Top weekly news from the mobile & tech industry selected by Neomobile
Kantar panel: Android powered devices account for 70% of devices sold in the last 3 months
With Apple in the middle of its first month of sales of two new iPhone models, the latest figures out from Kantar Worldpanel, a market research division of WPP, indicates that going into September, sales of Android smartphones were at nearly 70% of all sales worldwide. In the last 12 weeks ending August 31, smartphones running on Google’s mobile OS accounted for over 70% of all sales across the five biggest markets in Europe (UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy), with corresponding rises in all other major markets surveyed, including the U.S., compared to last month.
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Apple acquired Personal assistant app Cue for between $40 m to $60 m
Apple already has an agenda-like notification tray in iOS 7, but there are new hints that it may upgrade that functionality soon. Both AppleInsider and TechCrunch report that Apple has acquired iOS developer Cue for at least $35 million. The deal would give Cupertino technology that creates agendas based on email and other personal information; like Google Now, Cue displays meetings and other events in interactive cards. Apple is only acknowledging the purchase with a familiar statement that it occasionally “buys smaller technology companies,” and won’t discuss its plans. As such, there’s no way of knowing if or when Cue’s features will surface in Apple products. Still, we won’t be surprised if a future iOS release automatically generates rich daily calendars.
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Substantial Share of Mobile, Social Gamers Make In-Game Purchases
Nearly 40% have made an in-game purchase while playing a Facebook game The stickiness of social and mobile gaming is considerable. A survey from game development studio Arkadium in Q2 2013 found that more than half of adult US gamers played more than three Facebook games per week, and just fewer than half played at least that many mobile games. Given that eMarketer estimates there will be 80.3 million social network users playing games at least once per month in 2013, and 125.9 million mobile phone gamers doing the same—with significant crossover between the two groups—that is a lot of people devoting significant time to gaming. Monetization remains a challenge though, as many of these games are free. US internet users are still paying for some digital gaming content, however. In an April 2013 study from payments consultancy WorldPay, more than one-quarter of US web users reported having purchased a game through an app store that could be played via any device, 16% had purchased an online game via the web and 15% had purchased a game to play with friends via social media. Still, even though games purchased via apps were the most popular type of digital game to buy, they were also the cheapest. WorldPay found that gaming apps averaged $6.84 per transaction, lower than any other paid video game price. Instead, in-app purchases are where many casual and mobile game developers generate a bulk of revenue. The Arkadium study found that a fair share of gamers do shell out for in-game purchases—43% of gamers said they’d made an in-game purchase in a mobile game, and 38% had made such a purchase in a Facebook game. Mobile and social gamers are willing to pay up but the price has to be right—and they may already need to be hooked.
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Google will launch a native Google Music iOS app later this month
If you’ve been against trying Google’s Play Music All Access streaming service for lack of an official iOS app, it may soon be time to change your tune. Sources aware of Google’s plans have let slip to Engadget that not only is the company currently testing a native Google Music iOS app internally, but that it’ll launch later this month. We’re told that while employees have been invited to test the app, Google still needs to fix a few bugs before it’s ready for release. Google currently lets users in more than 19 countries sign up for its Standard and All Access music services, allowing offline and streaming access. Some users have made do with unofficial iOS apps in addition to a limited web app, but Google is said to be including the same custom radio and smart recommendation features found in the Android app. The company had previously closed the door on iOS users because Flash was needed to enforce DRM restrictions set by music labels. Now, Google appears to have overcome that issue and is nearly ready to launch.
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