[News in a Nutshell] From Facebook’s ‘missed calls’ to Twitter’s acquisition and much more
With widespread use of feature phones, slow internet connections and frugal customers in emerging markets, Facebook has faced several challenges in finding a way for these users to access its platform.
The company is currently testing an ad product built around the popular ‘ missed call ‘ concept that Indians were early adopters of.
When an Indian consumer comes across an ad that he is interested in, he can place a ‘missed call’ by clicking on the ad on his mobile device. The user gets a return call, with access to relevant content, music, cricket scores or messages from celebrities, as well as a brand message from the advertiser. Facebook is planning to scale this product in the coming months, likely to a wider audience.
Flipkart and Karbonn to launch budget Android smartphones
Flipkart has now teamed up with phone manufacturer Karbonn to launch a series of budget smartphones with prices ranging from INR 2,699 to INR 4,499 . Recently, Flipkart had entered the tablet segment with the launch of its own seven inch tablet in association with Digiflop Pro.
All the smartphones will have dual-SIM capabilities and will run on Android Jelly Bean or KitKat.
Karbonn will be launching two 2G phones : the Karbonn Smart A50S and A52+. Both phones will have screen sizes of 3.5 inches, will be powered by 1.2 GHz dual-core processors, run on Android Jelly Bean and have a two-megapixel cameras. The Karbonn Smart A50S, with 256MB RAM and a 1100mAh battery will cost INR 2,699. The Karbonn Smart A52+, with 512MB of RAM and 1300 mAh battery will cost Rs 3,099.
Two 3G phones were also announced today: the Karbonn Smart A12 and A11. The former will have a screen size of 4 inches and cost INR 4,099, while the latter will feature a bigger display of 4.3 inches and cost INR 4,499. Both will be powered by 1.2 GHz dual-core processors and a 1400 mAh battery, run on Android KitKat, with 512MB of RAM as well as a five-megapixel camera.
The phones will soon be available on Flipkart with a cash on Delivery option to boost sales.
Xiaomi records sales of 26.1million smartphones in the first half of 2014, a 271% increase since 2013
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi is currently concentrating on its overseas expansion, with recent launches in Malaysia, the Philippines and India . It also announced that it has sold 26.1 million smartphones in the first half of this year.
This is a jump of about 271% of 2013. Xiaomi has also surpassed the number of units sold for the whole of 2013. It had sold 18.7 million smartphones in 2013, which was a 160 percent increase from 2012 and more than its initial target of 15 million devices.
Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun also revealed that the company had accumulated in total revenue of about CNY33 billion ($5.3 billion) in the first six months of 2014. The company has made a name for itself in the smartphone segment by selling phones packed with high-end specs at lower prices compared to other Android phone manufacturers
Twitter acquires TapCommerce for about $100 million
Twitter recently acquired a small startup and also introduced a new form of advertising to improve a potentially lucrative business, centered around mobile apps. The company paid an estimated $100 million to acquire the New York Ad tech firm TapCommerce, which specialized in targeting customers who have downloaded a particular app and coaxing them to keep returning to it. This service is extremely useful for apps that sell goods or services, such as books, electronics, travel and mobile gaming.
Twitter is officially planning to roll out mobile-app install ads to the wider advertising community. These ads will appear in twitter’s news feed and will include links to download apps directly from stores run by Apple and Google. Most of twitters revenue comes from advertising. twitter has more than doubled its first quarter to $250 million, but the company has yet to make a profit.