Mobile text messaging has long been an important source of revenue for phone carriers around the world. Metered charges for sending SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) are still in place for many users. In response, app-based messengers including WhatsApp (used by over 1 billion people), Facebook Messenger, LINE, iMessage, and WeChat have grown in popularity.
Today, Google and industry group GSMA announced an initiative to better compete with these apps using an enhanced version of SMS called Rich Communications Services (RCS). The new standard promises better group chat features, high-resolution photo and file sharing, video calling services, and read receipts, a long-time feature of app-based messengers.
The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) was announced by Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung, Cisco, General Electric, Electrolux, and other partners that were involved in an effort to further industry standards for the Internet of Things (IoT).
As IoT stands at the current time, there are a variety of open standards and proprietary technologies that connect Things. This creates an environment of fragmentation.
According to a report from BloombergBusiness, Vaio Corp. is looking to make a three way merger with Toshiba Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd.
Vaio, formerly the PC arm of Sony, is likely to have the majority stake in the new venture with Toshiba and Fujitsu. According to the report, it will only be Toshiba's and Fujitsu's PC divisions that merge with Vaio.
All three of the the firms have been struggling in the PC market, especially given the rise of smart phones. Toshiba dropped off of the top five PC OEMs list in 2010 to give rise to Asus, who still holds the number five spot.
Snowman’s “Alto’s Adventure” caused a stir when it launched on Android Thursday. The downhill skiing game is priced at $2.99 on iPhone, but on Google’s platform it’s free with in-game bonuses available for purchase. Why the price difference? The game’s developers say Android apps are pirated so frequently that charging for downloads has become almost pointless. And Android owners are, on average, less affluent than Apple customers — meaning they’re likely to spend less on apps.
But that doesn’t mean developers are set to ditch the Google OS, as companies like Snowman are coming up with creative new ways to monetize their Android products.
Snowman cited data from Ustwo Games to justify its pricing decision. Ustwo develops “Monument Valley,” and in January 2015 the company revealed that just 5 percent of the game’s Android installs were paid for. A “small portion” of the remaining 95 percent were legitimate and included free copies handed out to the press, while the others were pirated. On iOS, 40 percent of installs were paid for. That’s still less than half, but it represents a significantly lower rate of piracy than what prevails on Android.
Lamudi, Rocket Internet’s property listings site for emerging markets, today announced it has added US$31.4 million (EUR 29 million) to its coffers after closing a new investment.
The company secured the investment from Asia Pacific Internet Group – a joint venture between Rocket Internet itself and Qatari telco Ooredoo, European VC firm Holtzbrinck Ventures, and Tengelmann Ventures, a division of retailer Tengelmann.
All three are existing backers of Lamudi, having injected US$18 million into the company a year ago. The company’s statement says it will use the money to strengthen its Asia and Latin operations, but doesn’t give any specifics.