News Scan: Walmart, Walgreens apps fail on security; Europe moves closer to universal cellphone charger; more


>> Walmart, Walgreens apps fail on security

As more and more retailers churn out mobile apps, they may not be doing their due diligence on the security front. A recent test finds that Wal-Mart's and Walgreens' iOS mobile apps expose user passwords, account names, email addresses and geolocation data. Read more on the vulnerability of some apps.

[More on app security: IT pros fret about corporate mobile app security | Attackers circumvent security through app store, hardware]

>> Europe moves closer to a universal cellphone charger

Bad news for device manufacturers could be good news for consumers. The European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a directive requiring that "mobile phones that are made available on the market should be compatible with a common charger." EU member states would then have two years to implement the law, and after that, mobile device manufacturers would have a year to comply. Read more on the one charger to rule them all.

[More on chargers: CTIA supports standardized chargers and headphone jacks | Motion-powered mobile charger coming next year]

>> Gartner: Good news for PC, tablet fans

There's good news for PC fans on the horizon. Enterprises and consumers will no longer substitute tablet purchases for notebook PC purchases, predicts Gartner. "Tablet substitution of notebooks will start to dissipate from this year onwards as consumers and businesses align the right device with the right usage pattern," says Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. There's also good news for tablets fans. Tablet shipments are expected to grow 38.6 percent this year, as markets outside of North America catch the tablet bug. Read more about the cohabitation of PCs and tablets.

[More on PCs and tablets: Macs get thumbs up in the enterprise | Tablets to fuel growth in European smart connected device market, says IDC]

>> Retail banking investment in mobile channel set to soar, says Ovum

Retail banking investment in the mobile channel is expected to increase even faster than investment in online banking, which is forecast to grow 6.4 percent this year and reach $10 billion by 2018, predicts market research firm Ovum. In addition, banks' IT investment in business development is expected to reach $13.6 billion in 2018. Overall, retail banking IT spending is forecast by Ovum to total $152.5 billion in 2018. Read more on the money being spent on banking IT.

[More on mobile banking: Explosive mobile biometrics growth fueled by mobile transactions | Leading UK banks sign on to Zapp mobile payment platform]

>> Mobile broadband explosion to fuel mobile data monitoring demand

The exponential growth of mobile broadband will fuel demand for mobile data monitoring products, which help improve network performance and customer experience, says market research firm Frost & Sullivan. As a result, revenue generated by mobile data monitoring products is predicted to triple by 2020, reaching more than $1 billion by then. The firm expects machine-to-machine (M2M) communications to make an increasing share of mobile broadband demand as M2M devices are expected to surpass 50 billion in number. Read more on the future of mobile broadband.

[More on mobile broadband: 4G LTE competition shifts from coverage to higher data speeds, more capacity | 4G LTE will account for 50% of US wireless connections by end of 2014]