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We take a weekly look at mobile and tech stories from around the world. Headlines include… EC finds Meta ad model violates tech rules, Apple’s Phil Schiller is reportedly joining OpenAI’s board, Mobile Pay Startup Paym Growth Slowing Just As It Announces £300m Processed and more…

EC finds Meta ad model violates tech rules

Mobile World Live

The European Commission (EC) has issued preliminary findings indicating that Meta Platforms’ “pay or consent” advertising model violates the Digital Markets Act (DMA) rules. This conclusion is part of an ongoing investigation expected to be finalized in March 2025. Meta’s Facebook and Instagram introduced a no-ads subscription service in Europe last November, requiring users to either subscribe for ad-free versions or consent to data tracking. The EC’s initial findings suggest that this model fails to provide users with an option for a service that uses less personal data but remains equivalent to the personalized ads-based service.

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Apple’s Phil Schiller is reportedly joining OpenAI’s board

The Verge

Apple has appointed App Store chief and former marketing head Phil Schiller to represent the company on OpenAI’s nonprofit board, according to Bloomberg. Schiller will have an observer role, allowing him to attend board meetings without voting rights or directorial responsibilities. This move enables Schiller to gain insight into OpenAI’s operations as Apple prepares to integrate ChatGPT into iOS and macOS later this year. This integration will enhance Siri, allowing it to handle more advanced queries through ChatGPT with user permission. Although no financial transactions are involved in the partnership at this stage, Apple is anticipated to receive a percentage of ChatGPT subscriptions made via its platforms in the future.

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Mobile Pay Startup Paym Growth Slowing Just As It Announces £300m Processed

PYMNTS

For the London-based mobile pay startup Paym, the week starts with a mix of good and bad news.

The good news: The U.K. bank-backed P2P mobile payment service has successfully processed £300 million ($365 million) in transactions. “Having now passed the £300 million milestone, it’s clear the mobile revolution is in full swing and we expect this trend to continue to grow and transform the way we pay,” says Craig Tillotson, executive chairman of Paym.

The less good news: Despite the increasing adoption of mobile payments in the U.K., Paym has seen a notable decline in the growth of its user base over the past few months.

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China takes significant lead in GenAI patent race

Mobile World Live

China is leading the world in filing generative AI (GenAI) patents, with over 38,000 patents filed in the last decade, according to data from the United Nations (UN). The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a UN agency, reported that out of 54,000 GenAI patents filed between 2014 and 2023, more than 25 percent were filed in the last year alone.

China’s contribution is more than six times that of the second-place United States, with South Korea, Japan, and India completing the top five. The rapid growth in GenAI patents, which have increased eightfold since 2017, is attributed to the introduction of deep neural network architecture that underpins large language models, according to WIPO.

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Sprint and ARM Collaborate to Drive Innovation around Internet of Things (IoT)

Yahoo

ARM has announced the release of a rapid prototyping developer kit for the Internet of Things (IoT) market. This kit integrates the Sprint Mobile Broadband USB 598U Modem by Sierra Wireless with the mbed microcontroller development platform, which is based on the ARM Cortex-M3 processor. The IoT market is expected to experience significant growth, with Gartner projecting 50 billion connected devices by 2020. These devices, primarily driven by connected sensors, will require a large and diverse developer community. The applications for these sensors and devices span various key industries, including automotive, transportation, healthcare, utilities, retail, and energy.

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Brazil blocks Meta from using social media posts to train AI

BBC

Brazil has blocked Meta from using posts by Brazilian users on Instagram and Facebook to train its artificial intelligence (AI) models. This follows Meta’s recent decision to abandon similar plans for users in the UK and Europe. Brazil’s national data protection agency (ANPD) announced the immediate suspension of Meta’s new privacy policy, which would allow the company to train generative AI models, such as chatbots, using user posts. A Meta spokesperson expressed disappointment with the decision, asserting that their approach complies with local privacy laws. Meta claims this move hinders innovation, competition in AI development, and delays bringing AI benefits to people in Brazil.

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RCS on iPhone Will Make Texting Android Users Feel Less Archaic. Here’s How

Cnet

For years, I was a nuisance to iPhone users, proudly using my Samsung Galaxy device and disrupting their blue-bubble iMessage chats with my green texts. My friends hated it, as it downgraded their messaging experience. Eventually, I switched to an iPhone and now enjoy the benefits of iMessage, such as high-resolution photo and video sharing, typing indicators, and reactions—features limited to messaging other iPhone users. Ironically, I now find myself frustrated by green texts from Android users. However, with Apple adopting Rich Communication Services (RCS), this situation should improve. RCS, which replaces SMS, offers many of iMessage’s features like typing indicators, high-resolution media sharing, and end-to-end encryption. It’s already available on Android, and after years of pressure, Apple is finally incorporating RCS into iPhones, enhancing the messaging experience for everyone.

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Vodafone wants Connectivity Union to speed Europe’s digital ambitions

Mobile Europe

Vodafone is advocating for a “Connectivity Union” to boost Europe’s digital ambitions and global competitiveness. The company emphasizes that Europe’s future economic success hinges on “next-generation connectivity,” particularly 5G standalone, which is essential for harnessing the full industrial value of the internet and emerging technologies like AI. Vodafone asserts that 5G can revolutionize European business operations, especially in manufacturing, where digitalization could add an estimated €2 trillion annually to the global sector. However, the European Commission has identified several challenges, such as market fragmentation, high costs, and inconsistent regulations across similar service providers, which threaten the EU’s digital decade targets and could place Europe at a competitive disadvantage.

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