Just days after their global launch, Samsung today unveiled its two new flagship devices for the GCC market.
In the UAE, the Galaxy Note5 32GB will sell for Dh2,799 and the Galaxy S6 edge+ 32GB will be available for Dh3,099.
The Galaxy S6 edge+ 64GB version (not available immediately in the region) will retail for Dh3,399.
In continuing with the switch to metal that Samsung made earlier this year with the launch of the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge, both the new devices are crafted by blending metal and glass.
However, Samsung decided to go big with the displays this time around, bringing out 5.7-inch screens for the both the new phablets.
Samsung claims to have pioneered the large-screen phone in 2011 with the original Galaxy Note, and now maintains that it has taken it further with the 5.7” screen of the Galaxy Note5.
Hayssam Yassine, Head of the IM Division at Samsung Gulf Electronics, said that the new devices address major pain points for the consumers.
“When we designed the first Galaxy Note four years ago, we gave portability and productivity to the consumer, and redefined the mobile industry in the process. By making the display larger and redesigning the stylus, we got rid of some hard-worn crutches of the mobile industry, and developed a device that actively addressed some major pain points for consumers,” he said.
Yassine told Emirates 24|7 that “the UAE is a very important market for us and we have high expectations from this market. We expect a lot of Note5 users in the UAE, and we expect a lot of sales,” he said. “UAE sales account for almost 50 per cent of GCC sales, barring Saudi Arabia,” he noted.
In terms of usage, he said UAE users were at the cutting edge of the technology curve, and therefore a test market for the rest of the world.
“UAE residents are among the first adopters of new technology and devices,” he added. “We have a lot of installed base of the Galaxy Note here.”
Both the phablets operate on Android 5.1 (Lollipop) and have a 4GB RAM memory besides a 5.7” Quad HD Super Amoled 2560 x 1440 (518ppi) display.
Among other specs, the devices have a 16MP rear camera, a 5MP front-facing camera, and a 3,000 mAh battery with wireless charging capability.
Globally, Samsung also launched Samsung Pay, its mobile payment service. However, the service is not available in the UAE or the region as of now. Samsung says it will be regionally available in the future but did not specify a timeframe.
In an historic move, UAE Federal Law No. 01 of 1991 has been amended by Federal Decree by Law No. 03 of 2015, and new Articles of Association have been issued by the UAE Cabinet of Ministers. The amendments introduce momentous changes, including the possibility of foreign investors owning shares in Etisalat Group, while Etisalat’s legal name will change to Emirates Telecommunications Group Company PJSC, but will continue to be known as Etisalat Group.
These changes allow for legal persons, including institutions, in the UAE, or UAE government agencies, or other legal persons, to own shares in Etisalat. Also, non-national individuals and entities may own up to 20 percent of Etisalat Group’s shares, subject to the approval of the Etisalat Group Board of Directors. However, restrictions in respect of voting rights shall be applied to the shares owned by non-nationals and such shares shall not hold any voting rights at Etisalat Group’s general assembly although holders of such shares may attend general assembly meetings.
Commenting on the changes, Eissa Al Suwaidi, Chairman, Etisalat Group, said, "I wholeheartedly welcome the federal decree and praise the government for their leadership and support of the telecommunication sector. The approval to allow institutional and foreign ownership of Etisalat Group’s equity is another significant milestone in the history of Etisalat Group. It will have a positive impact for both Etisalat Group’s shareholders and the stock exchange. It also sends out a strong signal that the UAE is open for business and will enhance Etisalat brand recognition around the world."
In addition to ordinary shares, a ‘special share’ will be issued to the Federal Government of the UAE (the ‘special shareholder’), pursuant to the approval of Etisalat Group’s Board of Directors. Etisalat Group will also be entitled to issue different classes of shares. Other than the issuance of the special share, Etisalat Group does not intend to issue any additional shares at this time.
Ahmad Julfar, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat, added, "This is a historical moment for Etisalat which will allow us to build on the years of success the company has enjoyed and provide additional impetus in our pursuit of excellence in all that we do. It will enable Etisalat to continue to invest in the innovative products and services which our customers demand and are vital in the highly competitive global telecommunications sector. As a result, I am confident that Etisalat will go from strength to strength and continue delivering long-term value to our shareholders."
Some of the other material changes include the ability for Etisalat Group to establish a new operating company for the purpose of operating its telecommunications network business and providing telecommunication services in the UAE, subject to special shareholder approval, and establishing a share buyback programme at any time in accordance with the conditions and procedures set out in the relevant law and subject to the prior approval of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority.
In accordance with the new law, Etisalat Group will carry out the procedures required to implement and align its status with the provisions of the new law within one year from the date of its issue.
No voting rights for foreign shareholders
Etisalat will not extend voting rights to foreign shareholders when the UAE’s telecom company opens up its shares to non-UAE investors, it said on Wednesday.
Etisalat is the largest listed UAE company by market value and worth nearly double the second-biggest firm, but its shares can only be owned by UAE nationals, and all institutions are excluded.
In June, Etisalat said it would loosen these rules to permit foreign and institutional investors on to its share register.
On Wednesday, it provided further details on these reforms after the UAE cabinet amended the firm's articles of association and a related federal law.
This will likely lead to Etisalat's inclusion in MSCI's emerging market index.
Non-UAE investors will be allowed to own up to 20 per cent of Etisalat's shares, the company reiterated on Wednesday, but will not be granted voting rights, a statement to Abu Dhabi's bourse said.
The UAE federal government, which owns 60 per cent of Etisalat through sovereign wealth fund Emirates Investment Authority, will be issued with a so-called "special share", the statement said.
This will grant it veto rights over "key decisions" relating to Etisalat.
These include changes to Etisalat's share capital, rights attached to shares, approval of a merger with another company, participation of a strategic investor and allowing the government's stake to fall below 51 per cent, the statement said.
Etisalat will also convert to a public joint stock company from a corporation and its formal name will be amended to Emirates Telecommunications Group Co from Emirates Telecommunications Corp.
It operates under the brand name Etisalat, which means telecoms in Arabic.
The company said it has one year from the amendment of the federal law to implement the agreed changes. Etisalat did not specify when the law was amended.
Livescribe has updated one of its previous smartpens. 8GB Echo Pro smartpen is designed to be connected to a Windows or Mac computer with notes and audio available via Livescribe Desktop.
The Pro edition can hold over 800 hours of audio or over 100,000 pages of notes. It can easily transfer notes or recordings to your Mac or PC via USB port. Compared with its older predecessor, the Echo smartpen is higher-end and contains advanced functions, which may be useful for note-takers like students and journalists.
You may watch all your ideas written on a dot paper and audio pencasts recorded appear instantly not only on iOS and Android mobile devices, but also on Mac and Windows. All you need is to download the Echo Desktop software and manage your notes and records upon upload to the computer. By applying the latest version of this software, you may easily look over your notes and immediately move to the part of your audio recordings.
For those who want to say, write and share a brainstorming result, Echo Pro can be found at Amazon or directly at Livescribe for $200.
Among other accessories for Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ a keyboard cover appeared to be the most arguable one. It was introduced at Samsung's Unpacked event 2015 in NYC.
The Keyboard Cover reminds a smartphone case with special hardware plastic buttons.
Racall that Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ have Super AMOLED display with 5,7 inches diagonal and 2560*1440 px resolution. Powered by eight core processor Exynos 7420 (4 quads for 2.1 GHz and 4 quads for 1.5 GHz) alongside with 4 GB RAM and 32 GB or 64 GB of internal flash-memory. There're also 16 MP rear- and 5 MP front cameras. The handsets are expected to go on sale in August 2015 in 4 color options - white, dark-blue, golden and silver.
Android developers announced release of Android 6.0 (code name: Android M), SDK (software development kit) and opening tender at Google Play for publishing apps that target API level 23. The secret of M was also revealed. M means Marshmallow – one more American sugary treat. New Android version is expected to roll-out for those who own Nexus 5, Nexus 6 and Nexus 9. Release date is expected “later this autumn”.
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