Why Credit Card Companies Need Some Madison Avenue Style

Facing major competitors in the mobile wallet and offers business, credit card companies need to figure out how to leverage their relationships with consumers.

News Byte

Boku Signs Direct Billing Relationship for Physical Goods with Telefonica

Boku, a mobile payments provider, said it has signed a direct carrier billing relationship with Telefónica’s O2 in Germany. That means that O2 customers can charge virtual, digital and physical goods ranging from .09 Euros to 30 Euros to their carrier bill by entering their phone number into an app or other form. In general, the trend has been for carriers to increasingly lower the fees they charge for physical goods to make charging lower margin goods to the carrier bill more feasible. Boku says it’s connected to 230 operators in 65 countries, although not all carriers support physical payments.

IPhone Exclusivity Added to Endangered Species List

The iPhone exclusivity deals are fast becoming an anomaly, with Apple inking more multi-carrier distribution agreements in markets it first entered with a lone partner. The latest to undergo the transformation: Germany.

IPhone Exclusivity Ending in Germany

Germany is the last major European market with a single iPhone carrier. But not for much longer. Deutsche Telekom-owned carrier T-Mobile’s iPhone exclusivity deal with Apple is nearing expiration and has not been extended.

News Byte

Apple Opts Out of O2's Green Rankings for Phones

Apple may be proud of its environmental credentials, but it wants no part of U.K. carrier O2’s new ranking system that gives handsets a rating of one to five based on sustainability–the ecological impact of their raw materials, the manufacturing process, packaging, useful life, energy efficiency and ease of recycling. Other major manufacturers–including Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung–completed O2’s voluntary 63-question survey, but Apple declined, preferring to let its Web site speak for itself.

iPhone 4: Stock-Outs at Apple Stores, New Orders Now Shipping in Three Weeks

Apple is selling the iPhone 4 as fast as it can make it–actually faster. With demand for the device off the charts after first-weekend sales, the company’s online storefront is now showing a ship time of three weeks for new orders. And Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore says that his survey of brick-and-mortar stores shows frequent stock-outs. “Demand is outstripping supply in multiple regions despite frequent replenishment,” he wrote in a research note issued this morning.


Dell Aims to Sell Streak Tablet in China

Dell, which late last year chose China to launch the first sales of its Mini 3i smartphone, now hopes to offer its new Streak tablet computer in the country as well. The move would build Dell’s focus on emerging markets like China and India while also extending the reach of its mobile products, which mark a new direction for the PC maker.


The European Commission has finally cleared Deutsche Telekom’s and France Telecom’s mobile joint venture in the U.K.–but only after the two companies agreed to divest a quarter of their combined spectrum in the 1800MHz band and tweak a network-sharing agreement that might have threatened 3, the U.K.’s smallest mobile network.

iPhone Strains O2’s London Network

AT&T, O2 feels your pain. It too has seen its network overtaxed by Apple’s iPhone, particularly in London, where a massive surge in data traffic has been causing network congestion since the summer.

More Potential Pre Customers Opting for iPhone in U.K.

Recent price cuts on Palm’s Pre and Pixi have done much to stimulate slowing demand for the smartphones at Sprint. As I write this, the Pre is the fifth best-selling mobile device on Amazon, while the Pixi is the seventh. Sadly, the same cannot be said for demand abroad. According to Mobile Today, U.K. sales of the Pre have been disappointing.

AMD and Intel Bury the Hatchet

Orange Juices U.K. iPhone Sales

O2 Suffers iPhone Drought

Gmail Exits Beta

Palm Pre in Europe by Christmas

Palm Pre con Movistar en España?

FiascO2, Redux


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3G iPhone in Europe? Nix, Nicht, Nein, Non!