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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.

This week..  Samsung Pay’s US Launch, Android users hit 1.4 bil and the “ad-block-alypse” has begun – plus much more.

Samsung Pay launches in the US today—can it challenge Apple and Android?

ARS Technica

It’s been a little over a month since Samsung Pay’s launch in South Korea, and today the mobile payment service is available to owners of select Samsung phones in the US. But a year after Apple Pay launched, and without the broad reach of Android Pay, which launched earlier this month, does Samsung have a product that anyone will use?

First, let’s start with the restrictions: at launch, Samsung Pay will only be available on Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 devices, as well as Galaxy S6 and S6 edge devices.

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Retailers Paying the Price for Poor Mobile Offerings

Mobile Marketing Magazine

UK retailers could be missing out on as much as £1.2bn through abandoned mobile purchases, according to new research from Webloyalty,which provides online savings programmes for retailers and travel companies.

86 per cent of UK consumers said they had had to abandon a purchase on their phone or tablet, with 68 per cent citing internet connectivity problems as the main cause for leaving a product behind, in a study commissioned by Webloyalty and carried out by Conlumino, who questioned 2,031 consumers in the UK during August 2015 about their use of mobile devices for shopping.

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Android Now Has 1.4 Billion 30-Day Active Users Globally

Tech Crunch

Google’s mobile platform now has 1.4 billion 30-day active users globally. Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed the new Android-related data point at its Nexus event in San Francisco today.

At its developer event in June 2014, Google announced it had hit more than 1 billion monthly active users on the Android platform. Prior to that, Mountain View had released cumulative figures for Android activations — announcing it had hit 900 million activations in June 2013, when it was adding some 1.5 million new devices per month, and passing the 1 billion activated Androids mark by September 2013.

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The ad-block-alypse has arrived: a mobile carrier has for the first time begun blocking ALL ads on its customers’ phones

Business Insider

Shine, the Israeli mobile ad blocking company that works with mobile carriers to block ads at a network level, has announced Jamaica-based operator Digicel as its first official customer.

While Digicel is a small company, the move is potentially seismic: For the first time, an ad-blocking company will be switching off all ads on the mobile web and in apps, for all customers.

For web publishers in Jamaica, the ad-block-alypse just arrived. If the rollout is successful — from the carriers’ point of view — it could spur other, larger companies to start blocking ads worldwide.

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Apple Music rolls out in China, priced at less than $2 per month

Tech In Asia

Chinese users now have access to Apple Music, iBooks, and iTunes Movies, all of which were previously inaccessible in the mainland, according to a statement released by Apple today.

Apple Music, the company’s Spotify-like streaming service, was launched in the US on June 30. It probably isn’t a coincidence that today’s announcement comes on the exact day that early adopters’ three-month free trial period is set to expire.

Music will also be offered with a free three-month trial to Chinese users, after which it will cost RMB 10 per month (US$1.57) – quite a bit cheaper than its American equivalent, which goes for US$9.99 per month.

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Qualcomm sets up $150 million fund for Indian mobile tech

Times of India

Mobile chip designer Qualcomm, through its venture arm Qualcomm Ventures, has established an India specific $150 million investment fund to foster innovation in the mobile technology and internet of everything (IoE) space. The firm’s executive chairman Paul E Jacobs made the announcement after a meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the US.

The corporate investment arm of the chip major has been investing in Indian start-ups since 2007 and has made 20 investments.

Qualcomm will also establish an Innovation Lab in Bengaluru to provide technical and engineering support for both local consumption, and the rest of the world, the company said.

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mHealth Summit 2015: Emphasis on the ecosystem

mHealth News

The focus is on connections at this year’s mHealth Summit. It’s part of a subtle shift in how “mHealth” is being defined – and how it’s being adopted by healthcare providers.

For starters, this year’s summit is actually one of three, all combined under the umbrella of the new Connected Health Conference. The four-day event, coordinated by HIMSS, the Personal Connected Health Alliance and Continua, now includes separate summits focusing on cybersecurity and population health. It will take place Nov. 8-11 at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center outside Washington D.C.

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Tanzania: Dar Leads World in Mobile Money


Tanzania has emerged the leading country in the world in mobile financial services, the World Bank has said in its World Development Report.

According to the WB, Tanzania is leading the world in providing low interest loans through mobile phones as well as being one of the biggest markets in the world for providing mobile money services.

The report also recognised the government efforts in putting in place high level standards of Information Communication Technology (ICT) systems compared to other countries in the world.

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London proposes tougher rules for app-based taxi firms like Uber


London’s transport chiefs announced plans on Wednesday to tighten control on private hire vehicles (PHV), a move that could hit app-based ride-hailing firms such as Uber.

Drivers of the city’s famous black cabs have argued Uber bypasses local licensing and safety laws and amounts to unfair competition. They have staged a number of high-profile protests, including go-slow demonstrations that have brought traffic in the centre of London to a standstill.

A protest earlier this month at London’s City Hall led to a scuffle that resulted in arrests for assault and aggravated trespass and the suspension of a meeting where Mayor Boris Johnson was answering questions. “In recent years the private hire industry has grown exponentially and technology has also developed rapidly,” said Garrett Emmerson from Transport for London, which has issued the proposals that will now go out for a 12-week consultation.

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68% Respondents Not Using Mobile Financial Services: Amdocs Survey


From e-governance, online education to e-healthcare, the Union government has massive plans for its Digital India platform at an estimated cost of Rs. 100,000 crore. But this ambitious plan could hit a roadblock given that India has slipped on its ranking on the global scale when it comes to the reach of the internet.

The United Nations’ Broadband Penetration report 2015 says India, ranked at 155, has slipped 42 ranks in two years when it comes to mobile broadband connectivity. Even on fixed broadband connections, India has dropped from 125 to 131 in just one year.

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