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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. Stories this week include… ChatGPT sets record for fastest-growing user base in history,  FTC fines drug discount app for sharing user information to Facebook and Google, how smartphones can shape the retail buying experience and much more…

ChatGPT sets record for fastest-growing user base in history, report says

Ars Technica

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that AI bot ChatGPT reached an estimated 100 million active monthly users last month, a mere two months from launch, making it the “fastest-growing consumer application in history,” according to a UBS investment bank research note. In comparison, TikTok took nine months to reach 100 million monthly users, and Instagram about 2.5 years, according to UBS researcher Lloyd Walmsley.

“In 20 years following the Internet space, we cannot recall a faster ramp in a consumer internet app,” Reuters quotes Walmsley as writing in the UBS note.

Reuters says the UBS data comes from analytics firm Similar Web, which states that around 13 million unique visitors used ChatGPT every day in January, doubling the number of users in December.

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India’s retail giant Reliance to accept CBDC at stores

Tech Crunch

Reliance Retail, India’s largest retail chain, will start accepting retail payments in digital rupee in a move that could supercharge the adoption of the country’s recently launched CBDC.

The Mukesh Ambani-led firm said it has partnered with ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and fintech Innoviti Technologies to launch the in-store support for digital rupee. Customers who wish to pay with the country’s CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency), called e₹-R, will be provided with a dynamic digital rupee acceptance QR code for scanning at the store, the retail giant said Thursday.

Reliance Retail, part of the Indian conglomerate Reliance, said it has rolled out the support for CBDC at its gourmet store line Freshpik and will extend the feature across all its properties eventually. Thursday’s move makes Reliance the largest Indian firm to adopt the digital rupee.

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FTC fines drug discount app for sharing user information to Facebook and Google


The Federal Trade Commission has slapped prescription drug discount app GoodRx with a $1.5 million fine for the unauthorized disclosure of customers’ identifiable health information with third parties, such as Facebook and Google. This is the first time the agency has taken enforcement action under its Health Breach Notification Rule, which requires vendors of personal health records to notify customers if their data has been breached. While the rule has applied to companies handling health records since 2009, FTC commissioners voted in favor of expanding it to cover health apps in 2021.

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How smartphones can shape the retail buying experience

Retail Customer Experience

When it comes to the current state of retail sales, a particular Bob Dylan song describes it best: The times, they are a-changin.

That’s because buyer expectations have evolved following pandemic-driven shifts to digital-centric environments. Advancements in e-commerce proliferation have fused new levels of personalization and convenience into the buyer’s journey. Above all, your customers and prospects increasingly expect a seamless end-to-end purchasing experience optimized to their device of choice: the smartphone.

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Easy to Use, Mobile Payment Apps Are Also Easy to Misuse

New York Times

The use of mobile payment services has surged — along with worries about financial risks.

Services like Venmo and Zelle let people pay others or receive payments almost instantly, with a few taps on their phone. To use them, you typically download the app and link it to a bank account or credit card. Well over half of Americans use the payment tools, according to a 2022 survey by Consumer Reports.

But while they’re fast and easy, the apps can have serious drawbacks. Users can lose money if they accidentally pay the wrong person, mis-type a dollar amount or succumb to a fraud or a scam that tricked them into making a payment. About a quarter of bank customers in an October survey by J.D. Power said they or a close relative had experienced fraud via a peer-to-peer service. And according to Consumer Reports, 12 percent of frequent payment app users reported sending money to the wrong person.

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eSIM-only iPhones are an Opportunity for Mobile Operators, if They Accept the Mindset Shift

The Fast Mode

If you’re still thinking about eSIM as a side hustle, it’s time to change your focus.

Whether it’s for wearables, IoT, or other edge use cases, most mobile operators have a way to offer their network via embedded SIM (eSIM), rather than traditional plastic SIM cards. However, until now – it hasn’t been the main event.

Tim Cook’s announcement that the iPhone will be eSIM-only in the USA should have operators rethinking their priorities, as eSIM is about to become the major way to deliver service to your consumers.

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Tech layoffs: PayPal cuts 2,000 jobs as global economy weakens


PayPal is shedding around 2,000 jobs, or 7% of its workers, as it becomes the latest big tech firm to cut costs.
The online payments company says it was forced to make the decision as it faces “the challenging macro-economic environment.”
PayPal’s announcement follows tens of thousands of layoffs by technology giants in the last month alone.
This year, Google’s parent company Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft have announced major job cuts.

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Mobile is the dominant platform for accessing media and IP

Pocket Gamer 

A new report by Newzoo examines media engagement, and has found that 60 percent of all engagement with media platforms occurs on mobile devices.

84 percent of respondents play video games or spend time in virtual worlds, for an average of 11.80 hours per week and a total combined playtime of 1.8 billion hours. This makes mobile gaming the fourth most popular form of media engagement, behind radio, podcasts and music apps (87 percent), broadcast TV and subscription services (94 percent), and social media and video-sharing platforms (96 percent).

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Chile: Mobile data usage grew 33% nationwide during 2022

BN Americas

The past year was marked by the gradual “return to normality”, with face-to-face classes and work, in addition to the return to massive festivals without capacity and the end of the mask.

Regarding technology, 2022 stood out for the deployment of the 5G network, where Entel reached 100% of its first stage before the first year and managed to be present in all regions and in 270 communes and with more than one million customers. enabled to use this new technology.

What has not changed is the trend of mobile phone users across the country in terms of increasing use of their cell phones and devices that traffic data.

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