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

This week..  Apple unveils new iPhone XS, moves the iPhone away from physical SIMs, 10 critical points from Zuckerberg’s security manifesto, mobile fraud reaches new high in 2018, New Mexico sues mobile app makers over kid privacy concerns and much more.

Apple iPhone XS unveiled alongside fall-detecting Watch


Apple has updated its iPhone X handset with three more powerful models, two of which are larger than before.

The iPhone XS Max has a 6.5in (16.5cm) display. The iPhone XS has the same 5.8in-sized component as the original. The iPhone XR’s screen is 6.1in but is lower quality.

A new smartwatch was also launched with an added fall-detection function.

There had been concerns that the relatively high £999 entry price of iPhone X would limit its appeal.

But Apple said it had consistently proven more popular than either of the lower-priced iPhone 8 models. Market research firms suggest it also outsold rival companies’ flagship devices.

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Hello eSIM: Apple moves the iPhone away from physical SIMs

Ars Technica

On Wednesday, Apple announced that its new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will use an eSIM—a purely electronic SIM that allows users to maintain a secondary phone line in a single device. That line could be a secondary domestic line (say you’re a journalist and don’t want to have separate personal and work iPhones) or could have an American and Canadian number (if you travel across the border frequently).

These handsets will have a new “dual SIM dual standby” option, one of which will be a nano SIM. In other words, they will have two distinct phone numbers. (Chinese models will have two SIM slots instead of the eSIM option.)

Since their debut in 1991, traditional, physical SIM cards have decreased dramatically in size. eSIMs have already been around for nearly a year, since they were introduced into the Apple Watch and Google Pixel 2, among other devices.

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10 critical points from Zuckerberg’s epic security manifesto

Tech Crunch

Mark Zuckerberg wants you to know he’s trying his damnedest to fix Facebook before it breaks democracy. Tonight he posted a 3,260-word battle plan for fighting election interference. Amidst drilling through Facebook’s strategy and progress, he slips in several notable passages revealing his own philosophy.

Zuckerberg has cast off his premature skepticism and is ready to command the troops. He sees Facebook’s  real identity policy as a powerful weapon for truth other social networks lack, but that would be weakened if Instagram and WhatsApp were split off by regulators. He’s done with the finger-pointing and wants everyone to work together on solutions. And he’s adopted a touch of cynicism that could open his eyes and help him predict how people will misuse his creation.

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Mobile fraud reaches new high in 2018


During the first half of 2018, mobile fraud reached 150m global attacks as cybercriminals followed consumers shift from desktop to mobile transactions according to new research from ThreatMetrix.

The firm’s findings come from analysis of the 17.6bn digital transactions on its Digital Identity Network during the first half of this year. During the last three years, the proportion of mobile transactions versus desktop has almost tripled and cybercriminals have taken notice of this shift.

Mobile fraud rates have tended to lag behind the channel’s overall growth but during the first half of 2018, mobile attack rates rose by 24 per cent when compared to the first half of 2017. In the US, these attacks experienced an even higher growth rate of 44 per cent during the same period.

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Industry waits for app stores to support mobile in-app ads.txt

Digiday UK

The anti-fraud measure ads.txt has gained widespread adoption, thanks in part to Google waving its big stick. The irony is that ads.txt is missing from mobile apps, where it hasn’t gotten the same support from Google’s and the other tech giants’ app stores.

The web version of ads.txt sped ahead with its release in June 2017, but the mobile version has been poking along by comparison, slowed by the uncertainty of whether app stores will support the initiative. IAB Tech Lab introduced the draft version of ads.txt for mobile in-app ads in June, and it’s unclear when the final version will be ready. Members of IAB Tech Lab’s OpenRTB working group, which oversees ads.txt, thought ads.txt for mobile in-app ads would have been released by the end of September, said Sergio Serra, product manager for programmatic at mobile ad tech firm InMobi and member of the working group.

“There are very large and powerful middlemen responsible for distributing apps at scale. They need to be part of the conversation,” said Eyal Ebel, svp of programmatic revenue at Univision and Fusion Media Group.

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New Mexico sues mobile app makers over kid privacy concerns

ABC News

New Mexico is suing Google, Twitter and other companies that develop and market mobile gaming apps for children, saying the apps violate state and federal laws by collecting personal information that could compromise privacy.

The lawsuit filed in federal court late Tuesday comes as data-sharing concerns persist among users.

Social media giant Facebook just weeks ago pulled one of its own apps over possible privacy intrusions and a recent Associated Press investigation revealed that several Google apps and websites store user location even if users have turned off location history.

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Mobile broadband users will hit 4.4B by the end of 2018, says ITU

Tech Crunch

The gap between those who are able to go online and those who can’t continues to shrink globally, thanks to the boost from smartphones and wireless networks and an effort to bring down the cost of services in the least developed markets.

According to a new report published today by the International Telecommuncation Union, the United Nations agency that oversees communications standards, teledensity and connectivity initiatives — there will be 4.4 billion mobile broadband users globally by the end of this year, a rise of 1.1 billion since it last measured figures three years ago.

Here’s the full overview of how mobile and fixed broadband use have evolved over the last three years, and looking to develop over the next three:

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Smaato: Europe’s privacy law changed ad-buying behavior in mobile publishing


Europe’s GDPR privacy law significantly altered prices and demand for different types of mobile ads in the first half of 2018, according to a report by Smaato, a real-time advertising platform for mobile publishers and app developers.

The San Francisco company analyzed trillions of ad requests and impressions on its platform in the first half of 2018 and found that spending on privacy-compliant ad impressions increased 6.5 times from when Europe’s new regulation went into effect on May 25 to June 30. That changed happened as more in-app publishers offered privacy-compliant ad inventory. Smaato added that mobile ad prices increased 17 percent globally for non-targeted impressions, the result of targeted impressions rapidly decreasing as publishers sought to limit their exposure to regulatory scrutiny.

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The Next Billion Users: Google Targets India’s Mobile Market


As mobile markets in developed world near saturation, Google rolls out Neighbourly, its first Indian-inspired social network.

To check Instagram at home, Laveena must stand on the edge of her terrace, arm outstretched, hoping the signal is strong enough for her phone to blink to life.

A few times a day, she grudgingly shares her phone with her little brother, so he can speak to his friends on the WhatsApp account they share.

Like most Indians, the university student from Jaipur, in Rajasthan state, frequently runs out of storage on her phone.

As Laveena explains these challenges, a team from Google is sitting in her living room scribbling notes. To the world’s largest technology companies, the digital habits of a 22-year old Indian woman matter more than ever.

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Mobile drives 60% of e-commerce traffic: Salesforce

Market Watch

According to data provided by customer relationship management company Inc. CRM, +0.24% 60% of all e-commerce traffic is on mobile devices.

Moreover, 71% of shoppers use mobile devices in-store to read reviews, make purchases and other behaviors. “Mobile has done more than simply disrupt digital sales – it has changed in-store behavior,” the Salesforce report says. Salesforce collected data from shoppers around the globe, including a survey of 6,000 people in six countries, as well as mystery shopping visits to more than 70 stores for its most recent report.

The Shopper-First Retailing report was completed with Publicis.Sapient, the digital hub of Publicis Groupe.

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