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
T-Mobile is already becoming a major threat in the U.S. mobile industry with its cheap rates, lack of contracts and aggressive marketing. But the company now wants to take a big step beyond its comfort zone and become a bank. T-Mobile launched a program called Mobile Money on Wednesday, which basically acts as a prepaid Visa debit card attached to a T-Mobile account. The financial institution in the background is actually Bancorp, but T-Mobile is acting as the public face of the operation.
Apple is hiring people with expertise in developing medical sensors, according to a report from Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac. Gurman, the best Apple reporter in the world, says Apple has added (at least) two new people who should help with Apple’s iWatch.
Some straight talking for the mobile games industry in 2014: “If your business model consists of ripping off four year-olds or ripping off Supercell, you’re unlikely to be successful in the future.” That was the blunt message delivered by games and media veteran Robert Tercek in his keynote speech at the Mobile Games Forum conference in London this morning.
Facebook said in a blog post today that it has started testing Facebook ads in third-party mobile apps. The post doesn’t have too many details about the program, like what kinds of data will be used for the ad targeting and what those ads will actually look like. It describes the test as “extending Facebook’s rich targeting to improve the relevancy of the ads people see, provide even greater reach for Facebook advertisers, and help developers better monetize their apps.”
Mobile ad spend will reach $18bn (£10.9bn) globally in 2014, according to Gartner forecasts. From 2013′s estimated total of $13.1bn, spend will grow at a CAGR of 33.7 per cent over the next four years, reaching a projected $41.9bn by 2017.
Online purchases made using alternative payments will increase to 59 per cent in 2017 compared to 43 per cent in 2012, reports WorldPay – who recently found that airlines were keen to enhance their focus on mobile and improve their payments service. This means it will increase from $295 billion to a huge $1,656 billion resulting in e-wallets gaining an equal 41 per cent of the overall payments market to card payments.
Zimbabwean telecom tycoon (and the country’s only billionaire) Strive Masiyiwa has been called a “global business influential,” a “face of New Africa,” and the “Bill Gates of Africa.” He continues to live up to the reputation with a new venture that’s as bold as they come. The founder and chairman of Econet Wireless, Zimbabwe’s biggest wireless network operator, wants to turn the company’s mobile wallet technology, known as EcoCash, into Zimbabwe’s primary method of payment.
For two years now the global smartphone market has continued to be bigger each quarter than it was the last. In a sign that the market is now starting to mature, though, analysts at TrendForce project that sales from January through March will be about five percent lower than the fourth quarter of 2013. That would be the first time sales would have dropped sequentially since 2011.
Apple’s newest patent foreshadows an unsurprising attempt at monopolizing the mobile commerce space with its own technology, iBeacon. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office just published Apple’s 2012 patent application for a touchless “method to send payment data through various air interfaces without compromising user data.” Apple seems to have been waiting patiently while the mobile commerce space settles, but perhaps the tech giant is getting ready to pounce, continuing its reputation of controlling the mobile space.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.