News of 2007

This has been another exciting year for technology releases and IT happenings. Here we recap on the best, and worst, 2007 has had to offer so far...

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By  Administrator Published  September 25, 2007

This has been another exciting year for technology releases and IT happenings. Here we recap on the best, and worst, 2007 has had to offer so far...

01 January

iPhone unveiled

After months of whispered rumours and geek speculation, Mac maker Apple chose MacWorld 2007 in San Francisco to reveal its highly anticipated iPhone, marking the start of the company's first crucial foray into the mobile handset market.

Lauded by many as a breakthrough in mobile phone design, the iPhone resembles a miniature Sony PSP in form and an iPod in function, offering a wide-screen video interface and music capabilities for the first time. The quad-band GSM iPhone also features an innovative touch-screen interface, which Apple claimed at its launch was one of the most advanced to be included as standard on a smartphone device.

"We want to make a leapfrog product that is super easy to use [compared to current smartphone devices]," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the phone's unveiling. "The iPhone's interface is the result of years of research and development," he added.

Saudi WiMAX edges closer

Samsung Electronics and Bayanat Al-Oula for Network Services, a leading emerging alternative telecom services provider in Saudi Arabia, announced their partnership in this month and explained their plans to deploy the largest mobile WiMAX network the Kingdom has seen to date.

The deal saw Samsung agree to supply mobile WiMAX equipment and devices to Bayanat Al-Oula over the next two years and should result in the largest mobile WiMAX deployment in the Middle East.

Bayanat Al-Oula's plan is to launch commercial services based upon mobile WiMAX technology in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Makkah, before then expanding the service's availability across more territories in KSA.

Since the establishment of Bayanat Al-Oula in 2004, the company has actively developed its networks and operations to serve the Saudi Market.

Abdulmajeed Elshawa, CEO of Bayanat Al-Oula, said at the time: "Mobile WiMAX will revolutionise data services in the same way that mobile network technology revolutionised voice services."

"Data services, such as high-speed internet access, video and audio streaming, and wireless VPN connectivity will transform the way end-users use these services," he added. "The combination of Samsung's expertise in Mobile WiMAX technologies and Bayanat's innovation, market knowledge and commitment to delivering value to customers will transform the telecoms industry in Saudi Arabia."

Souq for Saudi

The developers behind the UAE and Jordan's local online auction site, Souq.com, confirmed in January that the Saudi version of the online auction site would be up and running in the next three months.

"We have now started the execution of the expansion plans to Saudi, and we plan to be up and running in the next three months," said Ronaldo Mouchawar. "We felt that we needed to role out key features in the UAE such as (credit card payment tool) and our fixed price selling service called ‘Buy Now' first, before we go ahead with the expansion."

Bahrain broadband boost

Bahraini telco and ISP Batelco went all out to improve its customer retention by giving users of its home internet services a variety of automatic upgrades.

Customers of Batelco's BD30, BD40 and BD60 broadband internet packages benefitted from a range of price cuts, improved connection speeds and other extras.

"By continually updating users' broadband packages, Batelco is catering to the demands of all our customers by taking into account their budget, internet personality and lifestyle," commented Batelco's general manager of corporate affairs, Ahmed Al Janahi.

Extra

Since January, the iPhone has been launched in the US, with avid buyers queuing for days to get their hands on the handset. The device is also making its first Middle East appearance this month at GITEX Technology Week (check out Pro Technology's show booth in hall 4 of Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre). Additionally, to view more product images and read more details, check out www.apple.com/iphone/.

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