Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. Headlines this week include… Over 500 mobile apps are now using the term ‘metaverse’ to attract new users, Meta says Apple’s iOS privacy changes will cost it $10 billion in 2022, Snapchat and Facebook agree that the future of social media looks like TikTok and much more…
A true “metaverse” may not yet exist, but that hasn’t stopped marketers from adopting the buzzword to promote their apps and games on mobile app stores. According to new data shared today by Sensor Tower, there are now 552 mobile apps that include the term “metaverse” in their apps’ titles or descriptions, in hopes of capturing consumer interest in this next evolution of the web. And many of the new additions were added in just the past few months, the firm notes.
Meta has said that privacy changes made by Apple to iOS will end up costing the company $10 billion in 2022. The parent company for Facebook reported mixed Q4 results on Wednesday, with a lower than expected outlook for the first quarter of the year.
Its chief financial officer (CFO) David Wehner said on an earnings call on Wednesday that the social media giant expects its growth to be “negatively impacted” by multiple factors, including supply chain disruptions and cost inflations hitting its advertisers budgets. However, the most significant fear expressed by the CFO was financial “headwinds” resulting from Apple’s iOS changes.
Snapchat invented the Stories format of sharing pictures and videos that disappear. Now the company is indicating, along with Facebook, that the future of social media looks more like TikTok.
In remarks to investors for its quarterly earnings report on Thursday, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said that less time is being spent watching Stories from friends in the app, even though the company had hoped Stories engagement would pick up as pandemic lockdowns eased and people started leaving their houses more. Instead, Snapchat users are increasingly flocking to watch videos on Spotlight, Snapchat’s TikTok rival for viewing viral videos posted by random creators, and its Discover section for premium shows.
There’s a massive opportunity out there for mobile game developers: out of more than 2.8 billion gamers in the world, a full 2.5 billion are playing on their mobile devices, and mobile game spending reached $89.6 billion in 2021[ii]. But concern about privacy has escalated too — 54% of U.S. mobile gamers say they are uncomfortable sharing personal information with game developers. Alongside this, the industry has seen significant regulation to encourage consumer privacy, undermining the effectiveness of traditional mobile game marketing strategies.
BlackBerry is adding another sad chapter to the downfall of its smartphone business. Today, the company announced a sale of its prized patent portfolio for $600 million. The buyer is “Catapult IP Innovations Inc.,” a new company BlackBerry describes as “a special purpose vehicle formed to acquire the BlackBerry patent assets.”
BlackBerry says the patents are for “mobile devices, messaging and wireless networking.” These are the patents surrounding BlackBerry’s phones, QWERTY keyboards, and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). BlackBerry most recently weaponized these patents (which covered ideas like muting a message thread and displaying notifications as a numeric icon badge) against Facebook Messenger in 2018. That was nothing new for BlackBerry, which is a veteran of the original smartphone patent wars. Back when BlackBerry was still called RIM, it went after companies like Handspring and Good Technology in the early 2000s.
Riding on strong performance in its chipset and licensing business, chip-maker Qualcomm has reported a record revenue of $10.7 billion in its December quarter of 2021.
According to Cristiano Amon, President and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated, the chipset business had its second consecutive quarter of record performance with $8.8 billion in revenue. “We are at the beginning of one of the largest opportunities in our history, with our addressable market expanding by more than seven times to approximately $700 billion in the next decade,” Amon said in a statement late on Wednesday.
In Internet of Things (IoT), Qualcomm continues to see strong momentum with revenue growth of 41 per cent (year over year) across consumer, edge networking, and industrial.
The video gaming market was always dominated by consoles and PCs and even arcades from decades ago. Mobile gaming arrived much more recently but has since changed the gaming landscape forever. Fast forward to now, and over 6 billion people own a smartphone, making it no surprise that mobile gaming today has a market share of around 53%, generating over $90 billion in revenue last year.
The figures come from a report by gaming industry analyst Newzoo (via Android Authority), which highlights that mobile gaming is not only larger than consoles and PCs combined but is also the fastest-growing segment.
As of December 2020, approximately two-thirds of total global mobile money transactions were driven by users in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with a transaction value of 490 billion USD. The region recorded roughly 548 million registered mobile money accounts in 2020, with 159 million of these registrations identified as active accounts. Mobile money has been touted as a revolutionary tool for expanding access to financial services in low resource environments. With just a mobile phone, users are able to quickly transfer money at low cost and, typically, without needing access to an existing banking account.
New Delhi: India is on course to beat its electronic goods exports record by a fair 30 per cent this fiscal, driven by strong mobile phones trade. This number could even have been as high as 40 per cent, if not for the global semiconductor shortage and other persisting logistical issues.
Data shows a record-high for the sector is certainly on the cards in 2021-22 as industry leaders expect it to touch Rs 1.12 lakh crore ($15 billion) in value, up from the previous record of Rs 88,000 crore ($11.7 billion) two years ago.
Microsoft has framed its $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard as a bid for the metaverse, with Xbox CEO Phil Spencer talking up the company’s plans to lean into its newfound bounty of gaming IP.
Perhaps more practically, however, the acquisition could pave the way for advertising dollars. Activision Blizzard comes with its own internal in-game advertising firm, Activision Blizzard Media, meaning Microsoft is now equipped with both a bevy of virtual worlds and the tools to help brands activate inside them.