It's been roughly nine months since more than a dozen leading U.S. retailers including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Sears and 7-Eleven first banded together to create Merchant Customer Exchange, a nationwide mobile commerce network designed to support smartphone-enabled purchases, consumer offers and mobile marketing promotions. The MCX initiative remains a work in progress, but here's what we know.
This week, Yahoo confirmed it would be acquiring visual micro-blogging platform Tumblr in a deal worth $1.1 billion, one of its largest acquisitions to date. The deal is already drawing comparisons to Facebook's $715 million acquisition of Instagram, and it is easy to see why.
Google's Android long ago eclipsed Apple's iOS in terms of sheer size: Gartner reports that Android powers 74.4 percent of all smartphones sold worldwide during the first quarter of 2013, up from 56.9 percent during the year-ago period and widening its already considerable lead on iOS, which plummeted to 18.2 percent from 22.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012. But size isn't everything, and iOS has always maintained a number of competitive edges over Android.
Companies from across the mobile app landscape continue to discuss the possibility of mobile "real-money gambling" in the United States as if it could instantly reverse revenue declines and immediately stimulate the hotly contested application industry. However, right now there's little indication that real-money gambling is anywhere near becoming a reality here--but that hasn't stopped some of the market's biggest players from seeking a toe-hold in the space.
Consumers aren't exactly putting out the welcome mat for Facebook Home: Roughly a month after the social networking giant rolled out the alternative Android homescreen, there's mounting evidence to suggest the concept is a dud.
Android security panic has hit Defcon 1. Security solutions firm NQ Mobile reports malware attacks on Google's open-source mobile operating system more than doubled in 2012, infecting 32.8 million devices worldwide, and the problem looks like it will get worse before it gets better. Lookout Mobile Security recently identified BadNews, a new malware family discovered in 32 Android applications with combined download totals between 2 million and 9 million.
Currently, the top two apps in the top grossing apps category in the App Store are Candy Crush Saga from online gaming company King.com (owned by Midasplayer.com) and Clash of Clans from mobile developer Supercell. Both companies offer the games for free and monetize through in-app purchases. And both companies are raking in a lot of money.
Downloads from the four leading application storefronts--Apple's App Store, Google Play, BlackBerry World and Microsoft's Windows Phone Store--eclipsed 13.4 billion worldwide during the first quarter of 2013, an 11 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2012, research firm Canalys reported earlier this month. Revenues from premium downloads, in-app purchases and content subscriptions grew 9 percent quarter-over-quarter to $2.2 billion.
Facebook is no longer content simply being on your smartphone: It wants to control your mobile user experience lock, stock and barrel. Earlier this month, the company rolled out Facebook Home, an alternative Android launcher promising users more immediate and efficient access to Facebook services, deeply integrating the social networking platform into the mobile user experience.