News Scan: FCC launches mobile health task force; Marketers shut mobile banner ads; more


>> FCC launches mobile health task force

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has launched a task force on mobile health called Connect2HealthFCC. The task force will examine ways to speed the adoption of healthcare technology through the deployment of broadband and other communications services, according to a report by eWeek. Michele Ellison, current head of the Enforcement Bureau, has been named chair of the task force. She will work with FCC staff as well as public and private stakeholders in healthcare and technology, the report adds. Read more on the FCC's task force.

[More on mobile health: Mobile companies get lion's share of VC funding for healthcare IT | Mobile health hubs will boost telehealth market, says IHS]

>> Marketers move away from mobile banner ads

Marketers are moving toward social-media-driven, native advertising placements and away from mobile banner ads, Mobile Marketer reports. The latest examples of this trend are the recent investments by Omnicom and Mondelēz. Omnicom signed a $100 million deal with Instagram to roll-out a year-long ad program for brand clients, and Mondelēz inked a deal with Facebook to give it preferential rates, the first look at new advertising products, custom data insights and educational opportunities, the report notes. Read more on the shift away from mobile banner ads.

[More on mobile advertising: Mobile ads are not your father's online adsYahoo ditches banner ads, others may follow suit]

>> UK banks unveil Paym mobile payment system

The UK banking industry is launching a new mobile payment system called Paym that is designed to make it easier for customers to transfer money to other bank accounts using mobile phone apps, the BBC reports. Once users register their bank accounts with Paym, payments can be made by using a recipient's phone number. Sort codes and account numbers will not have to be keyed in for each transaction, the report explains. Banks that will offer the Paym system include Bank of Scotland, Barclays, the Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Santander and TSB Bank. Read more on the Paym system.

[More on mobile payments: Apple mulls mobile payments | PayPal leads lackluster mobile wallet race]

>> Chinese to account for half of mobile handset shipments next year

Fueled by the shift to low-cost devices, Chinese vendors will account for over half of mobile handset shipments next year, according to ABI Research. Last year, Chinese vendors account for 38 percent of mobile handset shipments. "The Chinese vendors highlight the changing shape of the mobile handset market, as the Chinese manufacturing ecosystem, specifically reference designs, enable the next wave of smartphone growth in low cost emerging markets and amongst price conscious consumers everywhere," says Nick Spencer, senior practice director for mobile devices at ABI. Read more of ABI's Chinese handset forecast.

[More on China: Emerging markets put downward pressure on smartphone prices | China's red hot smartphone market cools]

>> Samsung to supply Apple's new A8 chip

Despite their intense smartphone competition, Samsung and Apple have signed a contract for Samsung to supply Apple's next-generation A-series processor called "A8", according to AppleInsider citing a report by ZDNet Korea. Production of the A8 chip will begin this fall. "Samsung's position as the contract foundry for Apple's closely-guarded A-series processors, arguably the most important component in the company's top-selling iOS devices, is believed to be especially tenuous," AppleInsider explains.

[More on Samsung and Apple: Apple, Samsung lead semiconductor purchasers | Samsung bests Apple as top enterprise smartphone vendor, judges ABI]