Mobile Technology News & Mobile Fun

The Mobile Minute: Mobile Subscriptions Per Capita, Challenges to mHealth Projects, and the Importance of Password Protection

Today’s Mobile Minute brings you news about the decline of knock-off phones in China, mobile phone statistics in South Africa, the case for password protecting your mobile phone, challenges to mHealth projects in Africa, and new global mobile statistics.

  • A new article from the L.A. Times looks at the fall in popularity of shanzhai (knock-off) phones in China, as shanzhai phones now represent only 7% of the Chinese market, down from 20% in 2007. The article says that the trend for buying brand-name phones is due to the greater availability of low-cost smartphones, and a preference for high-end features in smartphones that the knock-offs can not replicate.
  • Nielsen Wire recently released a study on mobile use in South Africa, examining everything from network loyalty and social mobile use (such as downloading ringtones, wallpapers, and screensavers), to comparisons between mobile contracts and pre-paid phones and the use of SMS and mobile instant messaging services.
  • Do you password protect your phone? Read Write Web reports that more than half of smartphone owners surveyed by Confident Technologies do not lock and password protect their phones. If your phone is stolen, lost, or confiscated then all of your personal data (including contacts in the address book, emails saved in your inbox, and log-ins for social media sites like Twitter and Facebook) stored on your phone could be compromised; using a password makes this information harder to access.
  • PBS examines the hype around mHealth projects in the developing world, and whether mobile technologies are successful at managing health issues. The article looks at challenges to mHealth projects such as limited mobile access for beneficiaries, spotty network coverage, the high costs of large-scale projects, and the difficulty of maintaining charged phones.
  • How does your country rank for mobiles per capita? As part of the CNN Comparisions series, countries and territories were measured by ranking the number of mobile cell subscriptions against the countries’ populations. The region with the highest number of subscriptions per 100 people was Macau, with 206.43 mobile subscriptions for every 100 people. Rounding out the top five of the highest subscription rates were Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Montenegro, and Panama; the USA was ranked 114th with 89.86 subscriptions for every 100 people, and Myanmar was at the bottom of the rankings with 1.24 mobile subscriptions for every 100 people.

[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
 

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Sub-Saharan Africa

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