BlackBerry advances Priv roll out in Dubai

BlackBerry Priv has started selling at the Dubai Mall outlet. BlackBerry was originally scheduled to roll out the device in the UAE stores from January. The device went on pre-order from December 21.

However, the BlackBerry store at Dubai says it has already started selling the device a week in advance. We started selling it from December 26. We received stocks a bit early and so decided to place them on stands, said a staff at the BlackBerry store in Dubai.

The company is hoping to make some major inroads into the smartphone market promising one of the most secure android devices currently in the market. According to BlackBerry most smartphone users, especially those using Android devices are living in the era of anti-privacy. Quoting a Cambridge University study it says nearly 90 per cent of Android devices are exposed to critical vulnerabilities due to slow patching while 60 per cent of Android devices are currently vulnerable to a WebView security risk.

What s more nearly 30 per cent of mobile apps steal and sell your contacts, messages, photos, or browsing history to parties ranging from aggressive advertisers to cybercriminals. PRIV combines the superior privacy and security you ve come to expect from BlackBerry with the flexibility of Android s ecosystem and apps. It protects your mobile experience from the device level up to the application level, and offers a powerful suite of tools through which you can take charge of your private data.

The end result is a device that you can trust will offer you better protection from threats against your apps, networks, and most importantly personal information, the smartphone maker said providing details about the security set up in its latest Android device. But will Blackberry be able to convince Android users to shift merely on the basis of better security. The device that was launched in the international market in November and in the UAE now is priced at Dh2899.

Reports already indicate that the company could drop the price during the first quarter of 2016 in the follow up to the Mobile World Congress.

According to the IDC the worldwide mobile phone market is said to reach a total of 1,960 million unit shipments in 2015, down 0.1 per cent from the 1,961.9 million units shipped in 2014.

Total mobile phone shipments will reach 2,122.4 million units worldwide, resulting in a CAGR of 1.6 per cent from 2014 to 2019. “Although shipments remained nearly flat in 2015, we still expect that the worldwide mobile phone market will steadily grow heading into 2019,” says Anthony Scarsella, research manager for IDC’s Mobile Phones team.

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Apple Pay to expand to China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain

After a sluggish start in the U.S. since its debut more than a year ago, Apple Pay is ramping up in markets where people are more comfortable with contactless payments. (Bloomberg) — Apple Pay is looking overseas in 2016. After a sluggish start in the U.S.

since its debut more than a year ago, Apple Pay is ramping up in markets where people are more comfortable with so- called contactless payments. The service, which lets consumers pay in an app or by tapping their iPhone on store terminals, will be introduced next year in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain. Apple is counting on its brand recognition as it enters markets that are further along than the U.S.

in all things mobile payments, particularly in advanced technologies needed to accept them in retail outlets. Still, it won t be easy. The iPhone maker will compete with local banks and Internet companies that already offer the service — not to mention Samsung Electronics Co., the world s leader in smartphones.

There s a lot of opportunity for Apple because their brand has a significant cache, says Thad Peterson, a senior analyst at Aite Group. Apple s challenge will be to see if there s going to be an adoption curve significant enough to justify the investment. Slow Start The mobile-payment service, which only works with Apple devices 1 , is a way for the company to make products more appealing and spur customer loyalty.

After Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook called 2015 the year of Apple Pay in January, the service has been slow to take off domestically, partly because of a lack of promotion and a limited number of store terminals able to accept it. Adoption has been faster in the U.K., where Apple Pay was introduced in the summer. That s partly because of agreements with merchants such as sandwich chain Pret A Manger and Twickenham Stadium that let customers use Apple Pay to ring up unlimited amounts in transactions.

Also, Apple s operating system, iOS, commands a strong market share, with 39.5 percent of smartphone sales in Great Britain in the three months ended in October, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech: Here s a look at where Apple is expanding in a few markets abroad: * China Apple said its service will be rolled out as soon as early 2016. More than 235 million people ages 15 and over in China don t have bank accounts, according to McKinsey & Co., making mobile payments a necessary means to send and receive money. Last week, Apple teamed up with Chinese bank-card association UnionPay, which will make Apple s market entry a lot easier, said James Wester, an analyst at researcher IDC.

Besides UnionPay, 15 banks, including the Bank of China, Bank of Shanghai and Bank of Guangzhou, have signed on to support Apple Pay, Eddy Cue, Apple s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said last week. China is an extremely important market for Apple, he said. Still, Apple Pay will compete with services like Tencent Holdings Ltd.

s WeChat and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. s Alipay that control more than 75 percent of the mobile-payments market, according to Zennon Kapron, managing director of Shanghai-based consulting firm Kapronasia. And Apple should be prepared to race with Samsung, which also announced a partnership with UnionPay and plans to bring Samsung Pay to China as soon as early 2016. * Hong Kong and Singapore Apple Pay will be available to eligible American Express users in both regions next year, Apple said in October.

Companies like Hong Kong Telecommunications and HSBC already let consumers in Hong Kong pay with mobile phones in stores. In Singapore, a consortium of mobile operators, banks and service providers has been working on enabling contactless payments in shops, restaurants and taxis for at least three years. But Apple is increasing its presence in the country, and recently announced it will open its first retail store in Singapore. * Australia and Canada Some American Express users in these countries gained access to Apple Pay this fall.

To expand the service s use, Apple must get cooperation from local banks, which have long offered their own mobile-payment apps in Apple s App Store. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, for example, has let iPhone users pay for things using its own app for almost two years. On that app, which doesn t use Apple Pay, customers can store loyalty cards, transfer money to family and friends, send money overseas and even withdraw cash from an ATM.

There s little to no incentive for the major Australian banks to let Apple both utilize their merchant-deployed infrastructure or be cut into transaction fees, said Foad Fadaghi, managing director at telecom consulting firm Telsyte in Sydney. * Spain Apple s market share of smartphone sales in the three months ended in October was small, and banks such as Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA have already put out their own wallets for both Android devices and iPhones. However, like in the rest of Europe, merchants began accepting chip-based cards years ago — while the U.S. only mandated them this year — and more of their terminals are ready to accept Apple Pay.

Apple s service will be available at some point next year to some American Express users. Apple declined to provide fresh comments for this story. Subscribe Today to Mobile Strategies 360 and Receive Exclusive Data.

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4 5 References ^ Apple Pay expands to Starbucks and KFC ( ^ Mobile Strategies 360 ( ^ free subscription ( ^ Twitter ( ^ LinkedIn (

Apple Didn’t Kill Mobile Advertising, and May Have Rescued It

Kazuki Ohta, co-founder and CTO, Treasure Data When Apple announced it would make it easier for mobile Safari to block ads, the response by the online advertising and publishing world amounted to something like a massive, collective freak-out. Goodbye, mobile advertising! We will miss you!

Good luck, publishing! Not so fast. Sure, pixel tracking collecting ad impression data based on HTML image tags on third-party websites is on its way to being over on mobiles.

A big deal? Yes, indeed. And welcome.

The practice was awfully easy too easy, really. It led to a sloppy, scattershot online advertising ecosystem. Advertisers would ask publishers to embed image tags, and publishers would do it.

And the tags acted like homing pigeons, pinging advertisers with information about impressions and clicks associated with the ads they placed. The arrangement, which was hatched long ago for the desktop browsing experience before migrating to mobile, tells advertisers how much bang they are getting for their buck, and it lets publishers better monetize online advertising. But ad-blocking technology effectively dooms this approach, if not immediately then certainly during the next year or two as consumers using iOS (and perhaps more operating systems) simply flip a switch and block ads.

Publishing, however, cannot exist without advertising. And without publishing, advertisers lose an enormous opportunity for reaching customers, telling their stories, and branding. The emerging solution is native advertising, or ads that appear either within the content like an ad for Nike that dwells within the editorial content instead of being served or as separate stories that are really paid content.

Take, for example, content on sponsored and created by Philips Healthcare about how technology can increase life expectancy. The Philips content is effectively an advertisement but, if done well, is much more informative and engaging than something that pops up as readers navigate stories. The problem with native advertising is that publishers can t install those helpful pixel homing pigeons, telling advertisers about how readers are interacting with their ads.

Fortunately for publishers and advertisers alike, there is an alternative to these sneaky pixels: server-side data collection. With this approach, publishers log impressions on the server side and share the data with advertisers. Simple, right?

Not really. Instead of having data simply pushed to advertisers, publishers now need to collect it, track it, and route it back to advertisers. So it s much more complicated.

But companies are working on technologies to not only manage advertising data, but to dramatically improve the quality of both the data itself and the all-important analytics. The transformation will come with struggles. Publishers will have to invest in more technology and hire either more in-house data engineers or data analytics firms to wrestle with data that, in the past, they primarily passed along rather than explored.

But those investments will come with fantastic dividends. By finally being forced to embrace data, publishers have the opportunity to truly serve their readers with meaningful advertisements 1 . Server-side technology solutions encourage the use of multiple streams of data for the sake of business intelligence 2 .

Instead of relying on little more than clicks and impressions, publishers will be able to combine wide ranges of data for analysis. And we know from lots of experience that the best insights come from multiple pools of high-quality data 3 . All of this matters to more than just publishers and advertisers.

Apple unleashed the ad blocking API on iOS9 because reckless ad serving by publishers and advertisers detracted from the mobile experience. Advertisers effectively were using the data plans of readers to toss out parades of poorly targeted (and often just plain poor) ads, which irritated readers. And nurturing customer anger is not exactly a winning marketing strategy.

If pursued with patience and smarts, the new paradigm could result in a much healthier mobile ad ecosystem, with customers who are less irritated and perhaps even pleased by the ads they encounter, publishers that better understand their readers, and advertisers enjoying much better returns on the ads that they place. Ad blocking will not kill mobile advertising and publishing. In fact, it just might save them.

Kaz Ohta is CTO and co-founder of Treasure Data 4 , developer of the open-source data collector Fluentd. He is also the founder of the Japanese Hadoop User Group, the world s largest such group. Kaz is an acknowledged expert on distributed and parallel computing and combines his knowledge of these technologies and Hadoop with the conviction that the service model is the only way to bring big data analytics to the mass market.

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References ^ meaningful advertisements ( ^ business intelligence ( ^ high-quality data ( ^ Treasure Data ( ^ Subscribe to Data Informed (