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iPhone shares the spotlight with new services at Apple’s annual showcase

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iPhone shares the spotlight with new services at Apple’s annual showcase | The Thaiger
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The iPhone will be front and center at Apple’s upcoming media presentation even as the California tech giant steps up its efforts in content and services for its devices.

In its trademark, tight-lipped style, Apple disclosed little about its plans for Tuesday’s event at its headquarters in the Silicon Valley city of Cupertino.

For years now, Apple has hosted events in the fall to launch new iPhone models ahead of the holiday shopping season.

Speculation is that Apple will introduce three upgraded iPhones, including “Pro” models, and a successor to its more affordable iPhone XR, as premium handset prices hover around $1,000.

Some analysts say services, subscriptions and online content will share the stage with the company’s glitzy hardware as Apple seeks to shift its focus.

“I think it is going to be the first year the event is going to also be about services,” Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi said.

“We might get to see what Apple looks like as a company when they are talking about services and hardware as one product.”

Milanesi was curious to see whether Tuesday’s presentation includes offers iPhone deals that “bundle” music, television or game services with new handsets.

“You have an opportunity to really bring value to the hardware with services,” Milanesi said.

iPhone shares the spotlight with new services at Apple's annual showcase | News by The Thaiger

Apple recently released a smartphone-generation credit card in the US and is keen to launch its TV+ streaming service before Disney goes live with a rival service in November.

Many wonder whether the launch of Apple TV+ will be among Tuesday’s announcements.

With Hollywood stars galore, Apple unveiled streaming video plans along with news and game subscription offerings as part of an effort to shift its focus to digital content and services to break free of its reliance on iPhone sales.

The company also plans to launch a new game subscription service called Apple Arcade internationally by the end of this year.

Apple managed to grow its overall revenues, albeit by a modest one percent, to $53.8 billion, even as iPhone revenues plunged nearly 12 percent in the April-June period.

The company delivered strong growth from digital content and services that include its Apply Pay and Apple Music, along with wearables and accessories like the Apple Watch and Air Pods.

Some of those accessories could also get upgrades on Tuesday.

iPhone shares the spotlight with new services at Apple's annual showcase | News by The Thaiger

Analysts warn that Apple still faces challenges as rivals chip away at the smartphone market, in which the iPhone’s share is less than 12%.

As the iPhone maker refines its handsets, other makers are pushing into new areas such as 5G devices and folding smartphones.

Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said in a note to investors that he expected a “trifecta of iPhone 11s” that will help the company “put a fence around” its user base.

About a third of the 900 million iPhone users around the world are in an upgrade “window,” meaning a strong potential for handset sales, according to Ives.

“While China remains a wild card, we are bullish into Apple’s future” in the coming year, Ives said.

China accounts for about 17% of Apple sales overall, and has tremendous room for growth, according to Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart.

The trade war between the US and China has complicated Apple’s effort to gain ground in that market, where gains by local titan Huawei have come partly at the California-based company’s expense.

“Apple needs Chinese consumers to treat the iPhone as a preferred premium brand at a tricky geopolitical moment,” Greengart said.

“Huawei’s premium smartphone, laptop, and tablet sales have been surging inside China partly based on nationalism as a response to the trade war with the US and specific US government actions against Huawei.”

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

New Thailand Plus app for tourists will help officials track their whereabouts

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New Thailand Plus app for tourists will help officials track their whereabouts | The Thaiger

A new app, named Thailand Plus, for tourists has been created to help officials track their whereabouts more precisely once they have arrived in Thailand. The app was developed by Sompote Arhunai, the CEO of the Energy Absolute Company, which also developed the “Mor Chana” application.

Sompote says the app will send information to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will function similarily to a GPS. Such information will include certificate of entries, as well as screening and tracing. He says officials will know the whereabouts of tourists during their stays in case any of them are found to have contracted the virus. Such precise whereabouts will reportedly help authorities to take immediate action to prevent the spread of the virus in the areas in which the tourists visited.

So far, he says 600,000 Thais have downloaded the Mor Chana app and he urges more Thais to do the same. But following the controversial app, which some say is an invasion of privacy, he says their privacy will not be compromised.

Such a new development comes after The Tourism Authority of Thailand has introduced a special tourist visa, for tourists from low-risk countries, in order to start helping the country recover after Covid wrecked the tourism-reliant economy. However, some of the requirements have been controversial as critics say only rich tourists would be able to take advantage of the special visa option. Such requirements include a mandatory 14-day stay at an approved alternative state quarantine hotel or hospital, which is may be quite pricey for the average backpacker. Other requirements include the procurement of travel health insurance that covers a minimum of 400,000 baht.

Recently, tourism authorities have announced that the nation will see 681 tourists arriving by next month, as they have secured the special visas and a place to quarantine.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Hotel investment group launches world’s first “green” hotel fund

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Hotel investment group launches world’s first “green” hotel fund | The Thaiger

Destination Capital, a hotel investment group in Bangkok, has announced that it will launch the world’s first ever “green” hotel fund. The fund will acquire hotels and implement sustainability systems and procedures to promote long term environmental and financial sustainability in investments using the EDGE certification programme. EDGE, an online platform, is an innovation of the International Finance Corporation, which helps property developers to build and brand “green” establishments in a fast and affordable way. EDGE is used by more than 170 countries and reportedly has kept almost 230,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually from entering the atmosphere.

DC’s fund, titled Descap I, is part of its efforts to acquire freehold, 4 star hotels in prime destinations all over Thailand. James Kaplan, the CEO of DC, says he sees opportunities to renovate hotels to accommodate “green” technology and systems due to the current Covid pandemic that has ravaged the tourism sector in the kingdom.

“Destination Capital’s adoption of the EDGE certification program will provide the Descap I with the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by differentiating our products and improving carbon emissions of the hotels.”

“If there is one thing we have learned during Covid-19 it is that the environment and nature recover quickly from poor resource management practices. Our participation in EDGE will serve to encourage the hospitality industry to adopt best practices with respect to better managing our scarce resources, raise broader consciousness about global warming and stem the tide of environmental degradation. We will implement operational elements to reduce water consumption, reduce waste emissions, reduce electricity use, and to the best of our ability eliminate plastic usage.”

Descap I, is a Thai Private Equity Trust. The company partners with Private Equity and Institutional Funds to source hotel acquisition opportunities and manage assets in the Asia Pacific region, turning its main focus to Thailand.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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Personal data of 13 million online users leaked in data breach

Maya Taylor

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Personal data of 13 million online users leaked in data breach | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.techtalkthai.com

The Digital Economy and Society Minister is calling in the experts after revelations that a data breach means the personal data of over 13 million online users has been compromised. The details of the accounts have been found up for sale on an underground website, according to a Thai PBS World report. The news has sparked condemnation of Thailand’s cybersecurity.

It’s understood the data includes names, phone numbers, and email addresses, as well as information on online transactions carried out by users of Lazada, Shopee, Line and Facebook, as well as several other online platforms. It’s believed the data breach applies to transactions that took place in 2018.

The DES Minister, Buddhipongse Punnakanta, has contacted Lazada Thailand, who confirmed the breach was not at their end and are now investigating further. Meanwhile, the DES has invited online security experts from the Electronic Transactions Development Agency and the National Cybersecurity Commission, as well as representatives from each of the affected platforms, to a meeting next week to discuss ways of preventing such incidents.

The ministry insists the protection of online users’ personal data is a top priority and is working with all relevant bodies to beat the threat of cyber-attacks.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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