Sports fans are using their mobile devices to stay connected with teams and events in a number of ways, and increasingly these functions are migrating to social networks. One survey showed that nearly 1 in 4 Americans online planned to track the NCAA Tournament in March through a social network. Meanwhile, mobile ticket sales, fan clubs and text alerts are also winning popularity.
In what appears to be a big step in the daily-deal space, Google has acquired The Dealmap, a service that uses Google Maps to chart deal availability in a user's immediate area. The move could presage the combination of Google Offers and Google Wallet with a mapping service to produce the most convenient and highly integrated deal website. It also indicates that the search giant is angling to compete with deal leaders Groupon and LivingSocial.
Amazon launched its Appstore for Android apps in March, and the response so far has made the effort a success, says store director Aaron Rubenson. Games are the biggest seller, and Rubenson says Amazon's control over pricing and promotions gives it an advantage in maximizing sales.
American Express has entered into an agreement with Verizon Wireless to give the carrier's subscribers access to its Serve mobile-payments system. The solution initially will enable users to transfer money between Serve accounts, but the companies are said to be working on a system that would support in-store, point-of-sale purchases. The Verizon deal is the second for Serve; in July AmEx signed a similar agreement with Sprint.
Canalys reported the Android mobile operating system was in 48% of smartphones shipped worldwide in the second quarter, with 51.9 million Android-based phones shipped in the period. Android is especially strong in Asia, with an 85% market share in South Korea and 71% in Taiwan. Apple's iOS took second place in the quarter, with 20.3 million iPhones shipped, good enough for a 19% share.