And, we are back! Today’s Mobile Minute brings you coverage on cross-platform mobile messaging, increased network usage rates for MTN Uganda subscribers, strategies for implementing mobile money programs in post-conflict/disaster areas, and a demographic breakdown of U.S. smartphone users.
- ChatON, a new, cross-platform mobile messaging service from Samsung, brings texts, group chats, and multimedia sharing to a variety of handsets and operating systems. According to Samsung, the messaging service will work on both feature phones and smartphones, and will operate on a variety of platfroms including Android, Apple, and RIM/BlackBerry.
- On September 1st, MTN Uganda announced an increase of up to 100 percent of their network usage prices. The International Business Times reports, “MTN has increased the rate it charges customers for calls to another network by a third to 4 shillings a second while those for calls across its own network will double to 4 shillings. The changes take effect this weekend.” The company says this was done to account for an increase in operating costs and as a response to inflation in Uganda.
- CGAP investigates the usefulness of mobile money systems in post-conflict/disaster settings, looking at the additional challenges that face development programs in post-conflict settings (such as a lack of resources and skilled staff, lack of political stability, and/or differing goals among donors and implementers). The blog then looks strategies for successful mobile money implementation in post-conflict/disaster settings, such as; making clear goals with all participating parties (from donors to government officials to on-the-ground operators), the necessity of talking with beneficiaries to determine what they want and need, and the importance of realistic expectations.
- A new study from Nielsen Wire finds that 40 percent of American mobile phone owners now have a smartphone; among those smartphone owners, 40% use Android OS, 28% use Apple, 19% use RIM/BlackBerry, and 7% use Windows Mobile (the rest of the market share goes to “other” with 5% and Windows Phone with 1%).
[Mobile Minute Disclaimer: The Mobile Minute is a quick round-up of interesting stories that have come across our RSS and Twitter feeds to keep you informed of the rapid pace of innovation. Read them and enjoy them, but know that we have not deeply investigated these news items. For more in-depth information about the ever-growing field of mobile tech for social change, check out our blog posts, white papers and research, how-tos, and case studies.]
Image courtesy Flickr user QiFei