Global_News_MEF 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

Here’s Everything That Went Down At Microsoft’s Windows 10 Event

Tech Crunch

It was a very Windows day, with Microsoft unveiling lots more about Windows 10, the next generation of its operating system, including how it will work across mobile, tablet, desktop and other platforms.

The biggest surprise was probably the new HoloLens augmented reality headset Microsoft created, and the Windows Holographic software it built to support said gadget. But there was more, too, so read on for a summary of everything you need to know about the event.

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Here’s Your First Look At What A Game Will Look Like On The Apple Watch

Business Insider

Since Apple unveiled the Apple Watch in September, people have been wondering what games will look like on the watch’s small display.

Luckily the game studio behind Tiny Tower just shared with Touch Arcade a mockup of how their upcoming game “Letterpad” will look like on the Apple Watch, and it’s a good example of how basic puzzle games will appear on the watch’s 1.5-inch display.

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Amazon Pulls Wallet App from Stores

Mobile Marketing Magazine

Amazon has pulled its Amazon Wallet app from Google Play, as well as its own App Store.

Amazon Wallet launched in beta last July, with a focus on loyalty and gift cards, rather than mobile payments, with no way to use credit or debit cards.

Before it was pulled, the app had between 10,000 and 50,000 downloads on Google Play and an average user rating of 3.7/5. On Amazon’s own store, its rating was 3.1, with users complaining about the lack of features and incompatibility with retailers’ systems.

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Kenyans transacted $26bn via M-Pesa in 2014, says Central Bank

Mobile Money Revolution

New data from Central Bank of Kenya showed M-Pesa spend from Jan to Nov 2014 hit 22.4 billion. The bank reckons the 2014 total was $26bn. The total includes paying for hotel and electricity bills, buying fuel, shopping in supermarkets, paying rent and school fees, besides sending and receiving money. Actually, the Nov figure of $2.25bn was a slight fall month to month. But overall, the trend is up.

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Webster Bank ramps up mobile banking app security with Touch ID

Mobile Commerce Daily

Webster Bank is one of the first United States-based banks to leverage Apple’s Touch ID feature into its mobile banking application as it aims to drive user adoption with streamlined security features, proving that the appeal of fingerprint identification is growing.

The Touch ID function enables consumers to log in to their accounts and view their transaction history simply by swiping their finger across the fingerprint identification button. As more financial institutions turn to mobile for banking apps, consumers are demanding one-step login experiences that do not require user names or passwords.

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Obama pledges support for net neutrality to ‘keep reshaping our world’

Guardian

President Obama pledged his support for a “free and open internet” in his State of the Union speech Tuesday as Republicans prepared to debate net neutrality rules before a key vote by regulators.

The House and Senate commerce committees will debate regulation of the internet on Wednesday, a day after Obama reiterated his support for an open internet. “I intend to protect a free and open internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks, so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world,” Obama said Tuesday night.

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Smartphones now make up 75% of mobiles sold in Gulf States

MemeBurn

International Data Corporation (IDC), the premier global provider of market intelligence, has released new research that reveals that shipments of 4G LTE handsets to countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have increased by a staggering 400%. Increasing by more than four times over the last year.

The research was conducted by IDC’s Europe, Middle East and Africa Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, which provides a unique insight into the forces shaping the handset and smartphone markets in Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and Africa.

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Three Quarters of Facebook’s Ad Revenues from Mobile by 2018

Mobile Marketing Magazine

In 2015, nearly a billion people – 0.99bn, to be precise – will access Facebook on their mobile phone at least once a month, according to an eMarketer forecast.

That’s 70.1 per cent of Facebook’s total userbase, which is expected to rise to 75.1 per cent by 2018 – a total 1.3bn.

The social network’s ad revenues will follow suit. Mobile ads will bring in a predicted $10.9bn this year, making up 73 per cent of total ad revenues. Next year, this will rise to 75 per cent.

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Google Is In Talks With Mobile Payments Company Softcard

TechCrunch

Apple has Apple Pay, and now it looks like Google may be fattening up its own wallet. According to people familiar with the situation, the search giant and maker of Android is interested in buying Softcard, the mobile payments company formerly known as Isis.

The price may be under $100 million, according to our sources. That is either a huge bargain or a testament to Softcard’s difficulties as an enterprise: sources tell us that AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile — the three carriers that started Isis in 2010 — have collectively invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the joint venture.

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Apple Acquires London Music Startup Musicmetric

Business Insider

Apple has Apple Pay, and now it looks like Google may be fattening up its own wallet. According to people familiar with the situation, the search giant and maker of Android is interested in buying Softcard, the mobile payments company formerly known as Isis.

The price may be under $100 million, according to our sources. That is either a huge bargain or a testament to Softcard’s difficulties as an enterprise: sources tell us that AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile — the three carriers that started Isis in 2010 — have collectively invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the joint venture.

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Three owner reportedly in talks to buy O2 in the UK

Guardian

Three-owner Hutchison Whampoa is in talks to buy Britain’s second-largest mobile phone operator O2 for up to £9bn, according to reports.

The Hong Kong conglomerate owns the UK’s smallest network, Three, which has 8 million customers but bought O2 in Ireland in 2014 to combine with Three Ireland and Orange Austria in 2012.

Telefonica is in early stage discussions with Hutchison Whampoa and its Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing over the sale of O2 with its 23 million customers, according to a report by the Sunday Times.

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Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.


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