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
Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, will launch its first own-brand smartphone by the end of the year, building on the success of the Hudl tablet it launched last year, it said on Tuesday.
A spokesman for the firm said the Tesco smartphone would run on Google’s Android software and would be pre-installed with Tesco services.
Android is continuing its onward march. The latest market figures from analyst ABI Research peg the platform at 80% marketshare of smartphone OSes, with just under 300 million smartphones running Android — or an Android fork — shipped in the quarter. The analyst notes that basic mobile phone operating systems lost 5% share in the quarter — with Android hovering up most of those users as they upgrade to smartphones.
There will be 3bn internet users by the end of 2014, according to figures released by the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU), with over three-quarters of that number connecting via mobile broadband.
The ITU forecasts that mobile broadband penetration will reach 32 per cent in 2014, or 2.3bn subscribers. Penetration will be highest in developed markets like Europe (64 per cent) and the Americas (59 per cent), and lowest in emerging markets like Asia-Pacific (23 per cent) and Africa (19 per cent).
Passengers on New York’s Long Island Railroad (LIRR) and Metro-North Railroad systems will soon get a boost of smartphone-powered efficiency, thanks to a new e-ticketing system in the works. The system will allow passengers to use their smartphones to purchase and validate e-tickets on the railway system. ” Being able to buy tickets and display them through an app will make it that much easier to take the train, and it will mean that customers who aren’t carrying cash can still buy a ticket while on the go,” LIRR president Helena E. Williams said in a statement.
On April 24, the team behind fitness-tracking app Moves was purchased by Facebook for an undisclosed sum. The company assured users that it wouldn’t commingle data with Facebook. Ten days later it announced plans to share all its user data with the social network. Facebook now claims it will only use the shared data to provide support, but since it already lied once, and the social network has a checkered past of giving privacy the cold shoulder, we’re skeptical.
That got us wondering: what could Facebook do if it knew exactly where all its users were every minute of the day?
GSMA: Operators commit to accelerate interoperable mobile money services across Africa and the Middle East
The GSMA today announced that nine mobile network operators, including Bharti Airtel, Etisalat Group, Millicom, MTN Group, Ooredoo Group, Orange, STC Group, Vodafone Group and Zain Group, have committed to work together to accelerate the implementation of interoperable mobile money services across Africa and the Middle East regions. Collectively, these operators account for 582 million mobile connections across 48 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Google is reportedly working to integrate Google Wallet into its Glass wearable device in order to enable the wearer to send money to their friends with a “send money” voice command. The service is currently being tested internally, according to TechCrunch, with the intention of rolling out to the public in future.
Mobile is mentioned a grand total of 254 times in Alibaba’s IPO filing out today – underscoring the influence that phones and tablets have on Alibaba’s business today and will have in the future. While companies like Amazon, eBay, Groupon and Square are all targeting the mobile commerce opportunity, for Alibaba is already a powerhouse through services like its Taobao e-commerce mobile app, and its Alipay mobile payments service.
A new study by Deloitte Digital ‘The New Digital Divide’ suggests that online and digital are stimulating rather than cannibalising the high street.It looked at the US market and found that digital interactions influence 36 cents of every dollar spent in retail stores. That adds up to $1.1 trillion, of which mobile is $593m.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.