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 Watch launches on Friday, April 24 – you can set your friend’s inferior Android Wear smartwatch to that release date – and we finally know everything about what’s been hiding up Tim Cook’s sleeve.
It’s an iPhone-compatible smartwatch officially dubbed Apple Watch, shedding the fabled iWatch moniker, as the company is focusing on its first chic wearable over geeky tech.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is continuing its push to accelerate the adoption of mobile money in the developing world by offering grants to firms that devise ways to capture data relating to the delivery and use of digital financial services.
More than 2.5 billion adults around the world, and 59% of those in developing economies, do not have a formal bank account, trapping them in a cash-based economy that “steals away their chance to build a stable future,” according to the foundation.
Apple CEO Tim Cook offered a quick update this morning on the rapid growth of Apple Pay. Apparently the company’s mobile payment technology is now supported by 2,500 card-issuing banks (up from only six when the product was announced in September), while the number of locations accepting Apple Pay has tripled to nearly 700,000.
Cook also noted that this includes 40,000 Coca-Cola vending machines, a number that should increase to 100,000 by the end of the year. So if you’ve ever stood in front of a vending machine, desperately trying to fish coins or “a crinkled dollar bill” from your pocket, this could make your life a lot easier.
REPORT: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is investing $200 million in Snapchat at $15 billion valuation
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba plans to invest $200 million in Snapchat at $15 billion valuation, sources tell Bloomberg.
This funding would be in addition to, not part of, the $500 million funding round Snapchat was reportedly in talks about last month, sources tell Bloomberg’s Serena Saitto. That round had Snapchat valued at $19 billion, instead of $15 billion.
Weeks after enacting an order for an open Internet, the Federal Communications Commission has released the full text of its ruling.
The carriers and their litigators have been waiting for the order to be published, so they can start filing paperwork for a suit against the ruling. When the decision came in, both AT&T and Verizon responded immediately with scathing (if not humorous) blog posts about how the ruling was unnecessary and imposes archaic laws on a modern system.
Starbucks’ mobile ordering system, which allows customers to place orders in advance of their visit to the store, pay from their phone, then skip the line when they arrive, is today rolling out to more locations across the Pacific Northwest, including Starbucks’ home base of Seattle. In total, there are now 650 more locations supported in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska, says the company, ahead of the national rollout planned for this year.
The “Mobile Order & Pay” system, for those unfamiliar, first debuted in Portland in December 2014, which served as the initial test market for this “order ahead” functionality. There, the feature has been available in 150 of the company’s stores.
Over 1.5bn boarding passes will be delivered via mobile by 2019 – a third of all passes issued by airlines.
That’s according to a report from Juniper Research, which predicts a CAGR of 19.1 per cent over the next five years, as the number of mobile boarding passes delivered from 2015’s expected figure of 745m.
This growth will be driven by frequent flyers, who are more likely to use the technology than leisure passengers, with rapid growth in markets such as the US, Far East and Europe.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.