Jay Altschuler, Director of global media innovation, Unilever

Jay Altschuler, Unilever

We are at the start of a new digital era. The next stage shouldn’t be called Web 3.0 as it’s not about the ‘web’ anymore. Mobility is the heart of this new era and people spend more time in apps than they do on the web. There are very deep layers of personalisation in mobile apps that can aggregate all the activity that you and your friends are involved in, this gives us functionality that can predict user behaviour.

AT&T has teamed up with IBM to help businesses develop more network efficient smartphone apps

Feature phone apps set for strong growth

App adoption is sinking down to the feature phone range of handsets, with the global market for feature phone apps set to double to $1bn by 2016.

Billions and billions have apps have been served

Public loves apps more than burgers

There’s no doubt that mobile apps have proved to be a runaway success, early in July Apple announced 15 billion downloads since it first opened the App Store in 2008 and Google is hot on its heels. But what yardstick should we use to really quantify this growth? As it’s silly season, software firm Sybase 365 chose hamburgers.

Are you sitting comfortably...? Author Ken Follett reads from his latest book at the launch of O2 Priority Moments in London on Thursday

O2UK intros location-driven loyalty programme

UK mobile operator O2 has announced a significant push into location based marketing services in a bid to drive customer loyalty. The Priority Moments service, which builds on the firm’s existing Priority loyalty scheme, sees the carrier partnering with a wide range of UK retail and leisure outlets to offer discounts and special offers to its customers.

Alibaba is rumoured to be developing a mobile operating system

Alibaba to launch own mobile OS?

Chinese e-Commerce behemoth Alibaba is reported to be building its own mobile operating system for launch in the third quarter of this year. The OS is likely to be cloud-based – the group has had a dedicated “Alibaba Cloud Computing” unit since 2009, which is now reported to be working on the project.

Social gaming firm Zynga has filed for an IPO in the US

Zynga files for IPO, says its future is mobile

Social gaming giant Zynga has filed for its much-anticipated initial public offering in the US. While the company has yet to put a price tag on the shares, as part of the process of calculating its registration fees with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Zynga has estimated it will raise $1bn from the sale.

Telstra has completed the world's first LTE Broadcast session on a commercial LTE network

Skype introduces cross-platform video calling

Skype has upped its game in the mobile market, with the announcement of a “killer ability” that has long been waited for: cross platform video calling.

Users of Skype’s Android app will finally be able to make video calls, not only to other Android users but also to iPhones, laptops and PCs from their smartphones.

Samba Mobile has announced that it has closed down its business due to unsustainable mobile data costs

Google in spat with Taiwanese government

Taiwan’s Taipei City Government has accused Google of attempting “to hold Taiwan’s consumers hostage, in exchange for the privilege of refusing to follow Taiwanese law.” The accusation arises from a dispute between Google and Taiwanese regulators that has resulted in the suspension of all paid-for applications in the Android market in that country.

A job desciption posted on Google's web site indicates that the search giant is preparing an assault on the social gaming market

Google gets its game on

Google has announced its entry into the games market via a job posting on its web site. The role of “Product Manager, Games”, will be based at Google’s Mountain View HQ and comes with a fairly broadly defined job description suggesting that the company’s strategy is very much in its infancy.

O2 customers can purchase Apple apps through carrier billing

China is Apple’s second largest market for apps

China is Apple’s second largest market for apps, after America. App analysis firm Distimo’s latest report reveals that, while the Asian app market is booming, it’s not exactly a gold rush: free applications rule the roost, with paid-for offerings only driving about a third of the revenue they do in the US.

RIM has acquired social gaming outfit Scoreloop

RIM acquires social-gaming outfit Scoreloop

In a clear bid to make up ground lost to Android and iOS devices, embattled Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has announced its acquisition of German social-gaming outfit Scoreloop. With sales of the Blackberry PlayBook reported to be less than stellar, commentators are suggesting that Scoreloop’s in-app billing capabilities played a hand in the deal as RIM looks to play catch-up in an increasingly cut throat apps market.

Samsung is launching its own ad network to rival Google's AdMob

HTC launches developer centre and SDK for Sense

As Android’s march towards mobile OS domination appears to continue unchecked, device manufacturers are joining the scrum to differentiate themselves from the competition. HTC has joined the ranks of manufacturers increasingly looking to pull in the developers to create device-specific apps, announcing a dev-friendly programme to be launched in parallel with an SDK for its Sense user interface.

Achim Berg, Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone, at the launch

Peeling back the skin on Microsoft Mango

The latest version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, Windows Phone, ripened this week. Mango, as it is known, adds more than 500 new features, including threads which switch between text, Facebook and Windows Live Messenger within the same conversation; the ability to group contacts into personalized Live Tiles; as well as deeper social network integration.

RTSS could be the key to driving mobile broadband usage among prepaid segments

Carriers must think laterally to score in an OTT market

Carriers are going to need to think and act laterally if they’re to gain relevance in an over-the-top (OTT) mobile data market. This is the message from Openwave SVP for product management and marketing, John Giere, who said that with customer experience representing a key driver of growth, carriers need to drop their linear approach to billing and services and start taking advantage of their unique access to end-user data.

Boxee brings it all together

Yahoo acquires mobile TV-tagging start up

Yahoo has acquired TV tagging start-up IntoNow in a deal reported to be worth between $20-30m. The purchase is expected to bolster the firm’s video and social content offerings. IntoNow, which only launched at the end of January this year, has developed a free iPhone application that allows users to share instantly the programmes they are watching with Facebook and Twitter friends as well as iTunes and Netflix. The expectation is that an Android version of the application will now be developed.

The GSMA has announced that it has joined the Alliance for Affordable Internet

Telcos risk losing ground in emerging markets mobile data battle

Mobile operators’ dominant status in the emerging markets mobile content space is set to change due to strong competition from new platforms such as app stores. According to research undertaken by Ovum, operators need to make urgent adjustments to their content strategies if they are to adapt to rapid shifts in the market.

The PlayBook will not feature in the company's future

BlackBerry Playbook hits US shelves

Research In Motion (RIM) began its foray into the tablet market late Tuesday, as the BlackBerry Playbook hit shelves in North America. The tablet met with mixed reviews, initially targeted at the large and small enterprise space (much like the original BlackBerry), yet at present lacking full email, calendar and contacts functionality. RIM said a software update is due in a few weeks.

ODMs such as Compal Electronics and Quanta Computer are paying undisclosed royalties to Microsoft for their Android and Chrome OS devices

Sprint joins the Google carrier billing club

Sprint has joined T-Mobile USA and AT&T on the Google carrier billing wagon, offering support for Android users who want to charge app purchases to their monthly bills. In a phased roll-out over the next few days, Sprint users will be offered a drop-down menu when purchasing apps, allowing them to choose between charging their credit card or “Bill my Sprint account.”

Sony Ericsson has launched its own Android Market channel

Sony Ericsson launches own Android Market channel

Sony Ericsson has launched its own channel on the Android Market. The handset maker claims that it is the first manufacturer to offer such a service, which will be operator-dependent. Owners of Sony Ericsson handsets will now see the “my apps” feature on their Android phone replaced with the Sony Ericsson channel, although they will still be able to access “my apps” from the phone’s menu. While this last change may cause consternation among some users, Xperia users may find direct access to software geared specifically towards them handy

Nokia's Ovi store and Symbian shipments are going up despite pending R&D cutbacks

Nokia’s Ovi store on the up, R&D going down

Nokia’s Ovi app store has hit the five million downloads a day mark, despite speculation regarding its future since the Finnish manufacturer entered a deal with Microsoft earlier this year. The app store offers more than 40,000 products but many believe it’s unlikely to survive in the context of Nokia’s agreement to ship Windows 7 phones from 2012 onwards. Microsoft has its own app store, Windows Marketplace, and it seems unlikely that the pair can co-exist in an ultra-competitive market.

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