Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. True cost of Samsung Galaxy Note recall comes to light, WhatsApp trumps Facebook Messenger, India nears 1 billion mobile subscribers, Mastercard unveils a chatbot, Android Pay enables services across more sites and much more.
The costly and damaging recall of millions of flammable Galaxy Note 7 smartphones wiped 98 per cent off the profits of Samsung’s mobile division, it announced today. Smartphones are Samsung’s core business and the slump dragged total company profits down by 30 per cent to their lowest level in two years.
The company had issued a profit warning two weeks ago after it killed off its Note 7 smartphone due to devices bursting into flames.
The flagship phone was meant to compete with arch-rival Apple’s iPhone 7, but instead has done huge damage to the Samsung brand.
Mastercard is taking two big steps forward when it comes to mobile integration thanks to a new chatbot system and a partnership that brings payments to wearable devices, signaling that the credit card company is committed to making multichannel retail more mobile.
The two new initiatives, a chatbot for banks and a partnership with Fit Pay, were announced at the Money 20/20 event in Las Vegas. Both announcements are good indicators of the importance of mobile to Mastercard when it thinks about the modern consumer’s relationship to banking.
“Chatbots or messaging interfaces have captured a lot of consumer attention,” said James Anderson, group executive of platforms and emerging payments at Mastercard.
Facebook Messenger is the most installed app on consumers’ smartphones, with 63 per cent of consumers polled in a survey by MetrixLab saying they had the app installed. It is closely followed by WhatsApp at 61 per cent. Skype is in third place at 39 per cent, with iMessage in fourth (27 per cent) and Snapchat fifth (18 per cent).
When it comes to usage, however, WhatsApp leads the way, with 62 per cent of users saying they use the app daily, compared to just 27 per cent of Facebook Messenger users.
MetrixLab surveyed more than 4,000 smartphone users in the UK, US, France and The Netherlands. The study also found that messaging apps are replacing paid-for texts and calls, with 63 per cent of Baby Boomers saying they used their messaging apps as a replacement for paid text messages.
On Nov. 11, 2013, Victorville, California, sheriff’s deputies and a coroner responded to a motorcyclist’s report of human remains outside of town.
They identified the partially bleached skull of a child, and later discovered the remains of the McStay family who had been missing for the past three years. Joseph, 40, his wife Summer, 43, Gianni, 4, and Joseph Jr., 3, had been bludgeoned to death and buried in shallow graves in the desert.
Investigators long suspected Charles Merritt in the family’s disappearance, interviewing him days after they went missing. Merritt was McStay’s business partner and the last person known to see him alive. Merritt had also borrowed $30,000 from McStay to cover a gambling debt, a mutual business partner told police. None of it was enough to make an arrest.
Google has announced that it’s partnered with Visa and Mastercard to enable support for its Android Pay mobile payments service across more sites.
The tie-up will see Android Pay, which lets mobile users make payments while shopping online by entering a single password or authorizing them with their fingerprints, work on ‘hundreds of thousands of new sites’ where Visa Checkout or Masterpass wallet transactions are accepted.
To use it, you’ll need to first link your Visa Checkout or Masterpass account with the Android Pay app. It’ll become available in early 2017.
Zenith’s new Mobile Advertising Forecasts shows how quickly the mobile proportion of internet has increased in recent years – from 40% in 2012 to an expected 68% in 2016 and 79% in 2018.
It comes after Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts in June said mobile advertising would overtake desktop next year – a year earlier than it previously predicted.
Zenith is advising that brands need to become mobile-first in their digital communication and that advertisers need to think about consumer mobility, not just mobile devices, because consumers shift their attention between different devices throughout the day.
Money may soon become even more mobile. A fresh project allows people to make mobile payments even in areas where their cellphone is unable to connect to a network.
The DigiTally project could benefit people in countries that lack traditional banking infrastructure. Such countries also often have spotty cellphone coverage, and this can limit the impact of mobile payment services such as M-Pesa, which enables transactions via SMS messaging. Nearly 20 million people rely on M-Pesa in Kenya alone, with millions more in other countries from Romania to Afghanistan.
Many of the world’s poorest people don’t have much access to mobile payment systems, says Ross Anderson, a computer scientist at the University of Cambridge who runs the project, “because the GSM network near them is ropy or non-existent”.
University of Illinois at Chicago researchers will kick off a five-year, $4 million federally-funded study next year on how texting and video can improve diabetes management among Hispanic and African American patients. Co-principal researchers Ben Gerber, a professor of medicine at UIC, and Lisa Sharp, an associate professor of pharmacy systems, outcomes and policy at the school, will lead the research effort, supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
The effort, involving 220 participants, will tap text to help remind patients about medication intake and provide support messaging. The video tool, via tablets, will let health coaches connect with pharmacists during patient home visits.
FierceMobileHealthcare spoke to Gerber for insight on the research and to get his views on the potential value of such tools in patient care and treatment.
Driven by falling prices of devices and network coverage improvement, India is expected to have one billion unique mobile subscribers by 2020, according to a new study by GSMA.
According to the report, ‘The Mobile Economy: India 2016’, at the end of June 2016, 616 million unique users had subscribed to mobile services in India, making it the second-largest mobile market globally.
“Almost half the country’s population now subscribe to a mobile service. Improving affordability, falling device prices and better network coverage aided by operator investment will help deliver over 330 million new unique subscribers by 2020, taking the penetration rate to 68 per cent (up from 47 per cent in 2015),” according to the report.
South African consumers are mostly fed up with mobile data service providers, according to the latest South African Consumer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi).
SAcsi 2016 says customer loyalty trends have shown a consistent decline over the past three annual indices, with the industry average declining from 71.1% in 2014 to 59.2% in 2016 – said to be one of the lowest SAcsi industry averages.
The 2016 SAcsi for Mobile Data Service Providers benchmarks customer satisfaction through an internationally recognised model to achieve an overall result out of 100.
PayPal has announced that it’s rolling out as an additional payment option within Facebook Messenger, which currently supports payments via debit cards.
PayPal has been pushing to expand its reach into the consumer realm, having struck partnerships with MasterCard, Visa, Vodafone, and Alibaba, among other companies in the past few months alone. With Facebook Messenger on board, this opens PayPal up to a potential one billion users.
Facebook first unveiled plans to expand Messenger beyond a messaging app and into a platform last year, letting retailers connect with customers on one of the world’s most popular messaging services.