Feature Article

February 22, 2014

Mobility Techzone Week in Review

As this week comes to a close, we’d like to take a look back at the exciting news that has hit the world of mobile devices. Hardware and Software in the mobile industry are constantly evolving at a blistering speed, and this week has proved no different. New apps are being released every day, while others are bought and sold as their popularity grows. Before we all take off for the weekend, let’s take a look at the big stories that affected mobile technology this week.

Probably the biggest and most publicized story concerns Facebook’s most recent acquisition. The popular mobile messaging app WhatsApp, which sends messages through the Internet instead of eating up a customer’s data plan, was purchased for $19 billion. With a workforce as small as only 50 employees, that means that Facebook was willing to pay approximately $320 million per employee.

But what does this all mean for the mobile industry? Because WhatsApp is an over the top messaging app, it means that mobile users can quickly and easily replace standard text messaging with a much cheaper alternative which even includes international texting. WhatsApp is predicted to reach over one billion users in the next few years, so other mobile companies will be forced to offer similar services or risk being left behind in the dust.

WhatsApp was not the only app to exchange hands this week. Rakuten Inc., Japan’s largest e-commerce company, recently announced their plans to purchase Viber Media and their latest mobile dialing app. According to Rakuten CEO and co-founder Hiroshi Mikitani, the purchase “is a no brainer. Messaging apps are taking over the world and while search is one of the strongest platforms, what is happening in communications is very important.” Reportedly, Rakuten will pay about $900 million for Viber, which will double the global reach of Rakuten.

Finally, another app called Flesky offers an improved keyboard interface that makes typing error-free messages a breeze for both iPhone and Android users. Those who have had trouble using the tiny screen on their mobile device will find ease by using Flesky as an alternative, because it features simple and intuitive gesture control for common functions like deletion and word correction. Flick the screen to the right once to add a space, and once more again to transform it into a punctuation mark.

That’s it for the major highlights of this week, but please feel free to browse the rest of the mobility techzone page for more information. Enjoy your weekend, and stay tuned here for the latest news in mobile technology.

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