News Scan: Mobile contactless transactions on the rise; Staples revs up mobile strategy; more

>> Mobile contactless transactions to reach 10B by 2018

Mobile contactless transactions are forecast by Juniper Research to reach 10 billion by 2018, up from slightly more than 3 billion in 2014. Host card emulation, which transforms a mobile app into virtual smartcard, and Apple's iWallet are likely to spur mobile contactless growth in the medium term. The decisions by Visa and Mastercard to support HCE should reassure banks and spur adoption, judges Juniper. Read more on mobile contactless transactions.

[More on mobile payments: Visa, MasterCard back technology for cloud-based mobile payments | Infographic: Bluetooth vs. NFC wireless technologies]

>> Staples revs up mobile strategy in face of flagging brick-and-mortar sales

Office supplier firm Staples is turning increasingly to mobile apps and mobile web to build a mobile retailer strategy to offset flagging sales at its brick-and-mortar stores, according to Mobile Marketer. The retailer is shifting its focus to online and mobile sales and closing 225 of its stores. The company is introducing an iPhone and iPad app this year and moving ahead with a mobile web initiative, the report notes. Read more on Staples' mobile efforts.

[More on mobile retail: Retailers buying up mobile startups | Retailers put mobile efforts as their top priority]

>> Middle East, Africa region sees explosive growth in tablet shipments

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is seeing explosive growth in tablet shipments, with an 11 percent year-over-year increase in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the latest stats from IDC. The corporate tablet segment saw increased shipment volumes in the quarter, but the boom was spurred primarily by the consumer market, according to Adriana Rangel, research director for systems and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey. Android tablets saw a 16 percent sequential increase in the quarter, while iOS and Windows tablets saw a sequential decline. Read more about the MEA tablet market.

[More on tablets: Tablets to fuel growth in European smart connected device market, says IDC | Tablet production to grow 25% this year, predicts IHS]

>> IT channel firms should seize enterprise mobility opportunity

Enterprise mobility consulting strategy is a lost opportunity for IT channel firms, according to a report by TechTarget. IT channel firms can provide help to enterprise customers by procuring and setting up devices, management contracts and rate plans, mobilizing enterprise apps and providing enterprise consulting services. "Mobility is more of a business problem than a technology problem," Paul DeBeasi, research vice president for enterprise mobility at Gartner, is quoted by TechTarget as saying. Read more on the IT channel mobility opportunities.

[More on mobility consulting: Three steps to balance BYOD and IT support | Get used to multi-vendor mobility management, says report]

>> V2X systems face challenges to widespread adoption

Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) communication systems faces a number of challenges to widespread adoption, cautions Strategy Analytics. These challenges include: cost premium that prevents consumer uptake, lack of critical mass to enable V2X to perform as a viable safety system, security to ensure data privacy and prevent hacking and demand from lower-cost mobile phone-based systems. Read more on V2X system challenges.

[More on V2X systems: More than 40% of European vehicles will employ V2X communications by 2030 | DoT mulls talking cars]