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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. Headlines this week include…  Apple abused its dominant position in mobile payments, says EU,  EU’s new rules for Big Tech will come into force in Spring 2023, says Vestager, Cyber-security chiefs warn of malicious app risk and much more…

Apple abused its dominant position in mobile payments, says EU

Telecoms

The European Commission told consumer tech giant Apple that it has formed a ‘preliminary view’ that it abused its dominant position in markets for mobile wallets on iOS devices.

The claim is that Apple limited access to the NFC hardware onboard iPhones to third party app developers, only allowing its own Apple Pay to do so. This restricted competition in the mobile wallet app space and will lead to less innovation and less choice for consumers, it says.

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EU’s new rules for Big Tech will come into force in Spring 2023, says Vestager

Tech Crunch

The European Union’s flagship reform for tackling Big Tech platform power, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), will come into force in early 2023, Commission EVP Margrethe Vestager has said — rowing back from an earlier suggested timeframe of this fall.

But she also implied that enforcements against unruly Internet “gatekeepers” could flow soon after the regulation is in place.

“The DMA will enter into force next spring and we are getting ready for enforcement as soon as the first notifications come in,” Vestager said today in a speech to the International Competition Network conference in Berlin.

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Cyber-security chiefs warn of malicious app risk

BBC

A new report by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned of the threats posed by malicious apps.
While most people will be familiar with apps downloaded on to smartphones, devices from smart TVs to smart speakers now also have them.
The government is consulting on new guidelines on security and privacy for apps and app stores.

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UK adults spend £179bn a year using mobile devices while out of home

Internet Retailing

Even in a year hit by Covid restrictions, British adults splashed £179bn using mobile devices  in 2021 –  representing more than half of all online spending.

Clothes were the highest-value category, with fashion-conscious shoppers using mobile to spend £30 bn on clothing while they were out and about. Food was also very much on our minds while we are on the move with grocery shopping (£29bn) and takeaways (£22bn) seeing the second and third highest m-commerce spend respectively.

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Gucci to accept crypto in leap for luxury industry

Vogue Business

Gucci is tapping into the crypto crowd. The brand will accept cryptocurrency payments in some US stores at the end of this month, and plans to extend the pilot to all of its directly operated North America stores this summer.  The move marks a major validation for the currency from a leading luxury brand.

In-store crypto payments will be made with a link sent via email to the customer; the link contains a QR code that allows them to execute the payment from their crypto wallet.

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Google acquires MicroLED startup Raxium to help boost its AR ambitions

Engadget

Google has purchased a startup called Raxium specializing in MicroLED displays as part of its Devices & Services group, 9to5Google has reported. Raxium is developing what it calls “ultra-compact, low-power, high resolution” displays, so Google may be planning to use it in future augmented or virtual reality devices. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“Today we’re announcing that Google has acquired Raxium, an innovator in single panel MicroLED display technologies,” wrote Google senior VP of Devices & Services, Rick Osterloh in a short blog post. “The team at Raxium has spent five years creating miniaturized, cost-effective and energy efficient high-resolution displays that have laid the foundation for future display technologies.”

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Stripped-down no more: How mobile delivers the full gaming experience

Gamespot

Mobile gaming is one of the industry’s fastest-growing sectors, and it keeps getting bigger. It generated $93.2 billion in 2021, comprising more than half of the gaming market. With mobile gaming on the rise, big publishers are taking notice. Players like Take-Two and Xbox Game Studios have recently made major mobile gaming acquisitions, betting on continued growth.

A significant driver of this growth is that technology is catching up with ambition. LTE had the speed for gaming, but mobile players could run into latency issues that made massively multiplayer games somewhat frustrating and unresponsive.

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NTT Launches IoT Services for Sustainability Offering

The Fast Mode

NTT, a global technology and business solutions provider, announced the launch of its IoT Services for Sustainability offering.

The new end-to-end stack of solutions will help businesses advance progress against global sustainability initiatives and make data-driven decisions to reduce their carbon footprint through the intelligent use of IoT connectivity.

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Apple, Google, and Microsoft team up on passwordless logins

Tech Crunch

In a rare show of alliance, Apple, Google and Microsoft have joined forces to expand support for passwordless logins across mobile, desktop, and browsers.

Passwords are notoriously insecure, with weak and easily-guessable credentials accounting for more than 80% of all data breaches, per Verizon’s annual data breach report. While password managers and multi-factor technologies offer incremental improvements, Apple, Google and Microsoft are working together to create sign-in technology that is more convenient and more secure.

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