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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.

This week..  Facebook predicts smartphones will be replaced by AR glasses in 2022, Credit card with a fingerprint sensor revealed by Mastercard,
man accuses Bose of invasion of privacy, why Africa is the ‘final frontier’ for global brands and much more.

Smartphones will officially become glasses in 2022, Facebook exec brashly predicts

Business Insider

Set your calendars for April 2022. That’s when futuristic, “augmented reality” glasses could replace your smartphone and become your new everyday computing device.

So says Michael Abrash, the chief scientist of Facebook-owned Oculus Research, which is hard at work on both virtual reality headsets and augmented reality glasses.

Abrash envisions glasses that look just like today’s regular glasses — lightweight and stylish — but with the power to enhance the wearer’s memory, provide instant translation of foreign languages and signs, mute distracting nearby conversations or sounds and even read a baby’s temperature with a glance.

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Credit card with a fingerprint sensor revealed by Mastercard


A payment card featuring a fingerprint sensor has been unveiled by credit card provider Mastercard.

The rollout follows two successful trials in South Africa.

The technology works in the same way as it does with mobile phone payments: users must have their finger over the sensor when making a purchase.

Security experts have said that while using fingerprints is not foolproof, it is a “sensible” use of biometric technology.

Mastercard’s chief of safety and security, Ajay Bhalla, said that the fingerprint technology would help “to deliver additional convenience and security. It is not something that can be taken or replicated.”

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Man claims his Bose headphones intercept what he’s listening to

Ars Technica

An Illinois man has accused Bose, the audio equipment manufacturer, of illegally wiretapping him via his Bose headphones.

According to a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in Chicago on Tuesday, Kyle Zak bought a $350 pair of Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless Bluetooth headphones in March 2017. Those headphones use an app, known as “Bose Connect,” to skip, pause, and perform other controls on them.

The civil complaint alleges that Bose collects “the names of any music and audio tracks” played througthe headphones, along with the customer’s personally identifiable serial number. It also says the information gets sent to third parties, including “data miner”

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Orange is launching a bank because reasons

Tech Crunch

French telecom company Orange is launching a bank this Summer in France. Orange CEO Stéphane Richard listed some of the features behind Orange Bank this morning at a press conference. And let’s just say that it doesn’t sound as groundbreaking as the company thinks.

Just like N26, Revolut and others, you’ll be able to control your payment card directly from your phone. Transactions will show up instantly in the app and you’ll be able to block and unblock the card in a couple of taps in case you can’t find it.

You’ll also be able to send money with a text message. So you can expect a peer-to-peer payment service like Lydia, Venmo, etc. Finally, Richard hinted at NFC payments with your phone. Orange already supports NFC payments on Android with Orange Cash, and using Apple Pay on iOS.

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Mobile game revenue grew 53% to $11.9 billion in Q1 2017

Venture Beat

Worldwide mobile game revenue from iOS and Google Play stores grew 53 percent to $11.9 billion, according to a report today from measurement firm Sensor Tower Store Intelligence. But Google Play revenues are growing at a much faster rate than Apple’s, at 83 percent versus 35 percent.

Apple app store revenue grew 35 percent to $6.6 billion from $4.9 billion in the first quarter, compared to the same period a year earlier. Google Play revenue grew 83 percent in Q1 to $5.3 billion from $2.9 billion a year earlier, according to Ruika Lin, mobile insights analyst at Sensor Tower.

Mobile game installs on both stores were at 8.8 billion in Q1, up 15 percent from 7.6 billion in the first quarter of 2017.

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A vigilante hacker may have built a computer worm to protect smart devices

PC World

Is a vigilante hacker trying to secure your IoT device from malware? The mysterious developer behind a growing computer worm wants people to think so.

The worm, known as Hajime, has infected tens of thousands of easy-to-hack products such as DVRs, internet cameras, and routers. However, the program so far hasn’t done anything malicious.

Instead, the worm has been preventing a notorious malware known as Mirai from infecting the same devices. It’s also been carrying a message written from its developer.

“Just a white hat, securing some systems,” the message reads. “Stay sharp!”

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Adult smartphone addiction set to grow in China, says eMarketer

The Drum

Accessing the Internet via smartphone is netting a growing share of the daily time adults in China spend on major media, according to eMarketer’s forecasts.

This trend is also reflected in Southeast Asia as well, with smartphones the go-to device for accessing the web.

Adults in China are projected to spend an average of 1 hour 38 minutes with their smartphones daily in 2017. This is mainly driven by the availability of cheaper smartphones, with capabilities similar to flagship devices like the Samsung Galaxy and iPhone, which also drove smartphone adoption and deeper engagement with the devices.

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Why Africa is the ‘final frontier’ for global brands

Marketing Week

The dynamics of the global economy are shifting apace. With uncertainty in developed markets such as the UK, the US and Europe, many brands are looking beyond their traditional customer bases in search of new opportunities and sources of growth. Africa, the world’s poorest continent but also the most untapped by consumer brands, looks set to benefit.

Africa is of course a huge landmass with massively varied conditions across its countries. Where some parts remain ravaged by war, famine and poverty, others are experiencing accelerated economic growth, urbanisation and a rising middle class. There are estimated to be more than 2,000 languages spoken, and individual countries and regions have their own distinct cultures.

The World Bank’s Africa’s Pulse report in September noted that some countries had registered sharp “slippages in economic growth” last year due to factors such as low commodity prices and domestic political problems. At the same time other countries such as Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania “have continued to post annual average growth rates of over 6%”.

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Customer loyalty is key as competition heats up in Singapore mobile market


Something unusual has been happening in the mobile space in Singapore.

Usually, when one mobile operator cuts prices or bumps up its amount of free mobile data, the others will follow suit. The idea is to avoid having customers jump to rival operators.

Yet, a month after Circles.Life shook things up with a plan that offered a huge boost in data, the Big Three players have not followed suit.

Singtel, M1 and StarHub, which own most of the market, haven’t decided it was worth matching Circles.Life’s deal for an attractive 26GB of data for just S$48 a month. Aren’t they afraid of losing customers?

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Having lost China, Amazon is growing quickly to win India


Amazon’s big $5 billion bet in India might be enough for the company to win the country’s ecommerce race.

Amazon India is quickly closing in on the lead Flipkart assumes in the country’s ecommerce space, according to data from intelligence firm 7Park Data. At least in some metrics.

When it comes to mobile engagement, the data suggests, Amazon India is showing promising growth. As of March 2017, four-year-old Amazon India held 30.3 percent of the mobile market share, only slightly behind the decade-old Flipkart’s 30.7 percent mark.

Amazon’s mobile traffic grew by 46 percent between the first quarter of 2016 and 2017, according to the same data. During the same period, Flipkart saw a decline of 11.5 percent in mobile visitors.

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