Mark Bridge writes:
It’s been a week of ups and downs for the mobile industry.
It started with good news as Apple – fresh from hitting 3 million new iPad sales – announced its plans to spend some of the $100 billion sitting in its decidedly non-mobile wallet. There’ll be a quarterly dividend and a share buy-back scheme.
And tablet sales are set to keep influencing the mobile market, with Juniper Research predicting that spending on tablet games will account for around a third of all mobile game revenue by 2016 – while ABI Research anticipated the increasing dominance of lower-cost tablet devices with smaller displays.
On the subject of growth, the number of LTE mobile phone shipments worldwide will grow tenfold this year, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics (although I can’t imagine many of those being sold in the UK). Fortunately other smartphones will be selling, according to research company YouGov: it’s found that 42% of ‘standard’ mobile phone owners plan to choose a smartphone when they upgrade.
Innovative ideas came from Wired magazine, which included an NFC advertisement in its US issue, and from the GSMA. Fresh from Mobile World Congress (and smarting from the inevitable complaints about its free WiFi for delegates), it’s working with the Wireless Broadband Alliance to make it easier for mobile devices to connect to WiFi hotspots. The plans are for your SIM card to automatically provide log-in details.
Finally to the week’s bad news. Mobile security business Lookout named Manchester as the top place for mislaid mobiles, Ofcom named Orange as the network that attracted the most complaints in the final quarter of 2011 – and Channel 4 news named Barclays and Visa as having NFC payment cards that weren’t particularly secure. Apparently an NFC-equipped smartphone could be used to copy the cardholder’s name and number, leading to the possibility of pickpockets simply rubbing themselves against you.
However, as PIN codes and the CVV number from the back of the card aren’t transmitted, the resulting information could also be obtained by someone looking over your shoulder. And that’s less fun for all concerned.
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