News Scan: Samsung to launch standalone smartwatch; DT promises mid-Sept. iPhone 6; more


>> Samsung to launch standalone smartwatch

Samsung is reportedly launching a standalone smartwatch that will be able to make calls as well as surf the internet without requiring a smartphone, the Wall Street Journal reports. Samsung hopes to unveil the smartwatch, which will run on the Tizen operating system, in June and July of this year, according to sources familiar with the situation. "Samsung is estimated to be the dominant vendor of wearables, but it will take quite a bit of time for sales to contribute to the company's earnings," Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at IBK Securities in Seoul, is quoted by the newspaper as observing. Read more

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>> Report: DT promises customers iPhone 6 in mid-September

German carrier Deutsche Telekom is promising customers that stay with the carrier a mid-September launch of the iPhone 6, AppleInsider reports. The date, while not confirmed by Cupertino, would jive with other major iPhone launches by Apple. The iPhone 5s and 5c were launched on Sept. 20 of last year, and the iPhone 5 was made available on Sept. 21 the previous year, the publication notes. Read more

[More on iPhone: Future iPhone to have NFC chip | Rumor mill: Apple iPhone 6 could be coming this summer]

>> Intuit buys mobile bill pay service Check for $390M

In an apparent effort to expand in the mobile payment market, Intuit has agreed to buy Check, a mobile bill pay service, for $390 million, the Wall Street Journal reports. More than 10 million people use Check's smartphone app to track and pay bills. Check expects revenue of more than $20 million this year, according to sources consulted by the Journal.  Read more

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>> Mobile broadband revenue to explode in Asia-Pacific

Mobile broadband revenue in the Asia-Pacific region is forecast by IDC to increase at a 19.3 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2012 to 2017, reaching $141.2 billion by 2017. "LTE subs will hold the highest five-year CAGR of 44.3 percent compared to other mobile technology, and Singapore will lead the growth in the region and achieve a CAGR of 103 percent in 2017. With this trend, mobile broadband has already become an imperative strategy for operators, considering the high investments and to offset revenue losses" from over-the-top players, says Ashadi Cahyadi, senior research manager at IDC Asia/Pacific Telecommunication Group. Read more

[More on Asia-Pacific: Cellular M2M connections to triple in Asia by 2017, predicts IHS | Asia-Pacific enterprise mobile collaboration market to take off, predicts Frost]

>> South Korea's Kakao buys Daum in $3B stock swap deal

South Korean's leading mobile messaging service provider Kakao has agreed to buy Internet portal Daum in a stock swap deal worth $3 billion, according to a report by Bloomberg. Following the acquisition, Kakao shareholders will hold more than two-thirds of the combined company, to be renamed Daum Kakao. "Kakao's move to possibly list itself through the merger with Daum cuts down time and costs," Huh Nam Kwon, chief investment officer at Shinyoung Asset Management, tells Bloomberg. Read more

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