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
When Google acquired Nest, there were a lot of jokes made about a thermometer serving you ads, many of which were only half kidding. Now, Google has stated in plain English that it does see a future where it could be serving ads on thermostats, as well as on “refrigerators, car dashboards, […] glasses, and watches,” which is only a partial list of the places it imagines its advertising content might appear in the future.
Eaze has released the beta of its ‘Nod To Pay’ app for Google Glass, which enables users to make Bitcoin payments. The app – or ‘glassware’ – is activated with the voice command “OK Glass, make a payment”, and then scans a QR code from a mobile device screen. The transaction appears on the Glass screen and is then confirmed by nodding twice.
Spotify just announced some new user numbers. It’s at 10 million subscribers, and 40 million active users. Last March, it had 6 million subscribers. A Spotify subscription costs ~$10/month. If those 1o million users are subscribing for all 12 months, that’s ~$1.2 billion in revenue. The non-subscribing users are served ads, so that’s additional revenue there. Spotify is not profitable, however.
Rumors of Apple incorporating near field communication (NFC) technology into the iPhone have become a yearly ritual, but Morgan Stanley analysts believe that Apple may finally be poised to adopt the technology as part of a push to break open the mobile payments industry. In a recent note to investors, analyst Craig Hettenbach points to possible licensing deals, company financial disclosures and patent filings as the basis for this claim.
The ever excitable Juniper Research has cranked out another report trumpeting the imminent arrival of mass market mobile payments. It says 20 per cent of handsets will have mobile wallet functionality by 2018 – more than double the current base. The firm predicts different directions for emerging and developing markets.
Microsoft said Tuesday it would maintain efforts to gain approval in China for its Windows 8 operating system after a ban announced by Beijing. “We were surprised to learn about the reference to Windows 8 in this notice,” the company said in a statement, referring to a Chinese government official notice. “Microsoft has been working proactively with the Central Government Procurement Center and other government agencies through the evaluation process to ensure that our products and services meet all government procurement requirements,” it said.
The mobile app industry is booming, with global revenue from app stores projected to hit $25 billion this year and $46 billion by 2016. Top-grossing games are all free downloads that convince people to pay real money for in-game boosts. On top of the pile is Clash of Clans, which was earning $654,000 a day in February, helping maker Supercell to a $3 billion valuation.
The ongoing battle between Google and Apple takes place on a number of fronts — products, marketing, legal, and more. By at least one metric, Google has pulled ahead of its Cupertino competition in the last year: a study from marketing research firm Millward Brown cited Google as the number one most valuable brand in the world 2014. Google managed to unseat Apple from the number one slot; Apple had previously held the top ranking for three years running. Millward Brown’s BrandZ study uses a calculation of brand value to determine its rankings — by this metric, Google’s 2014 brand value of $158.8 million increased 40 percent over the year before, while Apple’s fell 20 percent to $147.8 million.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.