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by menarate
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Developments in the world of UAE trade statistics

The Ministry of Economy of UAE has declared of its trade statistical figures update up to the end of 2014. The app comprises trade transaction data on non-oil goods, exports, re-exports, and imports of the UAE with other countries since 1999. The application helps to save time and effort, as the data is available by different periods, geographic areas, and type of merchandise, which facilitates further comparison. Moreover, the data can be easily exported to such desktop applications as MS Office and PDF format.    

The statistical offices emphasize the importance of rapid developments in context of Smart Data and strive to provide accurate, high quality statistics to meet the needs of various data users in order to attract investors and businessmen, who will proceed with policies and strategies for international trade.  

Abdullah Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry, said: "In line with the federal government directives, the Ministry of Economy is working to achieve the highest level of transparency and competitiveness. The current update fulfills a long-perceived need for recent and relevant information in the trading sector.”

The Under-Secretary highlighted that application is the pioneer app displaying interactive data in a user-friendly and efficient manner. The number of application users every month averages between 1,000 and 1,500 from different countries all over the world.

by Scomputers
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Samsung Galaxy Note5, S6 Edge+: 6 killer features, 1 fatal flaw

During a media meet in Dubai, Samsung Electronics took the veils off its flagship Galaxy Note5 and the Galaxy S6 edge+ for the GCC on Tuesday. 

The devices will be available in the local market starting August 28 even as Hayssam Yassine, Head of the IM Division at Samsung Gulf Electronics, told Emirates 24|7 that he expects some retailers to start selling the phablets earlier, depending on how soon they can put the phablets in their customers’ hands.


“The official availability is August 28, but we may be selling it earlier through the channel if the market readiness is there,” said Yassine. 

“My guess is that if they’re ready and have stocks, some retailers may start selling it in the next three-four days.”

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 both the new phablets.

“When we first introduced the big-screen format with the stylus three years ago, people thought we were crazy to do so,” said Yassine. 

“But we’ve been proven right, and today you can see everybody is bringing large screens to the market,” he said, perhaps taking a dig at the large-screen iPhone 6 which its rival Apple Inc. launched last year despite its founder Steve Jobs once famously saying that “You can't get your hand around [a device with a screen bigger than 3.5 inches]."

Jobs said: “No one’s going to buy that” and went on to deride big phones as “Hummers”.

Well, it seems that those phablet Hummers are here to stay, and will be driving the mobile segment’s growth for the next few quarters at least.

Asked about Samsung’s recent profit decline, Yassine acknowledged that while the company has lost some revenue as per the latest global results, it remains strong regionally.

“Locally, we’re back at No. 1 according to GfK statistics,” he says, “with a 48 per cent share of the UAE’s smartphone market.”

Yassine maintains that “while the market fluctuates on a monthly basis, what matters is the trend, and the trend is that we’re growing handsomely.” He added: “We hope that these new products will give us additional room to grow.”

Samsung is indeed banking on the success of the new flagship devices as it maintains that it faces “mounting challenges” during the second half of the year. 

But Samsung has managed to include some ‘killer’ features to counter the runaway success of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as a bevy of devices from other rivals, we believe there is one flaw that may prove to be a drag on sales.

First, the killer features

#1 New, improved S-Pen

As Aladdin Hijazi, Samsung Gulf Electronics’ IM Training Manager, puts it, the new S-Pen comes with an “addictive new feature”.

It boasts a push and pull mechanism, akin to a regular retractable pen. You’d need to push the S-Pen for it to eject, and then you can pull it out.

It isn’t just the mechanism that’s new to the Note5. The Note5 now supports what Samsung calls is a ‘blank screen memo’ – when in a hurry, you may start scribbling notes with the S-Pen on the Note5 screen even when it is in the sleep mode, and the screen will instantly come alive and you’ll have the note displayed on it.

In addition, the S-Pen allows ‘scroll capture,’ or a vertical panorama shot of the complete webpage.

Until now, we can capture images one screenshot at a time, and if we needed more than what can be displayed on a mobile screen, we’d need to take multiple screen shots.

With a new feature in the Note5, the S-Pen allows you to capture multiple screens in one shot. It also allows annotating on the screens. 

#2 Faster wireless charging

“We’ve taken charging abilities to the next level with these devices,” says Hijazi. The Note5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ feature Samsung’s fast wired and wireless charging technology, he says.

The embedded wireless charging technology is compatible with virtually any wireless pad available today, he maintains, adding that the devices go from 0 to 100 per cent charge in 90 minutes through a wired charger and in 90 minutes through Samsung’s latest wireless charger.

#3 Ultra-Slim design

From a distance, the Note 5 looks similar to the Note 4, but the design has subtle improvements that go a long way in making it handier and enhancing ease-of-use while being handled ‘single-handedly’.

The biggest change of course is the use of metal which immediately ticks all the boxes in the ‘premium’ category.

The rear panel of the Note5 has curved glass, tapered edges which makes it easier to hold in one hand, says Hijazi.

The Galaxy S6 Edge+ has the same contours, and with the edgy sides, it is even easier to hold than the Note5 despite both of them having the same 5.7-inch screen size.

“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,” said Yassine. 

#4 More power to processor

Both the S6 edge+ and the Note5 come loaded with a powerful processor which Samsung claims gives a much faster response time than Note4.

The devices boast an octacore (2.1GHz Quad + 1.5GHz Quad), 64-bit, 14nm Exynos 7420 processor, which should allow users to open multiple tabs without any issues, the firm says.

In addition, both phablets come loaded with an increased 4GB RAM, allowing multi-tasking, social browsing and graphic-heavy gaming without compromising on the speed or suffering lag time, it notes.  

#5 Virtually viral videos

Samsung has paired up with YouTube to offer instant video sharing through its ‘live broadcast’ feature.

Both the Note5 and the S6 edge+ feature 4K video filming and Live Broadcast, which let users instantly live-stream full HD video straight from their phone to any individual, group of contacts, or even the public through YouTube Live.

“Anyone who receives the YouTube link from a Note5 or Galaxy S6 edge+ user is able to enjoy live stream video from his or her smartphone, tablet, PC or Smart TV with YouTube connectivity,” says Hijazi.

In addition, the devices come with a ‘steady video’ feature for both front and rear cameras, providing image stabilisation for on-the-go videos.

A ‘Video Collage Mode’ allows users to record and edit short videos easily in various frames and effects, and you can stitch together up to four videos of varying speed in the same display.

Samsung has also incorporated other usable camera features like ‘Quick Launch’ (double click the home button to launch the camera within 0.6 seconds), ‘Auto Real-time High Dynamic Range (HDR),’ and ‘Smart Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)’ and new filters. 

#6 SideSync Support

Samsung’s latest devices are upgraded to support SideSync, which offers both wireless and wired PC-smartphone integration for connections across devices.

With auto-detection, Windows PC and even MacBook users can instantly access files and data from their Samsung phablets, and vice-versa.

The feature also allows users to respond to text messages and even field phone calls from their computers.

With this, we come to what we see as a major flaw in the devices. 

Where’s the memory, dude?

Both the Note5 and the S6 edge+ are globally available in 32GB and 64GB variants, with no option for the 128GB mommy memory mobile.

With apps and games becoming heavier, not to mention the fact that the Note5 is, essentially, a productivity device targeted at business users, memory is critical.

The devices also don’t have any slot for additional SD storage which could have come handy once a user runs out of the initial allotted space.

To make matters even worse, the Note5 will be available in the region in only the 32GB avatar – no 64GB version for us.

“We found a lot of people in the region using cloud storage and 32GB is good enough for a majority of our potential customers in the region,” responds Yassine.

Now, a business user, by definition, may need space to store quite a bit of confidential or sensitive data locally, and we’re not convinced 32GB will be ‘good enough’ for such users.

Still, that’s a call that Samsung has taken for now, but it doesn’t have to be set in stone.

As Yassine acknowledges, “64GB is available globally – we might bring it here later.”

Another minor issue is that of the smaller battery. Both the devices come with a 3,000 mAh battery, which is a step down from the 3,220 mAh battery on the Note4. Yassine, however, believes this to be a non-issue.

“We have the power banks today, and there are wireless power banks now,” he states. “We also have the fast charging covers now which solve the problem for heavy users,” he states.

In the end, as with everything else in the market, it will be you, the user, who’ll decide the fate of these devices.

by Scomputers
Comments: 0
Galaxy Note5, S6 edge+ address major pain points: Samsung

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.

by Scomputers
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Foreign investors can now own shares in Etisalat

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.

by menarate
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Here Maps (better known as NAVTEQ) – a leading mapping and navigation service of Nokia has been sold to automotive consortium Audi, BMW Group and Daimler. Each company will keep equal shares. Deal value comprises € 2,5 billion or € 2,8 billion by capitalization of the subsidiary. The consortium will obtain NAVTEQ at less cost because of Nokia debts in total amount of € 300 million. 
 
Nokia received NAVTEQ by acquiring it 8 years ago for $ 8,1 billion being a mobile phone giant at that time. The deal was aimed to provide Nokia handsets with navigation service what made them competitive on the smartphones’ market. However Nokia had to sell its asset much cheaper than its original cost. Not intending to return to the smartphone manufacturing business Nokia just doesn’t need digital-mapping unit anymore. The transaction is to be closed in the first quarter of 2016.
 
Microsoft didn’t need this service. Though typically auto-manufacturers purchased NAVTEQ basemaps to develop navigation apps installed in cars. Today these basemaps will be used in the manufacture of autonomous vehicles that require detailed maps in order to drive itself. HERE Maps didn’t meet a ready consumers’ market because of widespread analogous product of Google. 
by menarate
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New generation Livescribe's 8GB Echo Pro smartpen

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. 

by menarate
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Samsung Introduces Long-expected Accessory for Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+

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.

by menarate
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Marshmallow Replaces Lollipop

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”.

 

by Evgenij Potapov
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