Displaying items by tag: launch
Is the market ready for Apple’s 5G iPhone?
Although still limited in scope, 5G networks are here. The only issue, apart from living in a compatible location and being on a compatible network, is that you also need a 5G-enabled phone too.
Most phone makers have now released 5G devices but we're still awaiting the first 5G-enabled iPhone. Apple is expected to unveil a keenly anticipated iPhone 12 line-up starring models tuned to super-fast new 5G telecom networks.
The smartphone giant scheduled an online event for October 13 and analysts expect a selection of iPhone 12 models in multiple sizes to be introduced, with some shipping earlier than others due to the toll the pandemic has taken on the company's supply chain.
"We believe iPhone 12 represents the most significant product cycle for Cook & Co. since iPhone 6 in 2014 and will be another defining chapter in the Apple growth story," Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note to investors, referring to chief executive Tim Cook.
According to Bloomberg, 5G technologies in the US are “still not ready for the masses” and many consumers buying the latest iPhones could find the 5G feature underwhelming as a result. “The country’s three largest wireless carriers, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have yet to roll out 5G in a way that provides consistently higher data speeds or widespread coverage,” it reports.
However, analysts believe that it was high time for Apple to hit the market with an iPhone tailored to the super-fast 5G telecom networks taking root around the world. "Apple absolutely needs 5G right now," said Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart, "not for the US, but for China, where 5G is driving purchase decisions."
“Apple got away with not releasing a 5G device last year because the 5G use-cases and network coverage simply wasn't there," said Futuresource Consulting research analyst Stephen Mears.
"Apple won't want to be perceived as being two generations behind on 5G handsets."
The launch of 5G iPhones is likely to be used as the staging post for a fresh wave of expansions and announcements from network operators. After Apple rolled out its first 4G LTE iPhone in 2012, major US carriers built out their networks.
Amazon UAE launches all-new Kindle Oasis
Today Amazon.ae announced the launch of the all-new Kindle Oasis in the UAE, which offers many new innovative features.
Samsung to launch investigation into Galaxy Fold phones following complaints
South Korean conglomerate Samsung has announced that they will conduct an investigation into its Galaxy Fold phones following a series of complaints.
The world’s No.1 smartphone vendor confirmed that it will inspect units of its much vaunted foldable smartphone after a number of reviewers reported screen damage.
A handful of US-based reporters were given the flagship Galaxy Fold phones, priced at $1,980, ahead of the model's official release next week. However, they reported screen issues within days of using the devices which set alarms bell ringing in Seoul. Samsung are still scarred by the issues it endured with the Galaxy Note 7. It was forced to recall all of its units after reports the devices were overheating and in some incidents were self-combusting.
Below is a snapshot of what some of the reviewers wrote about Samsung’s new flagship smartphone.
“The screen on my Galaxy Fold review unit is completely broken and unusable just two days in," Bloomberg's Mark Gunman tweeted. Dieter Bohn of The Verge said: "Something happened to my Galaxy Fold screen and caused a bulge. It's broken."
Samsung spent nearly eight years developing the Galaxy Fold, which is part of the South Korean tech giant's strategy to propel growth with groundbreaking gadgets.
“We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter," Samsung said in a statement after reports of the screen damage emerged. The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, which is part of the display structure designed to protect the screen from unintended scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers."
Some of the reviewers, including Bloomberg's Gunman, had removed this layer. CNBC's Steve Kovach said he had not, but still faced major problems with the device. Samsung is the world's biggest smartphone maker, and earlier this month launched the 5G version of its top-end Galaxy S10 device.
Swisscom partners with Ericsson to launch Europe’s first large scale 5G networks
Swiss telecommunications operator Swisscom has launched the continent’s first large scale 5G networks in partnership with Swedish vendor Ericsson.
In a statement released by the Swedish telecommunications behemoth it confirmed that the 5G network was launched in 54 cities across Switzerland after the operator secured a license to operate a 5G network in the country.
Ericsson has seen its financial coffers significantly boosted by its success in the North American market following the publication of its Q1 results.
Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm expressed his delight at the launch of the 5G networks in Switzerland and predicted that the company would up the ante in relation to 5G in the large parts of Asia by the end of this year.
Ekholm said, “To date we have publicly announced commercial 5G deals with 18 named operator customers, which, at the moment, is more than any other vendor. The company would continue to incur costs for field trials and we’re expecting large-scale deployments of 5G to begin in parts of Asia by the end of 2019. Combined, this will gradually impact short-term margins but strengthen our position in the long term.”
Shares of Ericsson rocketed on the Stockholm stock exchange with the company reporting an increase of 3% which represented a four-year high for the vendor.
Ericsson, one of Chinese telecom giant Huawei's main rivals in the 5G market, said earlier this year it hadn't felt any effects from US pressure on countries to ban Huawei's equipment amid fears that it could compromise the security of the mobile phone networks.
Ericsson launches critical communications broadband portfolio for service providers
Ericsson has launched its critical communications broadband portfolio for service providers. This will enable service providers to meet the business-critical and mission-critical needs of industries and public safety agencies as digitalization and modernization of land mobile radio communications increases.
When communication is disrupted by minutes, seconds, or even milliseconds, it can have huge consequences for business operations, or serious implications for public safety. The need for fast and reliable communication is therefore paramount.
Such critical communications are used in many areas: from first responders and nationwide emergency services to workforce safety in enterprises. There is a growing demand for business and mission-critical broadband for such use cases. Service providers need to deliver the highest level of availability, reliability and security to meet this demand.
To meet critical communications users’ needs, Ericsson has developed a new portfolio comprising three offerings: critical network capabilities; critical broadband applications;\ and flexible deployments for both local private networks, and nationwide mission-critical LTE networks.
Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “We see growth opportunities for service providers and government operators by addressing new segments with LTE/5G networks. Our critical broadband portfolio will enable our customers to effectively secure the critical communication needs of sectors such as public safety, energy and utilities, transportation, and manufacturing.”
Critical network capabilities
This offering includes advanced features for critical network performance and covers the following: high network availability; multi-network operation with spectrum sharing techniques; and coverage and capacity for critical applications. It also includes network security capabilities that ensure network services are maintained even when the infrastructure is under attack. Finally, quality of service, priority and preemption all guarantee latency performance and capacity requirements during high load and congestion.
The critical network capabilities include new features that simplify the rollout of broadcasting services across nationwide areas. Another new feature enables radio access sites to operate in fallback mode, should the network connection fail. This offering also includes deployable systems that allow temporary coverage for disaster recovery and operations in rural areas without existing coverage.
Critical broadband applications
This offering covers Ericsson Group-Radio that provides mission-critical push-to-talk, data and video services. This will enable, for example, blue light personnel such as the police to be more effective in performing community services that require advanced mobile broadband.
Flexible deployments for private networks
New business models are emerging for industries. From owning and operating their own networks, critical industries are now procuring private networks and services that leverage service providers’ existing network assets and operations – without compromising required local control.
Ericsson’s flexible deployments for private networks range from network slicing to fully dedicated networks, enabling service providers to offer scalable, critical broadband network solutions and services for critical industries.
Ericsson also offers managed services for private networks, with solutions based on AI and automation that predict and prevent events while reducing OPEX. These solutions enable service providers to reduce time-to-market and onboard new industries, while securing critical service level agreements.
Critical broadband will enable industries to increase efficiency through the following: enhancing workforce productivity and safety; massive onboarding of devices and sensors; real-time location of assets and equipment; and data collection to boost equipment and personnel performance and avoid downtime.
Samsung’s voice-based assistant now available in over 200 countries
South Korean conglomerate Samsung have announced that its voice-based assistant entitled ‘Bixby’ is now available for Galaxy S8 users in over 200 countries worldwide following its release in the US last month.
The world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer had launched Bixby domestically and in the US, but now voice-assistant technology is available in countries such as the UK, Canada, Australia and South Africa. Samsung developed the feature in an attempt to catch-up with Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.
Bixby currently only supports English and Korean, and issued a statement highlighting the fact that not all accents, dialects and expressions will be recognized. It stressed that it will take time for Bixby to adapt and understand regional dialects.
The statement read, “Natural language understanding allows Bixby to continuously improve its ability to interpret regional dialects. But since Bixby learns more frequently used command terms more quickly, it will take more time for Bixby to fully understand regional dialects that are used less frequently.”
The electronics colossus has revealed that Bixby’s features include Quick Commands which allows users to create a custom voice command to use instead of a sequence of one or more demands. In addition to this, Samsung’s voice-assistant can also grasp the understanding of cross-application commands and features deep learning technology which can improve over a period of time which can then recognize personal preferences and ways of talking.
The statement added that when an application becomes Bixby-enabled, the platform will support every task the application is capable of performing using voice, touch or text. EVP and Head of Research and Development at Samsung Electronics mobile, Injong Rhee has predicted that the emergence and evolution of Bixby will lead to a more seamless connection for users across a range of devices.
Rhee said, “The expansion of Bixby’s voice capabilities is an initial step in the continued rollout of Bixby functionality. In the future, Bixby will have the learning power to offer more intelligent and personalised interactions and seamless connections across more devices.”
It has also been disclosed that Samsung is intending on expanding Bixby’s voice capabilities to additional countries, languages, devices, features and third-party applications. Samsung first unveiled its voice-assistant back in March, but it suffered some teething problems when the launch of the English version of the product was delayed. It then targeted a launch date in May, but that was pushed back to the end of June, before Bixby was eventually launched in the US in July.
However, it now places Samsung amongst the ever-competitive AI voice-assistant market and analysts are predicting Bixby to be a biggest success for the South Korean colossus.
ZTE increases market share in US smartphone market due to budget-friendly devices
Chinese telecommunications conglomerate ZTE has increased its market share in the US smartphone industry. Analysts have suggested that its success is down to a combination of aggressive marketing and its manufacturing of cheap and affordable devices.
Research from Counterpoint Technology has indicated that the Chinese firm has enjoyed a rise of 36% in the shipment of its smartphones to the US. ZTE sold 4.8 million units in the second quarter of this year. However, the launch of another big-screen, budget-friendly smartphone in the US is estimated to bring more success for the Chinese vendor.
ZTE is already the fourth largest smartphone vendor in the US, and is increasing the pressure on its rivals which include LG, Samsung and Apple. ZTE has formally announced that it will launch the Blade Z Max after it agreed to enter a partnership with Metro-PCS. It has been disclosed that the new device will retail at $129, which is the same price point as the ZTE Max XL.
ZTE strategy is quite clear, and it is also evident that it is proving to be a very successful one. CEO of ZTE’s mobile devices, Lixin Cheng said the firm’s latest device focuses on high-end specifications at an affordable price in order to make it available for the masses.
ZTE’s new device does boast a number of premium features, which include a six-inch full HD IPS LCD display with a scratch resistant screen. When compared with its much more expensive counterparts such as the iPhone 7 and the OnePlus 5, it has many of the same features and capabilities as those devices. The Blaze Z Max has dual rear cameras at 16 megapixels.
It has been announced that Metro-PCS will begin taking pre-orders for the Blade Z Max online, whilst it will also be available in some selected Metro-PCS stores from August 28th. In addition to being the fourth-largest smartphone vendor in the US, ZTE has also established itself as the second-largest vendor in the no-contract market sector.
The encouraging latest figures released show that ZTE’s US strategy is having the desired effect, and with this latest device launch, which is expected to be a massive success, the future looks bright for the Chinese conglomerate as its aims to accelerate its growth in the US market in 2018.
Sony launches smartphone with super slow-motion video capabilities to its flagship series
Sony has introduced two new smartphones to market, one of which will be added to its flagship Xperia X series with the launch of the XZs. The Xperia XZs has arrived to much fanfare - and it boasts a number of advanced features – including slow-motion recording capabilities which have excited consumers in Asia.
Sony also introduced the Xperia XA1 – the device is aimed at more budget conscious consumers and has a power efficient processor specifically aimed to enable longer battery stamina within the device. The camera is without doubt the main focus of the XZs – it features a new 19-Megapixel camera that Sony bosses have claimed has 19% larger pixels in order to capture more light. In addition to this, the XZs which will take residence in the organizations flagship series possess the ability to capture videos in super slow-motion at a blazing 960 frames per-second (fps) that slows fast-moving subjects to snail’s crawl.
Another eye-catching feature of the new smartphone XZ introduced by Sony is that camera also has a ‘predictive capture’ feature which automatically starts buffering images when it detects motion – which effectively enables you to capture that desired picture in an effortless manner. However, if this isn’t enough for you, the camera also possesses capabilities to record videos in 4K resolution and has 5-axis stabilization for smoother videos.
In modern society, we like to photograph and document everything - we even take pictures of our meals and post them on social media channels. The new XZs has a 22mm wide-angle lens that Sony sources says will allow you to fit more people into a group selfie! Specs-wise, the XZs come powered by a Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded to 256GB via microSD card. The Xperia XZs will come in three different colors which are ice blue, black, and warm silver and reports are suggested the product will retail at $655.
Sony has also catered for its more budgetary conscious customer base following the introduction of the XA1 smartphone, this latest release continues the borderless design initially introduced by the company in 2016, and features a 5-inch edge-to-edge design with a 720p resolution. On the camera side, the XA1 boasts a 23-Megapixel camera with Exmor RS sensor that is complemented by a 24mm wide-angle lens and f/2.0 aperture to allow for better lowlight capture.
Both products are expected to be available for pre-order from March 29 until April 9 at authorized locations and online via 11Street. Pre-order customers of the XZs will get a SBH80 stereo Bluetooth headset, UCH12W Quick Charger and a silicon case while XA1 customers get a DK60 charging dock, silicon case and tempered glass screen protector.
Xiaomi ends months of speculation by announcing Pakistan launch
Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi have finally ended months of speculation by officially announcing its intentions to launch in Pakistan with analysts suggesting that this move represents the firm’s ambition to restart its global expansion.
The Chinese gadget manufacturer has expanded at a pedestrian since its 2011 debut in China. Xiaomi, which is headquartered in Beijing – focused initially on Southeast Asia, India and parts of the Middle East and Brazil – and its proposed entry into Pakistan is the company’s largest since that move to South America in 2015.
The declaration from Xiaomi finally ends months of official denials from the firm – Pakistan is the world’s sixth most populous country in the world, and represents a potentially lucrative market for the Chinese smartphone maker.
Like its introduction to Brazil, Xiaomi will enter Pakistan through a distribution partnership – with Rocket Internet’s e-commerce marketplace Daraz which is present in locations such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
Jack Yung, Sales director for Xiaomi, in South Asia, disclosed that three models will be introduced to the market on an initial basis – coupled with plans to make its budget Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4A also available.
Chinese smartphones have had a presence in Pakistan for a number of years - brands such as Huawei and Oppo have enjoyed success in the region. Part of their marketing strategy was to use celebrities and sporting personalities to push their products, while also embarking on extensive billboard advertising and primetime spots on national television.
Analysts feel Xiaomi could find it difficult to penetrate the market in Pakistan, its introduction will be met with a wave of publicity and fanfare – but with its insistence on selling exclusively online it may find it hard to carve out a space for itself. In Pakistan, most shopping is done offline; some estimates of the e-commerce sector vary between US$40 million and US$50 million. So, unless Xiaomi decides to change tact and place its phones and gadgets in retail outlets, then it may face challenges.
Pakistan is adding one million 3G/4G connections every month, and smartphone imports increased by a whopping 124% in the first quarter of 2015, according to data provided by the IDC. However, still large parts of the country’s vast population remains off line, so there is a large demand for cheap, sturdy, 3G phones in the marketplace.
ZTE to unveil its first ‘gigabit’ handset at Mobile World Congress
China’s ZTE has announced that it will unveil its first ‘gigabit’ handset at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. The eagerly anticipated device is set to contain 360-degree panoramic video capabilities, enhanced HD video and cloud storage.
Full specifications of the new handset remain under wraps, but the Chinese company teased the Barcelona launch of the ZTE Gigabit Phone alongside an upgraded version of its flagship Axon7 and other new products in its Blaze series.
ZTE have further disclosed that its new device offers an improved entertainment experience –which includes a fast cache of high quality music and video content. In a statement issued by the Chinese firm they revealed that the new ZTE Gigabit Phone represented an important cornerstone on the path to 5G.
A spokesman said: “The introduction of the forward-looking smartphone, the ZTE Gigabit Phone, marks an important cornerstone for the 5G mobile era.” In addition to this, ZTE believes the device will revolutionize ‘connectivity’ with a new standard of download speeds, 1Gb/s, bringing a qualitative leap to a new world of mobile experience.
Analysts are predicted that Gigabit LTE will be a key theme at Mobile World Congress this year, which follows a demonstration of network technology which was conducted by Australian firm Telstra in January.
Analyst firm CCS offered their predictions for MWC, they said: “Gigabit LTE is going to be the headline story when it comes to network evolution. To deliver the download speeds to consumers, they will need a device able of accessing next-generation technology.”