The Week in Mobile: January 24-30, 2016


Apple profits climb to $18.4B, Facebook shuts down Parse, BMW adds IFTTT to the driving experience and more

Each week we round up the top news stories, think pieces and other content that centers on the fast-paced, quickly changing world of mobile technology. We tell you which companies are employing clever mobile strategies, illuminate new ways of thinking about mobile and offer a peek at meaningful trends in the industry. This content is designed to inspire you and your company to take advantage of the many benefits mobile can offer.

Apple Beats Quarterly Profit Record for Second Time, iPhone Revenue Projected to Decline

Apple continues to amaze by announcing $18.4 billion in profits for fiscal Q1 2016. This means the company has broken its own record for the largest quarterly profit of a public company by $400 million. iPhone figures however, fell short of expectations—the company sold 74.8 million iPhones (just shy of the expected 75.4 to 77 million) and $75.9 billion in revenue (vs. an expected $76.59 billion). Apple is also reporting an expected decline in iPhone revenue for the current quarter, estimating between $50 and $53 billion. If predictions hold true, Apple will undergo its most dramatic year-over-year quarterly decline since 2001.

Mobile Catapults Facebook’s Earnings

Facebook announced they have reached 1.59 billion users and brought in $5.841 billion in revenue in Q4 2015—a significant increase from 1.55 billion users and $4.5 billion the previous quarter. Facebook’s mobile ad revenue, which accounts for 80 percent of the company’s overall ad revenue, contributed significantly.

What’s more, Facebook says 51.7 percent of users are now logging into the platform exclusively from a mobile device. The company also reports a 25 percent year-over-year increase in mobile daily active users.

Facebook Shuts Down Parse

In surprising news from Facebook, the company is shutting down Parse. The mobile cloud storage and services platform was originally acquired by Facebook in 2013 and subsequently became one of the company’s key developer services. The announcement comes as a shock to those who rely on Parse to create, monetize and grow apps. Those developers will have a year to move elsewhere. In order to soften the blow, Facebook is offering tools for migrating databases and will open-source the Parse Server. Still, the decision to pull the plug is one that could affect how developers view Facebook and its developer resources for years to come.

BMW Integrates IFTTT to Spur Innovation

BMW Labs, a program that allows drivers to test out the latest BMW ConnectedDrive services, announced its first feature—an integration with IFTTT. It’s a free service for linking apps and devices together so that users can carry out specific actions that are initiated by a trigger. For example, a driver could use IFTTT to automatically open the garage door or turn on household lights when their car pulls into the driveway. IFTTT supports over 260 services, including Facebook, Twitter and Google Drive as well as smart home devices such as Nest and Philips Hue. It will be intriguing to see what BMW recipes devs dream up.

Google’s Cardboard Hits 5 Million Users

Google’s Cardboard viewer, which offers an affordable virtual reality experience, has shipped to 5 million users since the device launched in June of 2014. Additionally, Cardboard users have installed a whopping 25 million compatible apps—10 million of which were installed between October and December 2015. The release of Cardboard user statistics follows shortly after Google announced its commitment to VR innovation with the launch of a new virtual reality group.

Venmo to Support In-App Purchases

Venmo is testing in-app payment functionality, which will compete with major players in the mobile payment space, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay. For now, testing is limited to two apps, Gametime and Munchery, and a select number of users. However, Venmo says it will roll its new in-app payment capabilities out to more apps and users throughout the year.