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We take a weekly look at mobile and tech stories from around the world. Headlines include…  the Best of MWC 2024, Meta wants you to run AI on your phone , 80% of 85–95-year-olds now pay with contactless, and much more…

Best of MWC 2024: Android Police’s awards for the world’s biggest mobile show

Android Police

At Mobile World Congress 2024, a plethora of new Android hardware and gadgets were unveiled, alongside a feature drop from Google. Android Police’s editors sifted through the offerings to highlight the most notable launches. Not all devices made the cut, such as Motorola’s flexible phone-watch hybrid and HMD’s Barbie phone, which is still in development. However, standout announcements include powerful flagship phones poised to dominate the European and Asian markets, new wearables from OnePlus and Samsung, and innovative tech concepts hinting at the future of mobile technology.

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The Best of MWC Barcelona 2024: A Recap of the Noteworthy Tech From the Event

Spiceworks

At Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2024, held at the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, tech enthusiasts witnessed groundbreaking innovations from mobile vendors, IT companies, networking and telecom providers, and others. The conference served as a platform for unveiling new devices, forging partnerships, and showcasing the latest advancements in technology. Spiceworks News & Insights compiled the top highlights from MWC Barcelona 2024, summarizing the event’s most notable moments and innovations.

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Meta wants you to run AI on your phone — here’s what we know about MobileLLM

Tom’s Guide

As society becomes more dependent on AI, access to advanced chatbots via smartphones will likely become essential. Researchers at Meta Reality Labs predict that due to the growing reliance on large language models (LLMs), people may spend over an hour each day engaging directly with chatbots or utilizing LLM processes for features like recommendations. Despite users only seeing quick replies from chatbots like ChatGPT, the energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions necessary for these interactions could pose significant environmental challenges if AI development continues unchecked, according to a preprint paper released on February 22.

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80% of 85–95-year-olds now pay with contactless, according to Barclays

Talking Retail

Barclays’ annual contactless trends report reveals that contactless usage increased across all age groups in 2023, with the fastest growth observed among individuals over 65 for the third consecutive year. Mobile wallets are becoming increasingly popular, especially among younger shoppers, while Chip and PIN and cash remain preferred for purchases over £100. Overall, a record 93.4% of all in-store card transactions under £100 were made using contactless methods in 2023, marking a 7.8% increase in “touch and go” transactions compared to 2022.

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Mobile gaming is booming but is not immune to inflationary pressure

Verdict

The mobile gaming industry is rapidly expanding and becoming essential for game companies, surpassing the console and PC gaming markets combined in size. Valued at $124 billion in 2023, mobile gaming revenue is projected to reach $195 billion by 2030, according to forecasts by GlobalData. With advancements in streaming, cloud gaming, and mobile esports, along with technical parity with PCs and consoles, the majority of gamers are expected to embrace mobile gaming in the coming years. The ability to run high-quality, big-budget games on mobile platforms, such as Resident Evil 4 and Assassin’s Creed Mirage, will attract more publishers and gamers to the market.

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Human Cost Of Mobile Outages Revealed As 80% Face Life Critical, Financial Or Security Impacts Due To Lost Connectivity

TechRound

A new report by rSIM reveals that global businesses are facing significant financial and human costs due to critical IoT connectivity failures, with almost two-thirds experiencing sales and customer losses as a direct consequence. The rapid expansion of cellular-based IoT devices, expected to reach 7 billion by 2033 with the rollout of 5G networks, is exacerbating pressure on network providers. Businesses are struggling to cope with the current lack of resilience, with two-thirds stating that connectivity has become increasingly business-critical in recent years. The survey, encompassing business decision-makers across seven regions, underscores the essential role of reliable connectivity, identified as the top issue faced by businesses globally, surpassing concerns about business and staff retention.

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5 crucial insights from mobile leaders on privacy-first advertising

The Drum

The ongoing global shift towards privacy-first practices in digital advertising is prompting app marketers and advertising partners to reassess their strategies, particularly in programmatic mobile advertising, where in-app ad placements are bought and sold through algorithmically-driven auctions. With the tracking of mobile device IDs being phased out to enhance user data protection, brands must now rethink their targeting approaches and adjust their technology infrastructure to comply with evolving privacy regulations. Adapting tech stacks to align with these changes is crucial, ensuring that advertising strategies remain effective while prioritizing user privacy. Staying informed about regulatory developments and proactively adjusting strategies will be essential for navigating the privacy-first era of digital advertising successfully.

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Apple reportedly pulls plug on EV project

Mobile World Live

Apple has reportedly abandoned its multi-year effort to develop its own electric vehicle, with plans to reallocate some employees from that division to its AI teams. Bloomberg cited unidentified sources revealing that Apple internally announced the closure of the electric vehicle project, which involved nearly 2,000 employees. The decision was attributed to COO Jeff Williams and VP Kevin Lynch, with Lynch overseeing the project within the Special Projects Group.

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Malvertising and consumer privacy

Business Reporter

The internet heavily relies on advertisements for revenue, but the prevalence of ad blockers has led many websites to explore alternative monetization methods. Despite this, hosting ads remains a primary revenue source for most websites. This infrastructure has propelled companies like Google and Facebook to prominence, as their main commodity is users’ attention. Real-time bidding (RTB) platforms play a crucial role in this ecosystem, facilitating the automated buying and selling of digital ads. These processes are often opaque to regular users, with bots utilizing anonymized data to place advertisements.

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