Each week the MEF team curates mobile stories from around the world. Essential news, the latest market insight & data nuggets, the Global News Round-up offers an instant international mobile content and commerce snapshot.
Global News Stories
Mobile messaging app Line, which has been on a marketing push in India, has added 10 million Indian users to its registered users count in around three months, as it prepares to kick off a Bollywood actress-backed TV ad campaign in the country. Since officially launching in India, Line said voice calls on its service have grown 3,200 %, use of stickers is up 1,800%, and messages have grown by 700% since June 2013.
Smartphones now reach 60.8 per cent of the US population – 145m people – with Android and iOS still dominating the market from June to August, according to ComScore.
But, even before the launch of the latest iPhone, Google’s operating system was losing some ground, with an increase in Samsung handset sales of 1.3 per cent unable to make up losses seen for HTC, LG and Motorola. While Apple’s OS and handset share grew 1.5 per cent to 40.7 per cent, Android dropped overall by 0.8 per cent.
Analyst CCS Insight says 2013 will be the first year that more smartphones are sold than feature phones – 55 per cent to be precise. It reckons that by 2017, smartphones will account for 78 per cent of a the 2.19 billion phones sold.
That leaves feature phones are just below 500 million units sold. Still a big number.
With 100 million people logging on every day for a fix of its games like Candy Crush Saga, global game maker King is showing rivals not just how to hook players, but how to get them to pay.
King is the latest among European tech firms like Rovio, creator of mega-hit Angry Birds, and Mojang, behind Minecraft, to make it big on the global gaming scene. But its stunning profitability in an industry littered with firms who failed to make money from popular games has made it a totem for others seeking to emulate its success.
PayPal’s new mobile payments service will use QR codes and PIN numbers to verify in-store smartphone transactions over merchants’ existing point-of-sale equipment. It’s partnering with Discover, giving it a potential pool of 7 million stores.
Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Asia Pacific will lead growth in mobile value added service (VAS) revenues through 2018, however overall sales are tipped to increase slowly during the period.
UK mobile advertising spend grew by 127 per cent year-on-year to reach £429.2m in the first half of 2013, compared to £188.1m in the first half of 2012, and not too far short of the total figure for 2012 of £526m.
Gaming has always been addictive, from the first Nintendo console to smartphone apps likeCandy Crush and Temple Run. But what if you could combine the hours spent glued to your screen with social activism?
At this year’s Social Good Summit, Liba Rubenstein, Tumblr’s director of outreach, defended “clicktivism,” while Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of U.N. Women, explained that raising awareness via social media can contribute to ending violence against women and spread support for other worthy causes.
ITU: 6.8B Mobile Subs By End Of 2013, Nearly As Many People As There Are On Earth; 2.7B Internet Connections
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN agency that oversees IT and communications development, today released its latest annual report charting how well we are doing as a planet in getting everyone connected. Mobile is the topline success story: the ITU projects that by the end of this year, there will be 6.8 billion mobile connections, equal to the number of people living on earth today. Overall, there are 2.7 billion people online, using either a fixed or mobile connection.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.