NewsBytes 2019 #21 - Samsung goes Platinum twice, Celcom + Google + MoE, Grab, TikTok, Alibaba and more


It’s been a busy past 2 weeks with the official Apple iPhone 11 series launch in Malaysia so if you wanted to get an iPhone 11 on Digi or U Mobile we’ve got the details but if you’re still on the fence as to which telco you’d go for we’ve also got a total round-up comparison as well. If you’re still on the fence because of the camera capabilities we also managed to check that out too. The Huawei Mate 30 series is coming to Malaysia, while the Vivo Y12 arrived already but Spiderman rejoined the MCU (for how long? Depends on Sony).

The OnePlus 7T launched in India (wonder when that one is coming to Malaysia) and Honor showed off one of their first HarmonyOS devices with the Honor Vision Pro Smart TV. Official China pricing for the Huawei Mate 30 series came out, and it’s not as bad as the initial euro pricing, so we’re hoping Malaysian pricing will be around there or lower. DxOMark also gave the Huawei Mate 30 Pro the highest score available currently while Opensignal marked which telco was the top in their latest Mobile Network Experience Report for Malaysia September 2019.

The Fitbit Versa 2 and Fitbit Aria Aria air smartwatches also got released in Malaysia while Sharp did a world’s first with a smartphone packing a 240Hz refresh rate display. We checked out our first above RM300K gadget with the Mercedes AMG A35 Sedan, good guy Xiaomi gave Malaysian schools air purifiers and even came out with the world’s first surround display smartphone with the Mi MIX alpha and more. So those were the highlights for us but do check out the NewsBytes below.  


Samsung goes platinum twice for 2019 Putra Brand Awards + Galaxy Note 10 WiFi6 certified


Samsung Malaysia Electronics recently bagged two highly-coveted Platinum Awards under the “Communication Devices” and “Cameras, IT and Office & Business Equipment” categories at the 2019 Putra Brand Awards. In addition to that, Samsung took home a Gold award for its contribution to the “Personal, Households & Outdoor Appliances” segment as well.

“The past 50 years have been amazing for Samsung, and we are truly proud and grateful for everything that we have accomplished. Currently, our next bold vision is to take it to the next level – to truly make the idea of Connected Living a reality. This means producing half a billion devices a year that are both connected and intelligent. With that, a whole new world of connectivity and convenience will be ushered in, allowing us to focus on the most important things. We started off as a humble trading business 50 years ago, but have now evolved into an undisputed global leader in IT and consumer electronics that we are today.

Essentially, this is exactly what we want to inspire in our consumers – to do what you can’t. Being recognised with three of the highest Putra Brand Awards means a lot to us at Samsung, as it means that we have been doing the right things for our consumers. Over the years, our deep understanding of users’ needs has manifested into ground-breaking innovations; and as such, we continue to rewrite history with unparalleled innovations such as the Infinity-O Display, the Samsung One UI, and consumer electronics products’ that are seamlessly integrated via SmartThings. We are ecstatic about the win yet humbled at the same time, as we have set a high bar for ourselves that we must adhere to.

Over the decades, we have built an unwavering trust through pioneering technology. 50 great years have passed, and as Samsung propels towards the next 50 years, there are two guiding principles that will stand the test of time – innovation and trust. These two key principles are what we will hold onto more firmly than ever as we continue our pursuit of more inventive innovations that will make our vision of Connected Living a reality,” Yoonsoo Kim, President of Samsung Malaysia Electronics.

In related news, Samsung also announced that the Galaxy Note10 has been named by the Wi-Fi Alliance as the first smartphone to be certified for the new Wi-Fi 6 standard. Wi-Fi 6 will operate in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, offer greater capacity than previous generations and double the number of spatial streams. 


‘Grab For Good’ campaign to help support persons with disabilities in Malaysia


Grab celebrated their ‘Grab For Good’ campaign to offer more support for the nearly 800 persons with disabilities (PWD) who earn on Grab, 500 of which are Malaysians. The drivers range from the deaf and hard-of-hearing to those who are wheelchair-bound. The event also appointed for the first time, PWD Driver and Delivery Partner Representative Committee (DRC) who will represent the 500 Grab driver and delivery partners. 

In line with the International Week for the Deaf, the GrabforGood Celebration this year kicked off with the announcement that BreaktheSilence 2019 in partnership with the Malaysian Federation of the Deaf previously launched in 2018. This partnership has resulted in  initiatives including The Sign Language Dictionary, collaterals like in-car hanger, passenger , driver and merchant flip cards, sign language classes and more will be expanding to other countries in Southeast Asia. 


Celcom, Google and MoE team up for 2-day local undergraduate digital marketing bootcamp 


Celcom Axiata Berhad recently partnered with the Ministry of Education Malaysia and Google for a two-day digital marketing bootcamp for local undergraduates. Held from 28-29 September 2019, KPM-Celcom Siswapreneur @ Google Bootcamp 2019 is a short course programme that gathers over 250 local undergraduates from 40 public and private universities, polytechnics, and colleges nationwide. The programme is also opened to employees and lecturers from the respective institutions.  

The bootcamp which was held for the second time, is a part of KPM-Celcom Siswapreneur programme, established between the telco and the Ministry of Education Malaysia since 2016. The programme was initiated with the aim to create interest, strengthen and develop students’ entrepreneurship mind-sets, skills and talents, producing more digital entrepreneurs. 

During the bootcamp, Google shared significant training modules such as the basics to kick-start a business, the basics of digital marketing, online tools for market research, and social media strategies for businesses. The KPM-Celcom Siswapreneur @Google Bootcamp 2019 was officiated by Yang Berhormat Dr. Maszlee bin Malik, Minister of Education at Residensi UTM KL.  Also present were Idham Nawawi, Chief Executive Officer of Celcom Axiata Berhad, Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Kamel bin Mohamad, Deputy Secretary General, Strategic Planning, Ministry of Education, Yang Berbahagia Datuk Hamisah binti Tapsir, Director General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, and Nick Bauer, Head of Public Policy, Google. 


TikTok launches #CNSchallenge with release of BTS j-hope’s new music


TikTok has teamed up with K-pop superstars BTS, to launch its #CNSchallenge campaign to usher in the reveal of BTS band member, j-hope’s latest hit – ‘Chicken Noodle Soup (feat. Becky G)’. This challenge aims to deliver j-hope’s ‘Chicken Noodle Soup (feat. Becky G)’ to the world in a new way on TikTok.

From now till October 4th, TikTok users in Malaysia and throughout the world are invited to show off their love for BTS through the #CNSchallenge by uploading creative videos of themselves dancing to the beat of the Chicken Noodle Soup’s catchy chorus. BTS members themselves will be uploading their own videos for this challenge on their official BTS TikTok account.


Shopee presented iPhone 11 to Apple lovers 10 hours ahead of time 


Ahead of the Apple iPhone 11 launch in Malaysia on 27 September 2019, Shopee presented those who pre-ordered the device 10 hours before. Simon Chen Yuen Keong, 32, was the first in Malaysia to receive the highly coveted all-new iPhone 11 at Shopee Malaysia’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. He purchased a unit of 128GB iPhone 11 in Black. More than 50 other Shopee users were also there at Shopee HQ eagerly waited for the iPhone 11, of which collection began at 12am sharp. 

The iPhone 11 series is available in six colours: white, black, green, yellow, purple and red starting from RM3,399. All iPhone 11 devices sold on Shopee are 100% original Apple Malaysia products; standard Apple iPhone warranty applies for the devices.   


Alibaba Cloud Announces 3rd Generation of X-Dragon Architecture


Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, recently launched the 3rd generation of X-Dragon Architecture to advance the computing era for artificial intelligence (AI). This upgrade will be rolled out to millions of Alibaba Cloud servers around the world from next year and will increase their performance by five times in key metrics.

In total, Alibaba Cloud announced 85 new products and features at the annual flagship Apsara Conference, making significant advancements in the company’s evolution to data intelligence and AI-powered cloud. In the past six months, Alibaba Cloud has added 597 new products and features and more than 300 solutions to its portfolio, expanding a suite of cloud-native and AI-driven offerings. Data can now be analyzed and visualized in real-time to generate actionable insights.  

The 3rd generation of X-Dragon Architecture seamlessly integrates computing platforms including the elastic container service (ECS) bare metal server and virtual machines within a single architecture. During tests of e-commerce scenarios with high levels of demand for AI usage, the new X-Dragon architecture increased queries-per-second (QPS) by 30% and decreased latency by 60%. The cloud native nature of the solution means zero power wastage from running physical servers, and therefore reducing the unit computing cost by 50%.

Alibaba Cloud also introduced the 6th Generation of ECS instance, which is based on the X-Dragon architecture. This generation of ECS instance delivers 20% improvement in computing power, 30% reduction in memory latency and 70% reduction in storage IO latency. 

Also announced was the newly launched OSS Inner Trail which will log all applicable cloud operations, providing an additional layer of transparency to the customers who may have a higher demand on compliance and audits, for example customers in the finance industry. Alibaba also unveiled their Hanguang 800 NPU, its first AI inference chip developed by T-Head under the Alibaba DAMO Academy, an initiative to lead technology development and scientific research. 


1st World Championship for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, is happening in Malaysia this November 2019 with $250K USD prize pool  


For the first time ever, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), will be having its very own world championship, titled MLBB World Championship 2019 (M1). The M1 main event will be taking place on 15 – 17 November 2019 at Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with the Group Stage taking place on 11 – 14 November 2019. 

The world championship will feature the top 16 professional MLBB teams from 14 nations to battle it out for the lion’s share of the USD $250,000 total prize pool. The 16 teams will consist of 8 direct-invited teams via Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and Myanmar and 8 qualified teams via M1 Qualifiers in Brazil, Cambodia, Japan, Thailand and Laos, Russia, Turkey, Vietnam and the USA. On board as M1 official sponsors are U Mobile and Youtube. 

For the M1 Grand Finals on 15 – 17 November 2019, there are 3 types of ticket passes: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Tickets sales have begun with 3-Day passes and 1-Day passes available now. The 3-Day passes comes with MLBB in-game items, with the Gold ticket granting an exclusive M1 goodie bag as well. All tickets are free seating within the designated tier and all ticket-holders are able to participate in the lucky draw during the event. Check out more details at their site. 


Adobe Fresco launched on iPad Pro


The Adobe Fresco app is now available on the Apple App Store. The app is available free for Creative Cloud subscribers, and non-subscribers can download a free version that has most of the same features, but lacks some brushes and limits the file export size to iPad screen resolution. There’s also an option to buy a standalone version of the app for USD$9.99 a month, which comes with the first six months for free if you purchase before December 31st, 2019. However, any new features added to the app later will only be available to users with a Creative Cloud plan.

Adobe Fresco has a range of features for illustrators and designers of all skill levels. The highlight, however, is Fresco’s Live Brushes, which uses Adobe Sensei’s AI platform to produce realistic watercolour and oil paint strokes. The app also allows artists to work with both vector and raster brushes and to export work to desktop Adobe apps as well as to download and import their own brushes. Check out the site for more info.


6th #MYCYBERSALE 2019 launches 

The Sixth #MYCYBERSALE 2019, Malaysia’s largest online sale, is optimistic of reaping RM500 million in revenue during the week-long period from 27 September 2019 till 3 October 2019. FPX joins PIKOM as a title partner with consumers who pay for their online purchases of at least RM 5 through FPX would be eligible to participate in a FPX contest offering RM270,000 worth of prizes, including 2 units of Proton X70 and a total of RM50,000 worth of shopping vouchers. 

“PIKOM is extremely proud to announce that this year, the online shopping sale is fully private-sector funded. It took us six years to reach this far, making this an industry-led event as has been the original intent from the very beginning. With further support from both the Government and the private-sector, we will see growth in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and numbers of merchants participating, from Malaysia and Asian countries,” Ganesh Kumar Bangah, Chairman of PIKOM


Astro GO users can now enjoy new cloud recording feature

Astro GO users can now record all their favourite shows simultaneously with the new cloud recording feature. Astro GO users will be entitled to record and store up to 200 hours for free and easily manage, book and watch their recorded shows from their devices. The cloud feature allows for unlimited simultaneous recording on Astro GO.

Users can upgrade their cloud storage to a total of 400 hours (RM12/month) or a total of 1,500 hours (RM15/month) by visiting Customers are encouraged to update their Astro GO app on Google Play Store (Android) or Apple App Store (iOS) to begin enjoying the cloud recording feature. Astro GO is FREE for all Astro customers.


So, that's all for now TechNavers. Looks like this week is going to be another really busy week in tech but all the more reason for you to stay tuned to