Wednesday Mobile Roundup: Security Risks, Asia, Funding, & More
Here’s what we are reading this morning:
99% of Android Users At Risk to Data Theft — Apparently 99 percent of Google Android users are vulnerable to data theft of information such as passwords, calendars, credit information, and so on. Posted by The Register, researchers at Germany’s University of Ulm, have discovered improper implementation of an authentication protocol called ClientLogin on Android versions 2.3.3 and below. Basically, when users log in to something such as Facebook, an “authentication token” is retrieved, but can be used for up to 14 days after; exploitable by hackers.
Though this was patched in Android 2.3.4 and 3.0, 99 percent of Android phones are still vulnerable.
Mobile Companies Seek Security Software — In light of such security risks, it’s worth noting that smartphones are becoming increasingly attractive targets for hackers. As such, Reutersis reporting a digital “gold rush” for mobile security. In fact, Neil Rimer of Index Ventures believes that it will be bigger than computers and market research firm, Infonetics is stating that the mobile security software will gro 50% per year through 2014, reaching $2 billion.
LTE iPhone Delayed — According to DigiTimes, “Apple is likely to delay the launch of its LTE-enabled iPhones to 2012.” Coming from “industry sources,” the delay is due to issues involving “yield rates” of Qualcomm’s LTE chips.
iPhone 4 Tops Japanese Mobile Device List – Market research company, Gfk Japan, has published a list of the top 10 handsets in Japan in terms of units sold during the first quarter of this year. The iPhone 4 16GB and 32GB held the #1 and #2 spots respectively.
China Carriers to Get iPhone 4S in September — In more overseas iPhone-related news, China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicorn (all top carriers) have expressed interest in the iPhone 4S, says DigiTimes. As it stands, China Mobile is supposedly expected to reach an agreement with Apple to sell the 4S come September.
Puzzle Game for the Blind — An interesting iOS game by the name of Stem Stumper, from Ananse Productions, has released recently. Unlike normal apps, this one is made for the blind or poorly sighted users. It is a game that utilizes a dynamic soundtrack to guide a character through various puzzles.
Cut the Rope to Launch on Nintendo DS — iPhone puzzle game Cut the Rope has always been a popular game, but now GameSetWatch is listing the title as one slated to come to the Nintendo DS handheld console.
Android Tablets Get Magazine Apps — Android tablets are finally catching up to iPad in terms of magazine apps, reports Business Insider. Publishers such as Condé Nast will be releasing their magazines through Next Issue Media, but will only be available to Samsung Galaxy Tabs (seven inch) bought via Verizon Wireless.
Travel Made Easier With Viator — A company by the name of Viator is cashing in on peoples’ vacations. The company has introduced two new iOS applications on iPhone and iPad that allow users to easily research and plan vacation activities.
Facebook Comes to Any Mobile Device in India — Facebook can now potentially be accessed by any mobile device in India for a rupee a day. According to The Register, Bharti Airtel is offering a text-based level of interactivity (e.g. status updates, friend requests, and wall posts) through the USSD service.
Adknowledge & Ansca Mobile Combine Platforms — Good news for mobile game makers as ad network and monetization solutions provider Adknowledge has teamed up with game engine creator Anasca Mobile to combine their platforms. The Corona development kit is available now for Anasca users.
Push Notifications Gain Traction for Marketing — According to comScore’s“State of Retail” webinar, push notifications are becoming more lucrative. In highlighting the deals and offers sites of Groupon and LivingSocial, they found that 14% of users engaged with the mobile app version of these sites upon receiving a push notification. Email, however, is still dominant with 60% (Groupon) and 53% (LivingSocial) engaging the site/app.
[image via comScore]
Onavo Raises $3 Million — Onavo, and iOS app that reduces data consumption dramatically, has raised $3 million in a round led by Sequoia Capital and with participation from Magma Venture Partners.
Qwiki Co-Founder Leaves — iPad application Qwiki may have grown quickly, but its co-founder, Louis Monier has left the company in order to join Proximic as its chief scientist. According to TechCrunch, the reason for his departure is merely because Qwiki’s “research phase is over, [and] the basic technology is in place.”
Here’s what we were reading earlier this week:
Flipboard Blocked in China — According to TechCrunch, iPad app Flipboard, which just announced the equivalent of 10 million pageviews a day last week, has been blocked in China. The reason is the app grants access to both Facebook and Twitter (which are blocked in China) as it communicates with US servers. CEO Mike McCue notes that a small percentage of their userbase are Chinese.
eBay Launches Motors iPhone App — The folks over at eBay have launched a new iPhone app based on one of its most popular auction verticals, says TechCrunch. The application is dubbed Motors, and the free app allows users to search, bid on, or buy everything from cars, to car parts, to accessories.
Seagate Launches Wireless iPhone Storage — Data storage company Seagate has launched a new product called GoFlex today, reports VentureBeat. Made specifically for iDevices, it marks the first of its kind and can store up to 500GB of information and can even be expanded via 802.11 b/g/n wireless networking.
Live Action Angry Birds in Spain — Hasta los Juegos, has reported quite the promotion for Angry Birds in Spain. Held in the city of Terrassa, Deutsche Telekom and Rovio Mobile set up a massive live action set to play a game of Angry Birds. A video can be found here.
Nokia Renames Ovi — In a small piece of news, Nokia has announced that it will be changing their Ovi service brand to the ‘Nokia’ master brand in order “to better support future plans to deliver disruptive and compelling mobile experiences globally.” The new brand will be introduced in July.
New iPhone Coming in September — Though there is nothing ‘officially’ stated, several sites are not only reporting (based on notes from Jefferies & Co analyst Peter Misek) that a new iPhone will be coming in September, but that it won’t actually be an “iPhone 5.” Based on “inside sources” and “industry insiders,” it is being called the “Apple iPhone 4S,” which will host features such as an improved camera, an A5 dual-core processor, and HSPA+ support. Additionally, it was noted that Sprint, T-Mobile, and China Mobile would be added as iPhone carriers.
T-Mobile Not Getting Samsung Galaxy S II — According to Business Insider, while Samsung’s Galaxy S II might be the next big Android Launch, T-Mobile customers have been left out in the cold; based on “leaked” news. The phone will be dubbed Attain, Within, and Function on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon respectively.
Billing Revolution Raises $6.6 Million — In fiscal news, mobile payments startup Billing Revolution has raised a total of $6.6 million in Series B funding. The round was led by DCM and SK TelecomVentures with the money going to the hiring of new staff.
Microsoft to Purchase Nokia Mobile Division (Rumor) — In a post from Slash Gear (via Murtazin), “leaked” information is noting that Microsoft and Nokia will be discussing the purchasing of the latter’s mobile division later this month.