This week in tech: Safaricom presents its 2016/2017 financial report and more weekly tech trends
Uncle Bob has made it his life mission to ensure that we talk about something Safaricom each week. Well, as long as it is for all the right reasons, we will gladly oblige.
It has been an okay week and Safaricom seems to have, once again, dominated the airwaves in the local scene. Globally, a lot has been taking place but we can only highlight the industry movers and shakers for this week.
Below is a summary of this week’s tech trends:
1. Safaricom releases 2016/2017 financial report
When Safaricom announced a net profit of Ksh. 48.4 billion, they got our attention. All of it. I mean, that’s serious money.And that was not all:
And that was not all:
The net profit was up by 18.3% up from 38.1 billion in 2016.
Mobile data revenue hit Ksh. 29.3 billion up from 21.2 billion. SMS revenue dropped and this can be attributed to the increasing adoption of other messaging platforms such as Whatsapp.
Congrats to Safaricom and Uncle Bob whose contract was extended to two more years.
2. Safaricom rolls out M-Pesa 1 Tap
The future of mobile payments, or M-Pesa, is here ladies and gentlemen!
M-Pesa 1 Tap is Safaricom’s NFC-powered payment solution that should make payment of goods and services more effective.
The new payment method is compatible or done using a Card, wristband, or NFC badge.
Payments have now been made easier and we commend Safaricom for continuing to make us happy. Well, except for that fateful Monday.
3. Facebook takes steps to reduce spammy links on its platform
This is long overdue but we are glad it is here.
Facebook is making changes to its news feed so as to minimize links to web pages that have little substantive content and those covered in malicious ads in each post.
This means that some sites may experience a decrease in Facebook traffic while those who abide by the rules will see an increase in their traffic.
4. Huawei GR3 (2017) is finally in Kenya
GR3 (2017) comes with okay specs and retails at Ksh. 24,000 which is fair since the specs are good.
The handset comes with a 5.5-inch display, Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, 3GB RAM, 12MP main camera, and 3000mAh battery capacity.
This is a mid-range handset with okay specs and sells at reasonable price tag so go get yours!
5. Snapchat gets an update
The latest update introduces limitless snaps and other features.
The latest major update is the addition of a new loop feature that lets users choose if their snaps play once or it plays until the friends tap to go to the next snap. This means that your friends will only go to next snap if they wish.
Other changes include the way users create and send snaps as the company is changing the layout of the creative tools.
Snapchat has been making changes lately in an effort to make it attractive to users. The latest updates aim to improve usability.
6. Google Allo’s new update can turn selfies into cartoons
Google Allo may not be a household name, yet, but Google is still holding on to hope that it will be one day. Perhaps the latest update will compel more people to try Allo.
Google Allo has finally received the much-needed chat backup feature that makes the platform interesting. The update allows Allo to turn your selfies into cartoon stickers. And that’s not all: you can always customize your sticker by editing every aspect of it.
Currently, the feature is being rolled out for Android and it should come to iOS soon.
7. OPPO R9s outsells other android smartphones in Q1 2017
This came as a surprise since OPPO is not exactly a household name, or at least not in Kenya.
Well, it seems that OPPO R9s has been a device of desire for many as it is the best-selling Android device in the first quarter of 2017. Of course, this means that it did not beat Apple.
Reports indicate that global shipment of R9s hit 353.3 million units in the first quarter of 2017. OPPO is reported to have sold 8.9 million R9s smartphones.
These figures make sense since OPPO is the General in the biggest smartphone markets in the world-China and India.
8. Samsung Z4 announced
Z4 is the latest entry-level smartphone by the giant smartphone manufacturer. The handset runs on Tizen OS, 1GB RAM, 4.5 WVGA 480×800 display, a quad-core 1.5 GHz processor, 2050mAh battery capacity, and 8GB internal memory expandable by up to 128GB.
The handset is set to be released later this month (May). We cannot confirm whether it will be available in the Kenyan market yet.
9. Refurbished Samsung Note 7 likely to retail at half the original price, allegedly
People are still skeptic about a refurbished Note 7 but maybe the latest reports on the price tag might change their minds. Get them excited.
It is alleged that the handset could be selling for as low as $400: that’s roughly half its original price!
Will you grab yours?
10. Windows 10 Creators Update rolls out to Windows 10 customers globally
Finally, the Google 10 Fall Creators Update is the latest update to Windows 10 and it comes with some surprises. These include iTunes on the Windows Store and cross-platform syncing with the iPhone and Android Devices.
There you have it. These are the top ten tech trends that have shaped the tech world this week: both locally and internationally.