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
Africa is a mobile continent. It’s something we’ve heard so often that it’s become a cliche. Like many cliches however it’s based in truth. And for evidence of that, you don’t need to look any further than figures from a new GSMA report which shows that the number of unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will pass the half billion mark in 2020. According to the body, which represents the interests of mobile operators around the globe, that represents significant growth across the region, and will see the mobile industry contributing around 5.4% to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Given the immense number of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa, half a billion subscribers will equate to around 49% of the population having a unique mobile subscription. Given its immense size though, it’s also pretty obvious that the increase in subscriptions won’t be uniform. You only have to look at the current situation to see that.
This morning e-commerce platform MarketLive released its Q3 Performance Index. Drawn from its customers’ aggregated traffic and conversion data, MarketLive sounded the alarm on mobile commerce: “Merchants must immediately face – and address – the enormous implications and inescapable demands of multi-device shopping and mainstream mobile commerce. The company said that smartphone traffic to e-commerce sites grew by more than 62 percent and revenue grew 141 percent. Tablet revenue and traffic grew by a more modest 20 percent. Though still dominant, PC-based commerce growth “continued its decline.”
Partial ‘notspots’, where there is coverage from some but not all of the mobile networks, affected a fifth of the UK, leaving people unable to make calls or send texts, it said. One possible solution would see people transferred to rival networks when they lose signal. But experts are not convinced this would work. Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said he was determined to sort out the issue of mobile notspots. A series of talks held with mobile operators has so far failed to find a solution. “It can’t be right that in a fifth of the UK, people cannot use their phones to make a call. The government isn’t prepared to let that situation continue,” he said.
Although it may seem like consumers use their smartphones and tablets for everything these days, there’s one thing many of them won’t do on the go: make payments. In fact, 48 percent of consumers surveyed said they have not used their mobile phones to make a purchase, according to a new study from digital commerce solutions provider Avangate. But why do so many consumers avoid making mobile payments and purchases? Forty percent of the consumers surveyed said they don’t want to store critical or sensitive information on their phones.
It may have taken massive hacks of popular platforms like Apple’s iCloud and messaging app Snapchat to generate mainstream awareness around the fact that any content stored online is vulnerable to attack and exposure. Meanwhile, thanks to revelations from Edward Snowden about the nature of the surveillance state we now live in, more mobile users are aware that steps need to be taken to ensure communications remain private as intended. But which messaging technologies are really safe and secure? According to a new study put out this week by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), very few meet the most minimal standards for security.
Research shows that almost a third of UK consumers prefer to use mobile devices to find out product info, while among 16-34 year olds, this rises to 41 per cent, the most preferred source. The figures come from a new IAB UK study, carried out in conjunction with research agency Kantar Media, into how smartphone and tablets are interacting with traditional media. The study also showed that 81 per cent of UK consumers access the internet via their phone every day, either through an app or using a mobile browser, with this statistic rising to 90 per cent among 25-34 year olds.
Asia per se and Southeast Asia more specifically, has been leading the growth of mobile globally. Industry experts have discussed this in various conversations to better understand the implications of this growth for consumers, and for marketers. Following a recent study, ‘The Consumer Barometer’, Julian Persaud, Managing Director of Google Southeast Asia, reiterated that the region is now not only a mobile-first region but also the first region to be so. This has given rise to a new kind of mature consumer. “With Singapore at 85 per cent penetration of smartphones, Indonesia doubling its smartphone numbers in a year, markets like Vietnam and Philippines at 24 per cent and 41 per cent, the region is seeing proliferation of smart devices at a very fast pace. Simultaneously, desktop numbers are dropping. We are essentially seeing a leapfrogging of devices in SE Asia,” Mr Persaud pointed out.
As the U.S. population continues to age, the demand for remote patient monitoring, video telemedicine and mobile health will intensify, predicts Frost & Sullivan. In particular, telehealth video conferencing, whether over PCs or mobile devices, will become an accepted method of providing primary and specialty healthcare services, based on a survey of 95 telehealth stakeholders and discussions at the American Telemedicine Association’s annual meeting. The telehealth therapeutic areas with the most opportunities this year are mental health, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The leading reasons for telehealth adoption include access to care, improved patient outcomes and cost savings, says Frost.
iPhone 6 owners have registered more than one million credit cards on Apple Pay in the first three days. Nice big number. But depends how you look at it. Apple has sold 20m iPhone 6s and has an estimated 800m cards on file (600m in the US). Though obviously, only iPhone 6 users can activate Pay. Apple has also confirmed that 500 banks support the service, which is now useable in 200,000 US stores. Of course, the latter is a pinprick when compared to the entire retail base of millions. But it is a start.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.