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Apple iPhones are getting bigger, faster and pricier. What you need to know

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Apple chief design officer Jony Ive
Apple chief design officer Jony Ive (left) and Apple CEO Tim Cook inspect the new iPhone XR during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on September 12, 2018 in Cupertino, California. AFP PHOTO | NMG 

Apple on Wednesday released three new series of its X (pronounced as ten) model and a remake of Apple Watch as it looks to maintain the growth that saw it become world’s first trillion-dollar company.

The new round of iPhones released Wednesday are bigger, faster and more expensive. The three new models released by the company are iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. The iPhone XR is a low cost smartphone with a few but significant upgrades from previous models.

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are almost identical but the latter is bigger with a screen size of 6.5 inches, larger than even Samsung Galaxy Note9 which has a screen size of 6.2 inches.

The XS models released features significant upgrades from the X model that was announced last year. Here is what you need to know about the latest iPhones:

The new iPhone XS has a 5.8 inch screen while the XS Max features a bigger screen of 6.5 inch, the largest ever for an iPhone. The low-cost XR model has a 6.1 inch screen, larger than XS.

Both the XS and XS Max have an OLED HDR screen (Super Retina) while the XS has LCD screen. The home button at the bottom of the screen is long gone. Like in the previous iPhone X, users can unlock the screen by a Face ID. The new models now have “advanced and faster Face ID” that possibly fixes the issues that were experienced in the X version.

The new Apple iPhone Xs (L) and iPhone Xs Max

The new Apple iPhone Xs (L) and iPhone Xs Max (R) are displayed during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on September 12, 2018 in Cupertino, California. AFP PHOTO

Apple’s new phones have displays with better dynamic range.

“The custom OLED displays on iPhone XS deliver the most accurate colour in the industry, HDR, and true blacks. And iPhone XS Max has our largest display ever on an iPhone,” reads a statement on Apple’s website.

By industry standards, the XS Max is one of the biggest smartphone is the market and trends suggest the future belongs to large screens.

During the unveiling of the new iPhones, Apple indicated that what they are releasing to the market would be the fastest out there in the market. XS, XS Max and XR, all have A12 bionic processor which is a six-core chip. The new processor, Apple says, will give the designs and other in the future the “speed and fluidity” that is needed to run applications and perform tasks.

 A visitor inspects the new Apple iPhone XR

A visitor inspects the new Apple iPhone XR during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on September 12, 2018 in Cupertino, California. AFP PHOTO

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The most expensive iPhones yet have an “all new camera system”. The XS and XS Max both have two rear cameras, wide angle and telephoto, with 12 megapixel sensors. The upgrades will see users take photos even in low light environments. Apple says that the “New secondary frames, a faster sensor, and the powerful A12 Bionic chip bring more highlight and shadow detail to your photos”.

The front camera, for selfies, has the same aperture and megapixel as of X model, is faster as a result of the speed upgrades.

The XR has a single 12 megapixel wide-angle camera and 7 megapixel selfie one with almost similar upgrades as with XS.

The new Apple iPhone Xs (L) and iPhone Xs Max

The new Apple iPhone Xs (L) and iPhone Xs Max (R) are displayed during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on September 12, 2018 in Cupertino, California. AFP PHOTO

Apple is promising longer use for a single charge. The XS and XS Max have 30 minutes and an hour longer battery life compared to X. XR users will have an hour and a half more on battery life compared to iPhone 8 Plus.

All the three models will come in capacities of 64GB, 256GB and 512GB. According to Apple, 512GB is a new phone capacity and it will give users more space to store files.

The XS is the lightest of all the new models released. It weighs 177g while XS Max is 208g. The XR is 194g.

All the models released have an improved water resistance and a wider stereo sound. They as well have improved resistance to dust.

Apple says the new iPhones will start at $750, $1,000 and $1,100, which is an increase from last years starting prices at $700, $800 and $1,000.

The biggest news that will excite some users is that the new iPhones will come with a dual sim option, meaning, users will now have the option of two numbers in a single phone.

XS Max vs Samsung Galaxy Note9

While most observer have been quick to say that the larger iPhone, XS Max, is in response to Samsung’s Galaxy Note9, there are similarities and differences worth noting.

As similarities can dim the differences, the most notable difference between the two competitors is the weight. At 201g, Note9 is lighter than the new iPhone XS. Despite the latter being heavier, its thinner.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9. FILE PHOTO | NMG

As in the previous model, the new iPhone has a cut out space at the top of the screen to accommodate the from camera. Note9’s scree is all rectangular.

The two top competitors have two rear cameras in their latest models, a telephoto and wide-angle. Apple is all for Face ID while Samsung features a mix of fingerprints, iris and facial recognition.

There is about $100 difference in price. Samsung’s starts at $1000 while Apple has set theirs at $1,099.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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