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Apple's iPhone, Mobivity, IBISWorld - News briefs

IPhone users are most engaged compared to other platforms
A survey of smartphone users in Germany, Sweden, France and Britain found that iPhone owners are the most engaged users, with 75 percent of iPhone owners using apps daily and 28 percent searching for vouchers and coupons at least once a week while 25 percent search for coupons in-store and 22 percent receive location-based special offers.

IPhone users are also engaged with price comparison apps, daily deals, loyalty efforts, the mobile Web and mobile commerce, according to the report from Tradedoubler.

Other findings include that BlackBerry owners are most likely to describe mobile commerce as frustrating, followed by Android users. Currently, only 10 percent of Android users make purchases weekly.

Android owners are also more likely to research purchases on the mobile browser, 19 percent versus 9 percent for apps.

The research shows that shoppers? paths to purchase on mobile can resemble a maze. This makes it vital for marketers to understand how different mobile devices and operating systems influence and drive consumer behaviour.

Mobivity acquires mobile loyalty app Stampt
Mobile marketing technology and solutions provider Mobivity has entered a deal to acquire mobile loyalty application Stampt.

The Stampt app, which has been used by more than 1,000 local advertisers in the United States and replaces paper stamp cards, has built-in social features and enables merchants to view usage statistics and deliver special offers to users.

The non-binding letter of intent to acquire the assets of Sequence LLC, which developed the Stampt app, will enable Mobivity to extend its reach to more than 6,000 local advertisers nationwide with a combination of mobile messaging, social and smartphone loyalty capabilities.

According to Sequence, more than 75,000 consumers have downloaded and registered for the Stampt smartphone application on both iPhone and Android platforms and users have logged loyalty points at merchant locations more than half a million times. The app is also participating with market trials with Whole Foods in more than 90 locations across thirteen states.

Further consolidation among wireless carriers is likely
Wireless carriers, who are facing limited resources and an increasingly saturated market, will continue to look to merge and/or acquire smaller prepaid wireless carriers and mobile virtual network operators as a way to gain market share, subscribers and economies of scale, according to a new report from IBISWorld.

The report shows that Verizon is growing at an annual growth rate of 11.9 percent and AT&T at a rate of 9.1 percent. However, T-Mobile's growth rate is negative 1.4 percent while Sprint's is negative 2.6 percent.

However, integrating any incompatible technologies that come with a merger or acquisition could lead to financial losses for these companies.

Following the falling apart of the AT&T, T-Mobile USA merger last year under intense regulatory scrutiny, further consolidation could be good news for the industry. If Sprint or another smaller carrier emerges as a legitimate challenger through a merger and/or additional acquisitions, this could ease regulatory pressures for the market leaders.