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Samsung debuts Note 9

Samsung this week released the new Galaxy Note 9, with the largest display, battery size and storage yet seen in the company’s smartphones.

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Samsung this week unveiled the Galaxy Note9, with the largest display yet on a Samsung smartphone, and greater functionality in the S Pen stylus.

Samsung says it is designed for customers who need a device that supports both personal and professional needs, and that it powers productivity on-the-go from day to night, without compromising on security.

“The impact mobile technology has had on business in the last decade is extraordinary and continuously evolving, driven by converging technologies that fuel innovation,” said Craige Fleisher, Vice President of Integrated Mobility for Samsung South Africa.  “Samsung has always been at the forefront of this transformation – a movement that we call the Next Mobile Economy. In this mobile-first world, all companies are challenged to rethink the way they do business.”

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be available for pre-order from August 9 and general availability on August 21, 2018. It will be offered in Midnight Black, Metallic Copper with matching S-Pen and Ocean Blue, with a yellow S Pen.

Samsung provided the following information on the features and functionality of the Note 9:

·          S Pen: Galaxy Note9 introduces the new S Pen with remote control delivering capabilities that empower the user to do more. The S Pen features Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) that makes it even more powerful: you can use your S Pen as a clicker to move through a PowerPoint presentation, without the need for a mouse when in DeX mode. And new customised clicks make it easy to quickly launch an app or take a photo.

·          Speed & Power: the cutting-edge 10nm processor now comes with the fastest network speeds available in the market with up to 1.2 gigabits per second, meaning users can download and stream content without any lag.

·          Store More, Delete Less: Galaxy Note9 comes with the default base storage of 128GB or 512GB. With expandable memory, the Galaxy Note9 is 1TB ready so users can create and store without running out of space.

·          Samsung DeX: by connecting a single HDMI adaptor to a screen, the Galaxy Note9 transforms into a PC-like experience with a simple ‘plug and play’.

Powering your business

First-class security is now more important than ever to achieve enhanced mobility. The Samsung Galaxy Note9 combines defence-grade security with the most comprehensive configuration, deployment and management features on the market.

·         Defence-Grade Security: Samsung Knox delivers the industry’s leading security features to the enterprise protecting devices at multiple layers including hardware software and applications.

·         Streamlined Deployment: Knox Configure allows businesses to remotely configure devices in bulk to change settings, install software and establish policy updates for further protection.

·         Enterprise Management: E-FOTA allows administrators to control OS updates and security patches for an entire fleet of devices via existing EMM infrastructure.

·         Biometric Authentication: Samsung provides multiple options for authentication that suits different working environments including fingerprint scanning, iris scanning, facial recognition and Intelligent Scan.

·         Enterprise Edition: Samsung’s Enterprise Edition unlocked smartphones come with Knox Configure, Samsung E-FOTA on MDM and regular security updates included. Now, you can make the impact your business demands with the combination of powerful and simple device management, support from tailored partner solutions, customization capabilities and defence-grade security.

The Galaxy Note9 combines advanced hardware and software to help businesses across all sectors, from manufacturing and retail, to healthcare and financial services, to achieve more through mobile technology.

Powering your day and night       

·         6.4” Infinity Display: Featuring a stunning 6.4” Infinity Display, the Galaxy Note9 is not only perfectly engineered but also beautifully designed.

·         Most Powerful Camera: Shoot like a pro and capture the best of work, and the best of play. The dual aperture works like an eye, adjusting to any light so your team can take stunning pictures anytime and anywhere. Plus, capture optimization and instant flaw detection makes it almost impossible to take a bad shot.

·         Long Lasting Battery: Reflecting the importance of battery performance to power-users, the Galaxy Note9’s 4,000mAh battery is the largest-ever on a flagship Galaxy phone, allowing users to create, consume content and communicate from morning to night.

·         Dual SIM: In addition, the new Galaxy Note9’s dual SIM allows users to use two SIMs in one phone. Whether for data on a business trip or just separating work and personal numbers, the dual SIM gives the user the balance their life needs.

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Rain, Telkom Mobile, lead in affordable data

A new report by the telecoms regulator in South Africa reveal the true consumer champions in mobile data costs

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The latest bi-annual tariff analysis report produced by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) reveals that Telkom Mobile data costs for bundles are two-thirds lower than those of Vodacom and MTN. On the other hand, Rain is half the price again of Telkom. 

The report focuses on the 163 tariff notifications lodged with ICASA during the period 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2018.

“It seeks to ensure that there is retail price transparency within the electronic communications sector, the purpose of which is to enable consumers to make an informed choice, in terms of tariff plan preferences and/or preferred service providers based on their different offerings,” said Icasa.

ICASA says it observed the competitiveness between licensees in terms of the number of promotions that were on offer in the market, with 31 promotions launched during the period. 

The report shows that MTN and Vodacom charge the same prices for a 1GB and a 3GB data bundle at R149 and R299 respectively.  On the other hand, Telkom Mobile charges (for similar-sized data bundles) R100 (1GB) and R201 (3GB). Cell C discontinued its 1GB bundle, which was replaced with a 1.5GB bundle offered at the same price as the replaced 1GB data bundle at R149. 

Rain’s “One Plan Package” prepaid mobile data offering of R50 for a 1GB bundle remains the most affordable when compared to the offers from other MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) and MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators).  

“This development should have a positive impact on customers’ pockets as they are paying less compared to similar data bundles and increases choice,” said Icasa.

The report also revealed that the cost of out-of-bundle data had halved at both MTN and Vodacom, from 99c per Megabyte a year ago to 49c per Megabyte in the first quarter of this year. This was still two thirds more expensive than Telkom Mobile, which has charged 29c per Megabyte throughout this period (see graph below).

Meanwhile, from having positioned itself as consumer champion in recent years, Cell C has fallen on hard times, image-wise: it is by far the most expensive mobile network for out-of-bundle data, at R1.10 per Megabyte. Its prices have not budged in the past year.

The report highlights the disparities between the haves and have-nots in the dramatically plummeting cost of data per Megabyte as one buys bigger and bigger bundles on a 30-day basis (see graph below).

For 20 Gigabyte bundles, all mobile operators are in effect charging 4c per Megabyte. Only at that level do costs come in at under Rain’s standard tariffs regardless of use.

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Qualcomm wins 5G as Apple and Intel cave in

A flurry of announcements from three major tech players ushered in a new mobile chip landscape, wrItes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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Last week’s shock announcement by Intel that it was canning its 5G modem business leaves the American market wide open to Qualcomm, in the wake of the latter winning a bruising patent war with Apple.

Intel Corporation announced its intention to “exit the 5G smartphone modem business and complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, internet of things devices and other data-centric devices”.

Intel said it would also continue to invest in its 5G network infrastructure business, sharpening its focus on a market expected to be dominated by Huawei, Nokia and Ericsson.

Intel said it would continue to meet current customer commitments for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line, but did not expect to launch 5G modem products in the smartphone space, including those originally planned for launches in 2020. In other words, it would no longer be supplying chips for iPhones and iPads in competition with Qualcomm.

“We are very excited about the opportunity in 5G and the ‘cloudification’ of the network, but in the smartphone modem business it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan. “5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are assessing our options to realise the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world.”

The news came immediately after Qualcomm and Apple issued a joint announced of an agreement to dismiss all litigation between the two companies worldwide. The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm, along with a six-year license agreement, and a multiyear chipset supply agreement.

Apple had previously accused Qualcomm of abusing its dominant position in modem chips for smartphones and charging excessive license fees. It ordered its contract manufacturers, first, to stop paying Qualcomm for the chips, and then to stop using the chips altogether, turning instead to Intel.
With Apple paying up and Intel pulling out, Qualcomm is suddenly in the pound seats. It shares hit their highest levels in five years after the announcements.

Qualcomm said in a statement: “As we lead the world to 5G, we envision this next big change in cellular technology spurring a new era of intelligent, connected devices and enabling new opportunities in connected cars, remote delivery of health care services, and the IoT — including smart cities, smart homes, and wearables. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio.”

Meanwhile, Strategy Analytics released a report on the same day that showed Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia will lead the market in core 5G infrastructure, namely Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment, by 2023 as the 5G market takes off. Huawei is expected to have the edge as a result of the vast scale of the early 5G market in China and its long term steady investment in R&D. According to a report entitled “Comparison and 2023 5G Global Market Potential for leading 5G RAN Vendors – Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia”, two outliers, Samsung and ZTE, are expected to expand their global presence alongside emerging vendors as competition heats up.

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