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We take a weekly look at mobile and tech stories from around the world. Headlines include… Google researchers report critical zero-days in Chrome and all Apple OSes, TikTok ban in Montana blocked by US judge over free speech rights,  Smartphone sales to rebound on AI gains, Morgan Stanley says and much more…

Google researchers report critical zero-days in Chrome and all Apple OSes

Ars Technica

Researchers in Google’s Threat Analysis Group have been as busy as ever, with discoveries that have led to the disclosure of three high-severity zero-day vulnerabilities under active exploitation in Apple OSes and the Chrome browser in the span of 48 hours.

Apple on Thursday said it was releasing security updates fixing two vulnerabilities present in iOS, macOS, and iPadOS. Both of them reside in WebKit, the engine that drives Safari and a wide range of other apps, including Apple Mail, the App Store, and all browsers running on iPhones and iPads. While the update applies to all supported versions of Apple OSes, Thursday’s disclosure suggested in-the-wild attacks exploiting the vulnerabilities targeted earlier versions of iOS.

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TikTok ban in Montana blocked by US judge over free speech rights


Apple has announced it will adopt the rich communication services messaging standard for all iPhones in a surprise move. The iPhone maker says RCS will arrive at some point in 2024 as part of a software update, indicating it could be here within months.

It comes after years of Apple refusing to bow to pressure to adopt the messaging standard, which allows iPhone users to message Android users seamlessly and is far more secure than SMS.

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Smartphone sales to rebound on AI gains, Morgan Stanley says

Tech Crunch

Smartphone sales will mount a comeback starting in 2024, defying growing warnings of a prolonged slump across the mobile sector, according to separate projections by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley reviewed by TechCrunch.

Morgan Stanley’s report predicts global smartphone shipments will rebound by nearly 4% in 2024 and by 4.4% in 2025, shrugging off comparisons to the PC industry’s multi-year downdrafts.

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New research reveals privacy and security threats in smart homes

Hidden Wires

Retailers are leveraging innovative solutions, such as biometrics, to enhance convenience, security and personalized services in their day-to-day business.

Biometrics systems are gaining popularity as an authentication method for more and more digital tasks, including retail purchases. Retailers can offer customers a seamless shopping experience by using facial recognition or fingerprints. In a context of economic uncertainty and high promotional intensity, such as the upcoming holiday season, this can be a differentiating factor.

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Has mobile money had its day in Africa?

Developing Telecoms

Mobile money is one of the great success stories in Africa – or at least, this is the popular narrative around the technology. In this two-part series of Features, we will examine mobile money’s impact in Africa, and the extent to which it really has revolutionised financial inclusion in the continent.

With services becoming available in African markets in the late 00s, mobile money was touted as a revolution that would use widespread yet simple technology to boost financial inclusion and transform economies. In particular, Safaricom’s M-Pesa launched in 2007 and was booming by 2012, with rapid adoption and growth.

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Xbox exploring launching its own mobile gaming store, Phil Spencer reveals

Tech Radar

Phil Spencer, Microsoft Gaming CEO, has revealed that Xbox is currently in talks with partners to explore the idea of launching its own mobile gaming store to make the company “strong across many screens.”

Bloomberg reports that in an interview at the CCXP convention in Sao Paulo this week, Spencer said: “It’s [mobile gaming] an important part of our strategy and something we are actively working on today not only alone but talking to other partners who’d also like to see more choice for how they can monetize on the phone.”

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Microsoft pledges £2.5B to boost UK AI infrastructure

Mobile World Live

Microsoft committed to invest £2.5 billion in the UK over the next three years to expand its AI data centre footprint, a boost to the country’s ambitions to become a leader in growing and developing the technology.

The UK government stated Microsoft would more than double its current data centre footprint in addition to training more than 1 million people for the AI economy.

Microsoft aims to bring more than 20,000 of the most advanced GPUs crucial for machine learning and development of AI models to the UK by 2026.

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Broadband IoT more-massive than ‘massive’ IoT – way less than short-range IoT

RCR Wireless News

The total number of cellular IoT connections will reach around three billion at the end of 2023, reckons Ericsson, with most, and the increasing majority, connected on so-called ‘broadband’ cellular IoT technologies LTE (4G) and 5G. The arrival of reduced-capability (RedCap) 5G through 2024/5 will further boost this ‘broadband’ segment, said the Swedish vendor.

The twin narrow(er)-band IoT technologies NB-IoT and LTE-M (Cat-M) will continue to take share from legacy 2G and 3G, but will remain off the pace set by LTE and 5G – the mainstays also of the mobile industry’s private networking push.

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