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
China may be the biggest of all when it comes to the sheer volume of users in its mobile market — 700 smartphone and tablet users, and counting — but when it comes to revenues from the new wave of data services beyond legacy voice calls, it’s the U.S. that continues to lead. New research out today from Chetan Sharma notes that collectively, mobile data revenues in the U.S. market were $90 billion for 2013, and that this year it will become the first country to pass $100 billion annually.
Heads up, game and app developers — Amazon just made AppStream, its promised service that quickly streams HD content running on AWS GPU instances down to popular devices, broadly available. Announced at AWS Re:Invent in November, AppStream deploys and renders the application on Amazon Web Services infrastructure and streams the output to PCs, tablets and mobile phones.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. With Windows Phone failing to make a significant dent in the market share of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS in the last four years, Microsoft is waiving the licence fee and offering it to at least two Indian phone makers for free. Last month at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Microsoft announced that more phone makers, including two from India — Lava and Karbonn — will produce Windows Phone devices in the coming months. Both companies already make Android devices using Google’s mobile OS which is free to use. Their Windows Phone devices are likely to hit the market in the next few months.
The banking industry’s new mobile phone payments system will be launched later this year. The system will be called called Paym – pronounced Pay Em. It will make it easier for people to transfer money to other bank accounts using mobile phone apps. The key feature is that once users have registered their bank accounts to send or receive money with Paym, payments can by triggered simply by knowing a recipient’s phone number.
Xiaomi’s sub-$130 budget line, the Redmi (previously known as Hongmi aka “Red Rice”), has been credited for accelerating the company’s expansion into Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, with nearby countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand soon to be added to the list. While this is a recent development, the company’s already prepping a follow-up model, according to four new listings on China’s TENAA certification database.
With the success of its free open online course system, called MITx, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology finds itself sitting on a wealth of student data that researchers might use to compare the efficacy of virtual teaching methods, and perhaps advance the field of Web-based instruction.
There’s been plenty of evidence streaming in that Snapchat is a rising social network, especially among teens. Now new data shows the photo-sharing service is actually beating out Twitter for participation among the 12 to 24 age group. The findings come from a phone survey by Edison Research and Triton Digital, compiled by BI Intelligence.
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Google may be following in Apple’s footsteps down the path to legal trouble due to in-app purchases made by children. Representatives from four law firms — two in California and two in Pennsylvania — hit Google with a class action suit on behalf of parents in the U.S. who paid for their children’s unauthorized in-app purchases on Google’s Android mobile operating system.
The UK boasts the highest percentage of consumers each month that make purchases on their mobile. The country’s 32 per cent far out paces the other 18 countries including Sweden at 19 per cent, Germany at 15 per cent, Italy at eight per cent and France also at eight per cent, finds Google. Overall smartphone usage in the UK has increased from 62 per cent in 2013 to 68 per cent this year, displaying the increasing dependance on a device.
The biggest question app developers are facing today is how to get paid for their apps and content. In particular they face two challenges: how to make purchasing on mobile easy enough so that people will buy their app and in-app content, and how to enable people to make payments in markets where many do not have credit cards. One answer is carrier billing.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.