18 June  2018

Samsung has, as we have often said, quite a dizzying array of models for users to choose from. It is a bit streamlined from a few years before, but still, the alphabet soup of models and library of features can leave one more perplexed than a chameleon on a box of Smarties (or M&M's if you're not Smartie wise).  GSM Arena said it best, and we think their opening paragraph warrants a bit of creative borrowing: "'A's and 'J's, unite! We have for review the Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) which takes the A8's camera and rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and fits them in a J5 (2017)-like aluminum body. Mind you, there's also the J6 (no year) which is a lot like the A6 (2018), but minus the A's cameras and with a plastic body. As if Samsung's lineup could get any more confusing." Anyhow, now you know what the link is all about. Plus you don't have to read the first paragraph.  You're welcome.
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Not everyone will immediately recognize the name Cubot, but if you're in the market for a genuine mid-range phone at  top of entry level prices, you'd want to familiarize yourself  with this model, appropriately named the Power.  Think of this - a near 6 inch screen,  6GB of RAM, 128 GB of memory, and a whopping 6 000 mAh battery. That's some serious specificationery (new word). And all of this can be had for a coin shy of $130! You read that right. Read on to see what this phone has on offer.
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GSM Arena's Trending Phone of the Week feature always gives a good indication of what excites the consumer corps at the time, at least from the point of view of their databases.  To us it's no surprise that Xiaomi offerings occupy the two top spots, but the list has a new entry on the third rung, namely the Samsung Galaxy J6, which is half referenced in our top story.  OnePlus and Oppo also make their presence known, for a wide brand distribution on the list. We're sure though, that Vivo will soon knock on the door and present its party invitation, with one or two other brands also looking to join the prom.
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We've mounted our rickety soapbox on a number of occasions before and opined on how the lines between communications - and media offerings have become blurred. We consume an increasing portion of our newsfeeds and general media intake though our mobile devices, cable companies are under strain as consumers switch to online streaming, fixed data plans are being jettisoned in favour of mobile LTE offerings, and so we can continue .. It is no wonder, then, that nuptials between companies traditionally in different spheres would emerge, with the emphasis on merge. And  so it has to come that one of the world's biggest mergers has now been signed, sealed and delivered, Telecoms giant AT&T and Media giant Time Warner (owner of CNN, amongst others) have looked deep into each other's eyes, fluttered the eyelashes, delivered a quick ninja kick to the objections of anti-trust lawmakers, and exchanged rings. The judge that finally approved the merger said that with Netflix, Facebook et al, there are plenty of competitors to the new behemoth, but this does not take into account that with net neutrality under attack in the US, those companies might rely to a great extent on AT&T for their very backbone.  This is one of those scenarios where one cannot possibly foresee all possible outcomes, and one trusts that market forces will keep things sane.
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The little companies don't always have to kowtow to the giants and we do so love a good David vs Goliath story. DataProhet is a small South African company, that is to say small when compared to international behemoths, but the company has taken the battle to some Silicon Valley giants and prevailed in a number of important bidding wars. The company brings AI to factory floors, mining data from huge manufacturers and their machines, which allows them to predict where mistakes are likely be made and how to counteract this.  This way we can prevent a swanky car rolling out of the BMW factory looking for all the world as if had been designed by a Picasso fan.
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Most of the world celebrated Father's Day over the weekend, to recognize the role of great dads the world over. In view of this, we feature a father-centric Winner of the Week segment, showing dads engaging in some truly memorable activities with their sprogs. Good parenting all round.
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20 000 Generic feature phone Multiple languages, OEM possible $6.50
10 000 + Alcatel A50US, unlocked, 16GB$71.50
4 000Alcatel OT1016Euro€8.20
---Alcatel various modelsTo clearAsk
--- All accessories Chargers, covers, screens Ask
600Apple iPad Mini 4128GB Wifi
500Apple iPhone SEIndian, 32GB$256
---Apple iPhone 6, 6S, 7, 8Refurbished Ask
350Apple iPhone XEuro, 256 GB, silver, Space greyTo clear
1 500Google Home Mini
220Huawei 7 Plus Asian, DS, 4 +64GB
200Huawei Honor 10International, all colours, pre-order
---LCD Apple, Samsung,  HuaweiOriginal service packsAsk
---Leagoo all modelsAll specs, factory direct
1 000+ LG G360$33
300LG Stylo 4HK, pre orderAsk
---Memory modules and SSD drivesVariousAsk
---Moto various modelsAfrican, Asian, Arabic
600Nokia 33103G, Charcoal black$34
250Samsun J7 ProIndianAsk
-- Ulefone Ask about our Ulefone offers
2 000Xiaomi Mi A1Euro, mixed colours154
--- Xiaomi all models Ask about our Xiaomi offers
600ZTE Z820AsianTo clear

2 000Apple Airpod 32GB, Wifi
500 + ea Huawei Y series
100Huawei P9 LiteSouth African
10 000LG B220
5 000+ eaNokia low end
2 000Nokia 8810Any
2 500Samsung S6310TEuro preferred
15 000 pw Samsung various models Smartcare stock

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