According to a report from eMarketer, Google earned more than half of the $8.8 billion (£5.6 billion) global advertisers spent on mobile Internet ads last year. The organisation estimates that Google made $4.61 billion (£2.94 billion) in mobile Internet ad revenues last year — more than triple its earnings in 2011. This year's revenues are expected to be even higher, reaching $8.85 billion (£5.64 billion). Facebook, which is expected to increase mobile revenues by more than 333 per cent, will end 2013 with only $2 billion (£1.27 billion). Meanwhile, Twitter falls into fifth place with $0.31 billion (£197 million) in mobile Internet ad revenues. Now, with its monetisation of YouTube and growing adoption of mobile advertising, Google looks set to continue its upward streak, increasing revenues even faster than the overall market.
The Saudi Arabian government has reportedly revealed plans to ban communications tool WhatsApp. The Kingdom's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has cited difficulties with monitoring the application, which is used by around 250 million people worldwide, as the main reason for the possible suspension but is also unhappy with the fact that free services like WhatsApp and Viber deprive native telecommunications companies of revenue from international calls and texts. "We have been communicating with WhatsApp and other similar communication platforms to get them to cooperate and comply with the Saudi telecom providers, however nothing has come of this communication yet," the CITC's governor told Arab News. According to the CITC, the WhatsApp ban will come into play on 9 July – one week before the start of the holy month of Ramadan – if negotiations remain stagnant. Viber, which has around 200 million users, was blocked in early June for similar reasons.
The fallout from Prism has continued today, with Apple joining fellow tech giants Microsoft and Facebook in revealing the amount of data requests it has received from the National Security Agency (NSA). The Cupertino-based manufacturer says it has been authorised to share the requests data and is doing so "in the interest of transparency." From 1 December 2012 to 31 May 2013, Apple received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from the US government to pass on customer data, covering between 9,000 and 10,000 devices. The disclosure follows similar moves from Microsoft and Facebook at the end of last week. Microsoft revealed information had been requested for approximately 31,000 customer accounts in the second half of 2012, while social network Facebook said it received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests covering 19,000 accounts over the same period. We recently took a closer look at the Prism episode and its implications, while our guide to staying anonymous online is proving increasingly popular as users attempt to limit the exposure of personal data.
Finally, Samsung has begun mass production of a PCI-Express (PCIe) solid-state drive (SSD) for ultra-slim laptops, which it claims is an industry first. The new XP941 range of SSDs will be available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities, with a PCIe 2.0 interface, which allows for sequential read speeds of 1,400MB/s, substantially higher than the top speeds of a SATA 6Gb/s device. 500GB of data, such as 100 high-definition movies, will transfer in just six minutes, while 10 5GB high-definition movies will transfer in 36 seconds. This works out at roughly seven times the speed of a standard HDD and 2.5 times faster than the top SATA SSDs. The XP941 also comes in a smaller form factor, measuring just 80mm by 22mm, which is a seventh of the space of a 2.5in SATA SSD. This will allow more space in laptops for other parts, such as a bigger battery.