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

This week.. The biggest announcements from Google’s event, Brazil sees drop in mobile lines,  UK punishes WhatsApp over e2e, mobile ad spend set to grow by double digits in India and much more…

The 5 biggest announcements from Google’s Pixel 2 event

The Verge

Google’s Pixel event today confirmed a lot of leaks and rumors, but it also held some surprises and software upgrades developed with machine learning. Marking its second year making hardware, Google announced the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL; an interesting new camera called Google Clips; a new Google Home Mini and Max; a Pixelbook, and an updated Google Daydream.

If you missed any of it, we have the biggest announcements right here.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both use Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processors with 4GB RAM. (You can also choose between 64GB and 128GB options.) They have the same camera, processor, and speaker specs.

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Brazil sees 4% drop in mobile lines in August


Brazil had 242.16 million mobile lines in operation in August, according to data released by the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel). Compared with the previous month, there were 156,155 new lines (+0.06%), but there was a reduction of 9.91 million lines (-3.93%) compared with the same month in 2016. Of the total mobile lines in the country, 158.48 million are prepaid (-10.05% y/y) and 83.68 million postpaid (+10.27%).

In the last twelve months, Datora was the operator with the highest growth, with the addition of 105,247 lines (+129.88%), while Porto Seguro added 187,534 new lines (+49.56%). Nextel gained 114,648 new lines (+4.62%). In absolute numbers, the biggest growth was recorded by Vivo with 1.1 million new connections (+1.50%). Of the other major national providers, Oi recorded a loss of 5.03 million lines (-10.70%), Claro lost 3.22 million (-5.06%), and TIM saw a reduction of 3.16 million lines (-4.98%).

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UK gives WhatsApp another spanking over e2e crypto

Tech Crunch

The UK government has once again bared its anti-technology teeth in public, leaning especially heavily on messaging platform WhatsApp for its use of end-to-end encryption security tech, and calling it out for enabling criminals to communicate in secret.

Reuters reported yesterday that UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd had called out end-to-end encryption services “like WhatsApp”, claiming they are being used by paedophiles and other criminals and pressurizing the companies to stop enabling such people from operating outside the law.

“I do not accept it is right that companies should allow them and other criminals to operate beyond the reach of law enforcement. We must require the industry to move faster and more aggressively. They have the resources and there must be greater urgency,” Rudd reportedly added.

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Mobile ad spend set to grow by double digits in India, according to eMarketer

The Drum

Empowered by the rise of smartphone sales and mobile social networking, mobile ad spending is expected to increase by 85% in India, according to eMarketer.

eMarketer estimates that by 2021, mobile will account for just under 62% of digital ad spending’s $2.80bn. Bolstered by increase in the sale of smartphones, the ad spend will further boost overall digital ad spend to $1.21bn.

Mobile social networking in India is projected to scale to 24.3% to reach more than 26.8% of all mobile phone users and 74.9% of social network users.

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China eyes tighter smartphone security as mobile payment trend grows

Tech Wire Asia

TOGETHER with China’s rise as the global leader in mobile payments came the rise of cyber attacks on the country’s smartphone users.

In a recent reminder, the China Internet Network Information Center urged the country’s mobile users to be extra vigilant when using their smartphones for financial transactions.

China has a staggering over 751 million Internet users, with 96.3 percent of this number accessing the web through a mobile device. With the runaway success of online payment systems such as WeChat and Alipay, many mobile users, especially the tech-savvy younger generation, have embraced the idea of paying for goods and services using their smartphones.

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TD Bank opens Israel cybersecurity office; injects AI into mobile app


Toronto-Dominion Bank is looking to tap into Israel’s world-renowned cybersecurity talent pool through the opening of a Tel Aviv office. Meanwhile, the Canadian bank is also giving its app an AI boost through a partnership with Kasito.

Israel has established itself as a hotbed of cyber-defence, with Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem all home to vibrant startup scenes.

In a first for a Canadian bank, TD is going where the talent is and setting up a cybersecurity office that will support its technical programmes, research and development and learning curriculum.

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Fintech Startup Yoco Is Making Payments In South Africa Go Mobile


When Katlego Maphai walked into a small barbeque restaurant in San Francisco in 2012, he noticed the lack of credit card facilities but that the eatery was using the newly-launched Square to take payments. “The lightbulbs went off,” the former Delta Partners consultant told me.

Maphai was working for Nigerian e-commerce site Jumia at the time, dealing with the problems of taking payments in a country where e-commerce was still in its early days and was trying find a viable business model.

“I noticed Square for the first time in the [San Francisco] Mission District in 2011 while strolling through an antique store. It was during a visit exactly a year later in 2012, that I saw it proliferate, seeing it in small stores, taxis, etc. An old friend took me to a hole-in-the-wall barbeque eatery run by an African American lady,”

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Taking a mobile-first approach to digital transformation

Information Age

For the better part of ten years, we’ve watched as mobile shifted the business paradigm and brands struggled to keep pace. With so many legacy processes and systems demanding complex integrations, mobile has either been cast aside as too complicated to integrate or approached with a “set-and-forget” mindset. These strategies are doomed for failure as they leave branded apps buried in app stores, unopened, or worse, deleted.

With more organisations now focused on digital transformation as a way to tear down legacy technology approaches, drive efficiencies and build additional revenue streams, the opportunity has never been greater to leverage mobile as a deeply integrated part of business strategy.

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With Snap Accelerate, Snapchat pursues mobile startups that built Facebook’s ad biz

Marketing Land

A newly public company with mounting concerns over the viability of its advertising business, Snapchat in 2017 resembles Facebook in 2012. Now, to address the issue, Snapchat is taking a page from Facebook’s playbook.

Snapchat has rolled out a program to win over the same type of marketer that Facebook relied on to build up its mobile ad business: mobile app developers looking to acquire new users.

Called Snap Accelerate, the program will help mobile startups to advertise on Snapchat by offering them benefits including early access to new ad products as well as credits that can be used to buy ads. A Snapchat spokesperson said the company will not hold participating startups to its usual spending requirements, such as a commitment to spend a certain amount on Snapchat ads over a certain period of time.

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PayPal expands Mastercard deal to boost retail reach

Mobile World Live

Mastercard and PayPal extended an existing US and APAC agreement to cover the rest of the world, a move which will further expand the e-commerce giant’s reach into physical retail stores.

Following the deal, the pair will collaborate in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Canada to increase in-store PayPal acceptance and add a Mastercard payment option into PayPal’s digital channels.

The agreement is the expansion of a deal announced in September, and is similar in scope to one inked earlier this year between PayPal and Visa.

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