Nokia announces Nokia Money, a payment-by-phone service that will launch next year — The service will let anyone send and receive money with a text message or a voice call. All you need to know to send someone money is their phone number. Nokia Money will be operated by Redwood City-based Obopay, in which Nokia invested $70 million in March. The system is blessedly simple to use: You register one or more bank accounts or credit cards with Nokia Money, then text away. Nokia EVP Mary McDowell said in a prepared statement that phone users without bank accounts were prime targets of Nokia Money. “With more than 4 billion mobile phone users and only 1.6 billion bank accounts,” McDowell said, “global demand for access to financial services presents a strong opportunity to combine mobile devices with simple but powerful financial services.”
Apple prepares to launch the iPhone in China in October — China, by sheer number of subscribers, is the world’s largest mobile market, with 687 million subscribers compared to America’s 270 million. Apple is in the final stages of negotiations with state-owned wireless carrier China Unicom, the Wall Street Journal reports. China Unicom is the country’s second-largest carrier, smaller than China Mobile, which is also a state-owned enterprise. With 125 million GSM subscribers and 43 million CDMA subscribers, it’s the third largest carrier in the world after China Mobile and Vodafone. Apple will face serious competition from China Mobile, which plans to launch Android phones later this year. The Wall Street Journal goes long on the story.
[Image: Emerging Voice]
Zoho adds Google Apps account support for logins — Wait, aren’t they rivals? No, Zoho’s Ragu Vegesna told Read/Write Web. Zoho has a total of 19 apps. Only four have direct Google counterparts, Vegesna says, so letting Google Apps users login to Zoho is the perfect way to steal them away.
Zune marketing chief leaves now? Why now? — Microsoft’s Zune HD, which includes a digital radio receiver and a very nice touchscreen, goes on sale September 15th. Chris Stephenson, general manager of global marketing for Zune, has left the company to take a position at Universal Music Group, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Stephenson will take charge of marketing for Universal’s Interscope Geffen A&M Records. The Journal’s between-the-lines take on what happened: Stephenson concluded that the Zune is doomed, and he can’t save it.
Forrester says social network users don’t want to be content creators — “ If you believe in the future that everybody will be creating or organizing content, we disagree,” says analyst Josh Bernoff in the analyst firms’ third annual Social Technographics Profile. “It’s a matter of temperament, not technology.” But users who prefer to tag along and consume passively have, thanks to Facebook, expanded from 35 percent of online Americans last year to 51 percent today. The report includes a tool for creating a profile of your customers — presuming you have some — based on their age, country and gender.
Survey finds that Firefox users put off upgrading because they didn’t want their porn collections exposed — “The number one reason for not upgrading was the new location bar, and the fact that it delved into people’s bookmark collections to suggest sites as they typed,” reports PC Pro writer Barry Collins. “No fewer than 25% of Firefox 3 refuseniks cited this as the reason they wouldn’t upgrade. In fact, almost all of the people who provided feedback had tried Firefox 3, didn’t like what they saw, and headed back to Firefox 2.”