Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. Anger as US internet privacy law scrapped, Telegram introduces end-to-end encrypted voice calls, Brazilian mobile phone market on the decline… and much more…
US internet service providers will soon no longer need consent from users to share browsing history with marketers and other third parties.
On Tuesday the House of Representatives voted to repeal an Obama-era law that demanded ISPs have permission to share personal information – including location data.
Supporters of the move said it would increase competition, but critics said it would have a “chilling effect” on online privacy.
President Donald Trump is expected to sign the order soon.
Telegram is the latest messaging app to get a major new feature, but unlike Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, Hike and countless others, it isn’t cribbing from Snapchat. That’s because Telegram is introducing voice calls.
Admittedly the company is a little late to the audio calling party, but that is likely because of its focus on security, and in particular end-to-end encryption, which Telegram said also extents to cover audio calls.
Telegram was founded by Pavel Durov, a Russian entrepreneur who rose to fame as the founder of VKontakte, Russia’s Facebook. Since being ousted as CEO in 2014, he has lived a nomadic existence and focused his work on developing Telegram, which gained global attention as an alternative to WhatsApp after it was acquired by Facebook in 2014.
Mobile phone sales in Brazil have seen a decline in 2016 due to the economic crisis the country has experienced, according to analyst firm IDC.
However, despite the 5.2 percent decrease in sales with 48.4 million handsets sold compared to the 51.1 million marketed in 2015, Brazil remains the world’s fourth largest market for mobile phones.
Smartphones have seen the biggest hit last year, according to the IDC figures, with a 7.3 percent decline and 43.5 million units sold.
WorldRemit has released new data showing that the Kenyan Diaspora is the biggest sender of digital remittances to mobile accounts. The data comes as the World comes at a time when the world is marking ten years since the ground-breaking of M-PESA.
Transfers to mobile money accounts make up 93% of WorldRemit transactions to Kenya now – showing that Kenyans continue to be early adopters of innovative technology, even when abroad.
Mobile money has played a key role in the growth of WorldRemit’s Kenyan customer base, attracted by the low price, speed and convenience of sending instant remittances from the app or website directly to a mobile phone in Kenya.
When Koh Dong-jin says he knows what it means to journey from “heaven to hell,” he’s not overstating things.
About nine months after being named head of Samsung’s mobile business, Koh, 56, was forced to recall the popular Galaxy Note 7 not once, but twice, because the large-screen phone kept bursting into flames. After Samsung’s “safer” replacement phones caught fire, too, Koh killed off the Note 7 in October, taking more than 2.5 million phones off the market.
In both cases, the culprit was the battery…
Top-performing mobile ads follow some common principles according to Celtra and On Device Research’s analysis of the top 20% of mobile ads (ad recall and purchase intent).
The ad recall of the top 20% of mobile ads saw an uplift of 20% compared to the control group, while the remaining mobile ads only saw a 3% uplift, according to the analysis. Similarly, the purchase intent of the best performing 20% of mobile ads is six times more effective than the remaining 80%.
This comes at a time where calls for ‘better standards’ for mobile ads, and growth at a rapid rate despite bandwidth issues. Mobile ads still get bad press despite these developments, with 60% of clicks on mobile banner ads being an accident, 71% saying half the ads disrupt the mobile experience and 69% saying that mobile ads obscure content, according to Celtra and On Device Research.
Singtel and Telkomsel have launched a real-time mobile remittance service to Indonesia. It is being delivered as part of the Singtel Dash brand. The service will allow users to send money to PT Pos Indonesia’s 4,000 cash-out points via Weselpos Instan. It is already possible to send money to Indonesian bank accounts. This new facility means that customers no longer have to wait for funds to reach their bank account, they can withdraw it immediately.
According to Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel: “Indonesia is one of our main remittance corridors and we are pleased to partner Telkomsel to offer convenient and secure mobile remittance cash pick-up service for our Indonesian friends. Singtel Dash will continue to enhance the mobile payments experience for our customers and enable their digital lifestyles. We are also excited to contribute to Singapore’s journey to a Smart Nation by developing the mobile payments ecosystem in Singapore.”
Singapore-based mobile technology company U2opia on Thursday launched its sponsored data suite FonePass across markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle-East.
“We aim to launch technology that drives connectivity, fuels transformation and helps businesses drive engagement,” Sumesh Menon, CEO and Co-Founder of U2opia Mobile, said in a statement.
“Users in emerging markets are increasingly demanding data connectivity but the unavailability and exorbitant costs continues to leave millions of mobile users in information darkness,” Menon added.
Mobile HDR got off to something of a false start. When Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 7 in 2016, it also announced that it had equipped the super-sized smartphone with an HDR display and that glorious movies would be streamed to your phone for enjoyment anytime, anywhere.
Fast-forward to 2017, and mobile HDR is back on the agenda, spearheaded by the launch of the LG G6.
Here’s everything you need to know about the latest step in mobile entertainment.
A new report out this week from the OECD has found that around one in five mobile phones and a quarter of computer game consoles shipped internationally are counterfeit, and warns that faked IT goods are on the rise given their lucrative returns for criminal networks.
The report, coming out ahead of the 2017 OECD Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum, says there is a growing trade in counterfeit IT and comms hardware that “weighs on consumers, manufacturers and public finances.”
The report also found that smartphone batteries, chargers, memory cards, magnetic stripe cards, solid state drives and music players are also “increasingly falling prey to counterfeiters,” in the context of infringing on original trademarks.