News

Philippines to become one of first to roll out 5G in 2019

Along with Japan and Australia

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The race to 5G connectivity is officially on, and to the joy of a striving nation, the Philippines is leading the pack.

News just broke during Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018 that the Philippines will be among the first to roll out its 5G networks in 2019, along with Japan and Australia.

This marks a major milestone for the archipelago, which has been known for having less-than-stellar 4G results in recent tests. Breaking into 5G territory will give the Philippines a leg up with the next-generation technology.

“Next year, Australia, Japan, and the Philippines are going to be the first to launch 5G networks,” said Jan Stryjak, Lead Analyst at GSMA Intelligence, during a presentation at MWC Shanghai 2018.

What can we expect out of this level of wireless tech? Beyond the obvious speed boost, 5G is expected to have better security and connection reliability compared to older standards.

Globe Telecom already announced earlier in June that they’ll have 5G commercially available for homes by the second quarter of 2019 with the help of Huawei.

“We can bring internet to more homes by deploying 5G compared to a typical fiber optic rollout,” said Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO, when talking about 5G’s advantages over wired fiber connections.

Smart Communications, on the other hand, have already begun testing 5G speeds in the country. Their latest results have shown speeds of up to a jaw-dropping 14.97Gbps on their 5G network. That’s nearly 2GB of data downloaded every second!

Smart plans to have its 5G network ready by 2020, but news of Globe accelerating its rollout could push this rival to speed up the process, as well.

This desire from both telcos to make 5G happen as soon as possible for the Philippines is music to consumers’ ears. Not only will this save the country from its dreadful internet woes, but it’ll also enable more homes to enter the Internet of Things sooner than expected.

Accessories

Apple is launching new Powerbeats with the iPhone 9, leak says

According to new FCC entry

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In modern times, smartphone launches usually come out with a flurry of complementary accessories, particularly earpieces. Take note of the Huawei Freebuds or the Galaxy Buds, which both released concurrently (or in proximity) with respective smartphones. As you might expect, today’s latest surge of complementary ear gear originates from Apple, the owner of Beats and maker of AirPods.

As of late, Apple has jumpstarted a wave of new earphone and headphone rumors. For the first, we were expecting a midrange set of AirPods Pro coming later this year. Another leak spoke about an even more premium variant, potentially introducing the series to the headphone segment.

Today, a new leak has revealed an upcoming expansion of Apple’s Beats catalog. According to a revently revealed FCC entry, Apple is working on a set of earphones codenamed “A2015.” To the keen observer, the blueprinted set looks like the Powerbeats 3, a set currently available right now. Very likely, the upcoming earphones will come out as the Powerbeats 4.

Much like the incumbent entry, the Powerbeats 4 is slightly wired, likely connecting both buds without an input/output port. As expected, the FCC entry confirms Bluetooth LE support.

Unfortunately, the entry doesn’t reveal any more information about the upcoming product. However, it will probably launch soon. An FCC entry signals a product further along the development cycle. Given the timing, the Powerbeats 4 can go hand-in-hand with the iPhone 9 coming in March.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 9, Galaxy S20 suddenly appear in Korean pre-order posters

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Enterprise

Remote work grows in popularity amid Covid-19 outbreak

Is remote work the future of workplace?

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Covid-19 outbreak shows no sign of stopping. As such, most companies are now turning to remote work arrangement for its employees. An insight from LinkedIn shows an increase on people searching for tips related to remote work in January.

According to the latest statistics from LinkedIn insights, remote work has been steadily increasing since March 2018. To be exact, searches for “remote work” grew by 2.6 times from that period until February of this year.

However, what is interesting here is the sudden spike from January to February. This is not surprising given the spread of Covid-19 in recent months. What’s more interesting here are the key region drivers. Singapore, Hong Kong, and mainland China are behind the increase in the searches. These regions are hard-hit by the virus, and companies have to resort to remote work for their employees.

Making remote work, work

LinkedIn’s insight also found that there had been a rise in employers searching for tips to manage their remote workforce. As a matter of fact, the two of the trending searches in LinkedIn are “communicating in virtual meetings” and “managing remote teams”. The company expects the demand for remote work to increase over the years as it becomes ubiquitous.

The role of technology in driving remote work is undeniable. Messaging and communication apps drive instant communication behind team members. Storing and sending important stuff is possible through cloud storage and email. And of course, better smartphones and laptops enable access to productivity apps for a streamlined remote workflow.

SEE ALSO:
MWC 2020 cancelled over Coronavirus
Apple: Coronavirus might cause iPhone shortage

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India

Apple will open its first store in India next year

Online store to launch this year

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Apple is planning to open its first retail store in India next year, CEO Tim Cook confirmed during the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Cupertino, California. The electronics giant will also open an online store in India this year, he added.

“We needed to get approval from the government to go in there ourselves,” said Cook on Wednesday, answering a question from a shareholder. He added that the company doesn’t want “somebody else to run the brand” for it.

“We wouldn’t be a very good partner in retail,” Cook added. “We like to do things our way.”

India’s laws prohibit Apple from directly selling, hence it has to rely on a range of “resellers”. This means the company isn’t directly selling to the end-user and relying on a third party. Not only does this affect the overall experience but it also makes the product more expensive.

The move comes just over six months after the Indian government relaxed local sourcing norms for single-brand retailers in the country. With demand for Apple products slowing in China — even before the outbreak of Coronavirus — the firm is hoping it can spur growth in other developing markets like India.

Experts have often accused Apple of neglecting India as a serious market. But, the tides are changing. The iPhone SE was a monumental success in developing markets and Apple is expected to launch a successor soon. Even the iPhone XR has received a phenomenal response in the country.

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