BING HOLDS ON: Kantar Worldpanel took to Twitter yesterday to release several useful pieces of new information from the fourth quarter of 2013. In regards to the U.S. mobile search market, Kantar said that Bing remained the search engine used by about 52% of Windows Phone users in the U.S. during the fourth quarter. Holding on to a majority of the Windows Phone audience in the U.S. helped increase Bing’s mobile search market share by 43% from Q4 2012 to Q4 2013.
There are two ways to look at this development — it’s either a boon for Microsoft or it’s ultimately inconsequential. Strong 43% growth should help kickstart Bing as it attempts to navigate past Yahoo into second place in the U.S. mobile search market. With the upcoming line of Nokia mobile devices set to debut soon, increased Lumia sales give Microsoft a distinct opportunity to put Bing at the forefront with Windows Phone users. Nokia Lumia handsets have been making waves again in North America — shipments in the region jumped 350% in the third quarter.
But from another perspective, it’s likely that the remaining 48% of Windows Phone users bookmark Google or Yahoo and purposefully avoid the Bing search integration that comes standard on their phones. Seeing how Windows Phone is a competing OS to Android, Microsoft has to be worried about the inability to keep half of its users on its own mobile search engine. Ultimately, the U.S. mobile search market belongs to Google, and Microsoft’s substantial market share growth of 43% over 2013 barely altered Google’s dominant 88.5% share. Microsoft really only brought its Bing share up to a paltry 3.31% from 2.31%. Worse yet, even Yahoo’s market share is still twice the size of Bing. Right now, Bing is still just a blip on the U.S. mobile search radar, meaning Microsoft still has a long way to go. (WMPowerUser)
iBEACON AT THE WORLD CUP: Coca-Cola, one of the most globally recognisable brands, is looking to utilise Apple’s iBeacon to support its sponsorship of the 2014 World Cup. They look at iBeacon as an easy way to reach out to the massive number of fans in the stadiums of Brazil. (The Drum)
APPLE PAYS BACK PARENTS: The Federal Trade Commission has ruled that Apple must provide full refunds to customers who complained that a number of in-app purchases were made by their children without parental consent. Now, Apple will also have to modify its App Store billing practices so as to ensure that full parental consent has been achieved with every purchase. Still, the App Store already had a massive year, so it’s unlikely that this new move will have a material affect on its future revenue potential. (FTC)
CONSEQUENCES OF NET NEUTRALITY: Prominent tech venture capitalist Fred Wilson speaks out on the ramifications of the latest net neutrality ruling which now allows Internet service providers to toggle Internet speeds or charge more for bandwith-heavy traffic. Wilson considers this in the context of the next wave of tech companies and anticipates that VC firms may ultimately be discouraged from investing in bandwith-intensive startups. (AVC)
A NEW MOBILE VIDEO LIFE: Viddy, the mobile video sharing app that withered when Facebook lost interest in it, has been bought by prominent YouTube partner channel Fullscreen and marks its first major acquisition as a company. They will bring on all 12 employees from Viddy’s parent company Supernova. Fullscreen will likely utilise Supernova’s specialisation in mobile video to bolster their mobile offering. (Re/code)
MOBILE DATA COMPRESSION: Google has added a new data compression feature to its mobile Chrome browser so that users can reduce their data usage while browsing Chrome on a cellular network, with the end goal to save consumers money on data fees. (TechCrunch)
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