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
On July 25 Amazon began shipping its Fire phone, which includes Firefly, software that instantly recognizes products you can directly purchase on Amazon. Hot on the heels of this announcement was the news that Amazon released a beta version of its mobile wallet. Amazon Wallet, which will allow users to save gift cards to their devices. For traditional retailers, Amazon has long been the 800-pound gorilla in the room, looming large over retailers trying to survive in this fierce battle. So both of these launches have been met by concern among many of them.
It’s made headlines with its unconventional project to bring internet access to the developing world with drones and lasers, but now it seems Facebook’s Internet.org has simpler plans too. It has announced an Android and mobile web app, which will give users access to services like Google Search, the weather, Wikipedia and (of course) Facebook for free. The Internet.org app is initially rolling out in Zambia in partnership with local telcom Airtel, where it will offer its more than 4-million subscribers access to health, employment and local news and information services without charging them for the data they use. They will also be able to access the services from inside the main Facebook for Android app, and use the web app on more basic feature phones.
Android usage has overtaken iOS for the first time, according to figures from Net Applications.
While Android sales and ownership passed iOS a few years ago, that larger install base has always been less active than Apple’s switched-on users. As spotted by 9to5Mac, Android’s share of the traffic monitored by Net Applications hit 44.6 per cent in July, an increase of 0.9 percentage points on June. Meanwhile, the share of traffic on iOS fell from 45.6 per cent to 43.8 per cent.
A new report by Juniper Research says bill payments made via PCs, tablets and mobiles will exceed 20 billion this year. That’s 16 per cent of all global consumer household bills. It all proves that consumers are getting comfortable with digital transactions despite lingering fears over security. That said, the PC still wins in the area of online banking because it’s perceived to be safer than mobile and tablet. Juniper reckons the overall habit is set to increase over the next five years, with wearables offering the potential for new and even more convenient ways to pay.
Indian telecom operators are calling on the government to help level the playing field between them and OTT messaging providers. A representative for the nation’s operators has appealed for fairness during a seminar arranged by regulator TRAI discussing the prospect of a regulatory framework governing OTT players, the Economic Times said. According to the representative – Indian telecom industry veteran TV Ramachandran – there are many regulations governing telcos, but the same is not true of the OTT segment.
One of the typical mistakes developers make is thinking that because they’ve had success in one corner of the globe, they should be able to employ the same strategy to drive adoption elsewhere. The truth of the matter is apps that are wildly successful in the U.S., Europe and Japan often fail to gain substantial traction in areas like India, South America and the Middle East; these problems go well beyond simple translation issues and lack of cultural understanding.
Over-the-top messaging apps like WhatsApp are now used more regularly than SMS to send messages in the UK, a report from GlobalWebIndex shows. The Mobile Messenger Trends report revealed that across the 32 markets studied, 600m adults aged 16-64 were using over-the-top messaging apps on their mobiles during Q2 2014, a rise of 30 per cent since Q4 2012. SMS remains strong, with 75 per cent of mobile users having sent an SMS in the last month, but adoption has virtually plateaued since the start of 2013, despite the size of the global smartphone population continuing to rise each quarter.
The global healthcare industry is not keeping pace when it comes to mobile device security, specifically unsanctioned device and application use, according to a new survey by IDG Connect for security vendor ForeScout. Phishing and targeted security attacks are less of a problem for the global healthcare industry compared to unauthorized device use and data leaks, which was cited as a security concern by 60 percent of respondents to the survey.
Netbiscuits has released its latest web trends report for Q2 of this year – these are the most interesting points we took from it
The mobile web is growing at a rate of knots – with the increasing ease of use, speed of wi-fi and technologies such as 4G and the approaching 5G – it is just as, if not a more convenient way of surfing the internet. Netbiscuits – who we spoke to recently about its device detection tools, and what benefits they have to marketers – put together an annual, extensive report covering the state the mobile web.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.