Samsung Follows Apple Into China With Its Own Mobile Payment Service

Samsung Follows Apple Into China With Its Own Mobile Payment Service

South Korea’s Samsung Tuesday announced the launch of its mobile payment service in China, where it is likely to struggle in an already crowded market that arch-rival Apple entered nearly six weeks ago.

The world’s second largest economy is also the world’s biggest smartphone market, and Samsung Payhas a powerful partner in China bank card provider UnionPay which has links to the central bank.

But unlike most other countries, mobile payment systems are already well-established in China, with local providers dominating the market.

As an outsider Samsung will also have to compete with Apple, which launched its own Apple Paysystem last month also in partnership with Union Pay.

The South Korean electronics giant said its service currently supports selected credit and debit cards from nine Chinese banks and is available on its top-end Galaxy smartphones, with mid-range models to follow.

Like its California-based rival, Samsung Pay’s initial challenge will be securing a foothold in such a competitive market place.

China had 359 million online payment users in mid-2015, up almost 18 percent in six months, according to the state-backed China Internet Network Information Center.

Mobile transactions were valued at some CNY 9.3 trillion ($1.4 trillion) last year, up an annual 57 percent, one industry estimate showed.

The dominant mobile and online payment providers are e-commerce giant Alibaba with nearly three-quarters of the market, followed by Tencent operator of the popular messaging app WeChat which has some 17 percent, according to Beijing-based BigData Research.

A major issue for Samsung is the recent downturn in the popularity of its smartphones in China.

It was China’s top smartphone maker in 2012 and 2013, but domestic manufacturer Xiaomi took the throne in 2014.

In the fourth quarter of last year, Samsung ranked sixth in China with a 7.0 percent market share, compared to 13 percent for third-placed Apple.

The Apple brand commands a strong following in China, especially as a status symbol among the emerging middle class.

Apple Re-Releases iOS 9.3 for Older Devices to Fix Activation Lock Bug

Apple Re-Releases iOS 9.3 for Older Devices to Fix Activation Lock Bug

Less than a week after the release of iOS 9.3, and its retraction for select devices, Apple on Monday made available a new build of iOS 9.3 that it claims fixes the activation bug that many older iOS devices were facing.

Last week, Apple pulled iOS 9.3 for select devices after many users complained that their iPhone andiPad were getting bricked. Some noted that they were not able to complete the activation process as it was showing inaccurate Apple ID in suggestions. The issue was only affecting users who either had aniPad Air or an even older iPad tablet, or an iPhone 5s or an even older iPhone model. Apple last week released a new build for iOS 9.3 for iPad 2, and on Monday, it released a new build for rest of the affected devices as well.

iOS 9.3 build 13E237, which is now available for all iOS 9 users with the aforementioned older devices as an over-the-air update or through iTunes, promises to complete the upgrade process without any hiccup. Additionally, Apple has also resumed the signing of the iOS 9.3 build, which it had stopped last week in the light of software issues.

Originally unveiled on Monday, iOS 9.3 comes with a range of new features. Chief among which is Night Shift that changes the tone of the display to make the display more easier on eyes. Apple says that Night Shift can improve a user’s sleep quality. Additionally, iOS 9.3 also comes with several features aimed at the education sector, and also brings the ability to password-protect a note.