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Making the right product for the right consumer

So now you have a business idea, congratulations. Now you need to trim your product or service to meet specifications of your market, besides you didn’t make the product for you now did you? In the next couple of posts we shall look at geographic, demographic, psycho-graphic, behavioral segmentation and target market analysis (don’t miss this one especially). Because of the sheer bulk of this topic I shall cut it in bits. If you’ve treated the above before, good for you, if you haven’t, then I’m glad to be of help.
Geographic segmentation:
Geographic segmentation is the division of the market according to different geographical units like continents, countries, regions, or neighborhoods. This form of segmentation provides the marketer with a quick snapshot of consumers within a limited area.

In summary we can say that geographical segmentation means people from a particular region have a particular behavior which is different from those of another region. This knowledge is very important when you’re selling across regions and online too.
A good example of geographic segmentation is in music. Kids in Nigeria listen more to music in their local dialects whereas kids in Cameroon won’t have affinity to music in their mother tongue because Nigeria has a higher cultural consciousness than Cameroon. Kids in Nigeria are brought up to speak their dialect no matter how rich their parents are, however it’s not the case in Cameroon. Therefore an if an artist in Nigeria wants to thrive he should sing in the mother tongue but if an artist in Cameroon wants to thrive he should sing in other local languages like pidgin English or “francanglais”.
Another good example of geographical segmentation will be on the delivery of drinks by breweries. With knowledge that there are more Muslims (who don’t drink alcohol) for at the north and far north regions of Cameroon, when delivering drinks to these areas the ratio between alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks will be higher in favor of nonalcoholic drinks. However when going to other regions with a less Muslim concentration the ratio will be higher in favor of alcoholic drinks.
You also have basic things such as language and race. For example if an advert has to be shown in Cameroon the actors will have to be black and the language in either English of French (again depending on region) but however if that same advert had to be broadcast in Sweden the actors would have to be white and the advert in Swedish. Reason being the majority of the population of these countries are black and white respectively and the local languages are English, French and Swedish.
My last example on geographic segmentation will be on purchasing habits. In Cameroon we don’t have a system or rather it’s not predominant to go to shops, take products and pay instalmentally. This system of payment however is a key trait of the more developed countries like the America and in Europe. This explains why adoption rates are higher in these countries because people can have access to products upon release when they are still very expensive. Though distribution is worldwide, there have been more purchases the red iPhone 7 in developed countries than there are in Africa because the system permits easier access in the developed countries.
Exercise: identify a geographical region around you and list out their key characteristics that other regions don’t have and how will these characteristics affect how these potential consumers interact with your business or potential business.
See you next time

4 tips to creating our million dollar business idea

A business axiomatically starts with an idea. The idea eventually goes through concept, product, marketing, operational, managerial and financial developments and eventually becomes a thriving and flourishing business. Businesses have proven to be a means for individuals to step out of the rat race and live in financial independence. Idea generation is the continuous systematic search for new product opportunities.
Like all journeys, starting a business begins with the first step which is idea generation. Albeit a little creativity helps, getting a business idea isn’t meant for the superhuman or cryptonians, instead it’s a skill that anyone can master. Here are four strategies for generating ideas: dimensional analysis, problem analysis, benefit structure analysis, and scenario analysis. These are explained in detail below:
Dimensional Analysis:
List of the physical characteristics of a product type. Having obtained such a list creativity will be triggered by asking questions such as: “why is the product this way?” “How can the product be changed?” or “what could happen if one or more of the characteristics were removed?”
This could be an interesting way to get things moving, for example you could put down all the product features of a smartphones, like cameras, processor speed, battery durability, operating system, charging system to name a few. Now you can let your creativity loose.
Problem Analysis:
It’s a need designed to develop an inventory of consumer problems in a particular product category to serve as a basis for new product or service ideas.
This method has blessed the world with some of its most innovative ideas. Most people can’t remember that you had to turn your phone backwards in order to take a selfie. These photos often had little precision because the person taking the photo wasn’t seeing what he or she was doing. To solve this problem the front camera was added to the smartphone and selfies could be taken with relative ease and precision.
Benefit structure analysis:
Determines what specific benefits and characteristics are desired by consumers within a particular category (segment) and identifies perceived deficiencies in what is currently provided.
This looks like the kind of thinking that existed in the creating of the Nokia Lumia, which is a mainstream phone with a really great camera. Reason being the most important benefit derived by most people (especially in the developing countries) from their smartphones is the camera. But before in order to get a smartphone with a good camera you had to buy an expensive iPhone or Samsung which came with a lot of features that didn’t really matter to the user. So why don’t we take away all the other features that make a phone expensive and focus on giving them an affordable smartphone with an amazing camera, would’ve been the thinking. So once you’ve identified the most important benefits capitalize on it.
Scenario analysis:
Identifies opportunities by capitalizing on projected future environments and associated consumer needs. Scenarios are opportunities that come very often. They are an easy way for the sharp minded to thrive in business.
A really good example of a scenario is often seen when things come into fashion. When you identify a slowly or rapidly growing trend you need to act fast to secure the market. For example when phone cases with rabbit ears came into fashion. Those who were first to jump on this trend made a lot of profits. The phone cases weren’t particularly lifesaving and didn’t provide any “benefit” to the user however girls really liked them and after seeing it with trend setters on social media the followers did what they do best and that’s to follow.
I hope this post was enriching, if you succeed to come with any ideas, feel free to contact us so we can help through business development. If you find any difficulties with your business and would like some strategic advice don’t hesitate to contact us as well at d.enowbisong@yahoo.com
Exercise: write down (in the comment box) everything that annoys as you throughout your day and let’s see how we can change those to business ideas. Remember “everything is impossible till someone finally does it“

4 Reasons why you should buy the new Samsung Galaxy S8

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are finally official. There were more leaks of these phones than most recent Samsung devices, possibly because the design is so different that it’s been hard to keep under wraps. We’ve got the official specs, and this confirms the Galaxy S8 will be the very first Snapdragon 835 device on the market. That could give it a big advantage over competing smartphone makers.
Here are the official specs.
• SoC: Snapdragon 835 (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad)
• Storage: 64GB with microSD card
• RAM: 4GB
• Display: 5.8-inch @ 2960×1440, 570ppi — 6.2-inch @ 2960×1440,
529ppi
• Camera: 12MP f/1.7, 8MP f/1.7
• Battery: 3,000 mAh, 3,500 mAh
• Software: Android 7.0
• Measurements: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm, 155g — 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm, 173g
There are a few things of note here. The storage in the base model is now 64GB, double what the Galaxy S7 came with. There’s still expandable storage as well. The curved displays are, of course, one of the highlights. There is almost no bezel on these phones, so the large screen sizes don’t necessarily mean the phones are larger. The regular GS8 is smaller than the Galaxy S7 Edge, but it has a bigger screen.

Slimmer device, bigger screen
No more bezels. That’s the latest design shift sweeping the phone industry. The bezel is that area outside of the screen on the front of the phone usually used to house a physical home button, cameras and sensors. Apple’s 10th anniversary phone, due likely this fall, is rumored to have dramatically reduced bezels. Even Android creator Andy Rubin’s upcoming stealthy startup, Essential, teased an image on Twitter of what appears to be a phone with nearly no bezels.
While Samsung hasn’t been able to completely remove the bezels in the Galaxy S8 phones, it comes pretty close. Very narrow bezels are left on the top and bottom — enough room for a row of cameras and sensors. With less bezel brings the remove of the home button. Samsung has placed the button under the screen.
The Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch screen, which is .7 inches more than the Galaxy S7, and the S8+ has a 6.2-inch screen. Even with bigger screen, Samsung is slimming down the phone — the S8 is 1.2 millimeters thinner than the S7. Samsung has elongated the display, giving the phones an 18:9 aspect ratio instead of the traditional 16:9 ratio. That will help make the viewing experience more “immersive,” Samsung said.

A better Camera than the Google Pixel
Firstly, the hardware is excellent. It’s got the same 12-megapixel sensor and the same f/1.7 lens as the S7. This gives is a basic advantage of the slightly worse lens in the Google Pixel, which is f/2.0. This difference sounds small but it’s all about the light that gets to the sensor. More light means less noise, and a much sharper and cleaner image.
Samsung’s next trick is to use the same technique that Google does. This isn’t a hardware feature, but one that works in software. To do this, the S8 and S8+ each take three photographs in quick succession when you press the shutter button. This is done far quicker than, say, a burst frame. But it’s crucial to get good low-noise images in low light.

AI assistant wars
Last year, Google made its first major attempt at becoming a premium Android phone maker with the Pixel. Google tried to differentiate itself with the most advanced intelligent virtual assistant, Google Assistant. Instead of adapting Google’s version, Samsung has chosen to risk doing it all themselves with its own assistant called Bixby. And just to show you how much Samsung is devoted to owning its own AI assistant, the company has installed a button on the side of Galaxy S8 phones — on the left and below the volume buttons — dedicated solely to the Bixby assistant. That button is a huge risk — what if users end up not liking the feature? Then there’s just a useless button hanging out on the side of their phone.
Pressing the button activates the assistant to start listening to voice commands. Samsung said users would be able to do everything in voice they could do with touch. A demo showed how users could do simple do simple interactions like rotate an image or set a timer. At the start, only native Samsung apps will work with Bixby, but Samsung is trying to get third-party developers to integrate their apps into Bixby. Bixby can also use the camera to recognize objects in front of it and pull up information. Looking at a wine bottle, for example, connects the user to a Wine seller that presents reviews and pricing for ordering online. Bixby will connect with other online services like Amazon. There’s also a personalized home screen with Bixby that supposed to show recommended content, like YouTube videos.

Transforming the phone into a desktop computer
Lastly, Samsung is anticipating a world where all our personal computing needs will take place only on a phone. The company is introducing DeX, a docking station that connects the phone to a monitor, keyboard and mouse.
Phones transforming into desktops has been played around with a bit before. HP Inc. last year announced the Elite x3 phablet that also docks into an external monitor and keyboard. For a laptop experience, HP has a 12.5-inch diagonal high-definition display that folds up with a keyboard and trackpad. The HP phone runs Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile operating system and takes advantage of Microsoft’s Continuum feature, which lets developers make universal apps that run on any screen size.

Samsung proves to be a leader in product innovation once more. Just hope this phone does burn away…

15 Top Paying IT Certifications In 2017

By Louis Columbus
• Security-related certifications pay on average over $17,000 per year more than the median IT certification salary.
• Citrix certifications have annual salaries that range from $99,411 to $105,086 with a median salary of $102,365.
• AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate is paying a median salary of $125,091.
• Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications are the most pervasive, with 730,000 active PMPs in 210 countries and territories worldwide.
These and many other insights about the highest-paying certifications this year are from Global Knowledge’s latest research on the salary levels and market conditions for IT certifications. Their recent survey is summarized in the article, 15 Top Paying Certifications for 2017. This year Global Knowledge distributed the survey globally, providing the 15 top paying IT certifications for the United States recently. A certification had to have at least 115 survey responses to ensure that the data was statistically valid, and the certification exam had to be currently available.

Key insights on the 15 top paying IT certifications in 2017 include the following:
• Strong demand continues for IT professionals with Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) certifications. Global Knowledge estimates than more than 20,000 people worldwide have earned this credential. Ninety-six percent of those who have earned it keep it current. Demand for this certification is outstripping supply, driving up salaries in 2017.

• All five AWS certifications available pay above market with the average salary being $125,591. Global Knowledge found that each of the five available AWS certifications pays above $100,000 a year. There’s clearly a shortage of certified AWS architects available today, as IT organizations often compete to hire IT professionals with this and more AWS certifications. Please see the Global Knowledge post, What It Takes To Earn a Top-Paying AWS Certification for additional details.

• Honorable mentions include Cisco and CompTIA certifications, including CompTIA+ Security which pays an average salary of $89,147. CompTIA A+ certifications pay $79,877, CompTIA Network+ certifications pay $81,601, and Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching, $83,945.

• Average income across all 15 certifications is $109,721. Certifications that specialize in security pay an average salary of $127,061 a year, over $17,000 more than the median salary across the top 15 certifications. The three Microsoft certifications range in salary from a high of $101,150 to a low of $93,718, with a median salary of $98,142. Citrix certifications have annual salaries that range from $105,086 to $99,411, with a median salary of $102,365. The following table provides a breakout of the top 15 IT certifications in 2016 according to Global Knowledge’s salary study.

most-valuable-certifications

Take advantage of being smaller than your competition with a good niching strategy

Sometimes competition is a good thing because, it carves out the right opening for a niche market. If your business is small and your operational ability can’t match that of competition you need not be sad, discouraged or disgruntled, study the market and you’ll identify a niche.

What is niching?
Market Niche: A market niche seeks to dominate a small part of the overall market where it does business. Market niches are typically smaller players and smaller companies that can’t effectively compete against the market leader but can succeed in a specific area and with a specific audience by focusing on a specific differentiator aligned with the niche.
Niching is only one of four competitive marketing positions which include: the market leader, the challenger, the follower and the market niche. These are explained in detail below
Market Leader: The market leader is exactly what the name says — the leader of the market where the brand exists. It’s important to point out that the market leader isn’t necessarily the first-to-market. Those are pioneer brands, and they can be surpassed by other brands that enter the market later and steal the market leader position.
Market Challenger: A market challenger wants to aggressively steal market share from the market leader, and invests time and money into finding differentiators and creating marketing programs that enable the brand to exploit opportunities whenever they arise. And if opportunities don’t arise, the market challenger will seek ways to create innovative opportunities. The classic example is the ongoing Coke vs. Pepsi rivalry.
Market Follower: A market follower seeks to gain market share but is less interested in differentiating its brand from the market leader. Instead, the market follower effectively rides on the market leader’s coattails while positioning its brand just far enough away from the market leader to be different. A great example is any young adult novel that’s marketed as “the next Harry Potter.”
Note: the are four roles and not four companies, there could be as many as 20 companies in an industry but they all fit organically in these four roles. Another point of salience is the fact that not all four roles must be exercised, you can have a leader, a challenger and nicher depending on that industries situation
A good example is Smirnoff ice…
Smirnoff falls under the RTD (ready to drink alcohol category), it came into the market in 2008. The market was clustered with stouts, lagers and soft drinks and water. Before Smirnoff’s arrival the above categories occupied 98.61% of the market share (source Guinness Cameroon SA). A market share is the territory (not necessarily geographical) a product occupies in the market, this is mostly measured by volume of sales. This implies that drinks in the lager, stout and soft drinks category dominated the market interms of sales volume. The question you must be asking is, how Smirnoff survived in such a cluttered market. The answer, Smirnoff created a niche.
How did Smirnoff create a niche?
Women had many problems with the orthodox “beer” bottle. The presence of corn gave them big bellies like their male counterparts, the bitter and sour tastes of some of the “beers” made a difficult swallow for some women, the bottles were often too big for their relatively feminine hands and the large volume of most drinks made the drinking experience fraught with too many toilet breaks.
Did Smirnoff solve these problems? Yes and much more, they brought a smaller bottle, with a transparent drink and sweet taste, the red color of the label is appealing to women, a lot like their lipstick, and the absence of corn made women not to panic about their waste lines.
Today the Smirnoff ice product thrives in the market as it has become the lady’s choice. This is a strategy you can apply to your own business.
Make sure to leave a comment on our Facebook page in case of any questions, qualms or quarrels.

 

Brand New Emojis,an Emergency system that can save your life and much more in our review of the Android Version 7 Nougat

This year’s world mobile congress has seen the launch of great new android phones. We’ve seen the new hard ware, the cameras, the sensors, the processing chips, the wearables, but what about the operating system (OS) that runs on the “doohickeys”. Google released its 7th generation Android called the Nougat. We want to take a sneak peak at what’s new and happening as we delve into Google’s android 7.0 Nougat

1. Performance
JIT compiler: The new JIT compiler improves runtime device performance, reduces the amount of storage space required for apps, and makes app and system updates much faster.
VR mode: With VR mode, Android Nougat is ready to transport you to new worlds. Coming soon with Daydream and Daydream-ready phones.

vr

Vulkan™ API: Vulkan API is a real game changer with high-performance 3D graphics. See apps leap to life with sharper graphics and eye candy effects.
apps
Battery & Data
Doze: Doze is now dozier, with your device going into lower power usage when you’re on the move. That means your Android device will conserve battery even when it’s jostling around in your pocket.
d2

Data saver: Limit how much data your device uses with Data Saver. When Data Saver is turned on, apps in the background won’t be able to access cell data.

data-saver-android-nougat

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2. Productivity
Split-screen mode: Now you can multitask with ease. Run two apps side by side in split-screen mode – watch a movie while texting, or read a recipe with your timer open.
split

Picture-in-picture mode: On Android TV, you can continue watching your current video while browsing or changing settings.
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Quick switch: Double tap the Overview button to switch between your two most recently used apps.

quick switch

 

3. System usability improvements
Customizable Quick Settings: Rearrange your Quick Setting tiles so you can get to what you want faster.

settings suggestion

 

Quick Settings bar: Quick Settings has been redesigned so you can get faster access to top Quick Settings tiles directly in the notification shade. Improved Settings navigation also helps you find the right setting faster with an updated navigation menu in Settings.

settings

 

‘Clear all’ in Overview: Instantly close all of your apps running in the background by tapping ‘clear all’ in Overview.

clear all

 

4. Emergency information: Emergency Information lets you add information such as name, blood type, allergies, and an emergency contact so that emergency responders can view this information through your device’s lock screen.

emergency 2Android_N_Emergency

 

Lockscreen wallpaper: You can now have different wallpapers on your device’s homescreen and lockscreen.

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5. Emoji
Unicode 9 emoji: Bring your words to life with all-new emoji, including redesigned human emoji with multiple skin tones.

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6. Privacy & Security
Direct boot: When restarting your device, Direct Boot helps it start up faster, and ensures that important communications still run. So before you even put in your password, you’ll still get that important text message and hear your alarm clock ring.

direct boot.png

 

Seamless software updates: On select, new devices running Android Nougat, OS updates can download in the background, so you can go on with your day while your device syncs with the latest OS.

nexus-update.jpg

 

File-based encryption: Building on top of our security platform, Android Nougat introduces file-based encryption. By encrypting at the file level instead of the block level, Android can better isolate and protect files for individual users on your device.

encrypt.png

 

Scoped folder access: Apps can request access to specific folders that you can allow or deny access to (just like app runtime permissions). This is a reduced-scope version of the Storage permission for Apps that only need access to certain folders. It can also allow Apps to request direct access to removable media (on devices with that hardware).

scolped.jpg

 

Trusted face: Trusted face, a part of Smart Lock, makes unlocking even easier thanks to a new face recognizer. The new recognizer is less sensitive to conditions like lighting, facial decorations (eyewear, facial hair, etc.), and how you hold your phone. Available on select devices.

face

 

7. Device setup & migration
Improved system backup coverage: More device settings are covered by Android Backup, including accessibility settings, run-time permissions for apps, Wi-Fi hotspot settings and Wi-Fi network restrictions.
8. Internationalization
Multi-locale support: Select multiple locales in Settings to tailor experiences for you, such as showing search results in multiple languages and not offering to translate webpages in a language you already know.
New languages supported: Coupled with allowing you to select multiple languages preferences, Android Nougat allows you to select from 100 new languages and 25 locales for commonly used languages such as English, Spanish, French, and Arabic. This enables Apps to better support and understanding your language preferences even if your devices lacks official support for it.
New language preferences: Sort your language preferences so that apps can pick the right keyboard & text for you.

lang

9. Accessibility
Accessibility settings in setup: It’s easier than ever before for you to discover and configure accessibility features on your new device. Set magnification gesture, font size, display size, and TalkBack right out of the box.
Display size: Not only can you change the size of the text on your device, but the size of all the display elements like icons and images.

appss

Accessibility mono output: Accessibility mono output assists users with hearing loss in one ear by combining stereo left and right channel output to a single mono stream.
Variable text to speech speed: Variable text to speech speed increases productivity of text to speech users by allowing setting wider range for speech speed and pitches.

accesibility

10. Android at work
Work mode: Work mode allows you to turn on and off your device’s work apps and notifications for a better work, life balance.

work mode

All these features have been put in place to optimize the user experience. The question of whether it works or not is up-to the user to answer.
dont forget to like and comment

No Ronaldo, No Bale and No Morata, and possibly No first place return, for Real Madrid today…

Things are going from bad to worse for the Los Blancos. Just last month everyone presumed Madrid to be the runaway Spanish leaders, but things have changed. Massive disciplinary issues, an abysmal and open defence, and a criticized Kaylor Navas has seen Zidane’s men, perennially in a tight spot. In fact Real Madrid’s woes can only be matched by Lille in the French League for this passed two months. Zidane’s men haven’t had a lead at half time in the past two months have conceded in 98% of their matches.
Real Madrid managed to salvage an improbable 1-1 draw against SD Eibar at the Bernabeu during the first leg of this match earlier in the season. It was the first time in 11 years that the Basque side hadn’t been slaughtered at the Cathedral of the Santiago Bernabeu.
Today Zidane takes a depleted side to the Stade Ipurua with no Ronald, no Gareth Bale and no Morata. Ronaldo missed Friday’s training session with an injury, whilst Bale and Morata are both suspended for today’s encounter.

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This could prove another taunting text for Real Madrid. After Real Madrid’s draw that felt like a loss against Las Palmas, Barcelona now top the table with 57 points, a point a drift from Real Madrid who come I second place. With Barcelona playing Celta Vigo today there’s a slight chance that Real Madrid could retain top spot by the end of the day. With everything to play for and a weakened side today’s fixture Real Madrid will either show character or fall to calamity…
Let us know in the comment box if you think Real Madrid can rise to top position again today

Marketing Highlight: Express Union encircles Express Exchange with the use of Emi money

What is the encirclement?
Encirclement Attack
Definition: The Encirclement Attack is a war strategy adopted by the challenger firm intended to attack the competitor on all the major fronts. Under this strategy, the challenging firm considers both the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent and then launch the attack simultaneously.
It is assumed that only those firms that are 10 times stronger or powerful than the opponent firm can launch the encirclement attack. The attacking firm must be adequate in its resources, then only it will be able to launch a grand offensive on several fronts.
The two strategies that can be used under the encirclement attack are Product and Market Encirclement. In product encirclement, the challenger firm may introduce different types of products with varied features and quality and may price these differently on the basis of their utility (as in this case study).
In the case of market encirclement, the firm may introduce the product for such a market segment, which left untapped by the competitor and thus enjoys the huge market share.

en-strategy

What has this got to do with Express Exchange and Express Union
Express Union and Express Exchange are key players in Cameroon’s money transfer market. With Express Union deploying a distribution strategy that highlights “proximity”, that is an Express Union office at almost every turn and present even in the most remote communities. Its growth has been very rapid. This growth has been helped with the development of partnerships such as the one with AES SONEL which permits customers to pay electricity bills via Express Union, which has been another magnetic force for traffic into Express Union offices.

euex-ex
This growth however has been fraught with slow customer service and perennially full Express Union offices. With bad news spreading faster than wild fire, Express Union developed a brand for slow customer service and full offices (a rather unwanted image, I must say). Over the years this has built a brand for Express Exchange which has capitalized on the spillover effect of Express Union’s calamity. With customers avoiding perpetual queues at Express Union they would start developing an affinity for Express Exchange whose empty offices meant the customers “turnaround” time would be swift. Ergo the corrosion of Express Union market share.

Emi money saves the day

emmi
If you notice, there’s an Emi money everywhere there’s an Express Exchange. That said they both use the red color on their buildings, their logos, and they are both always empty. All these are, well thought out attempts to muddle the differences in our minds between Emi money and Express Exchange.  And as if that wasn’t enough an Express Union form is very valid at Emi money to either send or receive money. Ergo if you’ve received money from an Express Union office and the one in your town is full you could just go to the Emi money in your town and fill the receivers form with your Express Union information.

ex-emi
Poor Express Exchange, now she’s fighting both Express Union and Emi money who are working together against her. I guess all’s fair in love and war. Thanks for reading, hope it was enriching. Remember to like our page.

Stay in the know. Stay true…

Out with the old and in with the new. The full list of Smartphones launched on February 27, 2017 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

What is Mobile World Congress?
Mobile World Congress is an annual trade show run by the GSMA. The location moves around Europe, but in recent years it has been held in Barcelona, Spain.
It is the launch platform for many of the year’s big smartphones, but it has also given us a range of tablets, smartwatches and other connected devices in recent years.
Outside of the consumer sphere, it also draws in many of the industry heavyweights to talk about the future of mobile, like 5G, chipsets, VR and other technologies.
When is Mobile World Congress 2017?
Mobile World Congress 2017 is running from 27 February to 3 March. These are the days that the show itself is open, the press days – where the big announcements are made – fell before this.
Sunday 26 February was the big launch day therefore and we saw many of the devices detailed below during that day.
Hottest phones at MWC 2017
In brief, here are the major phones launched so far at MWC 2017.
BlackBerry KeyOne
LG G6
Moto G5
Moto G5 Plus
Nokia 5
Nokia 6
New Nokia 3310
Sony Xperia XA1
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Sony Xperia XZs
Huawei P10
Huawei P10 Plus

BlackBerry at MWC 2017

BB.jpg

BlackBerry has stopped making its own phones and has handed the license to TCL. The company held an early launch on 25 February to unveil a new handset, the BlackBerry KeyOne.
Previously known as Mercury, the BlackBerry KeyOne offers a touch and type arrangement, giving you a full Android experience through the display, paired with a traditional BlackBerry-style keyboard beneath it. It’s like the Priv, but without the slide action. It’s a new BlackBerry, in a new format, but it’s one that might just work.

Google at MWC 2017
Google always has a good time at MWC, using it as an opportunity to show off all its Android partners. Google doesn’t typically launch at MWC, but we saw the announcement of Android Wear 2.0 on 8 February. We’ve also seen increasing chatter about the wider availability of Google Assistant.
Google Assistant was a Pixel exclusive, the coming to Google Home, but has already been confirmed for Android Wear 2.0, Android TV and some future Android smartphones. We’re expecting this new Google AI to become the centre of a lot of future communications between your Android devices and other services.

Huawei at MWC 2017
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Huawei has a mixed history with MWC, often using the conference to launch new devices, but not always the new flagship, which often gets its own, large, launch event a month later.
However, this year it decided to use the event to unveil the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus smartphones, weighing in at 5.1 and 5.5-inches respectively. They both run on the latest Kirin 960 octa-core processor, and come with stacks of graphical power for palm-sized devices.
They also each come with Huawei’s Dual Camera tech.
Huawei also announced the Huawei Watch 2, which runs on Android Wear 2.0 and comes in Classic and Sports formats. They also add GPS functionality, so you can go on a run without the need of a smartphone in your pocket. A Porsche Design Huawei Watch is also on its way.

LG at MWC 2017

LG.jpg

LG used its MWC press conference to exclusively unveil the LG G6 – much as we expected. It is a 5.7-inch 18:9 device with a 2880 x 1440 pixel resolution. It is also the first phone with Dolby Vision HDR support to offer better contrast and a wider colour gamut for video playback.
The processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, which is supported by 4GB of RAM so every indication is that it will move like the clappers. The rear camera is made up of two lenses with a 13-megapixel sensor. One of them is wide-angle.
Price and release date are yet to be revealed, but several networks have confirmed they will be carrying it.

Motorola at MWC 2017

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Motorola was rumoured to be unveiling the Moto G5 handset during owner Lenovo’s press conference and it didn’t disappoint.
The Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus were both launched in the budget phone space, but with premium tech that belies their price point.
The G5 has a metal body, 1.4GHz Snapdragon 430 processor and 3GB of RAM. There’s a 2,800mAh battery inside, plus a 5-inch Full HD display and 13-megapixel front camera. Its larger sibling has a 5.2-inch Full HD display instead, with a faster 2.0GHz octa-core processor and bigger 3,000mAh battery.

Nokia at MWC 2017

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Nokia’s pre-show hype focused mainly on the return of an old favourite, the Nokia 3310, and the brand didn’t disappoint.
Using the Nokia moniker, manufacturer HMD Global has reintroduced a simple feature phone with the same styling as the 2000 classic handset, but with a full colour screen and slimmer build. It looks the part but don’t expect tech miracles – it’s not even 3G so is basically just for calls, texts and, of course, Snake.
Along with the 3310, HMD Global has three Android phones releasing under the Nokia name. The Nokia 3, 5 and 6 are budget handsets, priced from just €139. They come in 5, 5.2 and 5.5-inch screen sizes respectively.
The Nokia brand is also to be used by, erm, Nokia, it has been announced. It will be releasing a range of new Withings fitness and health products under the name now that it owns the French tech firm.

Samsung at MWC 2017

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Samsung wasn’t expected to announce the Samsung Galaxy S8 at Mobile World Congress 2017 – that is looking more likely to make an appearance at a separate event in Match. Instead, it used its press conference on Sunday 26 February to launch the Galaxy Tab S3, a new premium Android tablet with an included S Pen stylus.
The company is also taking on Microsoft and the Surface Book with its own Galaxy Book 2-in-1 tablets/laptops. There will be two sizes available – 10.6 and 12-inches – and both Windows 10 devices come with a detachable keyboard to switch them between notebook and slates. They also come with Intel processors inside and can be used with an optional S Pen.
Finally, Samsung has unveiled a new version of the Gear VR headset which comes with a dedicated touchpad controller.

Sony at MWC 2017

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Sony usually launches new smartphones at MWC and this year’s event has been no different. It has announced four new handsets, with models in the premium and mid-range price brackets.
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is top of the tree. It has a 5.5-inch 4K HDR display, 19-megapixel rear “Motion Eye” camera and a mighty Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. There is also 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, along with water and dust proofing to a high standard.
The Sony Xperia XZs is an upgrade on the existing XZ and also sports the Motion Eye camera and 4GB of RAM. It’s a 5.2-inch Full HD device, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 2,900mAh battery.
The Sony Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra are mid-range handsets with 5-inch and 6-inch displays respectively. The XA1 has a 720p screen while the XA1 Ultra’s is Full HD. They both have an impressive 23-megapixel rear camera however, and octa-core MediaTek processors.

ZTE at MWC 2017
ZTE has been looking to raise its profile outside China and appearing at MWC is one way to do that. It used this year’s show to launch the ZTE Blade V8 Mini and Blade V8 Lite.
The Mini has a 5-inch screen with a 720p resolution. But the rear camera has two sensors for depth of field effects, with the 13-megapixel and 2-megapixel sensors combining for better “bokeh”.
The Blade V8 Lite has a 5-inch Full HD screen and octa-core processor. But the camera on the rear is 8-megapixels and with a single sensor.
They are both decidedly budget handsets, but the company also used the event to announce the world’s first 5G handset, the ZTE Gigabit Phone.
To be honest, you won’t be able to use it for quite some time as networks and firms like Qualcomm are only just testing the new data standards, but the Gigabit promises 1Gbps download speeds when ready.

Withings at MWC 2017

As explained under “Nokia” above, the Withings brand is being phased out and replaced by Nokia, now that the companies are one and the same.
A range of new health products and fitness trackers will be released under the Nokia brand in summer 2017.

Oppo at MWC 2017
While some Chinese companies, like Xiaomi, aren’t attending MWC, Oppo has declared that it is. There’s talk about a new technology that is revolving around 5x – possibly that it’s going to be offering 5x zoom on smartphone cameras. This might be a dual camera setup like the iPhone 7 Plus, but at the moment, we only have the odd vague tease from Oppo.

Qualcomm at MWC 2017
Qualcomm underpins a lot of the technology in modern mobile devices and the company is looking to reinforce the position of Snapdragon 835 as the chipset of choice in mobile devices.
It made several other announcements during MWC 2017 too. It is working extensively on trials for 5G networks, partnering with different carriers and manufacturers to bring through the next generation for mobile data.
And Qualcomm has highlighted the rise is adoption of Bluetooth aptX HD for high resolution audio support.

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Facebook copied Instagram and now Watsapp copies Snapchat. Is this Mark (Zuckenberg)’s competitive strategy or a lack there of

WhatsApp has made a radical update to its app, turning it for the first time into a platform for passively consuming content, similar to the way people scroll through their Facebook or Instagram newsfeeds – and it’s a move that could finally usher in a money-making system like advertising.
WhatsApp’s new Status feature, lets users share photos, GIFs or videos overlaid with drawings, emojis and a caption that will be visible to selected friends for 24 hours, before disappearing.

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If this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s exactly like Snapchat’s hugely successful Stories feature, launched three years ago, which lets users share similarly-ephemeral timelines.
Till now WhatsApp has been a utilitarian hub of activity: people go on there to simply type and read messages and type some more. Not scroll endlessly through streams of other people’s content.

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Status will change that use case for the first time. It also potentially opens the door to messages from businesses, or rather, advertisers. WhatsApp said more than a year ago that it was looking at ways that businesses could send messages to its users in an unobtrusive and useful way.
That has always sounded like a tall order — businesses ultimately want to persuade people, not just inform them — and particularly difficult given the chatting system that’s at the centre of WhatApp itself.
Facebook has been able to rake billions in revenue each quarter from advertisers precisely because it can insert their videos and photos into its content-heavy Newsfeed.
So far, attempts on Facebook messenger and elsewhere to invite “bots” from advertisers to chat to people has fallen flat – any success there needs smarter artificial intelligence behind it and so is probably some ways off.
WhatsApp may have experimented with bots in the hope that it didn’t have to go down the tried-and-tested route of displaying content; Koum and his co-founder Brian Acton have been vehemently against advertising on their app since their early days, but monetizing their app in any other way does sound almost impossible.
“As a utility, we’re focused on building features that will be used around the world by our 1.2 billion users,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told FORBES. “Over time, we’ve seen a big uptick in users sharing rich content, such as photos, videos and GIFs on WhatsApp. We wanted to offer a simple, secure, and reliable way for people to share this type of content with all their contacts at once.”
Although Status is for all intents and purposes a copy of Snapchat’s Stories, the feature actually goes back to the roots of why WhatsApp was built in the first place.
In 2009, when Jan Koum started building what would become the most popular messaging app in the world, he started off by building a status app.
“Jan was showing me his address book,” Koum’s friend and entrepreneur Alex Fishman told a Forbes reporter for a profile on Koum in 2014. “His thinking was it would be really cool to have statuses next to individual names of the people.”
The idea was that if you were going to the gym, in a meeting, or had a low-battery, you could let people know the situation so they knew not to call you, or at least could know what was going on. Hence the name, WhatsApp, or what’s up.
Koum got his friends to download the app and it basically worked, but it wasn’t getting much traction. Then Apple introduced push notifications, meaning that every time someone updated their status, everyone got “pinged.” So Koum’s friends started changing their status updates to things like “I’m on my way.”
Suddenly they weren’t just updating their friends, but sending a message. Rather accidentally, one of the most important pivots in Silicon Valley history – right up there with Uber introducing Uber X and blasting a hole in the taxi industry – happened almost overnight, and WhatsApp’s users quickly swelled beyond Koum’s circle of friends in San Jose, to 250,000.
Five years later, Facebook bought Koum’s former status-updating app for $19 billion, and the rest as they say, is history.
WhatsApp has always retained the original status update next to each user’s name, along with their profile photo. Today’s Status feature won’t replace that. It will be a new, separate tab with a + sign that takes users straight to the WhatsApp camera. Tap that button and you’ll also see updates from other friends and family – which is where the real behavioural change for WhatsApp users will come in.
Friends can reply to the new “status” by tapping the reply button, which will be sent as a new WhatsApp message.
WhatsApp said the feature was rolled out to users on Monday 20 Feb., and would be “available soon around the world for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone users.” So if you haven’t got it, you should give it a look.

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