According to a new study published by Juniper Research, the value of near-field communications (NFC) purchases, mobile-sourced money transfers, and mobile payments for digital and physical goods, will reach $670 billion by 2015. That’s a substantial jump up from the $240 billion Juniper Research has pegged for the total value of mobile payments this year. The research firm said that during the next 18 months, 20 countries will begin deploying NFC payment systems and services; transactions from those services will be in the ballpark of $50 billion by 2014. Most recently, Google announced its Google Wallet and Google Deals services in the U.S., and the search giant has large retail partners on board, including Citi, Subway, Mastercard, Sprint, Macys, and Walgreens. The Far East and China, Western Europe, and North America are the largest mobile payment regions, and those areas “will represent 75% of the global mobile payment gross transaction value by 2015,” the report said. Read on for the full release from Juniper Research. More →
Remember Citigroup’s recent security breach? The firm originally said that 200,000 accounts — 1% of its customers — were compromised, but now Citi is going on record and saying that hackers gained access to a total of “360,083 North America Citi-branded credit cards.” Unfortunately, the company hasn’t provided any details on how the attack occurred, or who was behind it; the infamous hacking group LulzSec, which claimed responsibility for a number of recent high-profile targets including Sony, hasn’t yet mentioned any involvement. If you’re an optimist, the good news is that Citigroup says the number of active accounts affected is actually below the 360,000 figure — because of subsequent account closures — and that the hackers didn’t steal info enough to actually use the credit card numbers. 217,000 customers have already been provided with replacement cards, and California residents were hit the hardest — 80,000 of the numbers stolen were from that state. More →
A recent study conducted by payment solution provider Mobio Identity Systems suggests that North Americans are eager to see mobile payments become a reality. At the same time, however, security is a top concern for the majority of potential users. Mobio recently surveyed 1,085 people across North America and found that the overwhelming majority — 94% — would use mobile payments if they knew the system was secure. Mobio’s study also found that 73% of respondents said security was their main concern regarding mobile payments, while 12.4% said simplicity and 8.5% said speed. As such, it’s safe to say companies looking to bring mobile payments to the mainstream market must focus a tremendous amount of effort on security. As luck would have it, this study just so happens to come from a firm that specializes in mobile payment security solutions. Will wonders never cease? More →
Oh Google Maps, is there anything you can’t do? Via a blog post just moments ago, Google announced an incremental update to its Maps application for Android. The update, which is still technically in beta, brings real-time traffic routing right to your smartphone. “You don’t have to do anything to be routed around traffic; just start Navigation like you normally would, either from the Navigation app or from within Google Maps,” reads the announcement. “Before today, Navigation would choose whichever route was fastest, without taking current traffic conditions into account.” The software will work in both North America and Europe, and is waiting for you in the Android Market. Enjoy. More →
Earlier today, HTC’s Desire HD crossed the FCC’s desk with a welcomed surprise, North American 3G bands. The 4.3-inch device — which boasts a 1GHz processor, 720p video recording, Android 2.2, and much more — is rocking WCDMA bands II and V, which makes AT&T, Bell, Telus, and Rogers all potential suitors.
Shortly after the news broke, a trusted BGR source came forward and stated that the device will definitely be hitting Canadian carrier Telus — an assertion blog Engadget also echoed. Our source indicated that they have physically seen a Telus branded Desire HD, running on Telus’ network, in the hands of a company representative. No word on when we could see this device officially come to market, but we’ll keep digging.
We’re happy for Telus customers and all, but wouldn’t this thing look extra sexy with a Death Star logo on it?
Today, via a press release, HTC announced that it would bring its compact, Android handset — the Wildfire — to “multiple regional North American carriers beginning in Q4 2010.” The Wildfire is a mid-range Android set with a 3.2-inch QVGA touchscreen display, 528MHz processor, 512MB ROM, 384MB RAM, 5 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, 1300mAh battery, and Android 2.1 with Sense. The European and Asian Wildfire variants contain both 900/2100MHz HSPA and 850/900/1800/1900MHz GSM radios. Pricing was not made public in the brief. Hit the jump for the full announcement. More →
Canada-based Nortel, once North America’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer, filed for bankruptcy in January 2009 after a turnaround effort failed. As part of its bankruptcy proceedings, Nortel will sell its LTE and CDMA assets to Nokia Siemens for a cool $650 million. The acquisition will improve Nokia Siemen’s position in both North America and the growing LTE business. The acquisition is subject to approval from both the US bankruptcy court and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice but it’s expected to close in Q3 2009.
As you might recall, when HTC unveiled the Touch Pro2 and Touch Diamond2 during this year’s Mobile World Congress, all HTC would commit to was a Q2 European release. Obviously not wanting to have another Touch HD fiasco on its hands, it was widely speculated that HTC would not be so foolish as to leave North Americans high and dry with another extremely attractive handset this time around. The problem however, was that many were concerned a North American version of the Touch Pro2 would arrive quite some time after its release in Europe. In other words, most people eager to get their hands on the device would have already moved on by the time it actually reached US soil. Fear not, HTC fans; along came HTC’s official Twitter account to explain that “The Touch Pro2 will be broadly available in all major markets, including North America.” But when would this North American release be? Seven minutes later another tweet stated that the Touch Pro2 “Will start to roll it out late Q2.” It’s ambiguous at best, but could we be looking at a near-simultaneous North American/European release?
Google employees might be getting lumps of coal in their Christmas stockings this year but we have a feeling our pals over at Nintendo will likely be getting regularly scheduled bonuses. We all know that Wii sales have been consistently and ridiculously strong but this past week has been nothing short of astounding here in the US for Nintendo. In the week ending December 20th, VG Chartz estimates Wii sales in the US alone at over one million units. Yes, that’s a one with six zeros after it. The holiday season is shaping up to be quite a coup for Nintendo and Wii sales won’t be slowing down any time soon. Add to that the tremendous success of the DS and you’ve got yourself a hell of a year-end.