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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. Headlines this week include…  Facebook’s six-hour outage costs an estimated $79m in ad revenue loss, Apple and Google under antitrust scrutiny in Japan for mobile OS, Android executive offers to help Apple deploy RCS messaging and much more…

Facebook’s six-hour outage costs an estimated $79m in ad revenue loss

The Drum

Facebook is counting the cost of an unprecedented outage that took it and sister products Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp offline in a global failure.

Believed to be the most severe failure in the company’s history, the crash has hit advertisers hard.

A rough calculation provided by fact-checking website Snopes suggests that the social media giant hemorrhaged $79m in ad revenue during six hours of downtime – though this is caveated by some assumptions on the consistency of spend.

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For millions, the WhatsApp outage could have been a matter of life and death

Guardian

Regulators in the US, UK and the EU are gearing up to probe Facebook over anticompetitive practices, its impact on the mental health of children and its destabilising impact on democracies.

As these investigations begin, we should think of the 4 October global outage as a warning of the dangers that come with piling the lifelines and livelihoods of millions of vulnerable people into a single behemoth.

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Apple and Google under antitrust scrutiny in Japan for mobile OS

Nikkei Asia

TOKYO — Japan’s Fair Trade Commission will investigate whether Apple and Google are leveraging their dominance in the smartphone operating system market to eliminate competition and severely limit options for consumers.

The study will involve interviews and surveys with OS operators, app developers and smartphone users, commission Secretary-General Shuichi Sugahisa told reporters Wednesday. The initiative will explore market conditions not only for smartphones, but for smartwatches and other wearables.

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Android executive offers to help Apple deploy RCS messaging

Apple Insider

A Google SVP in a tweet Thursday extended an “open invitation” to assist Apple should it choose to support Rich Communication Services (RCS), which is primed to succeed SMS as the next mobile-to-mobile text standard.

Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google SVP of platforms and ecosystems, did not mention Apple by name in the tweet, but alluded to the tech giant as “the folks” who can put an end to broken group chats involving iOS and Android users.

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Brazil’s Central Bank Built a Mobile Payment System With 110 Million Users

Bloomberg

On a Sunday afternoon at a busy intersection in central Brasília, a woman asks passing motorists for money. Her cardboard sign, written in marker in Portuguese, reads: “Need help. Hungry. I accept Pix.”

Pix, a system which allows fast money transfers over smartphones, has become ubiquitous in the 11 months since it was launched by Brazil’s central bank. All that’s needed to send cash to someone is a simple key they’ve set up, such as an email address or phone number. Similar to the privately owned Zelle in the U.S., Pix works through multiple apps from banks and other digital wallet services. It’s already been used at least once by 110 million Brazilians and about $89 billion has moved through the network.

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Twitter sells advertising unit MoPub for $1B

Mobile World Live

Twitter agreed to sell its mobile advertising unit MoPub to gaming company AppLovin for $1.05 billion, as the social media giant looks to shift focus towards speedy development of core products.

Twitter explained the deal will help it accelerate the development of new services and bring growth in key areas including performance-based advertising, small and medium-sized business offerings, as well as commerce initiatives.

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IoT device managers are sticking with 4G with only 9% planning a move to 5G

Tech Republic

IoT decision makers are still not sold on the promise of 5G, according to a new report from IDC. Companies also are concerned about managing the costs of cellular IoT and having enough developer tools and APIs to support these projects.

The survey also found that 75% of IoT devices using cellular connections are stationary. Stacy Crook, research director, Internet of Things at IDC, analyzed the survey results and wrote the report, “Streamlining Connectivity Management for Cellular IoT Success.”

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An Indian state is testing online voting based on blockchain technology

Quartz

A small segment of the world’s largest democracy is set to test a whole new way of exercising its electoral franchise: through a smartphone app.

On Oct. 20, nearly 113,000 voters of Khammam, a district in India’s newest state, will take part in a dry run for the country’s first smartphone-based e-voting exercise organised by the Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC). The polling body is using artificial intelligence and blockchain ledger technology for its experiment.

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Millennials game on mobile phones more than anything else, report says

Venture Beat

Mobile research firm Tapjoy have released a new report that gives insight into how millennials game. According to their findings, that generation is one of the biggest consumers of mobile games, and they play on mobile more than on any other platform.

The report is part of a series called the Modern Mobile Gamer. Tapjoy has released several versions of this report, focused on parents and Gen Z. The latest report is focused on gamers born between the years 1981 and 1996.

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