Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. Headlines this week include… CMA plans market investigation into mobile browsers and cloud gaming, Apps violate kids’ privacy on a massive scale, Meta has stopped developing its Apple Watch rival and much more…
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is consulting on the launch of a market investigation into Apple and Google’s market power in mobile browsers and Apple’s restrictions on cloud gaming through its App Store. In parallel, it is also taking enforcement action against Google in relation to its app store payment practices.
This follows a year-long study of the companies’ mobile ecosystems, the final report of which has been published today. The study found that Apple and Google have an effective duopoly on mobile ecosystems that allows them to exercise a stranglehold over these markets, which include operating systems, app stores and web browsers on mobile devices.
Imagine if a stranger parked in front of a child’s bedroom window to peep inside. You’d call the police.
Yet that happens every day online, and Big Tech looks the other way. Apps are spying on our kids at a scale that should shock you. More than two-thirds of the 1,000 most popular iPhone apps likely to be used by children collect and send their personal information out to the advertising industry, according to a major new study shared with me by fraud and compliance software company Pixalate. On Android, 79 percent of popular kids apps do the same.
Development of a Meta smartwatch is on pause, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing an anonymous “person with knowledge of the matter.”
Facebook’s parent company never confirmed it was making a smartwatch to rival the Apple Watch and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch. It also declined to comment on Bloomberg’s story. However, Bloomberg claimed that Meta has been working on a smartwatch, codenamed Milan, “for at least two years.”
The publication said Meta was aiming to release its smartwatch next spring for about $350, but workers “were told this week that the device is no longer on track for production.”
In Nigeria, cash is king.
However, the digital payments industry is on the rise, and two of Africa’s telco (telecommunication) giants, MTN Nigeria, and Airtel Africa are now positioning themselves as key players. MTN Nigeria is the Nigerian division of the MTN Group, a South African multinational company and Africa’s largest mobile telecommunications operator.
It’s 2022 and your mobile carrier might be going crypto.
There is a growing movement around building crypto-incentivized peer-to-peer mobile networks.
“What if we put Bitcoin mining in IOT hotspots to provide coverage?” a Helium engineer asked half a decade ago. As of June 2022, Helium now has 845,000+ hotspots around the globe providing data coverage in 63,000+ cities. Originally founded in 2013 with the goal of building a decentralized on-ramp to the internet, Helium launched its own blockchain and HNT token in August 2019.
What exactly is the metaverse? Is it a fully immersive, parallel, digital 3D world in which we live, play and work? Or is it a series of interconnected virtual experiences which we seamlessly navigate with our portable digital avatars and accessories? The exact nature of the metaverse is not yet entirely clear, nor is the degree to which it already exists today.
While there still may not be an exact definition of the metaverse, there’s no denying the presence that it will increasingly have in all aspects of life. In fact, Gartner expects that by 2026, “25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, social media and/or entertainment.”
New research conducted by embedded finance provider YouLend and payment service provider Dojo has revealed a significant trend when it comes to the way businesses are operating: they are ditching cash payments.
In fact, only 5% of businesses in the UK only accept cash today, according to the data, published in a new white paper: Less Cash, More Possibility
The research indicates that the primary driver is a proliferation in mobile payments. Already, almost half (48%) of businesses have adopted digital payment methods – with female-owned businesses taking the lead, at a 51% adoption rate, relative to 42% for male-owned businesses.
Despite feeling reasonably well prepared for Apple’s privacy changes (53% fairly, 15% very), the majority (55%) of mobile advertisers say that mobile advertising became more difficult in 2021, according to the report from Tenjin and Growth FullStack. As per the report, this had a considerable negative impact on advertisers’ revenues – the median estimated revenue loss due to Apple’s privacy changes was 39%.
The mobile games industry is arguably one of the fastest-growing industries in the Middle East and North Africa. There has been a rise in the number of mobile gamers in recent years, which leapt further after the global pandemic struck in 2020.
It was one of the few industries that actually boomed as a result of lockdown restrictions. The health crisis accelerated the growth of the industry and has prompted investors to take a closer look at MENA mobile games companies.
Internet of Things (IoT), from a top-level standpoint, refers to a network of physical devices such as embedded sensors, driverless vehicles, smartphones/tablets, wearables, or home appliances, that create and share information without human intervention.
Even though there is currently a strong drive towards IoT and digitization, the concept has been around for the last 10 years at least, with interconnected devices and applications prevalent in industry and consumables.
What has recently changed is the augmented capabilities of said devices, faster comms networks, the standardisation of communication protocols and more affordable IT, which is giving the IoT phenomena a turbocharge.