Twitter’s strategy to encourage as many users as possible to use its own products to connect to Twitter, rather than those of third parties. No word on when similar upgrades will be tailors to lower-end devices. Twitter says it is gradually rolling out the service; so currently, your own device might still be seeing “old” Twitter.

Corduro: The Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Ventures-backed mobile payment startup has opened for business on the iPhone and Android platforms.

Corduro is billing itself as a competitor to Square, in that it is offering a solution both for people paying for goods and services and for those using mobile devices to take payments. Unlike Square, it doesn’t require a dongle to be used, just an app.

Corduro is offering some interesting services that might be a sign of one direction that mobile payments can evolve in the retail space: using the app, a person can “check in” to, say, a cafe, whereupon he can get a menu on his device, order and then pay for his drink, all using the app.

The company is also offering the platform to organisations that need to regularly take and make payments out to people — one of the first markets Corduro seems to be targeting is younger adults, since the services mocked up on the site include fraternity/sorority management; university/school services; and property management (for rentals).

Huawei: An initial — if slightly trivial — victory for the Chinese vendor against its national rival ZTE. Huawei has won an injunction against ZTE in Germany concerning a USB broadband modem product made by ZTE. At issue are not any patents related to the actual product itself but to a stamp, indicating that the product complies with a European directive on the restriction of hazardous substances: Huawei had trademarked the compliance stamp, which is getting used by ZTE. ZTE is accusing Huawei of using this as a tactic to simply interfere with ZTE’s business in Europe, and it is contesting the decision. There are still a number of points in dispute between the two companies over wireless patents and trademarks.