The handelot times issue 14 @ 01. Front gamescom special @ 02. mobilesilver @ 03. gamestation @ 04. Erregame @ 05. Click Europe Ltd @ 06-07 3 gaming companies alarming trump Why 3 console giants have decided to join and write a letter to Donald Trump The tightening of relations between the United States and China constitutes a serious problem for the technological world, as it was clear with the chain reaction triggered by the ban of Huawei. In this article we want to talk about it again because of a letter signed by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, addressed to the US administration, which focuses the attention on the consequences for the videogame field and even more in detail on the console business. Why the letter? Practically speaking, Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft sent a joint letter to the Office of the United States Trade Representative in which they have requested an exemption from the tax for gaming consoles because it would have a heavy negative impact on the industry. A similar request had also come from Apple and other big names in the tech industry, which pointed out that the new taxation could bring more harm than good to the US economy. Translated: dear President Trump we want to be exempted from the duties you want to impose on products coming from China. The letter speaks of ‘the disproportionate damage caused by these tariffs to US consumers and businesses' and it is explained that 96% of consoles imported into the United States are produced in China. Moreover, 25% increase in console prices could take them out of the purchasing power of many families. The document Within the document, we read that the three companies fully support a similar initiative carried out by the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) aimed at exempting a wide category of assets linked to the videogame sector. In addition to reiterating its support, Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft also put the negative impact on the console market in particular black and white, highlighting how 96% of those distributed in the US come from China. The increase in the cost caused by the new duties would damage both consumers and the entire supply chain of the game, starting from the developers, up to the distribution chains and - obviously - to the console producers themselves. This would lead to negative repercussions on jobs in high value-added sectors in the United States and, finally, it would put a big brake on innovation in the sector and many others connected to it. The cases mentioned refer, for example, to the development of the Cell that Sony used on PS3, also chosen for use in some supercomputers, or the Xbox Adaptive Controller that helps gamers with disabilities, or the role Wii played in promote a less sedentary and more active lifestyle. In the United States alone, the gaming industry had a value of $ 43.4 billion in 2018 - a 20% increase compared to 2017 - and employs as many as 220,000 people both directly and indirectly. It is therefore a market in an excellent state of health, which manages to produce positive results even net of the fact that the consoles - owned by approximately 110 million US players in 2018 - are made with extremely low profit margins. This means that, should the duties come into force, they would almost entirely fall on the pockets of the consumer, since hardware manufacturers would have no way of absorbing the tax by renouncing an already practically zero margin. Not just about gaming Obviously, not only the consoles will be affected. The letter mentions devices of all kinds: from smart thermostats to PC hardware, without obviously forgetting smartphones. In this regard, there are those like Foxconn who have already begun to move production of their Chinese plants to other countries like India and Mexico. All this while the gaming industry is about to be shaken by the advent of cloud gaming, with platforms such as Stadia and xCloud that will complement existing offers on the market, offering a new way to play. According to Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo we do not have to wait long to see the first negative repercussions related to the introduction of new duties. According to the giants of the consoles, moreover, Trump’s increases would put thousands of jobs in the United States at risk (more than 220,000 workers work in the sector) and slow down technological progress. For Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, the innovations that have been introduced in the gaming industry have also proved to be important for other technological fields, and also for medicine and research. For example: the Wii and Kinect movement controls, the Hololens medical applications, the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which allows people with physical limitations to return to play and is used in many therapies, the PlayStation 3 Cell processor, used to create a 'supercomputer' exploited to do research in the medical field for simulating protein folding. In the middle of the battle The three close the letter underlining that 'video game consoles are not a priority in any of the Chinese industrial policies', and that they therefore found themselves in the middle of a crossfire while not being one of the main targets of the 'battle' in course between the US and Chinese governments. What will Donald Trump’s answer be? @ 08. Intro THE HANDELOT TIMES- The Online B2B Magazine for Electronics Wholesalers The tech industry is changing quickly and we want to keep you up to date with the latest news. We are developing ourselves by opening up to new innovations in IT. We are growing and keeping a reliable source of B2B information from all over the world. With The Handelot Times, we will bring you more information about market trends, share cutting-edge ideas, and bring our world together with yours. 10 years on the market The Handelot Times: Design: Adam Mieloszynski Copywriter: Melania Romanelli Copywriter: Brendan James Copywriter: Kazi Najib Ashraf Copywriter: The Old Hand Associates of the organisation: Taha Tuzuner – Business Consultant Team Leader Dima Malovanyi – Business Consultant Team Leader Alicja Gogola – Business Consultant Omar Benabdellah – Business Consultant Koushik Deka – Business Consultant Jon Rodriguez – Business Consultant Venktesh Prasad – Business Developer Jack Serdak – Business Consultant Victoria Chen – Business Development Iryna Mats – Administrative Manager Basak Senturk – Customer Service Team Lead Jane Nguyen – Customer Service Katarzyna Mroczkowska – Customer Service Paulina Franikowska – Customer Service Svitlana Shaposhnikova – Graphic designer Elzbieta Kajdzik – Customer Service Khrystyna Terletska – Administration Tetiana Handziuk – Administration Agnieszka Pulawska – CFO Valentyn Petruchek – Head of Development Alexander Golovnya – Development Cesar Gonzalez Patryk Skowron Advertising: For quotes please email or call us at +48717152600. @ 09. Gamescom Memories 2018 @ 10-11. The E-sports at the Olympic Games in Paris 2024 More than an idea The esports at the Olympic Games in Paris 2024? More than an idea Electronic sports could be included in the Games scheduled in 2024 in the French capital: experimentation in the Asian Games 2022. Outside the European continent, in fact, electronic sports are considered like real sports disciplines: they are the eSports, electronic games that in 2022 will be part of the medal table of the Asian Olympic Games. However, the advancement of video games among the five circles could not stop there. The 2024 Paris Olympics promotion team is in fact considering the possibility of discussing the introduction of eSports in the program of the Games scheduled in France: the proposal has arrived on the IOC table, the International Olympic Committee, and could become a reality in view of the edition that will celebrate the centenary of the last Olympics held in the French capital, dating back to 1924. The esports are now the new frontier of the sports world and have been able to generate revenues of 400 million dollars in 2016, involving 320 million people worldwide. The Paris edition of the Olympic Games could thus be the site of a historic turning point. The former Olympic champion and co-president of Paris-2024 Tony Estanguet has just confirmed that through the Associated Press. Young people are very interested, but it is a hypothesis that we must consider. Undoubtedly, the interaction between the CIO and the eSports family is fruitful to understand the reasons for this success. 2024 Olympic Games, also eSports at the starting line? Two years before the Paris Olympics, Hangzhou, in China, will host the first official eSports descent: they will officially enter the largest sporting event in Asia, the 2022 Continental Olympic Games, known to be seconds only at the Olympics as follows. The most recent edition, dating back to 2014, saw the participation of over 10,000 athletes from all over Asia. An appetizer will be represented by the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, scheduled from 17 to 27 September in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan: in the kermesse, which includes athletes from the entire Asian continent, eSports will also be included. To date, the only confirmed game is FIFA 2017, but there will also be a MOBA title in the event, a multi-player battle video game and a virtual strategy game. Paris will receive 1.7 billion dollars for the organization of the 2024 Olympic Games: if on French soil it will also compete for the eSports medal, the next few months will say. First we need to wait for the final ratification for the headquarters of the Olympics, expected by the congress scheduled for next month in Peru, in Lima. After the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, then, it will be possible to have certainty about the news of the next edition of the Games. Estanguet's cautious optimism remains as a legacy: ‘Every decision on which sports to add will be taken after the Tokyo Games. After the Lima congress, however, it is among our intentions to confront new people and potential new poles of interest for the Olympics’. On the other hand, tough, IOC president Thomas Bach recently said that would be a "red line" for the organizations that will not control those video games that include "the promotion of violence" or "any kind of demonstration”. Those, for sure, won’t be permitted at the Olympics. Audiences and expectations Having pointed out that, there are great engagement numbers, great fan numbers who live in France, especially in Paris, who would definitely want to come to an esports game. It would be, in fact, an important and original way to promote esports and sports in general as a statement of marching beyond language, race and cultural barriers. Moreover, esports generated £400m in revenue in 2016, has a global audience of about 320 million. It is expected to generate more than £1bn in global revenue and almost double its audience to nearly 600 million people by 2020. @ 12-13. Even if it fails, Google Stadia is about to change the entertainment market Even if it fails, Google Stadia is about to change the entertainment market Google and other companies like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and even the big blue social network are focusing much of their future on something that we continue to consider the B series of entertainment: video games. The Stadia platform, which we analyzed a lot in the past issues and in the current one, is a gaming platform: all over the world and in all of Europe, it is focused on that interactive universe where the future dwells. But what if it fails? Let us explain in 2 words how Google is about to change the entertainment market again, even if STADIA fails. How it goes we do not know yet, but the investments are serious, stable and very very solid. So let’s see why Stadia is already revolutionary. The future of entertainment is already present Google launched, in March 2019, Stadia. Many of you will be saying 'What? What is Stadia?’. Or others will be saying ‘Oh well, come on, the umpteenth usual game console’. Well, that’s really far from the truth. We are not talking about a console, we're talking about a platform, and it should interest everyone, everyone, because when Google does something, it's not just about something about someone, but about the entire planet, and especially the future of all in some way. So let's try to understand what we're talking about. Google Stadia is not a real console like the Playstation, as Nintendo, like the Xbox, it is a streaming gaming platform. In practice, Google provides a controller that you can use for many purpose. What is that for and why is it revolutionary? You need to connect it to any device that has a screen - it can be your TV, with a chromecast, it can be your computer, it can be the phone, it can be anything that has a screen - and with a Wi-Fi connection you can use it as a global controller of your activity. This device keeps your data, both gaming and your identity, it knows who you are substantially, so it allows you to access your game page (like Netflix, to better understand), where there are all the video games available. So imagine a Netflix with all the video games available, and you, without a single download you can access these games in streaming. The amazing thing is that you don't need to download absolutely anything. You only need a connection, the only necessary condition is that there is a very performing network or anyway a high-performance network. What’s the difference with other devices? You could think that even PlayStation has made PlayStation Now with that vision, with is absolutely trues, but you do it through the hardware, you do it through a console that is the Play itself and then you can also use it with the PC and probably also with the Mac, but the point is that with a Stadia device you have access to a multitude of games without the need of a particular hardware. Moreover, Google owns YouTube, which after Google is the second most used search engine in the world, and it is the ‘social’ platform most used by young people all over the planet. With Stadia, then, you will have the possibility to access a game but not only, to access YouTube too and watch someone who is snorting their game, that is sharing their game, and enter the game. You will be able to see videos of someone who plays on YouTube and get live in the game. Isn’t it cool? Are you trying to imagine the potential of such a thing? Aren’t they are extraordinary? The world of entertainment to be overturned again Do you remember when there was talk of switching from VHS to Netflix? Here, we are going to live the exact same thing, moving from ‘suffered' streaming video (I see things that I choose to see but I cannot interact), to a total interaction with everything that happens on the other side, but above all without hardware. We just have to wait a little bit longer for the future to begins. It has already been presented and it will arrive in the late 2019, then, so get ready because it will overturn the paradigm of entertainment on this planet! Market implications Without further sensationalism, there are also important implications that will effect the economic world with the arrival of Google Stadia. In fact, the arrive of Google Stadia will be healthy for the market for other important reasons. Let’s see them in short: • Firing Up the Console Competition. As we just saw, Google Stadia is different and it is something never seen before. That means for other Console developer the need to change the focus of their future goals. Will they try to be like Google Stadia? Will they try to differentiate from it in order to compete in an opposite level of targeting? The question also rises: how they will compete if only Google will be able use the power of YouTube as a streaming force? • Enhancing the Streaming Services. This competition will be about who provides the best service in terms of volume, streaming quality, and price. And that it goes without saying, will be a great service for the audiences and the players from all over the world. Another important consideration: the impact of Google Stadia will also change the politics about the development of 4G and 5G technologies in countries where the connection is still troubling, both in the developers side and in the political decision makers. • A collection of Game Services. Maybe the future of video games lives with the subscribing system. Players will be more than happy to subscribe to their favorite developers/publishers through Google Stadia, if that means a great and exclusive service. In that sense, Google Stadia may fill a growing need to consolidate subscriptions and fans in one single place without needing any specific hardware. @ 14-15. Turbo Grafx 16 RETROGAMING IS HOT! In June, gamemaker Konami announced a reboot of the vintage TurboGrafx-16 console, originally designed by Hudson and manufactured by NEC Electronics during the late 80s. Having bought both companies’ intellectual properties and game libraries, Konami has taken it upon themselves to bring classic gameplay to the masses. Games like R-Type and Dracula X: Rondo of Blood (from the revered Castlevania series) are set to be available for the new TurboGrafx-16, which will be known in Europe as the PC Engine Core Grafx and in Japan as the PC Engine Mini. The re-release of the TurboGrafx-16 is the latest in a series of classic gaming console comebacks onto the market. It all kicked off early in the 2000s, when the trend of retrogaming spawned the launch of several new consoles that sought to imitate the style of pre-2000s home consoles. The term “console” covers both the plug and play devices such as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES, also known as Famicom in Japan) and the Sega Genesis, as well as portable handheld systems like Nintendo’s Game Boy and the Atari Lynx. Starting out, most of them were dedicated consoles, meaning that gameplay was limited to one or more pre-loaded video games (and it should be noted that the Turbo reboot is such a console). Over time, manufacturers started to open up the technology, including SD Card slots that allow users to add additional games, an internet connection that allows users to download games, or even support the cartridges of older video game systems. The recent RetroMini handheld is one such example of this, offering support for NES, Game Boy, and Game Boy Advanced games via Micro-SD cards. If you’re wondering if it makes for an attractive package to consumers, ask all the people who’ve bought one - all versions of the console are completely sold out in RetroMini’s online store. Moreover, it’s not just the consoles that are back in style, but the accessories. The option to upgrade controllers, power packs, and memory cards were a cultural experience among console-owning kids of the 1980s and 1990s. Retro-Bit (no relation to the aforementioned product) operates an online shop dedicated to selling these accessories in addition to their own manufactured consoles, which can support game cartridges from multiple game manufacturers at once! Why are all of these game consoles being brought back to life? Of course we can chalk it up to simple nostalgia for spending summers at friends’ houses playing our favorite Sega and Nintendo (or if you’re even older, Atari) games long into the night, but that still does not explain why a console such as the TurboGrafx-16 is getting a new life. Well, for one thing, Nintendo, Sega, and Atari are all well-established brands and the Turbo, which did reasonably well in Japan but flopped Stateside, could see this as a chance to get the recognition it didn’t get the first time around. Though only six games have been announced for availability so far, one installment is from the beloved Castlevania series, bringing an old-school favorite back to life. More are surely to follow. More to the point, third-party developers of controllers and other accessories largely ignored the console upon its first release - this is their chance to get in on the game! Those controllers will come in handy this time around, too, as these reboots will not merely be carbon copies of the original thing. Expanded capabilities will be added. For instance, the Turbo will reportedly support gameplay for up to five people at one time, giving a new dimension to this 8-bit gaming experience. For the past decade or so, there has been a steady stream of these video game console reboots and there’s no indication that they will let up anytime soon. If you’ve got space in your stockrooms, traders, there could be a chance for you to cash in as these things fly off of store shelves and demand grows even higher for a return to a simpler time in life. @ 16-17. New games New Games for June/ July 2019 The list of games to be released in 2019 and 2020 for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia and PC (Windows and macOS). The videogame market is more and more abuzz, and every month, including the summer ones, it is always full of news for the main gaming platforms that we have just listed. Publishers or developers often announce their release dates well in advance, allowing us to create a calendar with month and date of arrival on the market. Below you will find the list of games on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and Google Stadia during June and July 2019, ordered by months and release date. Games coming out June and July 2019 The dish of the month will be Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, the highly anticipated new project by Koji Igarashi, the father of Castlevania. The game will be a sort of spiritual heir to the famous saga, it will be based on 2.5D graphics and mechanics refined in the years following Symphony of the Night, which seems to have been the starting point. The title will arrive on all the main platforms, we expect great things! Super Mario Maker 2 is exclusively important for Nintendo Switch, which we are sure will sell a lot. The game expands the range of tools available to content creators, starting with the Wii U version and adding new assets from different generations of video games. Another important release will be Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled, a remake of the original that wants to take advantage of the nostalgia factor. If the quality will be similar to that of the game we grew up with, we should expect a very healthy competition with Mario Kart, always undisputed king in this category. Warhammer Chaosbane Release: 04/06/2019 PC platforms, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Genre: Hack and slash Warhammer Chaosbane takes us into the fantasy universe that we know well, but this time we embrace the hack and slash genre with an isometric view. So much action, lots of lore and fights that will require skill, tactics and prompt reflexes. Person Q2 Release: 04/06/2019 Exclusive 3DS Platforms English language Genre: JRPG / Dungeon Crawler Among the video games to be released in June, there is also Persona Q2, followed by the extraordinary Persona Q, a spin off of the popular JRPG series. The new chapter will also be a dungeon crawler with a high level of tactical difficulty, and a cast of characters from regular video games. Journey Release: 06/06/2019 PC platforms (Epic Store) Genre: Adventure / Art Game Review (PS4 Version) Journey is an extraordinary audio-visual experience, the most interesting indie videogame released during the PS3 period, certainly the one with the most powerful emotional and cathartic impact. It is an allegorical journey that symbolizes the journey of a life, the search for something that the player will have to interpret and understand. After years of exclusivity on Sony platforms, the game is now ready to land on the PC market, in an exclusive time only on the Epic Store. MotoGP 19 Release: 06/06/2019 PC platforms (Steam), PS4, Xbox One Genre: Corse The new chapter of the Milestone racing series introduces the Historical Challenges mode, where 50 riders and 35 500cc bikes will be included. In addition to the 19 official MotoGP tracks, there will therefore be 3 additional, historical ones, namely Laguna Seca (remake of 2013), Donington (2009) and Catalunya (2015). The Nintendo Switch version of the game will be released on June 27th. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II Release: 06/06/2019 PS4 platforms English language Genre: JRPG The PS4 version of the famous RPG adds a series of features with respect to the original, including the double language of dubbing (English or Japanese), and a series of additional scenes recorded in English. The Turbo function will also be present, originally implemented in the PC release. Octopath Traveler Release: 07/06/2019 PC platforms (Steam) Italian language Genre: JRPG Square Enix's excellent JRPG also arrives on PC, after being exclusive to Nintendo Switch. The game will also be available on Steam, as well as on the Square Enix store. No exclusivity then with Epic Games Store. The game features old school 2D graphics in high definition, and a story that involves as many as eight protagonists, hence the name. The combat system is turn-based, rather tactical and rewarding. We have already loved the Switch version, we are sure that the PC Windows edition will not be outdated. Dragon Star Varnir Release: 14/06/2019 PS4 Exclusive Platforms English language Genre: JRPG Dragon Star Varnir is a Japanese-style role-playing game based on witches, complete with aerial combat. The battlefield will in fact be structured on three different levels, through which we will be free to move based on the necessary strategies. Of course there will also be gigantic opponents who will occupy all the levels simultaneously. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Release 18/06/2019 PC Platforms (Steam, GOG), PS4, Xbox One, Switch (25/06) English language Genre: metroidvania The spiritual successor of Castlevania is preparing to return to the game and to delight the metroidvania lovers of the whole world. Directed by the original producer of the series, Koji Igarashi, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night adopts a horizontal scrolling structure and the action style that we know well. The graphics are three-dimensional, but the movement takes place in just two dimensions. There will be a crafting system, the ability to create weapons and equipment, and of course we will learn so many skills that will help us explore. One of the most anticipated video games of the year for older players. The Switch edition will be published on the 25th of the month. @ 18. Index @ 01. Front gamescom special @ 02. mobilesilver @ 03. gamestation @ 04. Erregame @ 05. Click Europe Ltd @ 06-07 3 gaming companies alarming trump @ 08. Intro @ 09. Gamescom Memories 2018 @ 10-11. The E-sports at the Olympic Games in Paris 2024 More than an idea @ 12-13. Even if it fails, Google Stadia is about to change the entertainment market @ 14-15. Turbo Grafx 16 @ 16-17. New games @ 18. Index @ 19. PPA- Apple Specialist @ 20-21. Quick hits @ 22-23 Gold members @ 24-25. XTG- New Phones and Consumer electronics @ 27. Viber- Consumer electronics @ 28-30. HONGMEN the threat to android @ 31. Kamkwat- Xiaomi @ Phones Specialist @ 32-34. Old Hand What is a modifier @ 35. Teksmart Used Phones Specialist @ 36-37. Najibs Corner @ 38. Globax- Consumer Electronics @ 39-41. Hongmen- the future of huawei @ 42-43 Transhumanism @ 44-45 Before and after the huawei crisis @ 46-48. Brendan's Takeaways from the East @ 49. Logistics and Services @ 50-53. Facebook and the new cripto currencies payments- how you can profit from it @ 54-56. Reading Frontiers_ New Kindle Upgrade @ 57. Top 10 trades @ 58-59. The new Xiaomi Redmi k20 @ 60-61. Apple lowest sales since 5 years @ 62-63 Who does the broker’s market hurt 2 @ 64. Announcing handelot TEN! @ 19. PPA - Apple Specialist @ 20-21. Quick hits Quick news 1. Apple widthraws its 1k usd stander: is their pricing out of control? When Apple announced the prices of the new Apple Pro Display XDR there was a surprise: the very special and beautiful pedestal to place it on the desk was to be sold separately for a fifth of the price of the screen. A thousand dollars compared to the 5000 of the Pro Display and the 6000 of the new Mac Pro could make even the biggest fan of the Apple desist from the purchase, above all because of the numerous alternatives even at low cost that are already in circulation. The optional Apple XDR display support is a gem: it costs $ 1000! Apple Pro Display XDR support is not included in the package and has already achieved a record: it is the most expensive Apple accessory ever. Behind this price there is certainly so much design and technology, starting from the magnetic coupling system, through which it is possible to fix the display to the mechanical arm whose peculiarity is to allow an easy inclination of the screen together with the possibility of rotating it vertically, adapting to the use of the computer based on the moment (for example it is ideal for photo retouching and software programming). Characteristics, we said, that are so interesting and that required a certain level of engineering and development but that probably do not completely justify the high final cost for the consumer. In short, any support is missing to use it since unpacking. But there is another surprise for those wishing to direct their gaze towards solutions that are aesthetically less pleasant but certainly much cheaper (you can even save up to twenty times the price of the Pro Stand). The new monitor obviously uses a proprietary attack that necessarily requires the purchase of the VESA adapter, sold by Apple for the modest sum of 200 dollars, practically as much as the AirPods 2. No surprise, then, if the Apple XDR display support has recently been withdrawn! 2. A new device monitors brain activity and predicts if a lasting memory is about to be created. The first of the devices that are regularly tested today was created by Michael Kahana, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Medtronic medical technology company. The operation of this tool, told by Bloomberg, is relatively simple: after being connected to the temporal lobe of the brain, the device monitors the electrical activity of the brain and foresees whether a lasting memory is about to be created. The device has been inserted with sensors that measure electrical signals in the brain. At a time when these sensors realize that the activity in the temporal lobe is not optimal (and therefore that the memory that is about to form is in danger of not being sufficiently rooted), the device provides a small shock - not felt by the patient - that strengthens the signal and improves the chances of memory forming. According to some conducted studies, this device is able to improve our memory by 15/18%. But the one designed by Kahana is not the only tool being worked on: a team of researchers from Wake Forest Medical Center (supported by colleagues from the University of Southern California) is experimenting with a solution that - according to the study published last year year - is able to increase mnemonic performance by up to 37%. In this case, however, the operation of the device is more complex: in order to shape our memory, several neurons emit signals in a highly specific manner; thus transmitting a sort of code (different for each memory and for each individual). By looking at a few dozen neurons in the hippocampus, researchers have learned to recognize patterns that indicate when a memory is forming or not. When the brain encounters difficulties, this device helps neurons send correct code, allowing the memory to form. In both cases, these devices were tested only on epileptic patients who had already implanted electrodes in the brain to monitor attacks and that were, therefore, more inclined to experiment with a device that also requires the use of external hardware of such dimensions that, today, it could never be inserted into the skull. But this is only the beginning: miniaturization is inevitable and at some point these devices could really be available to everyone. 3. Are Amazon drones ready to make deliveries? Here they are, the drones that will bring us packages at home instead of couriers: Amazon presented the latest version of Prime Air. The novelties are substantial: vertical take-off and landing, autonomy in flight and super-safe orientation system. However, the official launch does not have a precise date, and there are a number of obstacles that are more administrative than technical. A robot carrier technology is still at an early stage. The new drone uses an orientation system that integrates optical cameras, thermal cameras and sonar to detect any obstacle, with the help of the on-board computer that uses machine learning. The drone's rotors are covered, and the covers act as wings during horizontal flight. Six degrees of freedom, and therefore more fluid air movements, the six propellers are all used for both flight and take-off / landing. The on-board computer is autonomous and not connected to a control unit, a cloud or anything other than instructions remotely, just to avoid problems that may arise from even a temporary loss of connection. The place for the package is in the middle of the fuselage. According to Amazon, the new drone, which as the video shows turns into flight, will be able to travel for about 25 kilometers and carry weights up to 2.2 kilos. It seems little, but the data from the American giant say that between 75% and 90% of purchases remain below this weight. The question that currently remains uncertain is not technical, then. Amazon in the presentation in Las Vegas stated that the activation of the service will take place 'in a matter of months'. No date therefore specifies, nor has the area in which the experimentation starts been indicated. 4. Samsung Fold is ready for the market, but still no date Kim Seong-Cheol, vice president of Samsung Display, during a conference in Seoul said that 'most visualization problems have been solved'. So not each one. The device should have reached the shelves on April 26th. A few days before, during the tests carried out by journalists and professionals, however, defects emerged in the functioning of the display. Samsung has thus postponed the landing on the market and promised updates. After the first few weeks, however, the Fold was lost. And no precise information has yet arrived from the Korean group. In the meantime, a prodding has disappeared that could have prompted the speeding up of the debut: Huawei has also decided to postpone its leaflet, the Mate X, in September to carry out further tests on the screen. 5. Google gives up: no more tablets, it will only produce laptops Google gives up and refuses to compete with Apple's iPad. According to a company spokesman's statement to the Business Insider website, Mountain View has stopped the production of two tablets that would have been the successors of the 12.3-inch Pixel Slate launched in 2018. The products in the quality tests do not respected Google's standards, which decided to retire the tablet line. The company will continue to run its operating system, the Chrome OS, on laptops. It will then continue to produce the Pixelbooks, in addition to the Pixel smartphone with Android operating system. Chrome OS has grown in popularity across a wide range of devices and we will continue to collaborate with partner ecosystem on laptops and tablets. However, with regards to devices produced directly by Google, they will focus on Chrome OS laptops. It is understood that the Pixel Slate will still be supported, in the sense that it will receive software and security updates. 6. Lenovo confirms itself as the world's largest provider of TOP500 computing systems. Lenovo remains the No. 1 in the world ranking of the top 500 supercomputers with 173 systems installed worldwide. The Chinese computer giant has distanced itself from the last survey in November: more than 100 systems separate Lenovo from its pursuers. The supercomputer based on Lenovo ThinkSystem SD650 Leibniz Rechenzentrum technology - the most powerful in the European Union - is confirmed in the top 10 world rankings. For the first time in history, the 500 supercomputers in the rankings reach minimum performance from a petaflop - the minimum level is now 1,022 petaflops. The Lenovo Data Center Group High Performance Computing and AI solutions are used in many fields, including cancer and brain research, astrophysics, climate sciences, chemistry, biology, artificial intelligence, automotive and aeronautics, and are also used in 17 of the 25 leading universities and research institutions around the world. 7. In the United States they are studying a law against deep fakes. A Democratic deputy presented the Deep Fakes Accountability Act, which would force those who create fake videos to declare they mark them with digital watermarks or risk jail time. The fight against deep fake comes to the American Congress. Democrat deputy Yvette Clarke presented a bill to counter the misinformation due to the dissemination of video content in which real people are seen doing (or saying) things they never did (or said). The Deep Fakes Accountability Act consists of approximately 25 pages but, as TechCrunch notes, it is based primarily on two pillars. The first involves the obligation for every person who creates a deep fake to declare that the video has been altered through 'immovable digital watermarks and textual descriptions'. Anyone who does not do so will commit a federal crime; the second, instead, gives the possibility to those who have been damaged by the diffusion of these videos to sue those who created them. The proposal comes at a particular time in the United States. Over the last two weeks two deep fakes have appeared on the net. In one you see Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House and among the most influential politicians of the Democrats, talking to a public meeting in a manner that is not very clear, as if she were drunk; in the other hand, the protagonist is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. In the fake movie, created by artist artists Bill Posters and Daniel Howe - Zuckerberg declares that he has control of an imaginable amount of personal data and can use them as and when he wants to control the future. On June 13, the House intelligence commission convened some experts to discuss the risks related to technology in view of the upcoming presidential elections, including deep fakes. 8. Apple could move 15-30% of production out of China As reported by the Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei, that would be a choice dictated by the commercial tensions between Washington and Beijing and by the company's desire to reduce its dependence on the Chinese industry. According to reports from the Nikkei financial newspaper, Apple is asking its main suppliers to assess the costs of transferring 15-30% of their production from China to Southeast Asia. It would be a choice dictated by the commercial tensions between Washington and Beijing and by the desire of the Cupertino company to reduce its dependence on the Chinese industry. Nikkei points out that even if the dispute between the two countries were to be resolved positively, Apple would still not retrace its steps. The company would have established that relying only on manufacturing in China, as it has done for decades, is too risky. The producers involved in the initiative would be Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron, Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics, Invetec Corp, Luxshare-ICT, Goertek. Each of these companies is involved in the production of Apple devices such as iPhone, iPad, MacBook and AirPods. Among the countries in which the Cupertino company seems willing to move part of the production, Nikkei mentions India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Mexico. For now, Apple has in no way confirmed the information reported by the Japanese newspaper. In recent weeks, The Wall Street Journal and other US media have also talked about the possibility that the company will move some of the iPhone production outside of China, thanks to Foxconn's support. QUICK HITS A selection of news from around the tech world. Reuters reports that US President Donald Trump has decided to allow American tech firms to resume business with Huawei in a complete, sudden about-face. It is as yet unclear if the repeal of the ban is full or partial. GSMArena issues a contrasting report, saying that the ban repeal is partial and will apply to “widely available products” across markets. Huawei is still banned from the Export list on security issues and sensitive equipment. The Samsung Galaxy Fold appears to be a bust before it even hits store shelves. After many delays attributed to poor early reviews and hardware mishaps, The Independent quoted Samsung CEO DJ Koh as calling the entire affair “embarrassing” after trying to push the device through development too quickly. Following up on the topic of deepfakes from the last edition of the Handelot Times, TechCrunch reports that the state of Virginia has expanded its law against revenge porn to include deepfakes. According to Canalys, 2023 is the year when 5G will surpass 4G in terms of popularity. Canalys predicts that by then, 5G phones will make up 51.9% of the total smartphone market with China alone snapping up 34% of the total global market for 5G. With regard to the United States, Telegeography reports that American cellular providers are readying the country for 5G piece by piece. AT&T has established the service in Las Vegas, while Verizon has launched its own version in Denver, Colorado and Providence, Rhode Island. The two firms had previously launched 5G in numerous cities across the country. A story from Telecompaper says that Belarusian mobile carrier MTS has begun a promo on Huawei phones, essentially bundling the P30 phone and watch together by selling the latter for 0.10 rubles when purchased with the former. Huawei has a long history in Belarus, having developed the country’s 3G networks in the country’s major regions. TechCrunch reports that Japan is restricting the export of certain smartphone chipsets and other materials to South Korea, including those used to make foldable phones like the Galaxy Fold. Suppliers will have to submit each contract for South Korean orders to the Japanese government for approval. As the gold rush is on in the Indian market, local provider Bharti Airtel announces it is phasing out its 3G networks in order to refarm for 4G, per a report from Telegeography. CEO Randeep Sekhon says that his firm intends to continue providing 2G services to cater to its feature-phone users, however. @ 22-23 Gold members Mobility 0048 CZ s.r.o. Czech Republic Praha Bluefin Century s.r.o. Slovakia Bratislava Bluepoint Corporation Ltd United Kingdom Milton Keynes BM ELEctronics FZCO United Arab Emirates Dubai Cell-Tel MIDDLE EAST LLC United Arab Emirates Dubai Central point Europe s.r.o. Slovakia Pezinok Domo Trading Limited Malta Msida Dotson IT Asset Management Corp United States Dallas Euromedia Investment Group, S.L. Spain Torrent Eurostar Global Electronics Ltd United Kingdom Newcastle-under-Lyme Globomatik Informatica, S.L. 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Netherlands BEVERWIJK PPA International AG Germany Schauenburg Prestige Group Srl Italy Bari Q-CONN GmbH Austria Vienna Rixos FZE United Arab Emirates Dubai RS GLOBAL LTD United Kingdom London SG SPA Italy MIlano SGM Socher Inc United States New York Sound Business France Paris SPK Telecom FZCO United Arab Emirates Dubai Swift Telecom FZCO United Arab Emirates Dubai Tekpoint GmbH Austria Vienna TELPUR SRL Romania Bucuresti Vtech Electronics Tecnology Limited Hong Kong Hong Kong XTG S.A. Poland Wroclaw Yonida International Trading Corp. United States New York Yukatel GmbH Germany Offenbach am Main ZED-UK LIMITED United Kingdom London Income Click Europe Limited United Kingdom London Domo Trading Limited Malta Msida Globomatik Informatica, S.L. Spain Almeria IGT IMPEX LIMITED Cyprus Nicosia Intrade d.o.o. Slovenia Maribor KROWN MOBILES TRADING LLC United Arab Emirates Dubai LMD GROUP GOLD LTD Israel Ramat Gan MMM-Agramservis d.o.o. Croatia Zagreb Rainbow International Distribution Romania Bucharest Segment Bilgisayar Dış Tic. Ltd.Şti. Turkey İstanbul SG SPA Italy MIlano SGM Socher Inc United States New York XTG S.A. Poland Wroclaw IT Name Country City Globomatik Informatica, S.L. Spain Almeria IGT IMPEX LIMITED Cyprus Nicosia LMD GROUP GOLD LTD Israel Ramat Gan Segment Bilgisayar Dış Tic. Ltd.Şti. Turkey İstanbul SGM Socher Inc United States New York XTG S.A. Poland Wroclaw @ 24-25. XTG- New Phones and Consumer electronics @ 27. Viber- Consumer electronics @ 28-30. HONGMEN the threat to android @ 31. Kamkwat- Xiaomi @ Phones Specialist @ 32-34. Old Hand What is a modifier What is a Modifier? Well, strange happenings indeed are taking place in the big world of smartphone distribution. In the last few weeks, Samsung has announced on their web site that they are appointing modifiers. When I read this informative article, which is aimed at the consumer, I fell out of my chair with shock. What exactly is a modifier you should ask? Well apparently, a modifier is a company appointed by Samsung to officially modify their product when imported from one region to another and ensure that product to be compliant for the receiving region. According to Samsung, it equates to an unofficial modified product. Note the word “unofficial” in this statement taken from their website: What is a modified product? “A modified product is one that has, without Samsung’s or the end-user’s permission or knowledge, been opened prior to its sale to an end-user and has had one or more changes made to it.  These changes may include: • Removing the genuine charger included by Samsung (e.g. a 2-pin Mainland European charger) • Inserting a 3-pin Samsung branded charger of unknown origin • Removing some or all of the original safety and instructional documents • Inserting photocopies of English language documents • Removing the original operating software on a device and installing an English language variant of the operating software • Cutting or removing seals and stickers on the outside of the box • Adding a new or copied outer box seal and other stickers to the box” And what Samsung has just done is to appoint companies (or one company at least) with a promise of more to follow, as official modifiers of their product. I must say I am rather confused. If I understand this correctly, then Samsung create a product, register and own the intellectual property of that product, set up and run an extremely sophisticated supply channel for that product consisting of vetted and appointed distribution companies, and then insist that those companies adhere to their extremely strict and confidential contracts referring to the flow and distribution of that product. Are Samsung now saying to their official distributors that they no longer need their services, and for the future they will be using the services of modifiers to distribute their product? Let’s expand on this. Let’s say I am an officially appointed Samsung distributor in the UK and my sales channels are retailers, networks and grocers. Officially these outlets can’t purchase Samsung product from anywhere other than an officially appointed distributor. Are Samsung now saying to these outlets that they can purchase these goods from somewhere else, like a modifier? As we are all very aware, it is extremely likely that the modified product will be cheaper to purchase. We have all been unofficially doing this for years. And now Samsung are going to give us their blessing to do it. Not just their blessing, a licence! Whatever is going on? It’s a big enough pill for Samsung to swallow in the fact that they own their IP. Therefore, they can’t maximise their margin without the introduction of a modifier in the transactional chain who is able to change that IP to enable a sale. It seems insane. If that’s not enough insanity, consider the fact that with the introduction of a modifier, Samsung will also infuriate their official existing partner channels. Traders have spent years forming relationships with retailers, distributors and networks in the pursuit of profit, and now like a bolt out of the blue, Samsung are giving out licences to parallel importers which will allow them to modify their IP and sell it on. Can this possibly be true? If it is, why? Well as you can imagine, having now read many of my articles (at least I hope you have), you know that I have a theory. Remember that it is only a theory, an opinion formed through the acquisition of experience, wisdom, and knowledge! After more than 30 years of exposure, the smartphone market has hit saturation. This is due to lack of innovation and the slowdown of the developing markets. Samsung themselves had a dip of 7.2% in sales in 2018. The market is of course not what it was back in the day. We are all seeing that in our margins and supply. Don’t be unduly concerned about this, you are still participating in one of the largest market places in the world with an estimated 1.6 billion smartphones sold annually by manufacturers. Unlike us they only have one brand to sell, and that is their own. I have always stated that I do not understand tightly controlled distribution methods imposed by manufacturers. Back in the day it wasn’t a question of selling the product, more a question of purchasing it. In those days if I had been the manufacturer, I wouldn’t have cared who bought my product or who I annoyed during the process by disposing of it. I would sell to the man with the deepest pockets. I could do this all because there were more people that wanted the product than there was product available. It’s much different now, as sales are just as important as purchasing. I am still a believer in the old saying “bought right, half sold” At some point, at least one third of all product moves through the parallel market. That makes us guys very powerful indeed. Considering the current climate, competition, and sales reductions, could this possibly be Samsung’s way of selling more? Samsung may at last have recognised the immensity and tenacity of the parallel market. They may have made a political decision to utilise this market, in the form of a licensed modifier, to simply sell more product and more importantly, once again be in control of those sales. After all, what have they got to lose? Their sales are diminishing and will continue to do so, especially with the onslaught of Huawei combined with saturation and lack of innovation. Now that’s one theory, here is another: A trader’s most powerful asset is his ability to acquire information and market intelligence, which will give him the edge over the next guy. Utilising this information to profit. Knowing the battles that we have endured with the manufacturers and official channels over the decades to acquire and profit from their product, and understanding that we have conquered many of those battles with huge success, is Samsung interested in discovering and ultimately taking control of those channels? If this is their plan then I say beware traders, always remember that the giver can also be the taker! Where are those modifiers? I need supply now! Keep The Faith, The Old Hand @ 35. Teksmart Used Phones Specialist @ 36-37. Najibs Corner THE BATTLE OF MOBILE BRANDS IN THE MIDDLE EAST – A HELICOPTER VIEW So, you are a mobile phone or an associated accessory brand and want to enter the high ASP market of the Middle East. Your natural tendency is to get yourself on to the regional show window of the region: the United Arab Emirates (specifically Dubai). A natural selection of premium markets, many a brand have entered this gleaming arena only to be subdued and later diminished by the power brands. There is a certain phenomenon that must be respected and kept in mind while reaching out in the region, and unless one is ready to play by these rules, it’s better to stay away, lest your money become a memory. The middle markets, specifically the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries, offer a very high ASP for mobile devices, at present in the range of USD 150-175. Established brands on the retail and Key Domestic Retailer levels always spend millions in terms of branding and advertising, keeping the top of mind share active. Here Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Honor take the top spots as mobile business gets associated with these names. The second challenge is a rapidly shifting expatriate population in these markets as a majority of the labour workforce across these levels is formed by foreigners. These individuals are always looking for brands that are known for their durability and have service facilities internationally. Almost 85% of the market is captured and shared between the above-mentioned brands, leaving little room to be shared by others. The same goes for used devices. The last factor is an ample availability of grey product through trading channels. Most of these devices also consist of the same brands as mentioned above, leaving little room for new entrants to maneuver. In this scenario, is there a place for others to enter and make a difference? There are some success stories, and through grit and hard work they have done a great job. A case to mention initially is the fatalities of the recent past: Nokia, Blackberry, Alcatel, Tecno, Condor, General Mobile, Q Mobile are a few among many that had tried but couldn’t move an inch. Some of these are internationally well-known, and others are regional brands that did a phenomenal job in their respective markets and thought that it was safe for them to conquer the world, only to find out that every flavour doesn’t work in a market. There were some very expensive entries with repeated tries and repeated failures, while others could not take the first bump and had to beat a hasty retreat. Listing fees at Key Domestic Retailers run hundreds and thousands of dollars, and the crux of success depends on the brand themselves. ROI is non-existent, and the demands keep increasing with time at these outlets. Now, if you aren’t coming with deep pockets then this avenue is lost to you in the first place. But if you are missing from Key Domestic Retailers then it basically means that you are a weakling and only available at Independent Retailers getting into the minnow league. The winners by far are the ones playing the slow and steady game. Oppo, VIVO and to a minor extent Xiaomi would take the lead. Is this the winning formula? Do not hand over your brand to a distributor, but rather come and get on the ground running yourself. These brands have their own sales and promotion teams that are on a healthy incentive plan in addition to covering the whole market from bottom up. What does this mean? Capture IR yourself and get the customers interested in your brand to an extent where the Key Domestic Retailers are forced to ask for your brand. This requires patience and a lot of hard work that is usually missing from standard brands, who are used to a hit and run strategy. Alcatel has entered and exited the market multiple times and now has taken a conservative approach to slowly regain the tracks. For accessories I would recommend looking at Riversong, a once unknown brand now available across the region. They have also worked with established players with a lot of patience ensuring reach. So do not rush and hurry to the region thinking its all a gold rush. @ 38. Globax- Consumer Electronics @ 39-41. Hongmen- the future of huawei 4. HONGMEN: the threat to android To respond to the suspension of the Android license (which was also postponed for 3 months), the Chinese giant announced that it will launch its own operating system, which it has been working on since 2012. Meanwhile, however, many operators postpone the launch of the new Huawei smartphones. After collecting the challenge of Donald Trump and Google, tough, Huawei is relaunching. The Chinese telecommunications giant said it was determined to transform what it called 'a betrayal' into an opportunity for growth. And so, to respond to the suspension of the Android license by Google - a measure imposed on Big G by the White House, but later postponed to August - Huawei announces that it will launch an operating system of its own. The new product that will have to convince millions of consumers to abandon the most popular platforms will be called ‘Hongmen'. The Shenzhen-based company has been secretly working on this project since 2012, but has decided to make it public only now, by pressing on the accelerator, to show that it cannot react to American attacks. In perspective, therefore, the withdrawal of the Android license could turn into a boomerang not only for Google, but also for Apple. Both would indeed see a competing operating system coming onto the market, potentially capable of undermining the dominant positions on the world scale of Android and iOS. Huawei faces this challenge with confidence because it can count on the support of Chinese state leaders. After the escalation with the US over tariffs, Beijing's number one, Xi Jinping, sent a clear message to the United States: China is ready to once again undertake a new long march. The reference to the retreat of the Communist troops, who escaped the Kuomintang in 1934 and then defeated it, shows that China does not intend to give up an inch in the tug of war with Washington. In short, the possibility of an agreement that puts an end to commercial hostilities between the two superpowers seems ever more distant. Also because, meanwhile, operators and partners around the world are starting to postpone the launch of the new Huawei smartphones. The first news in this sense came from the largest British operator, EE, which removed Huawei phones from the launch of the first 5G commercial network in Britain. Soon after came Vodafone, which suspended pre-orders for Huawei's 5G smartphones. And it's not over: according to rumors, Microsoft could also suspend support for Huawei laptops, while the main Japanese operators would be about to do the same with the launch of new phones. Not only Huawei According to the Global Times of China, a pro-government daily, the main Chinese technology companies, such as Tencent, Oppo and Xiaomi, are actively working with Huawei to accelerate the release of HongMen OS. Oppo and Xiaomi would be testing the system and could adopt it once launched on the market. The news of the tests does not find official confirmations for now, but the prospect at the moment is clear: the US and China would be rivaled, worldwide, also for operating systems. Potential: one billion users! If the other operators, therefore, were to choose Huawei's operating system, as reported by Bangkok post, the inclusion of Huawei in the blacklist could be a springboard for the Shenzen company. Panutat Tejasen, founder of the Chiang Mai Maker Club and developer of apps for mobile devices, said the launch of Hongmeng OS could please developers that could penetrate even more into the Chinese market. In fact, it is expected that Hongmeng OS will support not only smartphones, but also devices connected to the Internet such as cars, appliances or other Internet of Things (IoT) products. With 5G and artificial intelligence, China can have its own ecosystem with a huge market that attracts developers. At the launch there could already be 1 billion users ready to use it. The launch and the name Some media outlets have reported that the system will be called as such: HongMeng OS. A company source told Global Times that the new operating system will be called the ‘HongMeng’ in China and 'Oak OS' for the rest of the markets, and that could be launched within the third quarter of 2019 and certainly within next spring. Is Huawei ready? Realistic times? Maybe. According to two sources of the South China Morning Post, the group could not be ready because the US blockade has come suddenly. The operating system has been tested thousands of times, but there have never been trials on an entire product line. The Chinese have carefully studied Android and Apple's iOS to learn from them, but there is still a serious development and test work to be performed and an entire app ecosystem to be transferred, as Forbes suggested. A security matter Assumptions and timing aside, the Shenzhen company continues to affirm, despite its years of work to conceive a home operating system, that prefers to maintain partnerships with Microsoft (Windows) for PCs and Google (Android) at the end of the 90 days of respite granted. And Google seems to wish the same thing. According to the Financial Times, some high-level Google executives are lobbying some US officials for the Mountain View company to be exempted from the export ban on Huawei without a Washington-approved license. Google is worried that Huawei, by installing and updating its operating system as an alternative to Android, could make smartphones more susceptible to hacker attacks. Google knows what it's talking about. In China, where Google's services are blocked, Huawei already uses the open-source version of Android and this limits security updates. @ 42-43 Transhumanism THE ULTIMATE MEETING POINT OF MAN AND TECH? Mobile technology has enhanced our lives to a degree we couldn’t have fathomed even thirty years ago. Not only have we created pocket-sized devices that show us maps when we get lost, play us music and videos when we get bored, and keep in contact with anyone, anywhere, but we are starting to adapt mobile tech to the human form. Wearable cameras and screens such as Google Glass are slowly creeping into the mainstream, and will unquestionably be part of our daily tech lives sooner than later. What’s more, we as humans are beginning to adapt ourselves to technology. Augmented and virtual reality is increasingly allowing us to complement the world we see with extra information that allows us to manipulate our environments to our benefit and create entire new ones to escape into. It must be asked: how much further can we go in merging the tech world and the real world, and ourselves with the devices we use? Transhumanism is a philosophical movement that advocates for the transformation of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology. Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as their ethical limitations. The main idea is that, with technology, human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into different beings with abilities so greatly expanded from what we are now able to do that we become “post-human.” It’s not difficult to imagine how transhumanist thought might inform the development of technology. Google Glass is, at its core, a wearable camera that augments our vision without being a part of our bodies. Further advancements mean those glasses could become contact lenses. A step further and they could be lenses that are inserted into our eyes with surgery. Behind the eyes, how to merge our computers and our brains is also in development. So-called brain-machine interfaces (BMI) are in development by the likes of Elon Musk and Facebook, which may not only enable us to communicate faster than presently possible - we are limited to how fast we can read and type - but also to fully convey the multisensory experiences of our memories. Barriers to comprehension and communication may end up being completely eliminated. With sight enhancement and brain modification comes the option to customize the human body. Implanted RFID chips spring to mind first; we already use this technology on our pets so we can track their whereabouts, and we can use them as replacements for thinks like PIN numbers and housekeys. But it goes deeper than that - the way in which a person dresses, styles their hair, and alters themselves in ways such as piercings, all serve to identify the way a person presents themselves and is perceived by society. Oncoming fashion trends could be in the form of LED lights implanted under the skin, which could be both stylish and fashionable. A few adventurous people are doing this and even more. Tim Cannon, co-founder of Grindhouse Wetware, has even had a bulky implant self-inserted into his forearm to take his body temperature, which he hopes he will be able to interact with home appliances! He may have jumped the gun on this one. However, it is here that we begin to see the dire downsides of transhumanism. If technology can be used to customise, it can also be used to homogenize. Researcher Jerold Abrams has warned about the elimination of differences in favor of universality, worrying that technology could hamper the ability to subvert expectations and norms that individuals typically do by way of uniquely expressing themselves externally. In addition to physical alteration, another consequence of enhancing the human form cognitively will be the reinforcement of desirable traits which are perpetuated by given social structures. Physical traits which are seen as undesirable will be summarily cut out by those who can afford to do it, while those who cannot will be forced into a relative caste of undesirable people. Even if these alterations are made completely universal, they could eliminate what makes each individual uniquely human in their own way. This is to say nothing of the implications for advertising. Forbes reports that marketers may be able to use emotional filters based on our activity to change the tone of their message on the spot in response to our mood in a given moment. Eventually, we may see AI personalization affect our career trajectory, playing a guiding role in the positions we are offered based on our personal strengths. It is inevitable that our diets and medical treatment will be far more personalized based on the information that our genome reveals about us. Personalisation will eventually give way to customisation at mass scale where products and services will be completely configured to personal needs and preferences. All of this, however, is probably decades away from being realized globally. There are daring scientists among us who will push for greater integration of man and machine, and curious entrepreneurs will no doubt embrace them and sell them to us. And we will likely pick and choose between them and set limits as to what extent technology will intrude into our being. But we must be aware of what we’re getting ourselves into. @ 44-45 Before and after the huawei crisis Before and After- the Huawei crisis Before A case now on everyone's lips, a succession of information, half-declarations and it is still unclear what Huawei's future will be. But before trying to imagine the implications and consequences of this US vs China fight, we want to analyze the mobile market and smartphone sales. Huawei has experienced a tremendous growth in the last year and after overtaking Apple, today it is the second largest global shipping brand, right behind Samsung. A truly remarkable start for 2019 for the company with P30 Pro and the whole series of smartphones. Huawei has sold 101 million Android phones outside China, 49% of the total. The impact is significant on Europe, which accounts for 28.4%. More precisely it is the EMEA area (Europe, Middle East and Africa), but Europe is the lion's share especially on smartphones. The product division for the company, overall, is now worth 45.1% of the turnover and has grown by 50% in 2018. 2019 will be much more difficult: the Google affair outside China could halve mobile sales by 50%, according to a Bloomberg analyst. Huawei is not only the second brand in the world, but it is also the first in China where it drives the market and makes the difference compared to all the other brands. The Chinese market alone has a value of about 30 billion dollars a quarter (variable monthly fluctuations) and Huawei has 34% of the market with a huge sales volume but a lower product value than Apple. After: the present The president of Huawei, Chinese telecommunications giant, Ren Zhengfei, acknowledged his mistake: he did not imagine that the US government would be so determined in its sanctions policy. And that would have put in place such a wide range of anti-Huawei measures. All the activities of the group are interested: from smartphones to sales of components to telecommunications operators. Sales of Huawei smartphones abroad will decrease from 40% to 60%, in practice from 40 to 60 million less phones this year. In 2018, 202 million were sold worldwide, according to figures reported by Le Figaro. Customers snub the brand complaining that their phones will become unusable. In fact, Google risks blocking the use of Android, its operating system, for the smartphones of Chinese Huawei in response to injunctions in Washington. The consequences of the restrictive measures decided by the government of President Donald Trump are without appeal so much that Zhengfei has revised down the group's 2019 results. After having estimated a turnover of 125 billion dollars (110 billion euros), now the forecasts stand at one hundred billion (87.7 billion euros), a sharp decline on 2018 closed with a turnover of 105 billion ( 92 billion euros). In total, Huawei expects lost revenue of around 30 billion (26.3 billion euros) as a result of the sanctions of the US president Trump. In addition, the Chinese giant has just launched Honor 20, its second brand that has a younger positioning. However, the situation is such that it could block deliveries in certain countries, such as France, for example, in the hypothesis of poor sales, according to Bloomberg taken up by Le Figaro. Japan has also closed its market to the Chinese giant and as a precaution other Western operators are avoiding Huawei. In the US, some microprocessor manufacturers lobby the government asking not to be deprived of a valuable customer like Huawei for long. In Europe the operators go in random order, with Germany and France still lagging behind while in Spain the four TLC operators have opted for Huawei components. Trump’s new moves In all this Trump, perhaps to calm the markets, recovering from a new sell-off or perhaps to indicate that he is willing to soften the hard line, did not rule out that Huawei could be included in a hypothetical trade agreement with China, even if the company represents - according to his thought - something dangerous from a security point of view. The American opening gives credit to those who say that the Huawei attack is above all a negotiating tool used by the United States in negotiations with China. But how are espionage accusations solved? Meanwhile, days pass and consumers are confused in the purchase of new smartphones or in the guarantees on future updates. The impact on Huawei in Europe The consequences on the business of the company will be felt, even if the outcome of these hectic days should be an agreement. Bloomberg analyst Charles Shum wrote that the removal of the Android license will have a heavy impact on Huawei's business outside of China. In the native country the company has an Android operating system but in the basic version, with other application stores and no access to Google services since 2009. The Google business therefore should not have consequences on the business in the country, as from the 2018 budget data were worth 51.6% of revenues. And not even in the United States, where Huawei is essentially absent. @ 46-48. Brendan's Takeaways from the East TAKEAWAYS FROM THE EAST: THE NORTH KOREAN MARKET? What more can be said about the dire situation in the global smartphone market? Aside from India, the market has reached a state of entropy. Even at a bi-monthly pace, not much is changing the fact that sales are stale in the East. That’s why for this edition of Takeaways, we’ll be giving you an escape from the gloom and doom by looking at a market that’s all but untouchable for traders: the hermit kingdom of North Korea. Having been in the news lately, you may wonder if people there have access to smartphones at all. As it turns out, they do, and the particularities of devices and mobile plans stand in stark contrast to those found the world over. News out of North Korea is almost always heartwrenching. The combination of low wages and the country’s strict central control over the market has made life troublesome for its citizens; multiple famines have killed millions over the past twenty-five years, and even in stable times ordinary foodstuffs can be difficult to obtain. Unofficial markets where food, clothes, household supplies, and consumer goods are available have been tolerated by authorities to varying degrees. Still, given that most landline phones have been owned by government officials, it is no less surprising that a mobile phone market has popped up, and a vibrant one at that. Mobile phones have a shaky history in the hermit kingdom. Introduced in 2002, the devices were symbols of wealth and class as they were elsewhere in the world at the outset, and only 20,000 North Koreans owned one. Since then, they have gone through a series of bans and un-bans (a mobile phone was thought to be an accessory to a bombing in an assassination attempt on former leader Kim Jong-Il). What’s more, visitors to North Korea would typically have their phones confiscated on arrival for return upon exit. However, in 2008 a serious drive in investment toward developing mobile infrastructure was made. With the help of Egyptian telecom provider Orascom, the state-owned telecommunications corporation established Koryolink, the very first 3G network in the country. It was at this point that the number of subscribers exploded: 120,000 citizens were reported to have phones in 2010, booming to one million in early 2012 and three million as of 2015. By 2017, 69% of households had one, far outstripping the use of landlines by ordinary citizens. The two biggest providers of mobile service in North Korea include the previously mentioned Koryolink and the wholly state-managed Kangsong Net. The services provided by them are not interchangeable - they are effectively competing for the growing user base. At least five mobile plans are available between the two according to DailyNK. They are widely known by numbers one through five, and they are peculiar to say the least. Kangsong Net oversees plans one and two, with the first plan not allowing data transfers fast enough to stream video or other media. Kangsong promises users free data between the hours of 11pm and 9am, which Koryolink does not provide. To compete, Koryolink offers free data to anyone who makes payments on a quarterly basis. Of course, if you’re wondering whether North Koreans have access to the global internet, the answer is no. State authorities have created a countrywide intra-net known as Naenara, permitting only access to official news and information. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE DEVICES??? Glad you asked. Just as there are competing telecom services, there are competing smartphone manufacturers, all allegedly located within the borders of North Korea. The current top-of-the-line, must-have device is the state-manufactured Pyongyang 2425. Though information about the trends of the outside world is largely censored, makers of the device are clearly up to date about the smartphone industry; the Pyongyang 2425 sports a notched screen originally put out by Apple in 2017, and is in line with contemporary phone design. The notch isn’t the only aspect of the phone that was mirrored: the 2425 lacks a headphone port, suggesting they are made for use with Bluetooth earpieces and buds. The performance aspect is comparable to the Samsung Galaxy A9 from last year, though the chipset is reportedly made by Taiwanese firm Mediatek, Inc, responsible for chipsets used in Xiaomi phones of the past. This suggests that the country isn’t as self-reliant as it portrays itself to be in meeting the needs of a budding consumer base. North Korean smartphones have caught up quickly in terms of technology. The previous Pyongyang model, the 2423, featured performance levels similar to South Korean phones -- from 2014. Earlier phones were of even shoddier quality. Business Insider reports that the Arirang phone was either a clone or rebrand of China’s Uniscope U1201. Later, Arirang would beef up its tech specs in its 171 model by including increasingly faster Mediatek chipsets, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage to put it up there with some of the finest smartphones in the world. Also of note is the way in which North Koreans customize their devices through apps. Previously, the only way to load apps onto these devices was by taking a device to a physical store to have them onloaded. With the 2425, however, DailyNK notes that not one but two app stores (in the conventional, digital sense) have been made available: My Comrade Gil, which accepts the national debit card, and Information Service 2.0, made by local firm Samhung and accepts only their in-house currency cards. Of course, these leaps in technological capability and availability do not come without a hitch. Security measures are preloaded onto every phone so that authorities can block access to even internal media, and to ensure that no media from the outside world can be viewed. In some cases, the measures work too well: the Pyongyang 2425 has even blocked ringtones and files that come with the phone. WHAT WOULD THIS MEAN FOR TRADERS? Let’s put our imagination caps on for a moment. Fantasize that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is deposed tomorrow, more progressive members of the ruling regime oversee the transition from a state-planned economy to a capitalist one, and working citizens get more money into their pockets. Would it be hard to sell the North Korean public on top of the line smartphones that are popular in the rest of the world? Not as much as you might think. It turns out brands such as Samsung, Apple, and Chinese brands are known and preferred to domestic phones, so much so that authorities are arresting users of smuggled phones from these manufacturers and sentencing them to correctional labor. But the recognition is there, and it’s a sure thing these manufacturers will rush in to stake their claim as South Korea and China will doubtlessly have a hand in rebuilding wireless infrastructure from the ground up. With respect to lesser known and trusted brands, the marketing seems an easy fix. Parallels could be drawn to North Korean phones from a performance standpoint thanks to their inclusion of MediaTek chipsets. At the end of the day, though, it’s likely that any foreign phone available in the marketplace will be snatched up. North Koreans love a good quality phone, evidently, but what they love most of all is information. Why else would so many risk being thrown in jail for watching South Korean movies and news smuggled in via USB drives? Should North Korea ever open up, it will be a gold rush to see who can grab the biggest chunk of the market. But just by showing up, you will win. Pictured: The Pyongyang 2425 smartphone. @ 49. Logistics and Services @ 50-53. Facebook and the new cripto currencies payments- how you can profit from it Facebook and the new cripto currencies payments: how you can profit from it? The Facebook cryptocurrency is called Libra and it will change everything. They have been talking about it for a long time and now it's official: the cryptocurrency owned by Facebook will be called Libra and it will arrive in a few months, at the beginning of 2020. The announcement came after the informal rumor had been around for some time. At the beginning the name had to be Facecoin, but then they went for a name that refers less to Facebook and more to justice and equity prevailed: 'libre', in fact, in French means free, but above all the reference is to the balance, the universal symbol of balance and justice. Because these are, says former PayPal executive David Marcus who now runs the Libra project for Facebook, the values ​​of the project: justice, balance and freedom. In addition to money, of course. How will Libra work? First of all it will be a digital currency, a cryptocurrency, so no printing of banknotes or coin production is foreseen. Then there are the technical features: Libra will not work as the very famous Bitcoin works, but it will be a 'stablecoin' that is its value will be anchored to fixed and constant references, just like the coins of the states. This will avoid too sudden fluctuations, a bit like those that have made Bitcoin famous and other cryptocurrencies particularly suitable for speculation. How much will a Libra unit be worth? It is not yet certain information, but we talk about a value equivalent to the US dollar, or less likely to one Euro. Libra will be managed by a 'Libra Association' a non-profit organization that will buy dollars or euros, depending on Libra's needs and the market that will use it, in order to maintain its value. The idea comes from Facebook, of course, but the project has other big names among investors: Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, but also Uber, eBay, and even Spotify and Vodafone. Every investor (the list seems to be constantly growing) will invest a figure that should be over 10 million dollars so as not to tie the currency to the sole authority of the company of Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook has long been on its way to Libra, and has done so with the Calibra virtual wallet. This company, which has among its leaders Kevin Weil, former Head of Product of Twitter and Instagram, has the task of launching, maintaining and building the digital wallet of Facebook. Weil says that Calibra will develop within Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp at the time of Libra's launch, but it will also have a standalone app for iOS and Android. Calibra will be the main tool with which Facebook will carry out its financial services, including loan and credit lines. In addition to the obvious financial incentives, Facebook is making an effort to tie Libra to its global mission of connecting the planet. The company says that 1.7 billion people, or 31% of the global population, currently has no bank and lacks access to modern financial services such as a digital current account or internet banking. At the same time, however, these people have at least one mobile phone with an internet connection, Libra will have the power to offer free low-commission banking services with the only requirement of having a Facebook, Instagram or Whatsapp account. A truly accessible solution for everyone and which adds to Facebook, in addition to the meaning of Social, also that of Financial Network. Facebook and Governments But replacing the banking system is not an easy task and Facebook knows it well. In fact, the company wants to work closely with the financial sector and not compete directly with it. “From now until next year you will see many banks coming to Libra, because if the estimated users arrive, we will need savings accounts, loans and other things that the banks are very good at realizing”, says David Marcus, a former Paypal executive who now works with Facebook. Furthermore, in a market where service fees seem increasingly expensive, Libra wants to go against the current and plans to drastically reduce the money transfer fees and transaction fees through Calibra. It seems something almost unattainable yet the will of Mastercard and Visa, to be part of the Libra Association, offers proof that even companies that make huge profits from the status quo see Libra as a great advantage. If Libra is successful, it could represent one of the most revolutionary products that Facebook has ever released, not only for the company but also for the world. The possibility of having access to an entire banking system simply through your Facebook account could offer a convincing alternative to existing financial methods, bypassing administrative time and costs and making opening a current account as simple as creating a new account. But this could lead even more to Facebook to be inseparable from our life: while for now it remains an individual choice to enroll or not in the social network par excellence, with Libra it would almost become a necessity, if not an obligation. This problem together with those that Facebook has had to sustain over time as the loss of data from millions of users, make governments very doubtful about the actual implementation of this new form of payment. The American president of the House's financial services committee, Maxine Waters, has been very concerned about the announcement of this new cryptocurrency and the problems that could arise regarding user privacy. Even the European authorities are very worried by the distortion that could lead to the approval of such a system, in fact, the French finance minister Bruno Le Maire, would have sent a letter to the members of economic representation of the G7 to ask that Libra not become a 'sovereign currency' because it could bring major regulatory problems and especially destabilize other currencies. It must be said that these are real fears and if Libra really became a global currency Facebook would be in a situation of advantage over the world also because, at the moment, Facebook is the only company involved in the cryptocurrency project to have a seat both in Calibra than in Libra. For any decision, Facebook will therefore be the only company that actually has the right to express two opinions. A somewhat ambiguous situation, also admitted by Facebook, but that promises will soon be resolved with the addition of new partners and associates within the coin's launch. Who will manage the bank details (why is this) us users? But here is the question that everyone is asking themselves at this point: who will manage the bank details (why is this) of the users? Facebook will, but what will in the jargon is called a cryptocurrency wallet, which in this case is called Calibra. In an official statement, Facebook has already announced that the account information and financial data of Calibra's customers will not be used to improve the targeting of advertisements on the family of Facebook products. That is to say that Calibra and our Facebook accounts, although managed by the same company, they will not be communicated, but kept separate. Will we trust Calibra? And how much will you be able to make yourself useful and convenient? The difference between libra coin and bitcoins Use • Libra: it is a means of exchange through which users can send money and make various transactions. • Bitcoin: has tried to become a platform to facilitate exchanges, but has been progressively identified as an investment and a store of value. The adoption • Libra: the arrival of the Facebook cryptocurrency was supported by numerous big players in the tech sector including Uber, Mastercard and Visa (to name a few). These high-sounding names could facilitate mass acceptance. • Bitcoin: when it broke into the market it was just a basic experiment that is still under development, to use the same words as Michael Graham, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity. Mass adoption, especially that of institutional investors, has always been a problem for the BTC. Costs • Libra: it will be able to boast low-cost transactions that, in the future, will probably encourage new users. • Bitcoin: the high costs (and the slowness) of its transactions have always turned up their nose to users of digital coinage. Volatility • Libra: can be considered a stablecoin. Its value will be supported by a basket of fiat currencies such as the euro and the US dollar, which will considerably limit volatility, a typical feature of cryptocurrencies. • Bitcoin: unlike Libra, BTC will continue to trade as a fact to date, ie at the mercy of high volatility phases. @ 54-56. Reading Frontiers_ New Kindle Upgrade Reading Frontiers: New Kindle Upgrade The new Kindle is almost indistinguishable from the previous one in appearance: it is slightly smaller and thin, but the impression is to be in front of the same body, to the same 'step' between display and frames and the same power button at the bottom (in the same position a little uncomfortable). And, as always, ergonomics is very good: the Kindle is easily held with one hand and is small enough to be read comfortably in any condition. Relaxed in bed or in a crowded subway, there is no place too uncomfortable for not being able to remove the Kindle from your pocket and dive into reading. In this regard, one of the undeniable advantages in buying a small ebook reader like this (or like the Kindle Paperwhite) is its portability: the basic Kindle fits easily into the inside pocket of the jacket and, unlike the Kindle Oasis, you can carry it comfortably with you even when you don't have a backpack. A small note on the body: unlike Paperwhite, here we do not find the rubberized effect that reduces the risk of scratches and, consequently, the plastic is more sensitive to the risk of showing particular signs. It is nothing you need to worry too much about because generally the Kindle is a very durable product. So if you are one of those who go crazy at the slightest scratch, you should think about investing some money in a cover: on Amazon you will find both the official ones and dozens of cheaper models produced by third-party companies. Hardware and Software The biggest hardware innovation introduced with the 2019 version is obviously the over-lighting system, which for the first time is also found on an economic-class ebook reader. We are talking about 4 LEDs placed along the frames, which provide a homogeneous and adjustable lighting, divided into 24 intensity levels. To give some reference, the Kindle Paperwhite has 5 LEDs, the Oasis has 12, but honestly counting the LEDs is not so important. The light brought an increase of € 10 in the list price compared to the previous model (now it starts from € 79.99), but it is absolutely worth spending a little more to have a lighting system. Trust those who have found themselves desperate in not being able to read on the train. Unfortunately the display does not change, which is the usual 6″ with a pixel density of 167 ppi, and this is the real weak point, which could make you prefer a Paperwhite or another higher-end model. In fact, for all ebook readers in the price range of € 100 and up, the pixel density of 300 ppi is the reference standard. The difference is noticeable, even at a glance, but it does not bother reading books: on the contrary, it is much more evident and problematic when reading comics, where it really makes the difference. The internal memory is 4GB, half compared to the Kindle Paperwhite, but this is not a real problem for books: in 4GB there are a couple of thousand ebooks. On the other hand, even in this case, with the comics there is some more hassle: many comics easily exceed 100 MB of space, so 4GB can end quickly. In general, therefore, if you buy an ebook reader with the intention of also reading comics, you will already have understood that it is appropriate to invest a few dozen euros more and aim for Paperwhite (perhaps taking advantage of an offer). But if you don't care much about comics and you would only read books on the Kindle, even on this basic version you would find everything you need. The software is in fact the same as all the other more famous models, with all the excellent features and the Amazon store. It is obviously possible to underline and take notes, look up words in dictionaries and add bookmarks, personalize fonts, spacing, margins and so on. Do not miss Kindle FreeTime to entice children to read and Word Wise, which can be really convenient for reading in English, especially for the less experienced with the language. Such as all the Kindle, even this new basic default variant only supports ebooks in MOBI, AZW, AZW3 (besides TXT, PDF, DOC and HTML), but always no ePub or comics (CBZ or CBR). As always, therefore, purchases are bound to Amazon, but if you have purchased ebooks or comics from other retailers you can convert them with the trusted Caliber and the cumbersome (but useful) Kindle Comic Creator. A final note: even in this model, like all the others currently on the market, Bluetooth is present: it is used to listen to audiobooks with Audible (for those countries that have this implementation). Reading Experience The reading experience on this Kindle takes up that of all the other Amazon ebook readers and is substantially excellent, at least as far as we talk about ebooks. Despite the rather poor resolution of the display, in everyday use it can be read without problems, as long as it remains in the context of books: by placing the screen side by side with that of a Paperwhite you can see the resolution gap, but in practice there are no differences in user experience. As already mentioned, the thing changes a lot with the comics: in this case, the low density of pixels significantly worsens the reading and it becomes really difficult to read by viewing the whole page. The situation improves by showing a single vignette (thanks to the Panel View mode), but the quality of the drawings and lettering is greatly affected by the low quality of the display. In short, if it was not clear yet: do not buy this Kindle to read the comics. The same is true for PDFs, which are still a bit like the Achille’s heel of ebook readers: despite Amazon has greatly improved the use of this format in conjunction with the launch of the latest Paperwhite, reading PDF is still an experience substantially unnerving, that no one will want to seriously deal with on an ebook reader. And, less than ever, on this basic Kindle with a 167 ppi display. Having made all these clarifications, the Kindle is confirmed as an excellent ebook reader, perfect for entering the world of reading without too many barriers. Thanks to its small size, it is easy to take anywhere, and just one click to resume reading. Those who have already tried a device with an e-ink screen will know the feeling of seeing a text that seems printed and does not tire the eyes (unlike a tablet). And now that Amazon has finally brought over-lighting even to the basic model, it can be read in the dark even if it remains below the threshold (psychological and economic) of € 100. Prices The new Kindle is available in white or black and costs € 10 more than the previous model (version 2016): € 79.99 for the version with special offers and € 89.99 for the variant without special offers. The price increase is justified by the presence of the lighting system: it is absolutely worth spending a few more euros to read peacefully even in the dark. The price is certainly tempting, but those who can spend a little more should definitely evaluate the Kindle Paperwhite, which costs € 129.99 but has a 300ppi display, is waterproof and has a better (and more durable) design. Alternatively, those who want to save money and look for a device on which to read books exclusively, can serenely buy the basic Kindle, which will certainly not disappoint. Final considerations This Kindle is a great step forward for cheap ebook readers: with 80 € you take home a device with the excellent reading experience typical of Kindle and that also integrates a front light, which allows you to read even in the dark (finally). Who can spend a little more should also consider the Paperwhite (if only for the higher resolution and water resistance), but those looking for an ebook reader to read books only will not be disappointed by this new basic version. Pro • Front light: a revolution for cheap ebook readers • Excellent overall user experience • Low price Versus • Low resolution screen (not suitable for comics) • Charging connector still microUSB • Not waterproof and not scratch resistant @ 57. Top 10 trades May 2019 (Amount of trades) Top Brands SAMSUNG 9073 (s) APPLE 5726 (s) XIAOMI 3034 (s) HUAWEI 1738 (s) LG 1731 (s) SONY 1113 (s) NOKIA 574 (s) JBL 541 (s) AMAZON 475 (s) GOOGLE 403 (s) Top Models AIRPODS 2019 285 (s) GALAXY A10 257 (s) GALAXY A50 249 (s) IPHONE X 64GB 227 (s) IPHONE 7 32GB 223 (s) IPHONE 8 64GB 212 (s) GALAXY A20 166 (s) GALAXY A70 165 (s) REDMI NOTE 7 162 (s) IPHONE XS 64GB 161 (s) @ 58-59. The new Xiaomi Redmi k20 The new Xiaomi Redmi k20 Within five months Redmi gave birth to two stars already. One of these is called Redmi K20, and although it lacks the Pro name that embellishes its twin brother, it still remains a top of the range without compromise. He is a smartphone behind Xiaomi, for the uninitiated, and that surprises for a quality ratio that is more unique than rare. Two words to intrigue you right away: 6.4 inch OLED screen without notch or holes, retractable camera and triple rear module, Snapdragon 730, a 4,000 mAh battery and a fearful aesthetic: original and cutting-edge. But let's start talking to you about it in detail, it's worth it! Technical features of Redmi K20 Xiaomi is preparing to take over with the new Redmi K20 Pro the primacy just won by the OnePlus 7 Pro in the AnTuTu ranking of the most powerful Android smartphones. Not even five months old, Xiaomi's independent rib that more and more we find on the lips of aficionados, has given birth to a really interesting phone on every point of view. It's called Redmi K20 and compared to the Pro model just a few things flaw, a different sensor for the 48-megapixel main camera and a SoC that is not Qualcomm's flagship for 2019 (the Snapdragon 855). The heart of the K20 is rather the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730, a medium-high-end chipset made with an 8-nanometer manufacturing process with a 2.2 GHz octa-core CPU and an Adreno 618 GPU. At its side there is room for 6 of RAM type LPDDR4 and 64 or 128 GB of internal memory UFS 2.1, unfortunately not expandable. But let's look at the display, perhaps the most interesting aspect of a smartphone like this, full screen without the slightest interruption. It is a 6.39 inch OLED panel with FullHD + resolution (1080 x 2340 pixels) with a 19.5: 9 aspect ratio and protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Below him is a sensor for the seventh-generation optical type fingerprints that guarantee faster breakouts and a double photosensitive area compared to the previous generation. To eliminate notches and holes, Redmi made use of an original and innovative solution, although already seen on various occasions: the 20 megapixel front camera with f / 2.2 aperture and 0.8 micron pixels is inserted in a retractable mechanism that he reveals it only in case of need. But it is worthy of note also the rear photographic compartment of Redmi K20, a compartment that is formed by a 48-megapixel main sensor (the Sony IMX582, instead of the IMX586 present on Redmi K20 Pro) with f / 1.75 aperture, secondary 13 megapixel with 124.8 degree wide-angle lens and f / 2.4 aperture, and finally with a 8-megapixel 2X optical zoom sensor with f / 2.4 aperture. On the sensors and connectivity side, just remember that it is a top of the line or almost, to get an idea. In fact, there are things like Wi-Fi 802.11 ac dual band, dual 4G / VoLTE, Bluetooth 5.0, dual SIM, dual band GPS with attached GLONASS, NFC and type C USB port, among other things. There is even a 3.5mm audio jack port for those who find it hard to abandon wired headphones, enthusiasts who can also count on a nice audio compartment with 1217LD speaker, Smart PA and 0.9 cc sound chamber. Finally, the battery is 4,000 mAh and can be recharged quickly at 18 watts. Design by Redmi K20 The design of Redmi K20 is modern and original at the same time, two adjectives that are unlikely to go well together. Of course, frontally considering it out of the ordinary is a bit of a gamble for the simple fact that it is a full-screen smartphone, with no particularities of any kind except for its super thin frames that allow it to reach 91.9% as it at screen / upper surface ratio. We used to talk about the retractable mechanism for the rear camera a few lines ago, a camera that rises from the top edge of the phone within 0.8 seconds. It is however turning it that you can understand why we call it original. The layout of the triple camera is something never seen before with a double module positioned in the middle between the LED flash below, and a camera isolated above. Particularly also the writing 'Redmi designed by Xiaomi' which fades according to a glass back with gradient finishes for rather original effects; the frame is instead in aluminum series 7000. Redmi is a must to be able to produce a device with a large screen in dimensions that may still be acceptable. Specifically, it is 156.7 mm high, 74.3 mm wide, 8.8 mm thick and weighs 191 grams. Software and features of Redmi K20 There is the MIUI 10 based on Android 9 Pie aboard Redmi K20, an interface appreciated by many. Among the peculiarities of this custom graphic interface for Our Redmi there is for example the Game Turbo 2.0, a function that serves to optimize performance in gaming sessions and more. Then there is the artificial intelligence to support various functions and the photographic and video sector, a sector that also boasts a slow motion at 960 frames per second, among other things. Price and output of Redmi K20 Redmi K20 is available in China from 6 June 2019 in Flame Red and Glacier Blue colors in two configurations (prices in Euro are considered at the exchange rate on the day of presentation, for the moment we do not know if it will arrive on our own markets): 64 GB at 1,999 Yuan (about 259 euros) and 128 GB at 2,099 Yuan (about 271 euros). @ 60-61. Apple lowest sales since 5 years Apple lowest sales since 5 years Bad news from and for Apple: iPhone sales have fallen at the most pronounced pace ever in the first three months of 2019: -17%. A no small beating, but from Cupertino they give sign of knowing and being able to manage the damage. During the presentation of the latest sales figures, Tim Cook told that part of the sales crisis would have already been resolved, that sales would have already stabilized and that the sales forecasts of iWatches and iPhones for the coming months suggested that things would have improve soon. But that simply didn’t happen. In fact, the IDC report on the first quarter of 2019 regarding the EMEA area shows unequivocal numbers and the sector falling, but some surprises among the manufacturers: Huawei is growing at double digits, Apple is collapsing instead. The sales figures for smartphones in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) for the first quarter of 2019 are clear: not only do they sell less smartphones, but also the average price is lower. To pay the consequences, once again, are the companies that list the highest-end products. Apple, in particular, recorded the worst data in the first quarter of 2019, with a market share of 23%, the lowest in the last five years. Why can that be? Are we tired of buying new smartphones all the time? We just need the smartphone we already have. The mobile giants launch new models at such a frenetic pace that we no longer perceive the need to buy them! 2019, in fact, starts with the handbrake on for Apple and Samsung. The two historic opponents of the hi-tech world are slowing down significantly, mainly due to the decline in smartphone sales. And we can't help but notice that a certain point had to happen. The force of gravity sooner or later had to have effect also for those companies - above all Apple - that challenged it, continuing to fly their accounts quarter after quarter, year after year. But we think the explanations we are reading around are not entirely accurate. In our opinion there is a small but significant passage that we are neglecting. But let's go in order and recap what's happening. Apple today is the fourth largest company in the world by market capitalization. A great result on paper, if it weren't for the first time. Indeed, by far the first. And that last August it had exceeded, for the first time in the history of the Stock Exchanges, the thousand billion dollars of market capitalization (ie the combined value of all its shares). An enormous value evaporated in part within a few months. Everything to be redone, in short. What happened? According to Tim Cook the main fault of all this is due to the decline in sales of iPhones (which are two-thirds of Apple's turnover). Guilt, among others, of China (where there would even be an informal boycott of American products from the iPhone) and of other emerging countries, which are no longer buying phones with the same volumes as before. But there is not only that reason. There is also the idea that the subsidies of mobile telephony operators, for which it sells less also in Western countries, decrease sharply. And finally, the blame for the fact that for the first time Chinese mid-range phones cost little and go 'pretty' well. Moreover with a design and technologies virtually identical to those of Apple. The same considerations can also be applied to Samsung, which for many years has been the other driving spirit of the mobile telephony market. Samsung that - after the last courageous choices in the design of the devices that have freed it from its inferiority complex towards Apple - today is seen besieged above all by Chinese and Taiwanese companies, and has the same problems as Apple. The raise of the economic phones The deeper reason for the slowdown in sales is due to the increase in the price of the appliances. Less phones are sold because they cost more, compared to mid-range competitors. And, simplifying what we have studied these days, the increase would be largely driven to compensate for the decline in sales. That is: Apple would charge its phones more to grow thanks to margins rather than volumes. In our opinion this interpretation is incorrect, at least from a financial point of view. Let ’s explain it better. Apple in its financial statements (like all listed companies) must also indicate the margins that the company makes with its products. They are aggregate margins (ie of all products and services) and in the last five years they have always been around 38%. If you go back ten years ago, the fluctuation was higher but only upwards (the peak was 44% margins in 2012). Tim Cook indicated services as the part that is growing most in Apple's turnover, and clarified that it has margins higher than the average of 38%. But if the new part that grows more has higher margins and the total remains stable, this means that the hardware margins are actually shrinking. And this is very interesting. Our idea is in fact that Apple, and to a similar extent Samsung, face a different problem: the innovation they are putting into phones is excessive. Let us explain. The launch cycle of new phones is very fast: a new 12-month model comes out, which extend to 24 if you look at the total innovations that are created for each platform: iPhone 6 and the year after iPhone 7. Or iPhone X and the year after iPhone XS. In this period of time, to differentiate the new phone from the previous one, Apple and Samsung must introduce dozens of new technologies or substantial improvements to existing ones, otherwise the public does not perceive the innovation of the new product and therefore the need to buy it. The problem is that we think we have exceeded the threshold of perceived useful innovation. The new phones cost more because they objectively do more things and have new and better technologies in them. They even have smaller margins, to be able to insert as many technologies as possible in the new devices. But they are simply not considered relevant. On the one hand, many are waiting for 5G, and we'll see what happens with the new networks. Apple is unlikely to present an iPhone with 5G before 2020 and this could not only slow down its sales further, but also create a wider problem for the adoption of fifth generation telephony and data networks. But this is another matter. Tim Cook also quoted another small factor (he also reiterated this when talking to analysts) but which we think is much more important than it seems. Cook said an impact on the decline in sales came from the battery replacement program at a cheaper price. A price that made it possible for mobile phone users two years ago to upgrade their battery - the component that deteriorates faster - while maintaining the same device, rather than buying a new one with a more capable and efficient battery. Our considerations We are convinced that a good part of the drop in sales also comes from this: in 2018 many found it more convenient to restart their old phone with a new battery than to buy another one, with technologies that were not perceived as relevant. Most of those who use a smartphone two or three years ago are more than satisfied with how it goes, and do not feel the need to change it except to recover the autonomy that is lost with the natural wear and tear of the battery that in two years loses tendentially more than a quarter of the capacity, in some cases even a third, to arrive at cases in which half are lost. Our conclusion is this: people in 2018 have not seen anything so revolutionary in the new phones to justify a purchase of a product of more than a thousand euros, given that with thirty euros or so they could restart their old but a perfectly functioning smartphone. And this means that those who innovate little are wrong, but paradoxically, even those who try to innovate too much can make mistakes. 59. Offices Handelot FZC E LOB office no E-42G-12 Hamriyah Freezone Sharjah United arabic emirates PO BOX 53224 Poland HECC Sp. z o.o. A. Ostrowskiego 30/ 327 53-238 Wroclaw NIP: 8971756584 60. HANDELOT 10 handelot Warsaw Conference
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