Drone World: Spending on robotics and drones is set for a dramatic increase, according to new figures from the International Data Corporation (IDC). The research firm projects that worldwide spending on robotics and drones will reach $103.1 billion this year, up 22.1% year over year. Robotics will account for the majority of that spending, at about $94 billion. Of that spending, industrial robotic solutions will make up the lion's share.
Messaging Apps vs. Corruption: A new study from Apptopia found the growth of secure messaging apps was significantly stronger in the handful of countries Transparency International had identified as most corrupt, when compared with those the nongovernmental organization deemed most ethical. Messaging service Signal saw the highest gains in the five "corrupt" countries, followed by Telegram and WhatsApp, according to Apptopia.
Smartphones Getting Expensive: GfK reports that the average price of a smartphone worldwide reached $363 in Q4 2017, up 10% vs. the same period a year prior. GfK said smartphone sales totaled 397 million units in the last quarter of the year, with increased demand from the Middle East, Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe helping to bolster that figure.
Staying Apolitical: Digiday surveyed more than 30 executives from large US brands last December, finding that about three-quarters of brands kept their ads away from Trump-related content. In addition, about 60% thought cause-related marketing should be avoided. Digiday noted that publishers saw a spike in traffic soon after Trump was elected, but that the post-election bump has now subsided.