“We will sell our flagship phone, our product, in the US market through carriers next year…. I think that we can bring value to carriers and to consumers. Better product, better innovation, better user experience,” —Richard Yu, president of Huawei Technologies’ consumer business, in late-2017
IN the midst of all the excitement about rollable screens, wall-sized TVs, mech suits and 5G talk at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018, one particular keynote speech caused a bit of drama and made headlines.
When news broke that the partnership between Huawei and AT&T wasn’t going to push through, everyone was waiting for a statement from the Chinese smartphone giant (the third-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world—Ed.), but I don’t think anyone expected it to be addressed, unscripted, during the CEO’s keynote.
After presenting the company’s current flagship pride, the Mate 10 Pro, Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei’s consumer products division, did something unexpected as the words “Something I Want to Share” appeared on the massive screen behind him.
I felt uncomfortable watching the video, as Yu looked uneasy and stammered on stage—quite different from the confident and smiling CEO I met in Singapore a few years ago during the launch of the P8.
His discomfort, however, was understandable, even expected. After all, the partnership with AT&T’s could’ve given Huawei the push it needs to finally make a real splash in the United States market.
A month ago, his speech was supposed to be Huawei’s big moment in the American spotlight. Instead, he was onstage trying to find some positives out of the situation. For that alone, I think he deserves an ovation. “Everybody knows that in the US market, over 90 percent of smartphones are sold through carrier channels,” he said. “It’s a big loss for us, and also for carriers, but the [bigger] loss is for consumers, because consumers don’t have the best choice,” Yu said, making the declaration with a fiery passion amid his quiet anger.
Yu then recalled how things were in the beginning of his Huawei career 25 years ago, saying they faced plenty of doubters even in China being an almost total newcomer to consumer devices six years ago. “We win the trust of the Chinese carriers, we win the trust of the emerging markets…and also we win the trust of global carriers, all the European and Japanese carriers,” he said. “We are serving over 70 million people worldwide. We’ve proven our quality, we’ve proven our privacy and security protection.”
According to some reports, the US carrier’s decision was driven by political pressure, supposedly over concerns regarding security.
Unlike in other major markets, where mobile enthusiasts have been using Huawei smartphones for years, it has had a difficult time in the US, as majority of the people don’t know anything about the company—or how to even produce its name (wow-way). To address this issue, the company has named Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot, as its “chief experience officer” to serve as a high-profile advocate for the brand. After her introduction, Gadot ended her video appearance with her teaching the audience how to pronounce both “Huawei” and “Gadot” (it’s guh-dot).
Gadot has been a Huawei user since the P8, and was succeeded by other onscreen superheroes Henry Cavill (Superman) and Scarlet Johannson (Black Widow) who were the brand ambassadors for the P9.
HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR INTERNET CONNECTION AT HOME
A LOT of people don’t realize that it’s not enough to get a good broadband plan. Besides having fast Internet, you must also make sure your Wi-Fi router is strategically located to optimize your Wi-Fi coverage. But where should you place the router to make the most out of your Internet connection? Here are some useful tips from Globe at Home:
- Keep your router away from obstruction. Did you know that concrete walls, mirrors, doors and other large obstacles can weaken your Wi-Fi signal? So keep the path between your router and your device as obstruction-free as possible to maintain optimum connection.
Try to place your router in a central location so the signal is evenly distributed. The farther your devices are from the router, the weaker your connection, so place your router in an open space, preferably on an elevated platform and away from bodies of water like an aquarium or water containers. You can also stay close to your router for a better browsing experience.
- Connect only the devices you’re using. During the holidays when you have a lot of visitors, you may notice a slowing down in your Internet connection, or even difficulty in connectiong to the router. That’s because too many devices connected to your Wi-Fi can slow down your Internet speed, as each device takes up a portion of your total bandwidth. Disconnect the devices you’re not using to ensure a stable connection and allow other users to connect.
- Get a Wi-Fi extender. Your router can only cover so much ground, especially if you have a big home. To ensure your house is fully covered, Globe At Home’s special tech service team, the Globe Tech Squad, also offers Airties Wi-Fi Mesh, which extends Wi-Fi coverage to eliminate dead spots around the house and ensure full Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home. If you have a Globe account, ask about the Airties Wi-Fi Mesh. Learn more about Globe at Home from www.globe.com.ph/broadband.
CASHLESS HERE AND NOW
FOR me, one of the best innovations last year was mobile payment. Now I know it’s been available for quite some time, but it was only last year when GCash made cashless shopping truly possible as it partnered with Ayala Malls, The SM Store, Robinsons Department Store, Megaworld Lifestyle Malls Cinema, Puregold, Ministop and NCCC Malls.
To kick of 2018, GCash announced it’s partnering with Bench and 39 other retail brands that will now be accepting Scan to Pay.
By simply scanning the GCash QR (quick response) codes present in the stores, GCash users can pay for any item at Bench and other affiliated brands, including Paul Smith, American Eagle, The Face Shop, Aldo, Assembly, Aldo Accessories, Bench Body, Bench Fix Salon, Bench Kiosk, Bobbi Brown, Call It Spring, Cotton On, Cotton on Kids, Cath Kidston, Charles and Keith, Dimensione, Estee Lauder, Fox, Her Bench, Human, Jo Malone, Kashieca, La Senza, Maisen, Multibrand, Marugame, Mothercare, Origin, Pablo, Pedro, Paul, Personal Exchange, Repetto, Rubi, Skin Expert, St. Marc, Typo, Under Armour and Vero Moda.
Aside from the convenience of shopping without carrying cash, GCash users can enjoy a 30-percent cashback of up to P500 until January 31 this year when they scan to pay with GCash in Bench and the other aforementioned brands.
“GCash is here to ensure that customers are given the convenience and security they deserve when paying for goods and services. With the GCash scan-to-pay feature, anyone with a GCash account and smartphone can easily pay the exact amount using their phone. There’s no longer any need to wait for loose change or pay in smaller denominations, or even stand in line for a long time,” said Ernest Cu, president and CEO of Globe Telecom.
To use, GCash customers only need to download or update to the latest version of the GCash App, register for an account, and then fund their GCash wallets at any of the more than 12,000 GCash Partner Outlets nationwide, including Globe Stores, Puregold branches, SM Business Centers, Robinsons Business Centers, 7-Eleven Barcode and Cliqq kiosks, TouchPay kiosks and pawnshops, such as Cebuana Lhuillier, Villarica and Tambunting.
Once it’s done, customers will simply tap on the Scan QR, point a phone’s camera at the partner’s QR code, and pay.