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
Smartphone growth is slowing across the U.S., Europe, and Japan. The mobile industry needs to shift its center of gravity to China, which has already overtaken the U.S. as the world’s largest smartphone market. App developers should seriously consider China’s app stores, and many mobile-focused companies should consider making deeper long-term strategic commitments to the Chinese mobile ecosystem. Areas like commerce, app monetization, and mobile ads are already growing nicely.
Kids are in a petri dish, where their every social post can be scrutinized and used against them. That’s why disappearing media startup Snapchat is important, says its investor, Benchmark‘s Bill Gurley. Teens don’t want their daily lives permanently recorded. Gurley said at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe in Berlin that Snapchat board member Mitch Lasky’s kids tell him they view Facebook like adults view LinkedIn.
More than 20m people have downloaded and used BlackBerry’s BBM messaging app on iPhone and Android smartphones in the week since it launched. BlackBerry announced the milestone today, revealing that after 10m downloads in its first 24 hours, the newly cross-platform app picked up another 10m in the following six days.
17 of the UK’s top 50 travel brands lack a mobile presence – meaning they have neither an app or mobile site. That’s according to the IAB UK’s Mobile Travel Audit, which looked at the top travel companies by ad spend. Of the 50, 24 have a mobile-optimised site, plus one responsively designed site, for comparison site Trivago. Just two of the brands have a site specifically designed for tablet devices.
Forrester Research analyst at the Mobile Shopping Fall Summit said that she does not expect NFC to ever takeover the mobile wallet space. During the “Mobile payments: State of the union” session the exec went over a number of the big players in mobile wallets and explained the benefits of each. While the executive did see the appeal to NFC technology, she did not believe that mobile payments in the United States would be a good use case for it.
Mobile advertising network BuzzCity surveyed 17,000 consumers across 22 countries and found that 26 per cent of working adults use their phones for some form of financial or banking transaction. How exactly? Balance enquiries (30%), bank transfers (26%) and cash withdrawals (28%) are the top three most-used banking features.
Smartphones Now Account For 60% Of Mobile Phones Shipped Globally, With Apple Expected To Rebound On The iPhone 5s, Says Strategy Analytics
Global shipments of smartphones are continuing to increase, growing 45% to hit a record 251 million units in Q3 2013, from 172.8 million units a year ago, according to the latest report from Strategy Analytics.
“This was the first time ever that smartphone shipments exceeded a quarter-billion units in a single quarter. Smartphones accounted for 6 in 10 of all mobile phones shipped worldwide. The smartphone industry’s robust growth is being driven by strong demand for LTE models in developed regions like the U.S. and 3G devices in emerging markets such as China,” said Linda Sui, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics.
The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) represents the most systemic, transformative change in over 40 years to America’s largest economic sector: healthcare. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for mobile and digital startups to disrupt an inefficient industry. Even the government (CMMI- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) predict health expenditures will continue to outpace economic growth, jumping 7.4% in 2014 to reach 20% of GDP by 2021. These recent regulatory changes create opportunities and challenges for mHealth and eHealth startups that are worth considering.
After a yearlong slump, Facebook finally rebounded above its IPO strike price in August on the heels of strong second quarter earnings. Analysts were expecting another solid showing, with Wall Street predicting Facebook would generate $1.91 billion in revenue and earnings of 18 to 19 cents a share. Instead it delivered $2.02 billion in revenue and earnings of 25 cents a share. The stock is up 8 percent in after-hours trading.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.