Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. everything you need to know on the Apple event, Nintendo shares soar with reveal of mobile game, Jio sparks price war in India and much more.
Apple held its annual September press conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, unveiling the iPhone 7 at long last. CEO Tim Cook took the stage (after a charming bout of Carpool Karaoke) to introduce everything new with Apple — from new iPhones to new Apple Watches. You can dig through the full coverage here, or read the play-by-play of the keynote in our live blog, but here are the main takeaways:
After a bizarre Twitter mishap where Apple seemed to have accidentally leaked its own video of the iPhone 7, the new models were officially unveiled. The iPhone 7 has stereo speakers, is water and dust resistant and has a longer battery life. The redesigned home button is now a touch surface — it’s not really a “button” anymore at all. It relies on the haptic engine to make it feel as if you’ve pressed a moving button, a bit like the current Mac trackpads do (and eliminating the need for tons of repairs).
Shares in Nintendo have surged by as much as 18% in Japan following the surprise announcement of a Super Mario game for mobile users.
The firm, best known for its focus on consoles, showed off Super Mario Run at the launch of Apple’s new iPhone 7 range on Wednesday.
The plan is to launch it on Apple’s App Store in December. No time was given for when Android users could get their hands on it.
The game marks the company’s first solo venture into the lucrative mobile gaming market, which sees users pay to buy games and even upgrade their functionality.
Sony is set to push “aggressively” into mobile gaming, having watched from the sidelines as its console rival Nintendo enjoyed meteoric success with the Pokémon Go augmented reality (AR) game.
“[Mobile gaming] is something we are aggressively getting into,” Sony chief executive Kaz Hirai told the Financial Times at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. “It’s quite a shift from being just a console-based business to being on mobile phones as well,” he said.
“Pokémon Go is a real game-changer. I’m very interested in the fact that it has the potential to really change the way people move, literally.”
The Indian telecoms giant, Reliance, is offering smartphone users what it says is the cheapest mobile data network in the world.
The arrival of Jio – the new mobile network – has ramped up the battle among Indian telecoms firms to win customers.
High-speed 4G internet is by no means new to the country, but Jio is offering it at prices well below its rivals.
The company says it hopes to reach 90% of India’s population within a year.
BRUSSELS—Consumers looking forward to travelling in Europe without paying roaming charges will only be able to do so for 90 days a year, the European Commission has confirmed.
Officials in Brussels have set out what they describe as a fair use policy for telcos after roaming charges are abolished in June 2017.
It will apparently prevent consumers shopping around in different countries for the cheapest deal, whether or not they live there. Following a public consultation, the commission decided that mobile subscribers should be able to roam at domestic prices for a total of at least 90 days per year
Imagine the day when you can order a pizza from Domino’s via a tweet or the Apple Watch, or the day you can just walk into Starbucks and add the song playing in the store to your Spotify.
That day may be coming sooner than later as brands worldwide aggressively adopt mobile apps to engage their customers, said Al Campa, chief marketing officer of App Annie, during a presentation at Tech in Asia Tokyo 2016.
In 2015, worldwide app downloads stood at 112 billion, with Asia accounting for around 50 percent of the tally, according to App Annie data revealed by Al.
T-Mobile and Samsung Electronics America have announced their collaboration on a series of 5G lab tests and field trials over the next year.
The partnership will see the companies initially use T-Mobile’s 28GHz mmWave spectrum in combination with Samsung’s 5G proof-of-concept beam-forming technology in outdoor trials, while trials early next year will use Samsung’s pre-commercial system.
“We are excited to work with Samsung to see how we can bring to life key attributes of emerging 5G technology, including extreme speed, low latency, and massive connectivity,” said T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray.
“Our collaboration with Samsung’s networks technology will enable us to enhance 5G development and availability.”
Orange accelerates Mobile Financial Services in Africa, sets up the Orange Money Compliance Expertise Centre
With the recent receipt of Electronic Money Establishment licenses (EME) in four countries (Senegal, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea), Orange has further strengthened its position as a major player in the mobile financial services segment in Africa. This change of status is accompanied by the creation of a new organization, CECOM, which provides mutualized risk and compliance management for its mobile money activities in these countries.
A favourable environment
In 2015, noting the significant growth of mobile money services within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) published an update of the regulatory framework related to such services.
Data from health apps and wearable activity trackers such as Fitbits will feed directly into people’s personal health records, the Health Secretary has announced.
Jeremy Hunt said that a new list of NHS-approved health apps and other technology will be able to be linked directly into patient records.
Speaking at the NHS Expo event in Manchester, Mr Hunt announced a series of measures to “help put patients in control of their healthcare destiny”.
The new NHS IT package includes plans for a one-stop NHS website where patients book appointments, order prescriptions and access medical advice.
Chatbots, newsfeeds, conversational interfaces, data-mining tools, location-aware technologies, search engines, smart appliances, and self-driving cars. What do all these have in common? They all use a form of artificial intelligence (AI).
After years of talk and hype, AI is being used to help automate tasks, predict outcomes, and in general make our lives and businesses more effective and efficient. We have entered the Age of AI.
The AI space is white-hot. While funding for startups is down across the board, AI remains the exception. More than 200 AI-focused companies raised nearly $1.5 billion in funding in the first half of 2016, according to CB Insights. Equity deals to AI startups increased almost sixfold in four years, to 400 in 2015 from approximately 70 in 2011.