Blog Post

Mobile Lowdown 6-1-11: WHO Cell Risks; Tapjoy; Moto; eBay; Apple iCloud

A look at some of the big stories in mobile today: a scary cell phone warning from the World Health Organization; Tapjoy dishes the dirt on Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) pulling the pay-per-install model; some hints at Motorola’s new products; eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) lashes out on mobile data in the UK; and some more possibilities of what Apple might have in store for its new iCloud service.

WHO: The World Health Organization has become the latest (and possibly biggest) group to officially say that mobile phone technology could pose a safety risk to those using it. Specifically, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the WHO, has now classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (used by mobile phones) as possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on evidence that extended use of mobile phones (30 minutes per day for 10 years) can lead to brain cancer. There is more research going on (details here), and there will doubtless be further evidence to the contrary, so the takeaway for the average consumer, unfortunately, looks like continuing uncertainty for the time being.

Tapjoy: The mobile marketing company Tapjoy has released some findings (via VentureBeat) of a survey of developers in the wake of Apple’s decision to disallow apps to offer pay-per-install incentives to users, which allowed app makers to market their apps in exchange for virtual currency in apps (often games) that they already own. The bottom line is that a large number are worried about the loss of revenue and traffic, and are considering more work on other platforms as a result.

Motorola: A peek at a new home page for Motorola (NYSE: MMI) Mobility reveals a host of new products from the company, including a new Xoom tablet, a watch phone and slim Android devices. There may well be a ring of truth to this one: the blog PocketNow, which uncovered the holding site, was requested by Moto to remove all images from its post on the news.

eBay: The auction site has filed a complaint with the UK regulator Ofcom about the poor state of mobile Internet in the country. It has commissioned research that found 16 percent of the UK remains a “not-spot” in terms of mobile data connections, and says businesses are missing out on some £1.3 billion ($2.1 billion) in sales each year (via TechRadar).

iCloud: Wondering what else, besides music, Apple may be planning for its iCloud streaming service? Films are likely to be one big area — especially if Apple hopes to compete against the likes of Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN). CNET says that it’s already been in negotiations with big film studios to iron out the details.