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We take a weekly look at mobile and tech stories from around the world. Headlines include… Apple: pay attention to emerging markets, not falling China sales, The ‘boring phone’: stressed-out gen Z ditch smartphones for dumbphones,  Has mobile gaming continued to grow in 2024? and much more…

Apple: pay attention to emerging markets, not falling China sales

Tech Crunch

During Apple’s second-quarter earnings call, chief financial officer Luca Maestri addressed investor concerns regarding an 8% decline in revenue from China by highlighting the growth in sales in other emerging markets.

Maestri emphasized the promising performance in markets such as India, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Turkey, Brazil, and Indonesia, where Apple’s market share is currently low but growing. Despite the revenue drop to $16.37 billion in China, Maestri expressed optimism about the significant progress Apple products are making in these emerging markets.

He noted the large and expanding populations in these regions and the increasing excitement for the Apple brand, indicating positive prospects for the company’s growth in diverse international markets.

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The ‘boring phone’: stressed-out gen Z ditch smartphones for dumbphones

Guardian

Forget the allure of endless scrolling through social media feeds – the latest trend in tech is all about embracing the mundane. Enter the Boring Phone, a featureless flip phone that’s capturing the interest of younger generations looking to ditch their smartphones in favor of simplicity. Developed through a collaboration between Heineken beer and fashion retailer Bodega, the Boring Phone made waves at Milan design week, where it was unveiled as part of a growing movement towards “dumbphones.”

This resurgence in interest for basic, no-frills devices reflects the skepticism of Gen Z towards the data-hungry technologies they’ve grown up with. Dubbed the Newtro trend, this movement celebrates the revival of retro cultural artifacts like vinyl records, cassettes, fanzines, 8-bit video games, and now, old-fashioned mobile phones.

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Has mobile gaming continued to grow in 2024?

European gaming

Apple’s launch of its games subscription service, Arcade, in September 2019 marked a significant move in the mobile gaming industry. With a monthly subscription fee of £4.99/$4.99 (now £6.99), Arcade offered access to a curated selection of 100 premium mobile games, free from ads and in-app purchases.

The United Kingdom has witnessed a remarkable surge in smartphone usage for internet browsing, with approximately 86% of the population relying on smartphones for online activities in the past year. This represents an astonishing 58% increase since 2009. Additionally, a significant portion of smartphone users, accounting for 39%, utilize their devices for gaming purposes. With this upward trajectory expected to continue, experts predict that by 2025, the number of smartphone users in the UK will reach around 65 million.

Today, we’ll delve into the realm of mobile gaming to explore its growth over the past year and the current trends shaping its trajectory. Additionally, we’ll examine the anticipated developments and innovations that lie ahead in this dynamic landscape.

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From SMS to RCS and OTT: How do operators monetise the messaging ecosystem?

Telecoms.com

The messaging and business communications landscape has undergone significant transformation, with SMS expanding beyond peer-to-peer interactions to penetrate the B2B market. Today, the messaging market encompasses various players, including OTT providers, aggregators, and telcos. As the ecosystem continues to evolve, operators must strategize on how to monetize this space effectively by leveraging emerging technologies like RCS and A2P messaging, forging partnerships, and delivering value-added solutions tailored to evolving business needs.

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UK becomes first country to ban default bad passwords on IoT devices

The Record

Seven years ago, a cyberattack disrupted access to many popular US-based websites, including Twitter, CNN, and Netflix. Despite speculation about sophisticated threat actors, the attack was relatively unsophisticated, targeting Dyn, a company providing Domain Name System (DNS) services. Recently, the UK implemented the first-ever ban on default guessable usernames and passwords for IoT devices, aiming to enhance cybersecurity by requiring unique passwords to be set up by default.

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Combine gaming and non-gaming app marketing best practices to rocket your results

Mobile Marketing Magazine

Mobile gaming app marketers have long recognized the significance of data in driving downloads, optimizing conversion rates, and improving overall performance. As mobile games transitioned from pastime to service, marketers leveraged data to evolve titles, enhance narratives, and grow audience appeal. Additionally, they pioneered LiveOps, enabling iterative development of in-game events to market and monetize games effectively to both new and existing audiences.

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Survey reveals customers prefer mobile apps to mobile websites

Retail Insight Network

A recent survey conducted by software company Bryj indicates that 64% of US consumers are more inclined to use a retailer’s mobile app rather than its website via a mobile browser. Mobile apps have become integral to consumers’ lives, with the average consumer having between 10 and 30 apps on each device, and younger generations downloading an app weekly. Major retailers like The Home Depot and Amazon have heavily invested in their apps, but app development is also accessible to smaller players. Consumers prioritize apps that save them time (68%) and offer simplicity (65%) when shopping.

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Pakistan’s NFIS initiative leverages digital identity for financial inclusion

Biometric Update

Significant progress has been made in providing digital financial services to Pakistani adults, with 60% benefiting from them under the State Bank of Pakistan’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS). However, challenges such as Pakistan’s substantial financial exclusion gap remain. To address these challenges, innovative solutions like the Asaan Mobile Account, Asaan Digital Account, and RAAST payment system are being integrated with established mobile digital identity and branchless banking frameworks. The NFIS, initiated in May 2015, aims to promote digital banking and economic inclusion by achieving universal financial inclusion, particularly targeting 50% of the adult population by 2020. While the NFIS considered gender considerations, it fell short of its goals for women’s financial inclusion.

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Examining the role of store events, Mobile POS in experiential retail

The Retail Bulletin

The rumors of the ‘retail apocalypse’ and the demise of physical stores have been dispelled, as retail performance shows signs of stabilization in 2024 due to moderating inflation and positive economic indicators. Retailers are investing more in enhancing their store experiences and modernizing their IT infrastructure. There’s also a growing interest in hosting events both in-store and outside to attract customers, boost sales, and strengthen customer relationships. Research indicates that participating in such experiences can significantly increase purchase intent, with 91% of consumers more likely to buy a brand’s product or service and 40% feeling more loyal to the brand afterward.

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