News Bytes: Network managers' wireless focus; In like Flint; more
>> Wireless network expansion top priority for network managers
Senior networking managers have identified expansion of their enterprise's wireless networks as their top priority for 2013, according to a report by 451 Research's TheInfoPro research service. This is a shift from last year, when the top priority for networking managers was upgrading the network core, according to interviews with tech professionals and decision makers at large and mid-sized enterprises in North America and Europe. In addition, 40 percent of network managers are increasing their network budgets this year. Security also remains a top concern of network managers, the study finds. Read more on the ABI study (.pdf).
[More on enterprise wireless networks: Mobile OS updates can overwhelm Wi-Fi networks | Cisco, Aruba, Ruckus leaders in enterprise Wi-Fi market, says IDC]
>> In like Flint
Mobile payments startup Flint has raised $6 million in venture capital from a group led by Digicel Group and including SVG Partners, Storm Ventures and True Ventures. Flint recently launched mobile payments support for Android devices to widen its reach beyond iOS, reports TechCrunch. The startup began its journey in May 2012 to provide business owners a way to process payments on the mobile device. Business owners can scan customers' credit cards using the Flint app and the smartphone's camera. The data is encrypted and sent to the backend payment processing system; the customer completes the transaction with a finger signature, the report explains. Read more about Flint.
>> Europe catches mobile shopping bug
The number of European smartphone users accessing online retail sites increased 43 percent year-over-year, reaching 20 percent of smartphone users in the three-month average ending August 2013, according to stats from comScore's MobiLens service. Also, one in seven smartphone users in Europe completed a retail transaction on their mobile phone during the same time period. Taking a picture of a product while in a store was the most popular in-store activity for European smartphone owners, with 23.5 percent doing so during the three-month average ending August 2013. Read more on the comScore stats.
>> Logitech wastes no time in offering iPad Air keyboards, cases
Computer peripherals supplier Logitech is unveiling a line of keyboard and cases for the new iPad Air tablet just in time for Halloween, reports James Kendrick with ZDNet. Tablets with keyboards are highly prized by mobile workers, with 62 percent of those surveyed by Forrester Research saying they prefer a tablet with a keyboard. Three of the Logitech cases include a keyboard: FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air, made from a single piece of thin, water-resistant material; the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air, which provides a lightweight cover/keyboard combination and the Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for iPad Air, which provides a thin cover/keyboard that completely protects the tablet. Read more on Logitech's products.
>> Apple, Samsung buck mobile platform integration trend
Apple and Samsung are bucking the trend toward more integrated mobile platforms. ABI Research forecasts that the share of mobile integrated platform shipments compared to all mobile application processor shipments will jump from 46 percent to 79 percent, while the revenue shares will be higher. Smartphone application processor--integrated and standalone--revenue as a percentage of total mobile device semiconductor revenue for the major components will increase from 71 percent in 2013 to 89 percent in 2018, ABI predicts. While Apple and Samsung have been dragging their feet on integrated platforms for their mobile devices, the research firm expects the two firms to eventually move toward integrated platforms. Read more on ABI's analysis.