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Weekly Insights Feb 12, 2016

Executive Summary

  • It is that time of year again, when love is in the air—and Americans are expected to spend fully $19.7 billion on loved ones this Valentine’s Day. Some 55% of US consumers who responded to a survey said they will mark Valentine’s Day, spending an average of $146.84 on products and services, up 3% from last year. Candy is the top Valentine’s category.
  • Worldwide mobile app store revenue is forecast to reach $101 billion in five years as smartphones become cheaper and data plans more accessible. The number of smartphone and tablet users is expected to more than double by 2020, to 6.2 billion, up from 2.6 billion today, and some of the strongest growth will come from India, Indonesia, China, Mexico, Brazil and Turkey.
  • Amazon Prime is now available to customers in Belgium. The annual membership fee is €49 (US$55), which is lower than the fee in the US and the UK. For customers ages 18 to 24, Amazon is offering Prime membership at a discounted fee of €24 (US$27). The services in Belgium, however, are more limited than those offered in the US and the UK.
  • SK Telecom and Ericsson are building a network to connect handsets to wireless networks and wired infrastructure. “5G will be a hundred times faster than LTE networks, and [the] data transfer rate is projected to be over 20 Gbps,” said SK Telecom.

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