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
Apple, in its flush of new, bigger iPhone 6 handsets, has been selling record numbers of its older and newer model smartphones in the last few months, and now it’s passed another significant milestone: it has managed to overtake sales of Android devices in the key market of the U.S. for the first time in three years.
The White House is working with bipartisan sponsors on a bill to protect data collected from students through educational apps – the first of President Barack Obama’s “Big Data” privacy plans to gain traction in the Republican-controlled Congress. Obama has pushed to do more to protect privacy in an age when consumers leave a trail of digital footprints through smart phones, personal devices and social media – information that can be collected, analyzed and sold.
The takeover creates a communications giant covering fixed-line phones, broadband, mobile and TV. Existing EE shareholders Orange and Deutsche Telekom will sell 100% of their shares. Deutsche Telekom will hold 12% in the new combined business and have a seat on the board. Orange will receive a 4% stake, as well as about £3.4bn in cash. The deal combines BT’s 10 million retail customers and EE’ 24.5 million direct mobile subscribers.
Figures from Adyen, a global payments technology company that tracks mobile payment data from web-based transactions across its customer base has found that mobile now accounts for 26% of payments. In Q4 2014, 25.8% of global online transactions took place on a mobile device, which is 11% higher than Q3 2014 (23.3%), and 37% higher than Q4 2013 (18.8%). December showed the highest proportion of mobile payments at 26.6%, followed closely by November at 26.1%. This end-of-year spike suggests that shoppers are more likely to make purchases on mobile as the global peak shopping period hits in November (Single’s Day in China, Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US and globally), and December (the Christmas shopping period).
Mobile survey platform GeoPoll and Control Union, a global leader in agricultural certifications and sustainability, have partnered to deploy a data collection solution to hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia, enabling them to gain access to larger markets.
Through the partnership, Control Union can tap into GeoPoll’s multimodal mobile platform and database of 200m users, granting them access to a cost effective data collection system.
In 2013, Google started testing a service in the US that lets Gmail users to send money to friends over email. Now, it’s come to the UK. Users sign up for Google Wallet and assign their bank details. Then they open up Gmail and then click the $ sign on the the attachment paperclip. Then they enter the amount, and press send. If the recipient is also signed up, they get the money immediately. If not, they get a message requesting they join so they can receive the funds. Transferring money is free.
HealthKit might not get as much attention as, say, Apple Watch, but it could end up being more important to Apple’s bottom line in the future. According to a new report in Reuters, the healthcare establishment and hospitals have already started to incorporate HealthKit into their healthcare services: 14 of the 23 hospitals Reuters got in touch with said they had already started pilot programs with HealthKit, or were planning to start one.
Android users are being warned that several popular apps that were on the official Google Play store appear to have contained hidden code that made malicious ads pop up. Security firm Avast said that one of the apps involved – a free version of the card game Durak – had been downloaded up to 10 million times, according to Google Play’s own counter. Google has now blocked access.
If you suspected that Google Glass’ change of leadership would also lead to a big change in the wearable technology itself, you made a pretty good guess. As part of a tell-all about Glass’ troubles, the New York Times is claiming that project lead (and Nest CEO) Tony Fadell plans to redesign the head-mounted computer “from scratch.” And unlike the original, you aren’t likely to see any public beta testing — in keeping with earlier pronouncements, one tipster says that Fadell won’t release this next-gen device “until it’s perfect.” Just when that might happen is still up in the air, but the Nest exec’s historical focus on shipping over experimentation hints that you won’t have to wait years to try Glass 2 for yourself.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.