Mobile Technology News & Mobile Fun

The Mobile Minute: RIM Layoffs, Smartphone Penetration in Asia, and the Growth of Near Field Communication Payments

The Mobile Minute is back with the latest mobile news. What’s happening today? Nielsen Wire looks at smartphone penetration in Asia, RIM lays off 11% of its worldwide workforce, CGAP investigates how network operators can incorporate mobile financial services into their operations, [x]Cube Labs turns Android’s history into an infographic, and Read Write Web looks into the latest developments in the use of near field communication technology for mobile payments.

  • Curious about the smartphone market in Asia? Nielsen Wire looks at the rapid growth of smartphones in Asia. Although current smartphone penetration in the region is less than 20%, a Nielsen survey of consumers revealed that nearly half of respondents plan to buy a smartphone within the next year. Nielsen Wire investigates what the anticipated increase in smartphone ownership will mean for how people access the Internet, how network operators will price their data plans, and how mobile advertising will adjust to a new market.
  • Wired reports that RIM (the makers of BlackBerry devices) announced on July 25th their plans to lay off 2000 employees, roughly 11% of its worldwide workforce. The move comes as RIM has lost market share to the growing popularity of newer operating systems like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
  • CGAP’s “How to Run with Mobile Money and Not Fall” article examines how mobile network operators can incorporate mobile financial services into their current business models. Some of the advice for successfully incorporating mobile money services includes using multiple distribution methods (such as both on-phone purchases and traditional street airtime sellers) and getting support from/sharing knowledge among multiple departments.
  • If you like charts and graphs, check out this history of the Android operating system. Covering everything from its founding date (2003), to the Google buyout (2005), to the launch of the first Android device (2008), to present day releases, the infographic maps out each update in Android’s development.
  • Near field communication (NFC) technology allows smartphone users to transmit information to nearby contacts. Read Write Web recently investigated some of the new developments in the NFC field for turning smartphones into credit cards. The first article looks at how the company Isis partnered with four major American credit card companies (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) to develop wireless payments. The second article looks at the Jumio payment company’s launch of Netswipe, which “turns any webcam into a credit card reader, both on the desktop and on mobile.”

[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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