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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Re-Blog: Film, Digital, Mobile, Social – How Photography Nearly Died

Several years ago, I was sitting at an auditorium in Orlando at the Photo Marketing Association’s (PMA) trade show and was listening to a senior exec from HP talk about the role the company was going to play in taking photography forward.  This was a year after Hurricane Katrina.  The big challenge he said facing the industry was that when pictures went from film to digital, consumers stopped printing pictures but were still taking pictures digitally.  The issue the photography industry faced was that it was largely driven by film, paper and chemical revenues that suddenly disappeared when pictures were taken on a digital camera.  Before the photography industry could get used to the digital age, they suddenly found themselves competing with the likes of Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Motorola as most mobile phone manufacturers had now incorporated lenses into their devices.  It didn’t take long for companies like Nokia were buying more lenses globally than the likes of a Sony, Canon or Nikon.
Kodak: A Blast from the Past

The executive from HP said companies like HP had a solution in getting those pictures off those memory cards and have solutions to get them printed or shared.  HP had just made an investment in a photo sharing service at the time, said they would also have kiosk printing solutions and a cloud-like solution where you could send pictures to be printed professionally.  This was in addition to HP’s core home printing solutions.  This seemed to be the right direction to move as industry incumbent Kodak had been promoting many of the same concepts through their own photo sharing service, kiosk solutions and the introduction of their own home printers.
To read the remainder of this post on the Tech Talk blog, please click here.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Look Before You Leap: iPhone 5 in the UAE

If you're planning to buy an iPhone 5, whether from the official channels or the grey market, please check on the following, especiallyif you're in the UAE.

The Apple iPhone 5. Image: Apple.com
1. LTE Frequency

Apple is marketing three different versions of the iPhone based on three different LTE frequencies (click here to see a link on the Apple website).  Not all the frequencies work in the UAE.  Etisalat works on a GSM frequency of 1,8 00to 2,600 MHz. If you plan on traveling a lot, check also if the countries travel to are on the same frequency as the LTE network infrastructure in the UAE and Saudi Arabia example are different.

2. Nano-SIM

Apple have confirmed that the Apple iPhone 5 will use a Nano SIM.  This is a smaller SIM card than the current Micro SIM you get in the iPhone 4S.  As of date, both carriers in the UAE have said their phones don't have Nano SIM's readily available though we suspect this will roll-out shortly.  

There's no fun in having a new toy that you can't play with so proceed with caution and remember, not every seller of an iPhone 5 on the grey market is going to have a device that works here necessarily.

Update: 7Days have as a result of our blog post contacted du who have now confirmed that Nano SIM's will be available shortly.  Etisalat are yet to respond.  For details, please click on the link to 7Days. (6:43pm, 13 Sept, 2012)

Posted by: Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Electronics LLC

iPhone 5 Scorecard: Aesthetics 0, R&D Design 1

During the Apple keynote last night, there were mixed reactions to the launch of the Apple iPhone 5.  While most of us took it for granted that the screen size would get bigger, we also probably expected the design to change quite dramatically.

This sadly didn't happen.  Apple has done a great job till date in impressing us with product designs and people like Jony Ive, Apple's Senior Vice President of Design are today more recognizable than some of the world's top fashion designers, so where Apple drop the ball?

Guts & Glory, a sneak peek inside the iPhone 5
Image: theverge.com
A lot of this comes down to definition of design.  Apple clearly has done a lot of work with the guts of the device and it's always fascinating to see how they've gotten all the critical components packed in so that they can ultimately make the phone lighter and slimmer.  Joshua Topolsky from The Verge, probably said it best when he a described a screen shot of the components inside the phone as "Nerd Porn."

It seems Apple clearly felt the way to go was taller (4" display), slimmer and lighter.  The general feedback though seems to be is that while taller is appreciated, slimmer and lighter weren't as much.  What most consumers wanted to see was an iconic design.  What Apple has given them has been a R&D engineers dream project.
Nokia may be winning their way back into the heart of consumers with
innovative designs as seen in the Lumia 920.

For now, Samsung and Nokia seem to be the innovators on the aesthetic design front whether it be with the Samsung Galaxy SIII or the Lumia 920 so it'll be interesting to see if in the next iteration of the iPhone, we end up seeing an iPhone 5S or Apple decides to jump straight into a wow looking iPhone 6.

Posted by: Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Electronics LLC

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Re-Blog: What Happened to Apple's Television?

This blog post originally appeared on the official Blog of GITEX Technology Week, called "Tech Talk."  To view the full blog post, please click here.

Sep 06,2012 - by 

This time last year, any industry analyst could talk about was Apple’s entry into the television business.  A lot of this talk had been fueled by revelations that Steve Jobs had made in his biography that this was an area of business that he saw could be revolutionized.
The rumor mills of course went into overdrive as to what the television would like, what functionality it would provide and who it would wipe out.
This is as close as Apple's come to a television so far.
Image: tech.fortune.cnn.com
There is in truth, a lot that can change in the television industry.  It is still an industry that relies on messy cables and connectors.  It is an industry that launched 3D devices that required the use of ghastly looking glasses.  It is an industry that still relies on content to be delivered through a satellite, cable or antenna.  It is an industry that is fighting for margins because once they have sold the consumer a television, they have got no recurring revenue stream for themselves.  It is an industry that thinks consumers will upgrade their flat screen television just because you now have a “slimmer” flat screen television.  It is an industry that is in many cases stuck in a state of denial.
To read the remainder of this post on the Tech Talk blog, please click here.