Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. EU wants to extend data privacy to OTT players, post Verizon Yahoo, IOS revenues will hit $1 trillion in 2017 and much more.
The European Commission has set out proposals for updating rules which govern the use of personal telecoms data that would expand their remit to cover email and mobile messaging data for the first time — meaning the ePrivacy regulation would also apply to web companies such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Apple and Google.
Telcos have long complained about regulatory asymmetry vis-a-vis use of personal data, with tougher privacy rules applying to data sent using their services vs data sent via comms apps and services operated by Internet companies.
All electronics comms providers would be covered under the new proposal — to, as the EC puts it, “reflect the market reality” — although telcos are still not happy, with ETNO and the GSMA putting out a statement arguing the proposal new ePrivacy rules still impose stricter requirements on them when it comes to processing certain types of data vs other comms players.
Deloitte has issued its 2017 Canadian Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions, and they include the continuing rise of biometric technology.
The business consultancy predicts that the number of active mobile devices featuring a fingerprint sensor will exceed 10 million in Canada and a billion around the world this year. Each of these sensors will be used about 30 times a day on average, so the year will see more than 10 trillion such authentications this year.
It’s a prediction that appears more or less in step with a recent forecast from Acuity Market Research, which suggested that a billion biometric smartphones are already in use around the world, and that in 2019 all smartphones shipped will feature the technology.
A detailed report on mobile money trends titled Mobile Money Practices in Zimbabwe prepared by research consulting firm, Studio D Radiodurans for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said telecom firms behind mobile money platforms were now competing with banks.
“The surge in mobile money adoption has stimulated competition between banks and mobile money providers. Each side is wary of the other taking its customer base, and the banks particularly have good reason to be worried,” the report said.
“Zimbabwe is one of the few countries where banking penetration has declined, while mobile money adoption has increased.
“Based on recent experience, Zimbabwe has a relatively low-trust environment. Mobile money offers a higher-trust option than traditional financial services.”
Yahoo Inc said Monday that it would rename itself Altaba Inc and Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer would step down from the board after the closing of its deal with Verizon Communications Inc.
Yahoo has a deal to sell its core internet business, which includes its digital advertising, email and media assets, to Verizon for $4.83 billion.
The terms of that deal could be amended – or the transaction may even be called off – after Yahoo last year disclosed two separate data breaches; one involving some 500 million customer accounts and the second involving over a billion.
Verizon executives have said that while they see a strong strategic fit with Yahoo, they are still investigating the data breaches.
Apple is nearing an extraordinary milestone.
By the middle of 2017, the Californian technology giant’s revenues from iOS — its mobile platform — are expected to bring in a staggering $1 trillion (£815 billion) in lifetime revenues.
That’s according to Horace Dediu, an Apple analyst, writing on his blog on Wednesday.
“The revenues from iOS product sales will reach $980 billion by middle of this year. In addition to hardware Apple also books iOS services revenues (including content) which have totaled more than $100 billion to date,” Dediu wrote.
This week, the FCC finally completed its investigation of so-called “zero-rating” schemes, finding that AT&T is likely violating net neutrality rules by charging outside video providers more for free streaming. Nevertheless, the carrier is unlikely to face punitive action—the man poised to become the new FCC chair under President Trump has promised it won’t.
According to the FCC report released Wednesday, offering “zero-rated” content (that is, content which doesn’t count against customers’ data caps) is not, in itself, a violation. However, by charging outside video services substantially above cost for that privilege while giving it to their own subsidiary, DirectTV, for free, AT&T may be “unreasonably discriminating” in violation of FCC rules.
By 2020, India could make payment cards, ATMs, and point-of-sale (POS) terminals completely irrelevant, as consumers move towards a mobile first system, Amitabh Kant, the CEO of NITI Aayog told The Wall Street Journal.
This shift toward digital payments will be a result of demonetization — in early November, the Indian government announced the removal of the 500- and 1,000-rupee notes, which represented 86% of currency in circulation — that has left consumers cash-strapped and looking for alternative payment methods.
Although demonetization is spurring a digital revolution, it would be unrealistic to picture an Indian economy that is completely cashless in just three years.
Having faced a raft of criticism for helping to inadvertently spread fake news, claims of bias in its trending topics and blurred boundaries when it comes to offensive content, Facebook is attempting to tackle these comments head on.
The social network has today launched its Facebook Journalism Project designed to set up “deeper collaboration” with news organisations, introduce new platforms for telling stories, develop local news, and train journalists and everyday users on finding and trusting news.
Happy birthday, iPhone. You’re 10 years old! What do you want to be when you grow up?
When Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone 10 years ago today, he touted Apple’s ability to combine three products — “a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and a breakthrough internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching and maps — into one small and lightweight handheld device.”
Those characteristics are still in today’s iPhones, but they’re so much more. Think over 2 million apps more, changing everything from the way we commute to the way we communicate with family and friends. At the same time, it has spawned hundreds of copycats and created new industries that couldn’t exist without phones. The iPhone is the most successful consumer device ever created.
So where does it go from here?
Children ordering (accidentally or otherwise) items from gadgets is nothing new. Major retailers have refunded purchases made by children playing with phones or computers, and with voice-activated devices making their way into homes, it’s a problem that parents will have to be on the lookout for.
One recent instance occurred in Dallas, Texas earlier this week, when a six-year-old asked her family’s new Amazon Echo “can you play dollhouse with me and get me a dollhouse?” The device readily complied, ordering a KidKraft Sparkle mansion dollhouse, in addition to “four pounds of sugar cookies.”
The parents quickly realized what had happened and have since added a code for purchases. They have also donated the dollhouse a local children’s hospital.