How fast can the ‘application to person’ messaging space grow? What happened to iPhone sales in the last quarter? Which two new smartphone brands have just entered the global top five?

You’ll find the answers to these and many more mobile data related questions in this week’s MEF market stats round up…

A2P SMS Market set transmit two trillion messages by 2017

Application to person messaging is on the up – the market could be worth $78m by 2022.

That’s the key finding of new data from Credence Research, which estimates the market will
expand at a CAGR of 4.9 per cent over the next six years.

The report repeats that while SMS is declining as a P2P medium, it’s still in good health as a channel for enterprise to person comms. Hence A2P SMS traffic will exceed two trillion messages by 2017.

Currently, there is a push from telecom operators and SMS service providers to use SMS channels for ticketing, bill payment, and clinic appointment reminders and more.

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334.9 million smartphones shipped in Q1

The global smartphone market is flatlining, with sales up by their smallest percentage since the sector got started.

New data from IDC says shipments of 334.9 million in 1Q2016 were barely any different from then previous quarter (334.3 million units in 1Q15). The analyst blamed this on saturation in developed markets, and ongoing decline from both Apple and Samsung, the two market leaders. China was also a factor. In 2013, China’s year-over-year shipment growth was 62.5 per cent. Last year, 2.5 per cent.

While the overall market stalled, there was movement in the OEM market shares. The biggest change saw Chinese brands OPPO and vivo displace Lenovo and Xiaomi from fourth and fifth place respectively.

Samsung remained the leader in the worldwide smartphone market with 24.5 per cent, Apple’s saw its first-ever year-over-year decline, and now has 15.3 per cent of the market. Huawei has the the number 3 position (8.3 per cent).

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iPhone quarterly sales down ten per cent

Apple posted its first-ever drop in iPhone shipments in its latest financials. It shipped 51 million iPhones in Q1, down 10 million, or about 16 per cent from the 61 million it shipped a year ago.

The stats prompted widespread alarm, though one wonders why observers should think sales could rise forever, especially given Apple’s focus on premium devices only. Also, the smartphone market as a whole is flatlining. Nearly everyone has a smartphone now – and they are so good, the replacement cycles are lengthening too.

Apple will hope for a spike in sales this year when the expected iPhone 7 launches. However, analysts say it needs a new product line to avoid being merely ‘the iPhone company’. The Apple Watch is not it. Apple is still refusing to disclose Watch sales numbers.

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24 per cent of UK adults have made an in-store mobile payment

A study by the the Prepaid International Forum (PIF) says nearly a quarter of Brits have paid in a shop using their phones, and that 12 per cent do so on a regular basis.

Its ‘Future of Mobile Payments’ report also reveals that the majority of consumers under the age of 44 expect mobile to replace cash and plastic as their main means of making payments within the next few years.

The numbers seem a little high, given that payment options are limited to Apple Pay and a small number of proprietary solutions like Starbucks.

Nevertheless, PIF says consumers like being able to see real-time account and balance information (47 per cent), and the convenience of being able to carry just their phone (39%).

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Mobile POS market on course for $29 billion by 2020

Reductions in transaction costs are keeping the global mobile card reader market in good health, says a recent report from Technavio.

It calculated the market size by combining revenue generated from card reader shipments, transaction fees and other monthly fees charged by vendors. And it says the space could generate $29 billion in four years. Last year, it was valued at just $1.22 billion.

The key region remains the Americas, thanks to aggressive work by Square, PayPal, PayAnywhere and Verifone. It contributes 57.21 per cent of the global market.

Technavio says the simplicity of set-up and competitive rev shares attract merchants to mPOS. It states the average fee per transaction was $2.90 in 2015. That compares to the ld model of a monthly service fee as well as a cut on every transaction.

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Pakistani mobile banking transactions up five per cent

The introduction of 3G/4G has provided a boost to mobile banking in Pakistan. Stats released by State Bank of Pakistan said consumers made Rs 25.9 billion worth of mobile banking transactions in Q1 – up 4.8 per cent on the previous quarter.

Meanwhile desktop banking activity rose even faster – by 11.32 per cent – as Rs 9.45 trillion worth of transaction were made in January to March.

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