Each week the MEF team curates mobile stories from around the world. Essential news you may have missed, the latest market insight & data nuggets, the Global Mobile News Round-up offers an instant international mobile content and commerce snapshot.
Global News Stories
Samsung has discussed a deal with a payments startup that would help the smartphone maker unveil a wireless mobile payments system in 2015 to rival Apple, according to multiple sources.
The technology would allow people with certain Samsung phones to pay in the vast majority of brick-and-mortar stores by waving their phones instead of swiping with a credit card or cash. Samsung’s new smartphone is expected to be announced in the first half of 2015.
Leaked emails from the Sony Pictures hack have uncovered several acquisitions made by Snapchat, as well as plans for a music feature and meetings to discuss partnerships with Twitter.
According to emails between Snapchat, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, and Snapchat board member Mitch Lasky, Snapchat bought a QR scanning and iBeacon startup called Scan.me for $14 million in cash, $3 million in restricted stock units, and $33 million in Class B common Snapchat stock. It also acquired Vergence Labs, makers of an eyeglass video camera, for $11 million in cash and $4 million in stock.
Amdocs has launch ed its Mobile Financial Services solution, designed to enable mobile operators and banks to deliver financial services over mobile phones for unbanked and under-banked populations in emerging markets.
The solution is based on technology developed by mobile financial services’ firm Utiba, which Amdocs acquired in March. It consists of a mobile wallet from which users can manage and control their finances, and enables a wide selection of secure mobile financial services, including money transfer, bill payments, mCommerce, savings, loans, insurance, loyalty points and top-up transactions.
‘It’s safer, more convenient, easier and faster. But we usually forget to us it.’ That’s what iPhone 6 owners are saying about Apple Pay, according to a study by InfoScout. The firm asked 170,000 iPhone 6 owners about their use of the payments system during Black Friday. It found the payment method was used less than five per cent of the time.
In general only nine per cent had ever tried to use it. These low numbers don’t appear tho reflect any real problem with Apple Pay.
Smartphones have been around for a good few years now, but there’s no sign that their growing popularity is on the wane. In fact, they now account for 66% of all mobile phones worldwide and are on track to see sales of 1.2 billion units for the year.
Today Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company, published its Q3 for how mobile devices did globally. The report claims that 301 million smartphones were sold in the third quarter, up by 20% compared with figures from a year ago. Apple and Samsung’s combined smartphone share totaled 37%, down by seven percent from the same period a year ago.
2014 has been a huge year for health tech. According to digital health incubator StartUp Health, digital health funding in the first three quarters of 2014 has already surpassed $5 billion, close to double what was invested in all of 2013 ($2.8 billion).
“Digital health funding for the year is on track to double last year’s total,” said Unity Stoakes, co-founder and president of StartUp Health. “Some trends we’re watching include a growing corporate interest in digital health, more global cross-pollination of ideas, as well as increasing health consumerism as people move into the driver’s seat when it comes to their care.”
Research by Symantec shows that users value privacy highly, but constantly surrender it, knowingly and unknowingly, when they install apps on mobile devices, particularly free apps. The company has used its Norton Mobile Insight tool to find when apps obtain PII (personally identifiable information, such as a phone number) and what the apps do with it. Symantec says they have collected about 15 million Android apps from app stores worldwide. Now Norton Mobile Security warns users in detail about these potential problems as they browse the app in the app store. These techniques used by Norton Mobile Security are not permitted on iOS or Windows Phone, although the company does sell a version for iOS with more limited functionality.
BT signalled ambitions to dominate the mobile market yesterday when it rejected a cheaper, simpler takeover of O2 to open exclusive talks to buy EE, Britain’s biggest mobile operator, for £12.5bn. It brought down the hammer on a three-week reverse auction in which Telefonica, the owner of O2, was competing against Deutsche Telekom and Orange, the joint owners of EE, to offer BT the most attractive terms.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.