We take a weekly look at mobile and tech stories from around the world. Headlines include… Apple announces sweeping EU App Store policy changes—including sideloading, AI Powers User Acquisition—And Mobile Game Publishers Have The Edge, US poised for progress towards biometrics-backed digital ID in 2024 and much more…
To comply with European Union regulations, Apple is introducing significant changes to make iOS and other operating systems more open. These changes, part of iOS 17.4 expected in March, include new APIs and tools enabling developers to offer their iOS apps for download from alternative app marketplaces. Additionally, a new framework and APIs will allow third parties to set up and manage their own stores, essentially creating new types of apps capable of downloading other apps without going through the App Store. This shift aims to align with EU regulations and introduces greater flexibility for developers and users within the Apple ecosystem.
Privacy changes from Apple and Google, limiting the supply of granular user data, have led mobile game publishers to rethink user acquisition (UA) strategies that have traditionally relied on abundant and actionable data. The shift in the mobile app ecosystem has prompted nearly 60% of app marketers to pursue more aggressive key performance indicator (KPI) targets compared to a year ago, according to the 2024 App Marketer Survey by mobile marketing platform Liftoff. However, the challenge lies in framing goals and assessing success without access to the same level of data. The survey found that 71% of marketers believed having more data would have improved decision-making, and 62% noted that their campaigns were less successful due to the data limitations.
In 2024, a growing number of Americans are expected to use digital IDs and biometric verification for faster passage through airport checkpoints. State agencies responsible for issuing identity credentials, such as driver’s licenses, are increasingly working to make digital IDs, in the form of mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs), available to residents. Collaborations with federal officials aim to provide Americans with a quicker option for security checks and flight boarding. This shift towards digital IDs is anticipated to reframe how air travelers perceive technology, bringing informed users into the popular dialogue about establishing trust through biometric verification and digital identification methods.
The transition to 5G Standalone (5G SA) is considered the real evolution of 5G, according to Kester Mann, Director for Consumer and Connectivity at CCS Insight. When 5G was commercially launched in 2019, the initial networks were 5G Non-Standalone (5G-NSA), designed to be deployed on existing 4G LTE networks. However, the industry is now shifting towards 5G SA, which is seen as the true realization of 5G with its independent architecture. 5G SA promises enhanced capabilities, lower latency, and greater capacity, marking a significant step forward in the evolution of 5G networks.
Moving From Hype to Hard-Headed Engineering and Opening the Door to the Next Generation of Telecoms Professionals
As the UK marks 21 years since the launch of 3G, 2024 is expected to witness the decommissioning of 3G by the majority of mobile network operators (MNOs) in the country. The telecoms ecosystem has undergone significant evolution over the years, transitioning from MNO-led innovation to a collaborative model involving various tech organizations, standards bodies, hyperscalers, vendors, and connectivity providers. The introduction of 4G and 5G has further transformed connectivity, and the industry is witnessing increased collaboration to bring innovative products and services to market. In 2024, the collaborative approach is expected to persist as the industry focuses on developing cutting-edge solutions for both consumers and enterprises, navigating the complexities of innovation while meeting the demands of an evolving market.
OPPO and Nokia have reached a global patent cross-license agreement, settling their legal dispute over the alleged unauthorized use of unlicensed 5G patents by OPPO. The agreement encompasses standard-essential patents in 5G and other cellular communication technologies. As a result, all pending litigation in various jurisdictions will be resolved, with the specific terms of the agreement remaining confidential. Feng Ying, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at OPPO, expressed satisfaction with the agreement, highlighting the inclusion of cross-licensing for 5G standard-essential patents.
Funded by the Scottish Government, CENSIS and the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government have developed a series of technology blueprints to assist local authorities in Scotland in harnessing the potential of internet of things (IoT) technologies. These blueprints aim to showcase successful examples of technology applications in Scotland, providing insights into the opportunities and challenges associated with implementing new connected technologies. The initiative seeks to enhance efficiency and improve the delivery of public services through the strategic adoption of IoT technologies by local councils.
Krutrim, an AI startup founded by Bhavish Aggarwal, the founder of Ola, has raised funding that values the company at $1 billion. The startup, founded in 2021, claims to be the fastest to achieve unicorn status in India and the first Indian AI startup to reach this milestone. Matrix Partners India led the $50 million funding round, marking the startup’s “first round” of financing. Krutrim is focused on building a large language model trained on local Indian languages, and it aims to launch a voice-enabled conversational AI assistant capable of understanding and speaking multiple Indian languages.
Global financial transactions are experiencing unprecedented growth, with cross-border payment flows reaching $150 trillion in 2022, marking a 13% year-on-year increase. This surge is attributed to technological advancements and the increasing interconnectedness of markets. Fintech startups and scale-ups, focusing on new infrastructure, have played a significant role in driving this growth. The rise of remittances, mobile money, and cryptocurrency payments has contributed to the increased volume of transactions, with these new fund flows largely utilizing the infrastructure created by fintech innovators rather than traditional legacy systems.