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Facebook Clones Snapchat's Feature
Facebook unveiled Facebook Stories, which is currently only available in Ireland. The feature lets users share photos and videos that disappear 24 hours later. Sound familiar? Snapchat first had this feature, and it was later copied by Instagram.
Wearables Down Under
Data from the Kantar Worldpanel ComTech indicates that Australian and US consumers are more interested in wearables than their counterparts France, Germany, Italy and the UK. As of December 2016, around 16% of consumers in Australia and the US owned a wearable, whereas fewer than one in 10 consumers in the EU4 owned such a device. eMarketer predicts that there will be 44.4 million US wearable users in 2017.
Upstart Dents Indian Mobile Carrier Bharti Airtel
Indian mobile service provider Bharti Airtel reported that its net profit had fallen 54.5% year over year in Q4 2016. Analysts attributed the decline, in part, to the September entrance of new wireless carrier Reliance Jio Infocomm, which gained 72.4 million subscribers as of the end of 2016 by undercutting competitors on price and offering faster 4G service. eMarketer projects that smartphones will be used by 20.8% of the Indian population this year.
Tech Firms to UK Government: Don't Forget About Us
Trade group techUK is advocating for the UK government to keep the country's tech sector in mind when thinking about the UK's exit from the EU, especially freedom of movement. A recent techUK report noted that nearly half of recent vacancies at UK employers in digitally intensive industries were filled by foreign-born workers and that nearly a quarter of current employees of UK software and computer services firms were born overseas, with the EU the birthplace of an increasing share due to stricter hiring rules for immigrants from other regions.
Developers Will Be Able to Respond to App Store Reviews
TechCrunch reports that at long last Apple will allow developers to respond to reviews in its App Store and Mac App Store. In comparison, app review responses have been available on Google Play for a long time.
Vietnam's Mobifone Partners with SK Telecom for 4G
South Korean's SK Telecom inked a deal with Vietnamese mobile carrier MobiFone to aid in the design and launch of a country-wide 4G LTE network in Vietnam. MobiFone already provides 4G LTE to a handful of urban markets in Vietnam. eMarketer estimates that there will be 43.7 million smartphone users in Vietnam by the end of 2017.
UK Toy Market Europe's Largest in 2016
The UK toy industry recorded a 6.3% increase in sales in 2016, with purchases passing £3.5 billion ($4.72 billion) in value for the first time, according to The NPD Group. Online sales represented 36% of the total, up 4% from 2015.
Fall of Online Price Advantage Moves Chinese Consumers to Brick-and-Mortar
Citing research from FT Confidential Research, the Nikkei reported that China's brick-and-mortar retailers were seeing a resurgence in China's smaller cities. The report credited the change to a decline in rental costs for physical stores, along with an increase in costs for customer acquisition among online players. eMarketer forecasts that retail sales in China will hit $5.472 trillion this year.
But wait, there's more!
- AT&T Reports Q4 Results (AT&T)
- eBay Posts Q4 Earnings (eBay)
- Amazon Expands Into Ocean Freight (The Wall Street Journal)
—Rahul Chadha, Cliff Annicelli, Rimma Kats, Rebecca Chadwick
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