Saturday, 18 February 2017

New iPhone to Come With OLED ‘Function Area’ & Laser Biometrics: Report

As the iPhone’s launch nears it becomes more common to get a myriad of impressive and shocking leaks. The latest such leak, courtesy of the popular KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, proposes that the next generation of iPhone will replace the home button with a so called ‘function area’.

Function Area
The update follows in line of New York Times’ last year’s report, which predicted virtual buttons. The design, as a consequence, could feature an all-glass front.


The design of the phone itself will reportedly comprise of an all-display front, measuring 5.8-inch in size and coming with an OLED panel of 2800 x 1242 resolution. 5.15-inch of 2436 x 1125 resolution out of that will be the actual area of the phone’s screen, while the rest will be reserved for the function area. The phone’s actual dimensions are said to remain virtually the same as the existing iPhone 7.

It is yet to be seen whether Apple will just copy Android’s on-screen buttons or if its implementation is going to be more functional.

3D Laser Biometrics
Another earlier report from Rod Hall of J.P. Morgan predicted a new method of phone security and payments in the form of a 3D laser scanning module. The feature is said to facilitate facial recognition but could also potentially be helpful in augmented reality, something which Apple has been publicly backing for a while now. Or it could just be an iris scanner like the Samsung Note7.

Battery
The battery itself is rumored to be much bigger than a normal iPhone, despite being pretty much the same size, perhaps in order to aid the power-sucking display. No word was given for wireless charging, though, Apple’s inclusion in the Wireless consortium hints at the feature’s inclusion.

Price
As for the price, Ming-Chi Kuo is another analyst who believes it will fall in the $1000 ball park, much more than the current iPhones, mostly due to the slight increase in production costs due to OLED displays compared to the LCD iPhone 7 and 7s.

Nikon Kills The Promising 4K DL Series Compact Cameras Without Selling A Single One

That camera makers aren’t exactly being flooded with demand is not a surprise, especially if the market in question is that of compact ones. Nikon, fresh off from announcing an expected loss of $262 million and a thousand job cuts, has axed its promising DL series before it even got a chance to perform in the market.

The DL series comprised three high-end compact shooters with 1-inch sensors that were capable of 4K video. The official reason given for the axing included mounting development costs, a slowing demand and unexpected setbacks, such as the earthquake in Japan.

The three cameras would’ve been pitted against the likes of Sony’s impressive RX series, but how they would’ve fared is anyone’s guess.

All three cameras were built around a similar 1-inch CX sensor with 20.8-megapixel. Nikon primarily positioned the cameras as outrageously fast shooters, reaching speeds of 20 fps with continuous autofocus, or 60 when fixed.

Video-recording capabilities were also supposed to be a big selling point, reaching mind-numbing speeds of 1200 frames per second at 400 x 144. More mainstream options included 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 120fps and 720p at 240fps. Support for VR image stabilization was home.

Where the three cameras differed mostly in terms of zoom and aesthetics. The DR18-50 and DL24-85, which came with f/1.8-2.8 aperture and more compact designs, were clearly targeted as more mainstream options which were not held back by performance constraints.

Also, while the DR18-50 and DL24-85 came with titling OLED touch-displays and optional EVF accessory, the DL24-500 came with a built-in EVF and a simpler (but flip-able) LCD and controls. Each supported a low-energy Bluetooth specification for instantaneous sharing.

The cameras would have been launched for price points comfortably under $1000, with the DR18-50, DL24-85 and the DL24-500 retailing for $849, $649 and $999, respectively. The announcement will work admirably in giving Sony an increased-command over a market which it so clearly dominates already.

Sources: The Verge 

Friday, 17 February 2017

PSL 2017: Pakistan’s 1st Exclusive Livestream Crosses 1 Million Mark in 3 Days


As a first foot forward, PCBs official Media Marketing Right Holders of the HBL PSL, Blitz Advertising has successfully launched Pakistan’s first exclusive content livestream (in partnership with ITW and Trans Group) on cricketgateway.pk.

Nobody in Pakistan watches cricket on livestream”. This is a mere perception which is not borne out by the actual facts. The fact is that with the dawn of the digital age, internet penetration in Pakistan has gone over 20%, with one out of 5 Pakistan is using the internet as their primary choice of media exposure.


With over 1800 unlicensed streams blocked on DRM, this initiative has proven to a win win for both the advertisers and subscribers.

When it comes to numbers, Pakistan’s first exclusive content livestream has outperformed expectations. Viewership has crossed the one million mark in a record three days, with over 100% of in-stream ad inventory sold and booked at 1.8 times the price expectation from the market.

Premiere brands like Pepsi, Nestle, Haier, ABL, Oppo, Shell and over 12 others have flocked into the picture, with complete inventory lockdown within 72 hours of opening.

Kashif Amin, Executive Director, Blitz, while commenting on this said:

“A major paradigm shift is happening within the media industry of Pakistan, and we intend to lead the charge.

With 63% internet penetration in Lahore, livestream content will be King in times to come, and we look forward to exclusive content partnerships with major brands and agencies to establish our foothold as a premier digital content provider in times to come.”

This initiative is raising eyebrows across the media landscape of Pakistan, with more and more brands looking to get a piece of the pie.

Motorola Re-enters Pakistan with the Launch of Moto Z in Pakistan

Motorola has returned to Pakistan with the launch of Moto Z, one of the first moduler phones available in the market.

Not to mention, this launch is handled by Lenovo that bought Motorola Mobility back in 2014 and later merged Lenovo smartphones into Motorola. This essentially means that Moto Z is launched by Lenovo but since due to its strong brand recognition —  particularly due to iconic Motorola Razr or those early days Motorola phones — we are marking the event as Motorola’s re-entry in Pakistani market.

With the official launch of Moto Z, the phone and at least three of its mods will be available in Pakistan with official warranties.

Moto Z


To start with, the Moto Z is a standalone phone which works on its own. But to supplement, and to add dedicated value there are three different mods that come with Moto Z.

Hasselblad True Zoom — a dedicated 12 Megapixel camera with 10X optical zoom
JBL Soundboost — Powerful stereo sound
Insta-Share Projector — that turns your Moto Z into a projector to watch movies or pictures on a 70 inch screen.
Getting back to the base kit, or the Moto Z itself, the phone is world’s thinnest smartphone at just 5.2mm. Made from military aircraft-grade aluminum and stainless steel, the Moto Z is equipped with a powerful Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM 820 processor, 4GB of RAM and 32 GB or 64 GB of storage inside.

It boosts a Quad HD AMOLED display for crisp images and video play.

Moto Z has a 13MP camera with optical image stabilization and laser autofocus, which help users take beautiful, true-to-life pictures in any light and condition. The front-facing 5MP camera includes a wide-angle lens. Moto Z also includes an extra flash on the front camera to ensure users look their best, even in low light.

The smartphone comes with a water-repellant coating, which shields the phone from rain, splashes or spills that might come in its way.

With the fingerprint reader, a touch is all it takes to instantly wake up the phone. Moto Z supports up to 30 hours of battery.When in need, the TurboPower™ Mod provides up to 8 hours of power in just 15 minutes.

Arif Shafique, Country Head for Lenovo in Pakistan at the launch of Moto Z

The Moto Z — when coupled with dedicated mods — becomes one of the most powerful devices available in the market. It serves the needs of variety of consumers, based on their taste and requirement.

For instance, if you are looking for quality camera with optical zoom then go for this Hasselblad True Zoom, or if you want to watch a movie simply switch to Insta-Share projector mod.

Arif Shafique, head of Lenovo in Pakistan, said that Moto mods are the revolution that consumers of this age were looking for. He said that mods are designed to enrich the user experience about things they love to do.

Lenovo said that at a time when innovation in smartphones has slowed down, Moto Z marks the beginning of new era as — alongside plentiful of mods that are already available — company has plans to open up its platform for the developers (hardware makers) where they will be able to build and sell their own mods for variety of things that smartphones couldn’t do before Moto Z.


Moto Mods: Hasselblad True Zoom

Moto teamed up with Hasselblad — that has been at the forefront of the imaging industry — to design an imaging experience that completely transforms mobile photography. Add advanced imaging capabilities to the phone in a snap, and create and share like never before.

Featuring 10x Optical Zoom and a Xenon flash, all is needed is to just focus on getting the shot – lighting and distance will never stand in the way of capturing the perfect image




Moto Mods: Insta-Share Projector

The Moto Insta-Share Projector snaps easily onto the Moto Z phone and enables instant sharing of photos and videos.

The Mod projects up to 70” on any flat surface so the big screen is with users every step of the way. With the integrated kickstand, people can project at any angle which allows friends and families to gather together to watch their favorite pictures, shows, and even games.

The Insta-Share Projector comes with built-in battery that provides users with up to one extra hour of screen time before using the phone’s battery.

Prices and Availability
The Moto Z smartphone along with the Moto Mods are also available across select retailers in Pakistan with following prices:

Moto Z: PKR 74,999
Moto Z Play: PKR 49,999
Moto Insta-Share Projector Mod: PKR 39,500
Incipio offGRID Power Pack Mod: PKR 8,650
JBL SoundBoost Mod: PKR 12,500
Hasselblad True Zoom Mod: PKR 29,500
Moto Z will be available in two colors: Black & Lunar Grey/White & Fine Gold. 

Speed Up Your PC & Save Storage Space With These Tools [Guide]

If you have been using your laptop or personal computer for a while now, every now and then you might have come across issues such as overheating or slow performance.

Regardless of how it may seem, an operating system always leaves residual files, also known as junk files, which hinder the performance of the system in the longer run. Junk can clutter your hard disk making it difficult for the OS to find the appropriate data to launch programs.

Old cache and other large redundant files can also be deemed as another reason due to which it takes longer for certain tasks to complete, eventually heating up the system due to the extra processing required. Not to mention, the precious gigabytes of space that gets eaten up.

These are the concerns faced by most of the people. Hence, we have come up with a short compilation of free software which can improve the performance of your personal computer, whether its a laptop, desktop or a convertible.

1) The PC Decrapifier
This tool is developed especially for PCs which face problems such as slow performance. The PC Decrapifier allows users to remove programs along with their junk files and cache. It also lets you manage the startup programs which helps in reducing long boot times.

It is a simple program to use with a very clean wizard-powered interface which makes it usable for even non-technical people. Available on Windows 7, 8 and 10, this tool is one of the best.

The working of the software can be broken down into four simple steps (description is given below the images):

a1

Launch the application to analyze your system.
a2
Select the application/programs by checking the boxes.
a3
Review your selection.
a4
You are done! Add feedback and press submit to end.

It is to be noted that while downloading the software, it will prompt you to upgrade your Internet Explorer if it is not updated already. This can be seen as an inconvenience for some but hardly takes any time.

Download Link: Click Here

2) CCleaner
CCleaner is one of the most renowned programs when it comes to cleaning up your hard disk. It is packed with loads of features for which you often need different dedicated software i.e. registry cleaning, registry backup and so on.

The interface of CCleaner is also very simple and appealing but huge number of options might be a bit overwhelming for someone who hasn’t done anything like this before. Here is how you can use the software to its full potential:
c1

Under the Windows tab, you can remove junk files for Windows applications. Select the type of data you want the app to remove for each of the listed application.
c2
Similar to Windows junk files, move towards the adjacent Applications tab which lets you clean junk files and residual data of third party applications. You can check mark the applications whose junk you want to clear away. Once Done, Click Run Cleaner and that’s it.
c3
CCleaner can help you with whitelisting certain data types. Go to Options , right-click in the Cookies pane and select Intelligent Scan. CCleaner will automatically add Google, Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail cookies to your whitelist so you don’t have to readjust you email settings. If you want to whitelist any other application, you can.
c11
If you do run the registry cleaner, ensure you back up any changes you make. You can restore the deleted registry entries from the backup file if you encounter any problems. You can fix issues scanned by CCleaner by pressing “Fix Selected Issues…”. However, you don’t necessarily need to use this feature at all unless there are some strange issues with your PC.
zxc
CCleaner also provides the feature of managing the startup programs, which can help improve the boot-up time of your PC. Right clicking on the program and disabling them will ensure that they will not load when your PC starts.

CCleaner can be downloaded for free from Piriform’s own website here. There’s an online version, dubbed CCleaner Cloud, for businesses and personal use but its not free. It can be accessed here.

3) AVG Tuneup
AVG PC TuneUp is a paid program (Don’t worry we have got a free solution which is not illegal). It has been designed to identify and resolve issues on machines running the Windows operating system. The program is the successor of TuneUp Utilities, a popular application that was available until 2014 before AVG bought and renamed it to AVG PC TuneUp. It maybe paid but it is by far the best PC maintenance software on the market.

Its features range from maintenance, speeding up device, instant boost, freeing space, saving power or battery and fixing additional problems found in the system. The best features is that the software can keep cleaning your PC regularly on schedule and you don’t have to do it manually.
avg1

Here we can see a list of categories to choose from.
avg2
Maintenance contains various subcategories which include the usual registry issues, system cache, browser data and so on. Number of problems will be highlighted on the right side and clicking on Fix & Clean will eliminate them.
avg3
Speeding up the PC is one essential category which needs special attention and AVG TuneUp has definitely found the right magic for it. You can run different checks to sort out the issues and fix them. It also includes  different types of optimizations.
avg4
Disk clean up is another feature of AVG TuneUp. It offers uninstallation of programs along with user defined files, which can be deleted along with their junk files.
avg11
Using Fix Problems can help resolve uncategorized issues such as display errors, disk check for errors or problems such as “recycle bin is not displayed” and “the font folder is not working.” It can also be used to restore some of the data.

You can download the TuneUp Utilities 2014 for free from here. It is still very good and the new version only has a few new features and a better interface. If you want to buy the new version, click here.

Honorable Mention – Should I Remove It
This is another application which can be used to get rid of malware, suspicious toolbars and other programs which you do not need. The application is a tiny, lightweight tool designed to show you what programs you have installed on your computer and quickly determine what programs you can safely remove in order to improve your PC’s performance.

All you need to do is download the program from this link. Follow the instructions and you will have yourself, a functional and junk free PC.

Monday, 6 February 2017

All 6 Channels in the ARY Network Shut Down by UK Regulator

UK’s broadcast and communications regulatory authority, Ofcom (UK’s version of PEMRA), has shutdown 6 of ARY’s channels and revoked their licenses.

According to the official statement by Ofcom, all 6 licenses of ARY Network Limited have been revoked and the network is in liquidation. Ofcom’s decision to revoke the licenses was based upon the fact that ARY had stopped providing licensed services and Ofcom considered it appropriate to cancel their licenses.

ARY Network held 6 licenses under Part 1 of the Broadcasting Act 1990. These licenses were being used to broadcast these channels:

ARY Digital (TLCS‐290BA/1)
ARY QTV (TLCS‐1550BA/1)
ARY News (TLCS‐925BA/1)
ARY World News (TLCS1549BA/1)
QTV–Islamic Education Channel (TLCS924BA/1)
ARY Entertainment (TLCS1551BA/1)
Why Ofcom Actually Revoked ARY’s License
About 6 days ago, Ofcom notified ARY Network that it was going to revoke their licenses. This was because the company had ceased to provide all 6 of the services.

ARY Network stopped trading on 31st December 2016 and was put under voluntary liquidation on 12th January 2017. Ofcom’s statement mentioned that,

Having given careful consideration to the comments made in both the written and oral representations of the liquidator, Ofcom was satisfied that ARY Network had ceased to provide all six of its licensed services and, in particular, that it did not have general control of those services within the meaning of section 362(2) of the Communications Act 2003.

Problems for ARY Network started a few months ago due to a legal war between Geo Network’s parent company, the Jang Group and ARY.

Geo’s Side of The Story
According to Geo, ARY accused the Jang editor in chief, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, of being a,

… a traitor of Pakistan, Indian agent, RAW agent, American agent, CIA agent, MOSSAD agent, and committing blasphemy.

They mounted several allegations against ARY saying that they started a defamation campaign against the Geo Network and Jang Group.

ARY Network lost the case and were forced to pay a £3 Million fine. Here Geo claims that ARY Network failed to pay the fine which resulted in their license being revoked by Ofcom. Ofcom however claims that ARY Network stopped providing their services and had their license revoked under section 238(4) of the Communications Act 2003.

It is clear that Geo is reporting false facts regarding ARY’s license getting revoked.

ARY also aired an on-air apology on December 23rd, 2016 after the case was closed.

Via bizAsia

Only in Pakistan: After Road Routes, Now Air Space Gets Blocked for VVIP Movement

In what could be termed as one of the excessive examples of VVIP culture in Pakistan, a boarded flight was delayed indefinitely due to some so-called VVIP arriving or leaving the airport.

PIA’s flight from Karachi to Islamabad was all ready to take off when it was announced that “the airport has been declared closed” and they cannot take-off at the moment. All the passengers had boarded the flight already and the flight was about to take off when the airline staff was notified that a takeoff is not possible.

The following message was announced:

“On behalf of Pakistan International Airlines, I welcome you all on board PIA’s flight from Karachi to Islamabad.

Although we are all set for departure, but airport has been declared closed due to arrival of a VVIP and subsequent departure as well. So, we are not being given any specific time for departure…”

The video evidence was uploaded on twitter and the uploader confirmed that the flight was delayed indefinitely.

PIA Captain announcing that "airport has been declared closed" & flight has been indefinitely delayed due to VVIP movement.
While a common occurrence on the roads of Pakistan, such an instance is unheard off from any airline or airport in anyplace around the world. Important people, including the Presidents and Prime Ministers everywhere in the world travel through airports but flights are never delayed for indefinite period of time.

Its still beyond understanding as to what potential security benefit could delaying a flight bring. Its not like someone on board the flight could do anything since the plane was ready for take off.

Such VVIP culture should end as everyone is equally important citizen of a country. When such news about Pakistani airlines and airports reaches international media, it diminish their values even further.

ProPK Giveaway: Get 10% Off On Gift Cards & Genuine Software from Zaintech



While Pakistan is notorious for pirated software being commonplace whether it’s in schools, offices or personal, the trend is slowly shifting to legitimate software as the country moves towards being an IT powerhouse.

To promote the fair use of software and cater to this growing demand, Zaintech is at the forefront. A company that has been in the industry for 12 years and is an official reseller of many world renowned products, it also provides items for consumers like gift cards.

Interested? Good news is that Zaintech is also offering discount for the ProPakistani readers on everything on their website. Keep reading for more details on that.

Some of the software the company currently sells in Pakistan include:



Internet Download Manager
WinRAR
Ashampoo
AVS
VSO
WinXDVD
Bullguard Antivirus
AVG Antivirus
Insofta
Speedbit
Atompark
IOLO Technologies
ManyCam
Not only that, Zaintech Technologies has also solidified its reputation in the market as the number one software reseller website. The company has achieved this through its focus on three core expertise: Agility, Expertise and Delivery Excellence.

Zaintech Technologies Services
The company’s services can be divided in four main categories.

1) Software

The company currently provides various softwares for Microsoft Windows, Apple OSX as well smartphone platforms like Android and iOS. While the product portfolio is most diverse for Windows customers, Zaintech is fast adding software for other sections as well.

Renowned softwares such as CCleaner, AVG PCTuneUp, EaseUs Data Recovery and Internet Download Manager are the most sold softwares, according to the company’s records.

2) Gift Cards

Normally people are wary of buying Gift Cards as there are a lot of scam websites which take advantage of customers. Using their reputation to ensure a satisfactory shopping experience, Zaintech allows users to buy Gift Cards for Google Playstore, iTunes, Skype, Netflix, Amazon and Ebay as well.

All these gift cards can be bought online and transferred to people without any delay.

3) Gaming Gift Cards

Just like Google Playstore and Skype gift cards, users can also buy gaming gift cards under a separate category. Users can buy gaming gift cards for Steam Wallet, Play Station, Xbox, Nintendo, Disney Club Penguin and Majong Minecraft.

4) Memberships

Through Zaintech Technologies, users can also obtain premium access to various subscription based websites. Some of these are:

Zbigz.com
Filestream.me
Uploadboy.com
Subyshare.com
Depositefiles.com
Bitport.io
Prembox.com
Turbobit.net
Hitfile.net
Prem.link
With a focus on excellence and a reputation built over the course of a decade, Zaintech is aiming to become the number one software reseller in Pakistan. With expansion in gift cards and subscription services for consumer, the company is ensuring that it has something for everyone.

Payment Method
To purchase the legitimate softwares and gift cards, local payment methods include Easypaisa, Jazzcash, UBL Omni, Bank, Internet Banking, Credit and Debit cards. For E-Wallets such as Payza, OKPAY, Bitcoins, Skrill and Webmoney, customers can visit here.

Digital Delivery
All Software Licenses, Gift Card codes and Subscription codes are delivered through automated secure email system deployed by the Zaintech corporation. Gift Cards scans are also provided through WhatsApp on customer request.

Discount For ProPakistani Readers
We’ve teamed up with Zaintech to offer a flat 10% discount on every software and gift card on the website for ProPakistani readers. Please keep in mind that the minimum order amount is Rs. 1250 and is valid only on the Zaintech website.

The coupon to avail this discount is: ProPakistani

Queries regarding delivery system or any other service can be redirected to Zaintech’s help desk, available from 8am to 8pm.

Huawei Finally Launches the Honor 8 Lite

A few days back, Huawei posted details regarding its Honor 8 Lite so discreetly that many of us thought it was a fluke. As it stands, the phone has remained available on the company’s Finnish site.

The front of the phone features a 5.2-inch curved 2.5D display with 1080p resolution. The design is based on its older Honor 8 sibling, with the same 15-step glass build.


Under the hood, you get a 64-bit octa-core Kirin 655 chipset, home-baked by Huawei. The amount of RAM is set at 3 GB, with storage set at 16 GB which is expandable.

The camera on the back is downgraded from the fancy dual-camera setup, to a solitary 12 MP f/2.2 shooter with LED Flash. Below it also sits a fingerprint scanner. There is also an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera on the front.

The Honor 8 Lite comes with Android 7.0 Nougat with Emotion UI 5.0 on the front. The battery capacity is set at 3,000 mAh, which is not removable.

The phone is up for pre-order at $292 in Finland, or $100 cheaper than its sibling (which is every bit worth those bucks). It will be available in Black, White, Gold and Blue.

Huawei Honor 8 Lite Specifications:
CPU: 64-bit octa-core
Chipset: Huawei Kirin 655
OS: Android 7.0 Nougat, customized with Emotion UI 5.0
Supported Networks: 2G, 3G, 4G LTE
Display:
2” 2.5D curved with 1080p resolution
Memory:
RAM: 3 GB
Internal: 16 GB
Card slot: yes, by up to 128 GB
Camera:
Primary: 12 MP, f/2.2, LED
Secondary: 8 MP, 77-degree wide-angle
Fingerprint scanner
Battery: 3,000 mAh
Price: $292

Google Dethrones Apple as the World’s Most Valuable Brand

Google has been named the world’s most valuable brand, knocking Apple into second place for the first time since 2011 in Brand Finance’s Rankings. Apple’s lack of innovation is to blame according to the study from Brand Finance. Apple just made a comeback in the last quarter in terms of sales but its recognition as an innovator seems to be gone.

Google on the other hand, made full use of the opportunity this year. Ever rising dominance in search and ads revenues also helped it. Google secured the top spot after a 24% yearly increase saw the brand valued at $109 billion, according to the Brand Finance Global 500 list.

After five years being on the top spot, Apple dropped to second place after its brand value plunged 27% to $107 billion.

The report has cited Apple’s “failure to maintain technological advantage” particularly under increased pressure from the competitor brands such as Samsung and Huawei. Whereas, Google remains “largely unchallenged in its core search business” as advertising revenues increased 20% in 2016.

The 10 most valuable brands (with last year’s rank in brackets) were:


Just two weeks ago, a separate report from media buying firm Zenith Media pegged Google as the world’s biggest media player, controlling $60 billion in ad spend in the U.S. alone.

Similar to last year, Amazon is the third most valuable brand in the world and is worth $106 billion. Facebook and Samsung also ranked within the top 10 most valuable brands. Nearly all of the top ten most valuable brands belong in the tech industry.

You can take a look at the complete list here.

Snapchat Files for a $3 Billion IPO

Snapchat has filed for an early public offering on the New York Stock Exchange today, picking the ticker symbol “SNAP.” The firm hopes to raise $3 billion and claims 158 million active users daily.

The IPO would apparently rate the company above $20 billion.

The filing arises at a thrilling but tough time for Snap Inc. The company (originally launched as Snapchat) has stated its objectives to become “a camera company,” rather than just a company of application developers. And it has already found success with the Goggles, its cool pair of video recording sunglasses.

Snap Inc is Losing a Lot of Money
As per the company, its ad business is developing rapidly with $58.7 million revenue for 2015, and growing to $404.5 million in 2016. Along with such  revenue generation however, its losses have also amplified. Snapchat lost $372.9 million in 2015 and $514.6 million in 2016, which was more than its total revenue.

Snap Plans to Invest more and more in Hardware
Snap Inc’s IPO also comes just as the company’s core property, Snapchat, is under serious competition from Instagram. Facebook, Instagram’s owner, has been trying its best to make Snapchat irrelevant.

Every effort brutally failed , until lately, when Instagram copied a major feature of Snapchat story for its own platform and dubbed it as ‘Instagram Stories’. This feature was successful in Instagram, so much that now Facebook has copied the same for  Messenger.

Experts have been recording exponential decline in views of Snapchat Stories as compared to Instagram Stories.

The founders will take the decision that Snapchat has never seen the celebrities and influencers on its platform in the same way Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube have. Its core value lies as much in one to one picture messaging and also in one to many broadcasting.

“Our two co-founders have control over all stockholder decisions because they control a substantial majority of our voting stock,” Snap said in its S-1 filing. “The Class A common stock issued in this offering will not dilute our co-founders’ voting control because the Class A common stock has no voting rights.”

Samsung Unveils the New 2017 Galaxy A-Series in Pakistan

At an event held in Lahore on Friday, Samsung has now officially announced the new 2017 A series smartphone lineup in Pakistan. Gathered at the event was the top management of Samsung such as the President of Samsung Pakistan, Mr. J.H Lee and the Head of Mobiles for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Mr. Umar Ghuman.


Updated Galaxy A Series
Samsung’s 2017 A series of smartphones brings a lot of changes to the table, with the most notable and practical one being the dust and water resistance. To be more specific, the new 2017 A series features IP68 dust and water protection rating which means you can basically submerge your phone under water for 30 minutes at depths of up to 1.5m.



Following the footsteps of its flagship siblings, the A series now also comes with a reversible USB Type-C connector. Also, by taking advantage of the Super AMOLED display, the A series will also includes the Always-On display. Unfortunately, the trade-off is that you won’t have an LED notification light.



All 3 smartphones in the line-up come with four color options:

Black Sky
Gold Sand
Peach Cloud
Blue Mist



Now, let’s take a closer look at each of the smartphone available in the 2017 A series.

1. Samsung Galaxy A3 2017



Out of the three smartphones in the A series line-up, the A3 2017 is the smallest and cheapest. Coming in at just 4.7-inches, the display sports a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels resulting in about 312ppi. The RAM is 2Gb and the internal memory is a not-so-impressive 16GB which is further expandable up to 256GB via a microSD card. The A3 2017 is powered by a 1.6GHz octa-core processor along with 2GB of RAM.



The Samsung Galaxy A3 2017 is available at leading retail and online stores at a price of Rs. 37,500.

Technical Specifications:
  • Processor:  Exynos 7870, Octa-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53
  • Operating System: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • Dimensions: 135.4 x 66.2 x 7.9 mm
  • Weight: 135g
  • Display: 
    • Size: 4.7-inch display
    • Resolution: 720 x 1280 (312ppi), Super AMOLED
  • Memory:
    • RAM: 2 GB
    • Internal Storage: 16GB
    • MicroSD slot: Yes, expandable by up to 256GB
  • Camera:
    • Primary: 13MP camera, f/1.9, LED flash
    • Secondary: 8MP, f/1.9
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
  • Sensors: Fingerprint scanner, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
  • Battery: 2,350 mAh
  • Price: Rs. 37,500/-

2. Samsung Galaxy A5 2017



Coming in as a mid-tier device in the A series line-up, the A5 2017 sports a 5.2-inch screen with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 which results in about 424ppi. It is powered by an octa-core 1.9GHz processor along with 3GB of RAM. In terms of storage, you get 32GB internally which can be further expanded to 256GB via a microSD card.



The Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 is available at leading retail and online stores at a price of Rs. 47,000.

Technical Specifications:
  • Processor:  Exynos 7880, Octa-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A53
  • Operating System: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • Dimensions: 146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9 mm
  • Weight: 157g
  • Display: 
    • Size: 5.2-inch display
    • Resolution: 1080 x 1920 (424ppi), Super AMOLED
  • Memory:
    • RAM: 3 GB
    • Internal Storage: 32GB
    • MicroSD slot: Yes, expandable by up to 256GB
  • Camera:
    • Primary: 16MP camera, f/1.9, 27mm, LED flash, 1080p @30fps
    • Secondary: 16MP, f/1.9, 1080p
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot, NFC
  • Sensors: Fingerprint scanner, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
  • Battery: 3,000 mAh
  • Price: Rs. 47,000/-

3. Samsung Galaxy A7 2017



Over the A5 2017, the A7 does not have much to boast about except the bumped up battery, which is 3,600mAh. The screen size also gets an upgrade to a huge 5.7-inch which is still full-HD and Super AMOLED. Apart from these differences, everything is the same as you would find on the A5 2017.


The Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 is available at leading retail and online stores at a price of Rs. 55,000.

Technical Specifications:

Processor:  Exynos 7880, Octa-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A53
Operating System: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Dimensions: 156.8 x 77.6 x 7.9 mm
Weight: 186g
Display: 
Size: 5.7-inch display
Resolution: 1080 x 1920 (386ppi), Super AMOLED
Memory:
RAM: 3 GB
Internal Storage: 32GB
MicroSD slot: Yes, expandable by up to 256GB
Camera:
Primary: 16MP camera, f/1.9, 27mm, LED flash, 1080p @30fps
Secondary: 16MP, f/1.9, 1080p
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot, NFC
Sensors: Fingerprint scanner, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Battery: 3,600 mAh
Price: Rs. 55,000/-
Initial Thoughts
The new A-series smartphones are completely redesigned and features some very high-end build quality. With water-proofing, Type-C, amazing cameras, fingerprint scanners and a refined software, it is no doubt that the 2017 A series will also prove to be a huge success in Pakistan.

Without doubt, the 2017 A series brings a lot of improvements over the last year’s model and is a must have upgrade for those who are out in the market for a new smartphone. Out of the three however, for me, the Galaxy A5 2017 seems like the best pick. Over the A3 2017, you get much better specifications for the money. The reason why I wouldn’t pick the A7 2017 over the A5 2017 however is that it just doesn’t have enough to offer over what the A5 2017 already brings to the table. Sure, the screen size is larger and it accommodates a larger battery, but you are also cutting down on usability, due to the larger screen, and the pixels per inch. With the 5.2-inch screen, the A5 2017 hits the sweet spot and is a no-brainer.

However, is the A5 2017 capable enough? Is it worth to spend the extra cash over the A3? Or is the A7 hiding some trick up its sleeve and is actually the best out of the three? To answer those questions, ProPakistani will be doing a review soon enough so keep watching this space for more on the 2017 A series!

What are your thoughts on the newly announced 2017 Galaxy A series smartphones in Pakistan? Will you be getting one? Let us know in the comments below!

China Mobile Announces New Investments, 4G Sites to Reach 10,500

China Mobile Pakistan (Zong) has reaffirmed its stated commitment of adding more investment in Pakistan in the coming years.

It is important to mention that the organization has already invested over USD 2 Billion in Pakistan in the recent years & was the first to invest in the auctioned 3G & 4G licenses.

The company announced another USD 200 Million investment in Pakistan at its Annual Business Conference, which was the biggest Telecom event of the year so far.

The company aims to expand its network by adding 3G/4G sites which are poised to reach the highest mark of 10,500 by the end of 2017.

With additional investment and network expansion, Zong intends to expand its coverage 4G coverage to not only urban but also rural areas of the country.

Notably, the decision to add more investment in the country was announced after the company posted strong results in 2016, which was reflected by company’s positive growth, aggressive network expansion, high quality of service and an increasing trend of revenues.

Zong’s 4G subscribers have reached a record 2 Million, while it has expanded its 4G coverage to over 300 cities across Pakistan.

British Firm Set for $400M Investment in Cement Plant in Pakistan

British firm Asian Precious Minerals announced an investment of $400 million for constructing a new cement plant in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). This was decided in a meeting between the company executives and K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak.

As per the statement issued by the British High Commission, both the parties discussed the potential of joint trade between the UK and KPK.

Asian Precious Minerals CEO Nadim Khan, Executive Director Peter Frost, Country Manager Irshad Ali Khokhar and Jason Mumtaz of the British High Commission were in the meeting.

The chief minister laid out the province’s new industrial policy, outlining the numerous incentives offered by the government to local and foreign investing bodies. He shared the details with all the attendees in the meeting, pointing to why KPK offers a business-friendly environment for all.

CPEC Set to Attract $150b Investment
The chief minister claimed investors could benefit from an end to end, transparent, one-window operation for establishing an industrial concern without the need for a NOC (no objection certificate). He offered his support and commitment in guaranteeing that the British firm’s cement project can proceed without hurdles.

Pervaiz Khattak also called the project a significant sign of greatly enhanced business environment in KPK.

“This British investment will help create local jobs and stimulate the local economy. The UK recognizes the dramatic improvements in K-P and I look forward to welcoming more British companies to the province,” he said.

Cement demand is constantly growing in Pakistan with new framework projects, especially those being embraced under the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor). Many national cement makers have reported extension plans with capital investment of up to $1 billion to meet the increasing consumption requirements.

“We are delighted to be investing in a new cement plant in K-P,” said Nadim Khan, CEO of Asian Precious Minerals. “We are able to do this because of the improved law and order situation, the pro-business stance and good governance policy displayed by the provincial government.”

Govt anticipates $4b investment in three industrial zones along CPEC
British Trade Director for Pakistan Belinda Lewis said Asian Precious Minerals had acknowledged the security and investment trends in KPK and Pakistan more commonly and recognized the clear tendency for future development in the country.

“I hope other UK companies will follow the example of APML (Asian Precious Minerals) and also regard Pakistan as a significant investment opportunity,” she commented.

Tick Tock: Pakistan’s Public Debt Has Crossed Rs. 18 Trillion

Pakistan’s net public debt has crossed the PKR 18.28 trillion, rising about 35% during the tenure of the governing Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N).

This was stated by the ministry of finance, in response to a question from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MNA Shahida Reh­mani in the National Assembly last week.

“The volume of net public debt as on Sept 30, 2016 was PKR 18,277.6 billion,” the ministry’s responded.

Total public debt stood at PKR 13.48tr at the end of financial year 2012-13 — almost three years ago. The rise in net public debt has mostly being due to an almost 40% rise in domestic debt, which rose from PKR 8.686tr at the end of 2013 to PKR 12.14tr at the end of the first quarter of the current fiscal year (FY 2016-17).

The finance ministry sought to clarify this phenomena by claiming that the public debt was mainly obtained to finance the fiscal deficit and was approved by the parliament. Some of the financing had to be done in the form of external loans, to supplement the domestic resources required to accelerate the pace of economic development and make positive contributions towards developing the country’s infrastructural base.

“These loans were obtained for financing of projects of national importance, budgetary and balance of payments support, earthquake and floods, rehabilitation assistance and import of urea and crude oil,” the ministry said.

The ministry clarified that local debt was unending in nature and for the most part, renegotiated on an yearly basis, while majority of the external loans contracted by the current  government were ‘economical’ and were dominated  by long-term funding, which would be used to retire the corresponding amount of expensive domestic loans. External credits are reimbursed through budgetary designations in light of the remuneration calendar of each and every loan.

In its response, the ministry claimed that over the time period of last three years, it had been able to considerably reduce financial liabilities and had employed various growth supporting structural reforms. This had brought about development in the country’s debt refund ability and had allowed it to switch expenses. However, another driving reason behind these loans was to build external buffers to protect against exchange rate impulsiveness and to absorb external shocks.

Along with that, economic growth was expected to continue its exponential upward trend, the ministry claimed  adding that development projects linked to the CPEC in the areas of energy and infrastructure were also anticipated to add an extra two percent points to GDP growth in the upcoming years.

Additionally, the ministry claimed that notwithstanding refunds by the current government of foreign loans worth over $12bn that were acquired by the previous government’s, foreign exchange reserves currently stood at over $23bn, up from the $11bn mark at the end of June 2013.The government also stated that it has effectively brought down the financial deficit from 8.2pc of the GDP in 2012-13 to 4.6pc in 2015-16, with a target to further restrict the budget deficit at 3.8pc of GDP at the end of the current fiscal year, and restrict it to 3.5pc by FY 2018-19.

Source: Dawn

Shell Tameer Awards Shortlist 12 Emerging Entrepreneurs from Pakistan

The biennial Shell Tameer Awards took place at the British Deputy High Commission in a ceremony attended by prominent industry and business leaders as well as young entrepreneurs of the country. The jury comprising, established professionals, judged the top 12 finalists in four categories.

What is Shell Tameer Awards
Shell Tameer Awards is a nationwide competition that recognizes and rewards the entrepreneurial creativity and talent of young Pakistani entrepreneurs and provides them with a platform to further their business ideas.

Hosted by Shell Tameer, the Awards recognize and reward the brightest business ideas. Since its inception in 2003, through the Tameer platform, over 1000 businesses have been setup, 12,000 aspiring entrepreneurs have been trained and over 800,000+ youth have been engaged in enterprise development to date.

Comments at the Event
At the event, Jawwad Cheema, Managing Director, Shell Pakistan Limited said,

Shell Tameer Awards are a fundamental part of our enterprise generation efforts in Pakistan, providing young Pakistani talent with a platform that highlights their achievement and elevates them as role models to spark socio-economic progress and change. If we hope to provide youth with meaningful career options, we must continue to create such opportunities for them to shine – and I congratulate our winners here today on their incredible achievements.

British Deputy High Commissioner, Belinda Lewis also addressed the audience on the UK’s support for such initiatives that provide livelihoods and work towards the country’s economic development and progress. During her address she said,

The British Deputy High Commission is a strong supporter of entrepreneurship initiatives. We are honored to collaborate with Shell on the Tameer Awards competition. I would like to express how pleased I am with what I have seen and heard today. I commend Shell for its leadership role in raising corporate social responsibility standards in Pakistan and urge and encourage other private sector companies to follow this exemplary model

Advisory Committee for Auction of 3G, 4G Spectrum Constituted

During last three years, the government has successfully done two rounds of next generation spectrum (3G/4G) auction. The Industry and sector has witnessed an exponential growth in result of these auctions. There was a phenomenal increase in the number of subscribers of broadband user in telecom sector where the broadband density today is surpassing 27%.

As a result of ongoing market expansion, Government has decided to consider auctioning the last available spectrum of 10MHz in 1800MHz. For this purpose, Prime Minister of Pakistan has constituted an Advisory Committee for auction of this spectrum which is headed by MoS IT & Telecom Mrs. Anusha Rahman while Special Assistants to PM for Law, Secretary IT, Secretary Finance, Secretary Law, Chairman PTA, ED FAB and Member telecom are the members of this committee. Member Telecom has also been appointed as “Committee Secretary”.

The inaugural meeting of this Auction Advisory Committee was held at MOIT today. MoS IT& Telecom Mrs. Anusha Rahman while chairing the meeting stated that we are committed to conduct the third round of Spectrum auction in most transparent and professional manner as were done earlier in 2014 & 2016 respectively.

Chairman PTA, Syed Ismail Shah apprised the committee of the consultant’s report on Market Assessment for auction of spectrum.

This advisory committee is mandated to determine the base price of spectrum and propose a policy directive for the purpose.

Mrs. Anusha Rehman said that this is the last available spectrum block from the initially allocated spectrum in 2014 and is an opportunity for the telecom companies to enhance their spectrum capacity and provide high quality broadband services as per demand of the growing consumer base in the country.

PS4 Pro Major Update Brings New Game Boost Mode & More

Sony is announcing good times ahead for PS4 fans. For starters, the Pro version of the console is getting a dedicated ‘Boost Mode’, which will allow it to make use of that extra oomph under the hood.

The Boost mode, when turned on, will allow even better performance on titles released before the PlayStation 4 Pro same to the market. However, unlike what you’d expect, the performance boost is not coming directly from the game developers.



Instead, Sony itself is allowing older titles to achieve more frame rates and faster loading times. Of course, as a result of that not all games are able to make use of the extra power in an equal manner so Sony is also giving you the option to turn it off if it affects the games adversely.

The solution is not that high tech, since the internals of both the original PS4 and the PS4 Pro are so similar. The update is coming with the PS4 update v4.50 beta release.

In another round of news, Sony is also releasing a patch allowing the installation of external hard drives in the same update. Technically, PS4 has supported external hard drives pretty much since its launch, but it never supported installation of games.



The most you could do was replace the internal hard drives, but with the arrival of the new update, gamers can plug in a USB 3.0 drive of up to 8 TB capacity. Gamers might soon be able to save their game data and use the portable driver to play games where they left of on someone else’s PC, but this latter feature still remains to be confirmed by Sony.

The feature has been seen in the likes of the Wii U for long, but that shouldn’t take away the fact that life will be a lot more convenient for PlayStation enthusiasts, now.

Via Polygon, The Verge

Amid Financial Pressure, Telenor Says Workforce Reduction is Inevitable

With negative revenue growth in at least 6 out of 14 markets where Telenor Group operates, the CFO has finally said that workforce reduction in inevitable.

Jorgen Rostrup, Chief Financial Officer at Telenor Group, while responding to a question during investor conference last week, said that in order to control operating expenditures down the line, workforce reduction can’t be avoided.

With revenues shrinking in majority of markets, the Group is reportedly working on opex-cut during next couple of years.

“Sales, marketing and personnel costs make up almost half of Telenor’s cost base, and need to come down”, said the CFO.

The Group, as a whole, is struggling to define its digital strategy — that it earlier hoped would be enough to deal with declining revenue — mainly due to increased competition from digital content providers.

The real challenge kicked in when the investments made by Telenor Group in digital content didn’t offer any ROI due to behavioral differences of Telenor customers in developing countries.

While Telenor wants to compete with the likes of Netflix  and Spotify — as it acquired few companies in these verticals in the last two years — consumers in developing markets don’t tend to pay for such services due to loose regulations and availability of free alternatives.

Telenor Pakistan, for instance, introduced a paid music streaming service for its customers in Pakistan but — as you would have guessed — the service didn’t do well due to a fact that consumers here tend to gravitate towards the countless free alternatives available to them.

With declining revenues from conventional (voice and SMS) services, and free content available to consumers, telecom operators are feeling the heat.




A question sent to Telenor Pakistan about the magnitude of impact on local operations went unanswered.

With overall (YoY) organic growth of Telenor Group at just 1%, the pressure is going to be felt here in Pakistan as well.

We don’t yet know the time and number of reduction that Telenor Pakistan will undergo, but it is very clear that this is something that’s bound to happen, sooner or later.

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