App Annie predicts worldwide app downloads to hit over 280 billion by 2020

APACTech in Asia  — Imagine the day when you can order a pizza from Domino’s via a tweet or the Apple Watch, or the day you can just walk into Starbucks and add the song playing in the store to your Spotify. That day may be coming sooner than later as brands worldwide aggressively adopt mobile apps to engage their customers, said Al Campa, chief marketing officer of App Annie, during a presentation at Tech in Asia Tokyo 2016.

Xiaomi Purchases Patents from Microsoft

ChinaIn Serbia — BELGRADE – Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has purchased 1,500 patents from Microsoft, as part of an effort by Chinese companies to acquire intellectual property rights in preparation for expansion into overseas markets. In exchange Microsoft-owned software will be bundled on Xiaomi phones. Ningling Wang, a partner in Shanghai with the law firm Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, said the Xiaomi Microsoft deal may indicate that Xiaomi intends to sell phones to American consumers.

Xiaomi Purchases Patents from Microsoft

Line and WeChat Strike Advertising Gold

APACWSJ — Marketing on mobile messaging apps has yet to take root in the U.S. and Europe in a big way, but it is already in full swing in Asia. And even then, Japan’s Line and China’s WeChat, two of the dominant mobile messaging applications in the region, are just beginning to scratch the surface of a potential advertising gold mine.

Xiaomi buys Microsoft patents in bid to extend reach beyond China

ChinaBD Live — SINGAPORE — Software maker Microsoft is selling about 1,500 of its patents to Chinese device maker Xiaomi, a rare departure for the US company and part of what the two companies say is the start of a long-term partnership. The deal, announced on Wednesday, also includes a patent cross-licensing arrangement and a commitment by Xiaomi to install copies of Microsoft software, including Office and Skype, on its phones and tablets.

China Mobile rolls out commercial NFV IMS network

ChinaTelecom Asia — China Mobile has officially started the commercialization of its rich communication services (RCS) network. The Chinese mobile giant collaborated with ZTE for the virtual IP multimedia subsystem (vIMS) based RCS deployment. In October 2014, ZTE won the tender to become the system integrator of this project.

Snapchat’s userbase to exceed Twitter, Pinterest in US: Report

APACTimes of India — SAN FRANCISCO: Ephemeral messaging app Snapchat by year’s end will have more US users than either Twitter orPinterest , a market tracker said Wednesday. The number of people using Snapchat in the United States will leap more than 27% this year to 58.6 million, meaning that nearly one in five people in the country will be using the service, according to an eMarketer forecast.

Apple CEO Tim Cook in China hails Chinese app developers

ChinaTimes of India — Apple CEO Tim Cook has hailed Chinese app developers and their contribution to world’s second biggest economy, as he began his visit here days after the tech-giant invested $1 billion in local ride hailing app Didi Chuxing. “The momentum is absolutely incredible,” Cook said in a meeting with developers, government officials and journalists.

UC Browser at No. 2, Chrome takes the lead in most used Smartphone Browser in the World

ChinaPC-Tablet — With the rapid growth of smartphones and tablets, the use of mobile browser apps like UC Browser has increased considerably. Moreover, there is a huge surge in the adoption of mobile browsers since the behaviour of consumers has changed over the last one year. Many people depend upon mobile browsers to perform a wide range of actions like to view documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on the go.

UC Browser at No. 2, Chrome takes the lead in most used Smartphone Browser in the World

Tune Talk trains its guns on Indonesia

MalaysiaDigital News Asia — TUNE Talk has launched a new mobile call and data package specifically targeting Indonesians living and working in Malaysia. The new ‘Tune Talk Bisa Pak’ is meant to satisfy the growing need for mobile data alongside an affordable international call rate to Indonesia, the company said at the official launch in Kuala Lumpur on April 19.

Indonesians just love their free apps: Baidu-GfK study

IndonesiaDigital News Asia — INDONESIANS spend an average of 60 minutes per day on their apps, and tend to prefer free apps even though they take longer to install, according to the Mobile Apps Market Study on Indonesia by China Internet giant Baidu, conducted by market research firm GfK.

Indonesians just love their free apps: Baidu-GfK study

IndonesiaDigital News Asia — INDONESIANS spend an average of 60 minutes per day on their apps, and tend to prefer free apps even though they take longer to install, according to the Mobile Apps Market Study on Indonesia by China Internet giant Baidu, conducted by market research firm GfK. And almost all of them access the Internet primarily via smartphones, the study found. GfK estimates that the online population is now 64.1% of the total population.

Vietnam’s Startups Step to the Fore

VietnamWSJ — HANOI—In 1988, a team of Vietnamese technicians secured their first deal to make computers for Russia’s Academy of Sciences. One of their early machines is still on display here in Hanoi, surrounded by Hollywood-style imprints of the build team’s hands, buttocks and other body parts.

SoftBank backs a mobile utility app made by a Korean expat in India

IndiaTech in Asia — Mobile utility apps have flooded India over the past couple of years, in tandem with the boom in smartphone usage. These are mostly from Chinese firms like APUS and Cheetah. There’s also the caller ID app Truecaller made in Sweden but hugely popular in India. Now there’s an app made in India in the mix – True Balance, which today announced series A investment from SoftBank Ventures Korea.

Spotify is now in Indonesia. It’s cheap and even accepts cash

IndonesiaTech in Asia —- Long anticipated, Spotify launched in Indonesia today. The premium version of the streaming music service from Sweden is available to Indonesian listeners for IDR 49,000 a month, which amounts to US$3.74. That’s a sweet deal, considering people in the US pay US$9.99 and Europeans currently pay EUR 9.99 or US$11.28 for the premium service.

Tencent maps out freemium empire with chat app

China.gifNikkei — HONG KONG — China’s Tencent Holdings is poised to spin its hit chat application into a unique digital economic sphere, leveraging its massive user base to take over the domestic market for premium smartphone-based services. The social networking giant’s WeChat smartphone app boasted nearly 700 million users at the end of 2015 — more than half of the national population.

Indonesia: Telkomsel launches T-Bike Mobile app; Menara KPM gears up for fiber optics biz

IndonesiaDeal Street Asia — Indonesia state-owned telecommunications operator PT Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel) has launched its T-Bike mobile app, which enables users to monitor and control several functions of their motorcycles through their smartphone. Meanwhile,

 PT Menara KPM, an emerging telco tower construction solution provider is geared expanding into fiber optics network development..

APEX launches mobile banking service

MyanmarMyanmar Times — MAB Mobile Bank, as the product is known, is compatible with any SIM card, on both smartphones and keypad phones, said the bank’s managing director U Win Min Khaing. “These transfer facilities are available at all times. Our services are no longer limited to banking hours.”

How Taiwan’s KKBOX grew with the cloud

TaiwanEnterprise Innovation — When Taiwan-based KKBOX was founded 15 years ago, the company focused on hosting browser, mobile and WAP games. The applications were hosted in an internet data center in Taiwan, and the relatively low bandwidth requirements for the applications ensured the arrangement remained sustainable and relatively fuss-free.

Facebook Sees Big Growth in Asia Despite Free Basics Controversy

APACWSJ — Facebook Inc. is adding users in Asia at a much faster rate than other parts of the world, an executive said, showing the recent controversy over the firm’s free Internet service in India is not deterring the social networking giant’s expansion in this part of the world.

Indonesian virtual assistant YesBoss acquires Philippine startup

IndonesiaTech in Asia — Indonesian virtual assistant service YesBoss announced today that it has acquired HeyKuya, a Philippines-based startup, for an undisclosed amount. With this move, YesBoss has started regional expansion. HeyKuya is also a virtual personal assistant. Started in October last year, out of the Philippine company builder Machine Ventures. it’s run by a team of ten.

Chrome leads globally, but an Asian mobile browser is catching up

APACTech in Asia — The proposed acquisition of Opera has once again shed the spotlight on mobile browsing and China. The takeover bid has come from a consortium of Chinese companies, another strategic initiative by the country to position itself as the smartphone powerhouse of the world.  China boasts the highest number of smartphone users in the world, and Chinese mobile internet interests are beginning to expand outside of the mainland to a more international audience.

16 of Asia’s top photo apps to take on Instagram

APACTech in Asia — Since Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion, there is no question that photo apps are a very hot place to be for startups. I think they’re still ripe for disruption, Instagram has only about 400 million monthly active users. There are still hundreds of millions of untapped smartphone users out there who could easily be swiped away from Instagram. Here’s a look at the best out of Asia.

WeChat will soon let content creators charge for article reads

ChinaTech in Asia — There’s no doubt that WeChat is the cutting edge when it comes to media in China. But the company is working on rolling out a new feature that sounds decidedly-old school: allowing writers to charge for access to articles. Reports in the Chinese press have suggested that this feature is already on WeChat for beta testing. Tencent representatives say that’s not true, but in their response to TechWeb, they confirm that paid reading is coming sometime soon.

Singapore leads APAC by readiness for app economy

SingaporeTelecom Asia — Telecom Asia — Singapore leads Asia Pacific in terms of its readiness to integrate, develop and benefit from application usage. Australia, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong make up the rest of the top half of the top 10 rankings, while Malaysia, China, Thailand, India and Indonesia made up the remainder of the list, according to the Asia Pacific Application Economy Index (AEI) 2016.

Digitimes Research: Smartphone APs to face fierce competition in China in 2016

China.gifDigi Times — Observing China’s mobile market in 2016, Digitimes Research expects smartphone AP price competition to grow fiercer, while Qualcomm and MediaTek will continue to push Internet of Things (IoT) to seek new business opportunities. Second- and third-tier AP suppliers are expected to experience a wave of mergers and acquisitions as smartphone demand continues to weaken.

SingTel suspends mobile app after user detail leak

SingaporeTelecom Asia — SingTel was forced to temporarily suspend the functions of its mobile app after a software glitch resulted in users viewing the personal information of another account. Customers logging into the My Singtel app were able to view and the personal details of a different customer, and to modify the data field under account information to add their own messages.

Google acquires Singapore start-up Pie

SingaporeMarketing-Interactive — Pie, a Singapore-based business messaging start-up, has been acquired by internet giants Google. Caesar Sengupta, vice president, Next Billion Users Team at Google confirmed the acquisition on Google’s Asia Pacific blog and said it is looking to hire more engineers. He added that this is part of Google building a new engineering team in Singapore – to get closer to the next billion users coming online from emerging markets.

Apple Pay launched in China

China.gifTimes of India — BEIJING – Apple Inc. on Thursday launched its smartphone-based payment system in China where the electronic payments market is already dominated by an arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba. Apple said “Apple Pay” could be used by 19 banks, “numerous merchants” and app developers. Apple’s electronic payment system started in the United States in October 2014 and has since spread to Britain, Canada and Australia.

Philippines startup PawnHero bags Hack Osaka pitch contest in Japan

PhilippinesDeal Street Asia — Entry from Philippines, fintech startup PawnHero, has bagged the gold prize at the Hack Osaka International Pitch Contest 2016 conducted by the Osaka Innovation Hub on Wednesday, beating nine other teams from Europe and Asia. It was a back-to-back top grand prize win for the Philippines, which also claimed the top slot in February 2015. Last year, startup mClinica, now an established mobile platform and online pharmacy network, bagged the award.

Philippines startup PawnHero bags Hack Osaka pitch contest in Japan

Kakao’s 4Q net profit plunges 80 percent on increased costs

KoreaZDNet — Kakao, the operator of South Korea’s popular chat app KakaoTalk, reported a huge loss in net profit on Friday, down 80.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. Kakao’s net profit was 10.2 billion won ($8.55 million) in the fourth quarter, reduced to a fraction of the net 51.7 billion won ($43.22 million) in the fourth quarter of 2014, the company said.