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Google-bet, Blackberry BBM payments, the top 18 mobile unicorns are worth an average $9.3 bn and more global mobile stories…

Each week the MEF team curates mobile stories from around the world. Essential news you may have missed, the latest market insight and data nuggets, the Global Mobile News Round-up offers an instant international mobile content and commerce snapshot.

 Global News Stories

Google StoryGoogle to restructure into new holding company called Alphabet

The Guardian

Google is dead. Long live Alphabet.

The tech company announced on Monday that it would rebrand itself as Alphabet – a new holding company whose largest wholly owned subsidiary will be Google.

In a surprise blogpost made public after the stock markets closed, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founders, announced a radical shake-up of the company’s corporate structure and management, handing control of its core search engine business to rising star Sundar Pichai.

The new company, Alphabet, will preside over a collection of companies, the largest of which will be Google. Even the site’s new address eschewed convention:

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nymi-payments-100606615-primary.idgeNymi Band uses your heartbeat to secure mobile payments


You may pay for groceries with your smartphone and a connected credit card, via Apple Pay or Google Wallet. You may have seen some techy-type at your local drug store pay for his toothpaste and toilet paper with an Apple Watch. What you’ve probably not yet witnessed is someone making a secure payment with a tap of the wrist and biometric, heartbeat authentication. But if Canadian company Nymi has its way, you will.

Nymi this week announced the successful trial of its Nymi Band wrist-worn heart-rate monitor as an NFC mobile payments device. It uses heart rate, or electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), measurements to verify your identity. Nymi first discussed its plans to bring payment authentication to its Band last fall, and today, the system is in action, albeit limited action, in Canada.

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Streaming StoryPeople streamed over one trillion songs in the first half of this year — 1,032,225,905,640 to be exact

Business Insider

Streaming is the future of music. With the Apple — the behemoth of music downloading — finally lumbering into the fray with Apple Music, the question is no longer “if” streaming will dominate, but which streaming service will prevail.

But now Next Big Sound has provided us with some astounding context to streaming’s rise in popularity. In the first six months of 2015, the company, which is now owned by Pandora, tracked over one trillion online plays in total. The exact figure is 1,032,225,905,640 streams.

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Backlot Bollywood sets at Film City, Mumbai, India

Mobile commerce (in India) to grow 33% in 2016, online purchases to touch Rs 54K crore: Study

Times of India

Online purchases made through mobile phones will touch 40 million in 2016 from the current level of 30 million, according to a study by ASSOCHAM and Grant Thornton.

The Indian e-commerce market is estimated to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 63% to reach $8.5 billion (Rs 54,400 crore) in 2016 driven by growth in mobile internet penetration and increased consumer demand, the study said. The number of smartphone users in India is projected to exceed 200 million, ranking next to the US as the world’s second largest smartphone market by 2016 due to increasing penetration of affordable smart mobile devices in the country.

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BBM-iconBlackeberry experimenting with PayPal support in BBM, starting in Canada


With digital payment apps popping up all over the place, it was only a matter of time before someone tackled payments for BlackBerry.


That someone is PayPal. Today, the two companies announced they’ve partnered on a project called BBM Money, which will allow BlackBerry Messenger users to instantly send and receive money. To send money, certain users can now select the new Pay with PayPal icon and connect their PayPal accounts to BBM. The beta project is currently only available to some users in Canada.

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mobile-bankingKPMG reprt says mobile banking users to double globally in next four years

Economic Times of India

Driven by significantly high growth in mobile banking in developing nations such as India and China, a report published by consultancy agency KPMG in association with UBS Evidence Lab has claimed that mobile banking users would double globally in the next four years.

The Global Mobile Banking Report 2015 claims that adoption of mobile technologies for banking has reached 60-70% of the total banking population in India and China, which is higher than that of United States and Europe.

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mhealth 1 mhealth reportWeb-based mHealth tools can drive patient engagement, care satisfaction

Fierce Mobile Health

Access to online educational content specific to medical issues and Web-based tools that enhance communication between patients and providers can help users gain a deeper understanding of care and boost patient satisfaction, reveals a new Brigham and Women’s Hospital study.

The use of an online patient-centered toolkit (PCTK) also facilitates patient involvement and input into the plan of care, states the study published in theJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

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microsoft-trade-show-display-150x150Microsoft’s new Lumia smartphones to feature iris scanner and facial recognition

Biometric Update

Microsoft is currently preparing to release two new Lumia smartphone models that will feature an iris scanner and facial recognition capabilities, as early as October, according to a report by KRWG News 22.

Following up the releases of the Windows 10 OS for PC and Windows 10 OS for Surface and Surface Pro devices, the software giant is also planning on releasing the Windows 10 Mobile OS.

The news continues ongoing rumors, which first began to surface in May, that Microsoft would release the Windows 10 Mobile OS version alongside new Microsoft Lumia flagship smartphones, later this year.

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Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 09.05.42Google is building tiny devices to help diabetics

The Next Web

Only two days after its Alphabet announcement, Google has inked a deal with healthcare firm Dexcom to build miniature blood glucose monitoring devices for diabetics.

The company plans to design and manufacture Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) wearables the size of a dime. To do so, it’s teaming up with Google’s Life Sciences division, which is now being spun off as a wholly owned subsidiary of Alphabet.

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unicorn storyThe average value of a mobile unicorn company is now $9.3 billion 

Start Up Daily

The average valuation of a mobile unicorn company is now $9.3 billion, according to a report released last week by Digi-Capital.

With forecasted revenue to be north of $850 billion in the mobile space within the next three years, it is hardly surprising that the number of unicorns playing specifically in mobile is growing. According to the Digi-Capital report, there are now 89 mobile unicorns across 18 sectors within 15 countries.

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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.