iPhones & WeChat; Facebook Financial; More 5G Spectrum; Video Game Spending Up

The US executive order banning WeChat could have a big impact on Apple. Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is quoted in Macrumors as saying if Apple has to drop the app from iPhones, it could cost them 25-30% of their sales in China. Apparently, Mobile users there use the app for messaging, payment, e-commerce, social networking, news reading, and productivity…kind of a one-stop app. If WeChat only has to come out of the US App store, Apple would only take a 3% hit. Last quarter, China accounted for 15% of Apple revenue.

Facebook has decided to wade further into commerce with the creation of a new group focused on payments. According to Bloomberg, it’s called F2 internally (short for Facebook Financial), and is intended to take care of all payments-related projects including Facebook Pay, the company’s own e-commerce system. The plan is to unify payments on the company’s various platforms such as Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp under one roof. Facebook believes that enabling such purchases will make advertising more valuable.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has agreed to give up 100MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum for commercial use, a process that will augment U.S. 5G networks over the next two years. That band is considered a good compromise between older low band cell range and the new 5G bands. The band will support towers and devices operating at “full commercial power levels” from coast to coast. Spectrum will be auctioned in 2021, and it should be available for consumers by 2022.

If it wasn’t already obvious that the coronavirus has been a boon for the video game market, industry analysts at the NPD Group have more evidence. Engadget.com reports that people spent more on video games in the US in the second quarter than ever before. Total spending of $11.6 billion marked a 30 percent year-over-year increase and a seven percent bump over the prior quarter, when spending hit a then-record of $10.9 billion. Hardware sales were “only” $848 million, but that mark represented a massive 57 percent bump from Q2 2019.


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