September 2017 #3
handelot Gamescom Special
Iphone Special Issue- All what we know
Get ready for some Action- Interview with Piotr Bilinski CEO of Action SA
Najibs Corner & The old Hand
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4-5 | Interview with Piotr Bielinski - CEO of ACTION S.A.
6-7 | Najibs Corner - Gaming in the Middle East
8-9 | The Old Hands’ Story - Where there is muck there is money
10-11 | Smartphone Sales in India
12 | Telepart
13 | Handelot Pictures Gamescom
14-15 | Ataribox
16 | Pricelist Handelot
17 | Service Companies on Handelot
18-19 | Smartphone Smuggling
20-21 | Handelot VIP Gold Members
22 | PPA
23 | Handelot Stats
24 | H-Asia Meizu Wholesaler
25 | RationalFX
27 | XTG
28-29 | New Iphone 8 Specification Rumors
30-31 | The Old Hands’ Story - FROM ORDER TO CHAOS TO PROFIT
32 | Newest Console Games
33 | Trading Alert from ET trading
34 | Mark Electronics- Electronics Manufacturer
35 | Handelot Road Trip
Development at all costs is inscribed in the DNA of Action Business
1. I am always interested in the way entrepreneurs start their careers. How did you make the first steps? When did you start?
I started in the early 90s when the free market was launched in Poland. Poles, hungry for the latest things from the West, eagerly bought not only clothing or food but also television and radio sets, household appliances, computers and PC games, the trade that actually started it all.
2. What was the beginning of your business like?
At that time, business was based on the classic principles of trade. All you had to do was do everything to buy and sell goods at satisfactory rates for yourself and for your partners. Without the Internet, without the dominance of big manufacturers. It was a simple task on the one hand, difficult on the other because it took a lot of effort. But it also gave a lot of joy because it had a real impact on the market.
3. Why do you think Action as a Group has become so effective?
Apart from performing standard distribution, we quickly became a manufacturer of computer hardware. Our brands, namely Activejet and Actina, have been on the market for more than 15 years and are constantly trusted by customers in Poland and abroad. Over time, we started to develop our business with new competencies, such as new product categories and new sales channels. I mean here our shop sferis.pl or portal for gamers gram.pl. In parallel with the expanding offer and new customers, we developed distribution capabilities. Today, our logistics center is one of the most modern in Poland.
As you can see, Action's success is a result of good investments. We did not consume all the money we made, but we have always tried to multiply it. As a result, we have come to the point where the Polish IT distribution market has become too small to grow further. That is why we decided to expand. We decided on Germany where we built Action Group on the assets of the former IT distributor and it now serves mainly the German market.
4. Recently, Action faced a big dispute with the Polish tax authorities. Many people are calling handelot and asking if the company is stable and what is going on. Can you explain?
In connection with the fraudulent decisions of the treasury, in order to defend the interests of our contractors, employees and shareholders, we obtained the consent of the court to open a sanctioning procedure. This is one form of restructuring, something like Chapter 11 in the US. Thanks to this, we have the time to make the necessary changes in our organization according to the restructuring plan and return to the path of growth. In addition, we also gain time to appeal against the decision of the tax authorities.
5. Piotr, there are rumors that your company is being targeted for your liberal beliefs. Do you think the attack on the company has political justification or is the result of turmoil in the industry?
I do not even want to think that the punishment I'm paying today along with all of Action’s employees is a punishment for my views. If so, it would mean returning to the Middle Ages.
I belong to people who see the glass always half full. That's why, despite everything, I think that reform is a chance for us. It is an opportunity to make changes in the company as quickly as possible, which will adapt it to today's difficult IT distribution market.
6. If you were to look back, what would you do differently?
Man is the sum of his experiences. The good and the bad. That's why I prefer to draw conclusions from what's behind me rather than think what would happen if I could change that. It's a waste of energy, which I wish to devote to business development.
7. What is the strategy for the coming years? Do you think you can overcome all the obstacles?
I am committed to making Action come out of the restructuring even more competitive because it will translate into our success and the success of our partners. Apart from the core business, we are also developing additional projects at Action Capital Group. The first concerns the export of Polish food to China, the second is the distribution of innovative medical equipment. Both these activities are going forward one step at a time. I hope that over time their results will have an even greater impact on the achievements of the whole Action Group.
Action B2B Team
Landline phone: 0048223322257
Fax number: 48 22 33 21 649
Gaming in the Middle East
(CONSOLES - SOFTWARE - ACCESSORIES - ONLINE GAMING)
I would relate a personal story for this article to build the tempo but first, let me tell you a bit about the picture above, this particular alley in Dubai controls 60-70% of the gaming business across the Middle East. I am serious folks, this is the heart of the wholesale gaming market in the bustling metropolis of Dubai and the funny thing is that not too many people know this. This street is adjacent to one of the main hubs of mobile phone business called the Gargash Center and during my entire stay of 23 years in the city, it was last November that I had set foot in this locality, so much for being a native.
So here's my short story and the introduction to the wonderful world of gaming. I lost my job heading an interesting regional venture and got employed in another group involved in the mobile phone trade. The owner of the company decided to send me off to another subsidiary as it was going through a crisis of sorts and asked me to get it fixed. Well, as luck would have it, this was among the leading gaming companies in the Middle East region going through a serious financial crisis. I would leave the brief stint and the crisis story for another time but what I learned here had been an eye opener and started a love affair with a business that earlier I had no idea of.
An advanced gratitude to www.newzoo.com for the great information. Asia Pacific is among the top growth areas for the gaming business and the Middle East takes lead as the growth prospects in this region are the most promising across the world. A young generation with a high disposable income and an otherwise restrictive environment is a recipe for the success of this great vertical.
The Middle East especially the GCC is a US$ 2.6 Billion gaming market as of 2017 and is poised to grow to 4.4 Billion US$ by the year 2020 (PwC). This pace of growth is much faster than the global average. The irony is that this business is still controlled by the unorganized channel and the digital transformation is still in its infancy. People like to visit the physical stores and purchase the games (software) in CDs. Please see the attached chart for details.
The revenue from games and game content is on par with the movie Industry now and women tend to play more than men. As mentioned earlier consumers in the region are looking for a buying experience and the Independent Retail (IR) shops, the small side shops and the ones in the localities tend to do more business as compared to the Organized Retailers (OR) in the Malls etc. Console Manufacturers and Software (Gaming) publishers demonstrate the products in the OR channel and the IR channels only receive some BTL Material at best.
MARKET MECHANICS: The UAE market in particular controlled by 3 major distributors servicing OR and selling to 2 major whole sellers. The whole sellers are the ones controlling the 70% of the regional trade by selling products in the IR channels across the region. IR Channel is quite intricate and there are more than 2-3000 shops that can be considered credible spread across the region. The master whole seller selects key customers and these channels sell the products down the channel in their markets. Credit plays a significant role in this business and the control of your funds define the strength of your business management. Credit periods are from 60-90 days depending on the markets and limits are defined by the financial health of individual customers. The IR's range from selling thousands of units per month to selling in 10's so the complexity. Another challenge for publishers is the clearance of games with 'Violence / Nudity" from the authorities. This is where the major element of the gray market comes into play as the consumers demand these games and these are sold "Under the Table". The downside as in any gray business is the confiscation of these goods and heavy penalties charged to the traders dealing with these products.
Sony PlayStation is a regional favorite and commands around 65% market share whereas the share of X Box is around 35%. Nintendo Switch had done well initially but has been in a shadow of the big players for now. Other popular products are the Steam Box and Controller (http://store.steampowered.com/) and (www.twitch.tv).
There's a massive gray market for both consoles and games but very few traders have ventured into this business. There are a few consumer electronics and mobile phone traders importing the products sporadically but over all the trend has been slow. As a virgin market, the growth prospects for this vertical are amazing and a little hard work would go a long way. Popular names involved in this business are Red Distribution, Shooting Stars, Geekay Games, Pluto Games etc.
Kazi Najib Ashraf is a Telecoms Professional and a Blogger who is passionate about talking to achievers and then relating their success stories. In today's age and time, there's a drought of wisdom and talking to real professionals with true leadership qualities is nothing less than poetry. So please join me in these conversations as well as enjoy the regular snippets about the @ Regional Telecoms @ market. You can get in touch with me on email@example.com & Connect on https://www.facebook.com/najibfutureready/?ref=bookmarks
IS MUCK THERE IS MONEY
A local development contractor paid my father-in-law a lot of money to tip one hundred tons of dirt on his land. He is now selling it for twenty pounds per ton to local people for their gardens. “Where there is muck there is money” is an old saying that has been used for decades in the farming fraternity.
The used mobile phone market has the same analogy. If you don’t already know that the recycling of technology is a huge International business then you should know.
Companies like IBM have been recycling for years, they have a separate department called GARS, Global Asset Recovery Services alone has a turnover of more than $3 Billion annually. In the early days they leased servers and desktops to large corporate clients. When the lease had expired they took back the product. Not knowing what to do with the returns they soon realized that they could refurbish the servers and desktops and re-lease them back into their corporate clients acquiring what we would call a “double bubble”
Pre 2008 we had a major world push on global warming awareness and the effects of carbon dioxide on our ozone layer, along with the over production of consumer goods and intensive farming, which we were told would have a severe and diverse effect on our climate within the next fifty years, we were informed that unless we changed the way we produced and distributed our consumer goods and food that we would self implode as a species.
Out of this era was born the word “sustainability” A world directive was created to reduce carbon emissions and with this came the creation of Carbon Credits. What transpired next was the beginning of a new era in trade. All vendors, distributers, carriers and retailers have been made responsible for their global footprints, in real terms this means that if they do not reduce their carbon emissions they will pay the penalty with finance, In other words they pay heavy penalties in the form of taxation if they do not participate in some type of industry related recycling. Due to this what we now see within our industry is the promotion of used that is graded and refurbished mobile phones.
Traders, I kid you not, this business is huge, I come from a sim free trading background of 27 years and this business is larger and more profitable than anything I have ever experienced.
Apple, historically a company at war with Microsoft, desperately trying to introduce their operating system to the general public and finally did so with the release of the i-phone. Smartphone’s are our personal computers in every sense of the word and offer much more than traditional computers. The PC and Smartphone markets met with the introduction of the first PDA,s , anyone remember the Nokia Communicator? Historically what we had was independent mobile phone vendors and independent PC manufacturers. They are now the same thing. Very soon there will be no need for desktops as our needs will be
fulfilled with Smartphone’s and Tablets, this, some of us are already experiencing, our desktops will be replaced by just a screen connected to our handhelds.
For years I have listened to the moaning negative noise of the industry screaming” its over” ‘we will never do another deal again?” I will tell you now that it is only just beginning, with the continuing merger of the mobile communication business with the I.T. business and the legislation created to combat global warming, what we have in front of us is a huge and dynamic business filled with opportunity and potential, seeding at every conjecture.
Device Buyback, Forward Logistics, Omni-Channel Services, Recycling, Refurbished, are all words that we are all beginning to hear within our business and they are all relative to trading and ultimately profit.
Worldwide the insurance of Smartphone’s is a large and progressively growing business in this sector. The Global Mobile Insurance market reached $13.3 Billion in 2015 and is on track to rise to $17.6 Billion by 2019. Insurance companies prefer to purchase graded stock because this reduces their outlay costs.
As competition along with growth increases in the Smartphone arena more companies, particularly on-line retailers are struggling to be competitive. Retailers are purchasing Graded and Refurbished product to enable a competitive edge. Consumers are purchasing Graded and refurbished product due to the life expectancy of the product, cost and on going demand. The two largest manufacturers in this arena are Apple and Samsung. Due to the initial high purchase value of their products consumers are purchasing refurbished and graded product.
Worldwide there is a significant rise in unlatched products as opposed to contractually latched products, a result in the restructure of Networks and their revenue streams.
And off course we have the trade, that’s us by the way, there are so many opportunities out there to trade this product because as we all know, if we expose a demand for a product then we know it will be traded.
So come on guys, fill your boots, the time is now, we are off again, entering into a new era of trading opportunities and yet it is still technology and mobile related.
Go and get it guys and girls!
Keep The Faith
The Old Hand
Subtitle: Global smartphone shipments continue to swell, while there is pause in India.
Xiaomi continues to ride a tall wave of success as the latest quarterly reports put them in the top-five of units shipped worldwide, per a report from Strategy Analytics.
Samsung retained its position as the leader of the market, nabbing a 22 percent share and shifting over 79 million units. “Samsung continued its recovery from last year’s Galaxy Note 7 battery fiasco, lifted by robust demand for the new Galaxy S8 portfolio with an innovative bezel-less design,” notes Neil Mawston, Strategy Analytics Executive Director. “We expect the rumored Galaxy Note 8 upgrade with a bigger screen to further strengthen Samsung in the coming weeks.”
Samsung’s numbers are up 2 percent from Q2 2016, whereas Apple’s share has decreased from 12 to 11 percent, selling 41 million units. “Apple’s iPhone has gone out of fashion in China and this is placing a cap on its worldwide performance. Attention will now turn to Apple’s rumored iPhone 8 introduction later this year and whether its tenth-anniversary flagship model will be different or exciting enough to ignite a rebound in iPhone volumes for the important Q4 2017 Western holiday season,” Mawston commented.
As Apple sees their share decline, Xiaomi eagerly steps in and reclaims the top-five spot they lost one year ago. “Xiaomi’s range of Android models, such as the Redmi 4A, is proving wildly popular in India, snatching volumes from competitors such as Lenovo and Micromax,” says Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics. She adds that “Xiaomi has bounced back since ex-Google exec, Hugo Barra, quit the company earlier this year and Xiaomi will be hoping the current momentum can be sustained into the second half of 2017.”
Xiaomi’s products are indeed massively popular in India, with this same report indicating that their sales have made a gigantic year-on-year leap. However, India faces an interesting quandary: overall smartphone shipments have actually declined by 4% since Q2 2016. Daze Info reports that the implementation of a brand new goods and services tax has led to a cut back on production by many manufacturers. However, the new tax could lead to increased sales in the future for two reasons. First, it has benefited brick-and-mortar smartphone retailers, where many smartphone sales in India are still made. This could give Xiaomi – a company that did not cut back on production during the implementation of this tax – an extra avenue to expand its already-sizable footprint there.
Second, as smartphone manufacturers cut back on shipments of new devices, consumers fell back on purchasing them thanks to confusion as to what the new tax would do to the prices. One of the main purposes of this tax was to clear up discrepancies between state taxes, which would theoretically hasten shipment times in turn. Not only has this happened, but in-store prices have dropped. Both of these conditions are set to unleash both device availability and consumer demand, which will see shipment numbers continue to swell in coming quarters. It is all be certain that 2018’s year-on-year growth will be telling a different story with a happier ending.
The Top Five Smartphone Brands In India
(NOTE FOR DESIGNER: This may be more ideal for a sidebar or an inset then a full-page article)
1. SAMSUNG. The giant holds court as the Galaxy J2 phone records a 4.2% market share by itself. Hopes are high for the Galaxy Note 8 (not to be confused with the Galaxy Note 8.0) to further service consumer needs, perform well in the market, and help Samsung stay firmly on top of the Indian market.
2. XIAOMI. All of which would be totally possible were it not for the existence of a red hot challenger. We covered Xiaomi’s rise in the last issue of The Handelot Times, and now we see they have India’s two most popular smartphones in the Redmi 4 and the Redmi Note 4. These devices combine for a whopping 11.7% of the market share alone, and tech research firm Canalys predicts that Xiaomi will overtake Samsung in the Indian market within two years. Get your popcorn ready.
3. VIVO. Yet another Chinese vendor. In Q1 2017, the brand recorded a 36% increase in shipments on the back of its V5s phone. Vivo has taken second place in the Chinese phone market and is rapidly surging in India.
4. LENOVO. The established computer manufacturer is active in the smartphone market as well, shipping 2.6 million units and capturing 9% of the market between all of its products. Lenovo has launched a number of budget smartphones under its own name as well as the Motorola trademark, which it now owns.
5. OPPO. The once-promising Oppo is on the decline; although their numbers have remained static since Q4 2016, the results are now only good for fifth place as Xiaomi continues to surge, Vivo rises, and Lenovo proliferates the market with affordable devices.
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13. Gamecom Pictures
INTRODUCING THE ATARIBOX
Atari’s brand new console cannot realistically compete with the current generation. To think that it can or should, however, is to miss the point.
One of the innovators of the video game console is poised to make a comeback on the market. This summer, the company that unleashed Pong on the world has revealed that it is developing the Ataribox, a unit that will contain modern inputs such as HDMI and USB ports and have multiple designs (including the classic wood-paneled version that hearkens back to the classic Atari 2600). The Ataribox also promises to deliver both classic and current gaming content. And...that’s pretty much it for now.
Though short on juicy information, the company has been very open about how they want to roll out their new product. “We know you are hungry for more details; on specs, games, features, pricing, timing etc.,” says the company in a recently released newsletter. :We’re not teasing you intentionally; we want to get this right, so we’ve opted to share things step by step as we bring Ataribox to life, and to listen closely to Atari community feedback as we do so.”
Although Atari was once the class of the video game industry, the company has seen their share of hardships. For one, it doesn’t technically exist in its original form; the fabled Video Game Crash of 1983 sunk the original firm before a radical restructuring that included the sell-off of some of its major departments. Even as late as 2013, Atari was filing for bankruptcy to help them separate from the French parent company propping them up before being taken over by a new CEO. Here we are, then, staring a comeback effort by one of the video game industry’s legends in the face.
Okay, so we haven’t been blessed with a wealth of information regarding the Ataribox. Is it too early to start speculating on how it might compare with the Playstations, the XBOXes, and the Nintendo Switches of the world? That question is irrelevant because some have already started. Any potential answer to that question is also irrelevant because here’s the thing: it doesn’t need to.
Why? A new market for video game consoles is slowly emerging. In the past couple of years, the gaming market has seen a rollout of repackaged classic consoles. Nintendo released the NES Classic Edition in the fall of 2016, which was a replica of the original Nintendo Entertainment System with games pre-loaded into the hardware. The console sold like hotcakes, with 2.3 million units exchanging hands. Stocks were in short supply, but Nintendo did not expand production before discontinuing the console the following spring. The company followed up this move by announcing the Super NES Classic Edition, similarly designed to emulate the Super NES, for release this coming September. All of these developments point to the opening of a new niche that Atari is primed to slot right into.
This is why Atari does not have to make a run at today’s console giants if it doesn’t have to. Though nice, video game entertainment does not begin and end with hyper-real graphics and superpowered image-rendering capabilities. To focus only on these aspects is to ignore the nostalgia appeal that older technologies have imbued video game culture with. The video game pastime is, in small part, an attempt to reconnect oneself to childhood joys and glories; the audience snapping up these Classic Editions are the adults who were children when these consoles were in their heyday. This is why the NES Classic sold through the roof, why the Super NES Classic is sure to follow suit, and why Atari has a shot at marketplace relevance once again in the 21st century.
The world of smart technology can be fascinating and exciting. Every year, new devices bring must-have innovations such as the ones we’ve been talking about with the imminent iPhone release. There are some who go as far as to camp outside retailers through the night, and then there are some who go even further than that.
In July, a woman was caught smuggling 102 iPhones while trying to clear customs at the airport in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. This was no mean feat; the phones were stacked four deep around the woman’s body, and officials were only tipped off once they realized the clothing she was wearing, ostensibly bulky winter clothing to disguise the bulkiness of the smuggled cargo, was abnormal for travel in the summertime. Who’d have thought?
Smuggling of smartphones (and other luxury goods) is a common occurrence. Although catching someone personally smuggling so many devices is rare, the black/grey markets for them is thriving in many countries, and therefore a steady flow of product must continue. What enables these markets to exist? It is obvious that buying on the black and grey markets is cheaper, but more specifically, why are the prices so high?
Steep import taxes and duties on smartphones sharply drive prices up in emerging markets such as Brazil, India, and China. Below, we look at the factors in these three countries that are driving smuggling – namely, a combination of high taxes and grey areas that provide an outlet for consumers to get the latest mobile technology cheaper than they would otherwise.
In the case of Brazil, imported technologies such as smartphones have a 16% tariff slapped on them, in addition to federal and local taxes. Further, The Verge reports that in 2013, federal taxes were lifted on domestically manufactured smartphones, doubtlessly done with an intention to discourage competition with global tech giants like Apple and Samsung. The trade-off here is that manufacturers can see their tariffs diminish by building plants in Brazil, through which they can theoretically be reduced to zero.
Evidently, this hasn’t help the astronomical prices on imported phones fall. Even as of last year, Brazil was named the most expensive place in the world to buy a smartphone. According to The Verge, Brazilian consumers get a hold of devices from well-known brands by taking dedicated shopping vacations to the United States, or by travelling to the Tri-Border region where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay come together and tech traders dominate. This combination of high prices and unofficial sales points ensures that smuggling will continue in this region of the world.
Are high tariffs a problem in India? Absolutely. In fact, this summer has seen the introduction of a new tariff specifically on smartphones, raising their price by 10%. As we mention elsewhere in this newsletter, this tariff caused a slight hesitation in both the shipment of smartphones and consumer purchases alike. Unlike Brazil, however, it also runs counter to a prior agreement the Indian government made with ITA-1 about exempting particular electronics and telecom parts from duties. This seems to indicate that there is no relief on tariffs for manufacturers operating in India, and that some hold this agreement responsible for “wiping India off the global manufacturing map,” as the Economic Times reports.
It remains to be seen what kind of overall effect this will have on phone smuggling into India. We do know of smaller cases: Hong Kong, which is included in the first wave of countries where the iPhone is released, typically sees that device available weeks before India does. Traders seeking to capitalize on the demand use that window to buy Hong Kong iPhones in bulk and smuggle them back to India for resale in electronics shops.
China sees a share of smuggling specifically with regard to the iPhone. Although it is sold here, the iPhone is not available until a few weeks after its initial release. This window is a prime time for smugglers to make quick money by importing the devices and reselling them at a high markup. The irony here is rich: hundreds of thousands of iPhones are manufactured daily at China’s Foxconn factories, only for millions to be smuggled right back into the country.
A few years ago, YouTuber Casey Neistat made a short film on the phenomenon of Chinese people lining up for the iPhone release in New York. Lines are overtaken with people who buy and then hand off the phones to other people, presumably for resale. Quartz reports that these can fetch up to twice their retail value in Hong Kong. Whether or not these phones have a connection to the ones being smuggled from Hong Kong into India is unclear, although some smuggled phones are then resold again in adjacent Chinese cities.
High duties are similarly levied on imported technology. The phenomenon of smuggling the iPhone in China sometimes has an extra wrinkle in the form of having its technology officially approved. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has the final say in inspecting components of the iPhones for use and sale. This proved to be an issue in 2014 when concerns were raised about the possibility that the iPhone 6’s technologies could provide a backdoor for government surveillance. We shall see soon whether similar red flags go up for the new iPhone as it potentially introduces new facial recognition technologies.
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2017 is the tenth anniversary of the initial iPhone, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Apple is going to deliver an exceptional device that will have fans and newcomers alike lined up to grab it. As usual, rumour and innuendo about the latest iPhone has been unceasing, and speculation on what could be true or bunk has once again been good for passing away the summer doldrums. Now The Handelot Times joins in the fun. Here are the most talked-about possible features of the new iPhone.
Is this device to be named the iPhone 8? Maybe. The iPhone 7S? Extremely possible, considering Apple’s naming strategy for its phone since the iPhone 3GS dropped. TechRadar says that three new iPhones (a 7S, a 7S Plus, and an 8) could be in line for release this fall.
Additionally, TechRadar adds that Apple could break away from their naming strategy and name it the iPhone X (for the Roman numeral for ‘10’, commemorating this year’s anniversary) or the iPhone Edition (!?!?). Tim Cook may spring for the former moniker, though this choice may stray from Apple’s use of Arabic numerals in the iPhone’s design iconography. However, any landmark tenth anniversary-worthy changes will likely present themselves in the substance of the device, not the style.
Apple founder Steve Jobs bought into the idea that great artists steal. The newest iPhone may feature a bezel-less screen pioneered earlier by Xiaomi’s Mi Mix device. When MacRumours posted an image of a dummy model of the new iPhone (shown at the right), this rumor became closer to being a reality. Rumors suggest that the phone, in a return to the glass body last seen in the iPhone 4, will sport a 5.8-inch display with a 5.15 touchscreen and the rest for virtual buttons that may signal the long-predicted death of the Home button. The only part of the front display not reserved for screen area is at the very top…
ALL THE CAMERAS
...which is where we find evidence of perhaps the most substantial changes to this edition of the iPhone. The front-facing camera will supposedly see an upgrade to the dual-lens camera that the iPhone 7 introduced to the rear of the phone, with both cameras utilizing image stabilization. Significantly, the device is said to incorporate 3D sensing technology, which opens up the door for facial recognition as a major security feature. Multiple sources are reporting that facial recognition will replace TouchID. We can thank Apple itself for leaking hints of these developments when it beta-released the firmware of the upcoming HomePod, as well as the tireless source code scourers who ripped into its firmware.
FINALLY, WIRELESS CHARGING
One more thing that HomePod gave away in its coding is that the new iPhone, whatever its name, may support wireless charging. Whether this feature will require an extra accessory is still up for debate, although the Telegraph reports that it very well could. Other sources pontificate that wireless charging will not be immediately available when this new device drops, but included in a later iOS update. Either way, the ability to charge your iPhone without the use of a cord seems imminent.
FROM ORDER TO CHAOS TO PROFIT
Parallel Trader, Grey Trader or simply Trader, I have been referred to by these titles along with other extremely derogatory explanatory during my time in the business. But, what is it that truly enables us to create profit and enterprise and why do we even exist at all in the supply chain of distribution?
Greed, Fear, Confusion and Inconsistency are the answers to the question. The vendors are so self obsessed with protecting their intellectual property that by the implementation and enforcement of their protection policy’s they actually create the opposite effect and the very thing they set out to eradicate (Trading) becomes the very thing they create, that is the loss of control over their intellectual property and in due course the erosion of their all important margin. I for one say thank you Motorola, thank you Nokia, thank you Samsung and thank you to any other Vendor that I may have made a profit from in the last 27 years.
Let’s pretend for one moment that we are Alice looking through her looking glass in La La Land. If the Vendors adopted a free uncontrolled policy and sold their product to the people with the deepest pockets then there would be no need to create a complex infrastructure of officially appointed distribution channels, incorporating into the mix carriers, distributers and large retail chains. It would merely be a case of winner takes all and the winner would be the company that has the finance and the willingness to pay the price. Where would we be then? None existent is the answer. The demand for the product will always exist, as we well know. So on behalf of all the traders and the trading companies all over the world I say a great big thank you to the vendors, historically and for future business. Implement your control, market your products and we will take a margin.
I spent four years of my life selling more Nokia products sourced from a small European country than the country itself could actually consume. I often visualised each and every person within that country pushing a shopping trolley in the street full of Nokia mobile phones.
It could not possibly have been the case that Nokia did not know or were aware of my source, more a case that greed, more appropriately fear had overcome their own forecasted road map, they had failed their own system. If you want to know the answer to any problem in business and often in life then follow the money and there you will find the answer.
Having achieved the top spot for some years fear had taken over from rationality, Their figures had started to decline, loosing market share they had made the fatal error in their inability to identify the real issues and had increased their output and relaxed their distribution model. The problem was definitely not market awareness.
The fault lay with the product, not with its distribution. It was not platform or software focused like Apple and Blackberry of that time. Nokia had sat on their laurels for far too long, and lost touch with market trends, so the mighty fell and as Nokia lost money and position the Traders profited.
The carriers along with the large retailers also suffer with the greedy bug, over forecasting and out selling to us guys is a common occurrence. They just can’t seem to help themselves. The retailers also like their “double bubble,” they purchase product for their existing channels and add thousands on for us guys. Traders look after the volume, Money, money, Honey! The official distributers appointed by the vendors to manage and control the destiny and flow of their Intellectual Property, well what can I say, you wouldn’t believe the stories they tell the vendors when they want to increase their output and sell to the traders.
Then we have the vendors who are so greedy to retain their profit that they have a different pricing structure in one country relative to another. This is a frequent occurrence in the UK.
Within the inner circles of vendor land the UK is quietly known as “Treasure Island” the price can be controlled merely because a different charging plug exists in the UK and for this reason the vendors can achieve leverage on the margin. This is very similar to the automobile industry in the UK. With reference to right hand to left hand drive models. The tenacious trader exposes the opportunity available, imports the same product with European warranty from Europe and into the UK at less cost, changes the two pin plug to a three pin plug and hey presto, there exists a margin, and what do we guys think about margin? Hooray!
Now subject to their own stupidity and greed the vendors are out to sue any of their official channels, who accept this imported product and who do not purchase the same directly from them at a higher price. An interesting business philosophy.
I have a distribution contract with you and I am purchasing 100,000 units from you monthly, why can I purchase 100 units from AB Trading in Italy for 10% less when they are not even an officially appointed channel? They must hear that question everyday, I wonder if the three pin-charging plug is so expensive to produce!
The vendors use all sorts of political spin to try to prevent such transactions, citing for instance, the box has been opened then the warranty is void, Yawn, Yawn, Yawn!. The software is different, yes we know how the price is software determined, vendors R&D costs based on the input of a different language must be so excessive! Yawn, Yawn, Yawn,
I say to all vendors, adopt a fair business approach, don’t rip people off, charge the same in the UK as you do in Europe and all your anguish, anger and frustrations will disappear, you can sing a happy song on the way to work in the morning, your distribution model will continue to flow uninterrupted with peace and harmony, but we don’t really want that to happen do we guys! Pump it, make hay while the sun shines as my farmer ancestors would say.
Long live a free trading controlled approach!
Keep the Faith
The Old Hand
Knack II (PS4) - September 5
Destiny 2 (PS4, Xbox One) - September 6
NASCAR Heat 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) - September 12
Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC) - September 12
Divinity: Original Sin 2 (PC) - September 14
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (PS4, Xbox One, PC) - September 15
NBA Live 18 (PS4, Xbox One) - September 15
NHL 18 (PS4, Xbox One ) - September 15
Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS) - September 15
Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite (PS4, Xbox One, PC) - September 19
NBA 2K18 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) - September 19
Pokémon Gold/Silver (3DS) - September 22
Pokkén Tournament Deluxe (Switch) - September 22
Project Cars 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) - September 22
Blue Reflection (PS4, PC) - September 26
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (PS4, Vita) - September 26
Ruiner (PS4, Xbox One, PC) - September 26
Cuphead (Xbox One, PC) - September 29
FIFA 18 (PS4, Xbox One Switch, PS3, Xbox 360, PC) - September 29
Gundam Versus (PS4) - September 29
Total War: Warhammer 2 (PC) - September 29
Battle Chasers: Nightwar (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) - October 3
Forza Motorsport 7 (Xbox One, PC) - October 3
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions (3DS) - October 6
Middle-earth: Shadow of War (PS4, Xbox One, PC) - October 10
The Evil Within 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) - October 13
GT Sport (PS4) - October 17
Elex (PS4, Xbox One, PC) - October 17
South Park: The Fractured But Whole (PS4, Xbox One, PC) - October 17
WWE 2K18 (PS4, Xbox One) - October 17
Age of Empires: Definitive Edition (PC) - October 19
Destiny 2 (PC) - October 24
Just Dance 2018 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, PC) – October 24
Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon (PS4, Switch, PC) - October 24
Assassin's Creed Origins (PS4, Xbox One, PC) - October 27
Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) - October 27
Wolfenstein: The New Colossus (PS4, Xbox One, PC) - October 27
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