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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. Headlines this week include… Facebook’s ‘meta-existential’ pivot for survival, Spotlight on Zynga’s ad business as Apple’s privacy update stings, Apple ecosystem challenges: Epic v. Apple, IDFA, privacy, and payments and much more…

Facebook’s ‘meta-existential’ pivot for survival

Tech Crunch

Facebook is in the fight for its life, but it won’t be the regulatory pressure that will kill it. Zuckerberg is leaning heavily on “metaverse” as a lifeboat to save a declining user base. He has long known that the future of Facebook is rooted in owning a major hardware platform.

Facebook’s brand pivot to “Meta” last week week is the third inning of a multibillion dollar game of balance sheet roulette. Let’s see if consumers adopt and make it a reality — all of Meta/Facebook is at stake.

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Spotlight on Zynga’s ad business as Apple’s privacy update stings

Reuters

Zynga Inc’s ad revenue will be in focus when the company reports results on Monday, as investors track the impact of recent changes in Apple’s privacy policy on the “FarmVille” maker’s ability to target ads and attract gamers.

Apple Inc launched its privacy update in April, making it hard for third-play apps to track iPhone users without their consent and leading to warnings from several social media firms, including Meta Platforms Inc and Snap Inc .  “Companies that rely on in-game advertising for most of their revenue are more exposed to the risk of Apple’s privacy changes,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games research at Ampere Analysis.

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Apple ecosystem challenges: Epic v. Apple, IDFA, privacy, and payments

VentureBeat

Apple has one of the world’s biggest gaming ecosystems with $47 billion of spending in 2020, according to measurement firm Sensor Tower. And while it doesn’t have a game business, its share of gaming revenues thanks to its 30% take was $14.7 billion last year.

That’s one of the reasons Epic Games sued Apple for antitrust reasons. Add to that controversies around the Identifier for Advertising (IDFA) and alternative payments and it has presented a challenging platform for game companies to navigate.

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Mobile banking boom presents new risk, security concerns

SC Media

Already on the rise, mobile-based financial services have spiked in the past 18 months due to the COVID-19-related lockdowns and service limitations.

For U.S. financial service institutions, this trend is a mixed blessing: Out of necessity, tech laggard financial customers have finally come to embrace digital financial access, which is a more efficient channel for banks, investment firms and other providers to support. According to a recent survey from the American Bankers Association (ABA), the percentage of U.S. bank customers conducting mobile banking jumped from one-third of consumers (33%) before the pandemic to 44% using mobile banking services now. (Meanwhile, banking at branches, already on the downslide, has decreased an additional 10% in the past 18 months.)

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How cellular IoT can advance the micromobility market

Smart Cities World

The uptake of cellular internet of things (IoT) is offering new value to a sector that has struggled with profitability issues, worsened by Covid-19, in the shape of improved fleet lifespan, and better managed logistics, a new study finds.

According to Connected Micromobility, released by Ericsson, if cellular IoT is leveraged, operators can also accurately implement dynamic pricing with asset tracking, optimise more cost-efficient service diagnostics and logistics as well as extend the lifespan of their fleets.

Four types of ad experiences were found to be least preferred by consumers and beneath the Better Ads Standard for mobile in-app environments. These were Interruptive Interstitials; Interruptive Video Interstitials; Non-Skippable Interruptive Video Interstitials; and Video Interstitials When Opening an App.

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TikTok ventures into mobile gaming, initially in partnership with Zynga

Tech Crunch

TikTok is experimenting with games, initially in partnership with mobile gaming giant Zynga. On Monday, Zynga announced its plans to launch a new HTML5-based game, “Disco Loco 3D,” exclusively on the TikTok platform. The casual game is a single-player endless runner where players collect their own dance moves while challenging friends, avoiding obstacles and collecting medallions as they walk down a catwalk, similar in spirit to Zynga’s “High Heels.” While TikTok says the game is meant to test its audience’s general interest in gaming within its app, the company confirmed that discussions with other game makers are already underway.

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Boom time for mobile app startups in Tanzania

African Business

Tanzania is fast realising the potential of fintech solutions for its unbanked population, and is putting in place drastic measures to make the playing field favourable for both domestic and foreign investors.

The Bank of Tanzania, the country’s central bank, provided a conducive regulatory environment for engagement with stakeholders with the bulk of the content coming from local players.

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Samsung’s new DRAM expected to power future mobile devices and metaverse

Tech Radar

Memory technology leader Samsung has announced that it has developed 14-nanometer (nm) based 16-gigabit (Gb) Low Power Double Data Rate 5X (LPDDR5X) DRAM, which it claimed is an industry-first, and is expected to come in handy for use in smart phones and mobile devices.

The new DRAM is also expected to help in high-speed data service applications including 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and the metaverse.

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Central African countries agree to scrap mobile roaming charges

News Ghana

Telecommunications ministers from Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday eliminating roaming tariffs in the sub-region.

“This signing means that when you travel around CEMAC, you will no longer need to change your mobile operator and cost will be the same. It aims to reduce roaming charges for voice and mobile data services in the region, harmonize the tariff schedules for voice, short messages and mobile data services,” Cameroon’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Minette Libom Li Likeng told reporters after the agreement was inked in the country’s commercial hub of Douala.

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