ITP.net’s tech 2017 round-up: September
Apple unveils three iPhones, Huawei shows its not scared and transport in the UAE turns futuristic
September kicked off with Apple finally confirming it planned to host the Apple Special Event in the Steve Jobs Theatre at its spaceship campus, Apple Park. Despite the constant leaks, there was still a buzz around Apple's product launch, as nine days later came the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the infamous iPhone X.
The $1,000 iPhone X showed off a radical redesign as Apple has removed the home button to make room for an all-screen design. The iPhone X display had a curved design and the all-glass front and back feature supporting the 5.8-inch OLED Super Retina Display, which sported a resolution of 2,436 x 1,125 pixels. However it was the Face ID that became a talking point as many tried to crack the facial biometric feature.
Apple's iPhone 8 line was similar to the existing iPhone 7 and unlike the iPhone X, the handsets still had a home button and had the top and bottom bezel. Despite the iPhone 8 series having a ‘same same but different' feel, Apple has definitely given it an upgrade with Qi wireless changing, a higher quality camera, and it features the A11 Bionic chip.
Though Apple released three iPhones, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei did not shy away from the competition. Instead it confirmed that it will release its Mate 10 which features its own Kirin 970 chipset that will be embedded with AI processing capabilities. Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, stated that "compared with Samsung and Apple, we have advantages. Users are in for much faster (feature) performance, longer battery life and more compact design."
UAE telecom Etisalat showed its support for the youngsters in the region with the launch of SWYP. The move was announced shortly after Virgin Mobile officially became the third operator in the region earlier in the month. Etisalat's pre-paid service was dubbed as ‘the companion brand of your lifestyle' by its official website, and the service only caters to those aged between 15-29 years.
The residents of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomed news that the country's ban on internet calling apps had finally come to an end. The lift on Voice over Internet Protocol calls meant that applications such as, Skype, FaceTime, Snapchat and Tango could be used.
Transportation in the UAE also advanced as a total of 50 Tesla electric cars had been deployed to Dubai's Taxi Corporation. The move was part of Dubai's plan to meet the directives of the Dubai Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy that aims to convert 25% of total journeys in Dubai into driverless journeys by 2030.
The end of September saw Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, attend the maiden concept flight of the autonomous air taxi. His Highness stressed the importance of the transportation sector, which he said is a vital driver of the development process and an indicator of the level of advancement of the nation.