Daily news from the floor at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona.
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Samsung has unveiled a three-sided phone, the Galaxy S6 Edge, at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, alongside its new flagship Galaxy S6, in the hope that differentiating itself from its Android competitors will help to reverse its slump in smartphone sales.
The Galaxy S6 Edge is curved on both sides, meaning the display wraps around the entire width of the handset. This is intended to create an immersive viewing experience, and to provide a quick way to alert owners to important information.
The owner can assign colours to five acquaintances of their choosing, and the edges of the phone will light up in that colour when the person is calling, identifying the caller even if the device is face down. The edges of the phone can also be used to display the time, weather and selected notifications.
While the Internet may be ubiquitous to those of us living in the Western world, for billions of other people in emerging markets, getting online remains a technological and conceptual challenge. Carriers are slowly expanding coverage in these new markets, but not all users know about all the offerings of the Internet, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg wants to help change that.
That’s what brought the CEO of the world’s largest social network to Barcelona on Monday to speak at Mobile World Congress 2015.
Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of products for Google, has confirmed that the search giant is in talks to launch a mobile network within the next few months, and that a new mobile payments API will be built into future Android operating systems.
Google Goes MVNO?
Pichai, speaking during a keynote address at the Mobile World Congress, addressed speculation that Google would partner with mobile networks to provide a hybrid service across cellular and wi-fi networks.
“We don’t intend to be a network operation at scale,” said Pichai. “We are working with carrier partners. You’ll see our answer in coming months. Our goal is to drive a set of innovations we think should arrive, but do it on a smaller scalle, like Nexus devices, so people will see what we’re doing.”
PayPal today announced it is acquiring mobile payment startup Paydiant. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, though a report from Recode estimated the deal at $280 million, which PayPal declined to confirm.
Founded in 2010, Paydiant helps brands build mobile apps with their own payment system. The startup has provided its services to 9 merchant customers so far: Subway, Orange Leaf, FIS Global, Vantiv, CUWaller, Harris Teeter, Barclaycard, Capital One, and Pulse.
Owners of Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 flagship phone will be able to make mobile payments at merchants equipped with both legacy magnetic stripe card terminals and those with contactless POS terminals, Samsung boss JK Shin has revealed. Samsung Pay will go live in the US and Korea “this summer” and in other areas, including Europe and China, at a later date.
Samsung Pay combines NFC, tokenization, Samsung’s Knox security platform, fingerprint biometrics and passcodes with the magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology developed by LoopPay and acquired by Samsung in February.
MWC News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.