Apple iPhone 6, 6Plus Launched in Pakistan

Pakistani cell phone service operator Ufone has partnered with Apple to launch iPhone 6 and iPhone 6Plus smartphones in Pakistan. Ufone customers can register online for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at the company’s website.

Smartphone sales have accelerated in recent months after the roll-out of 3G and 4G services in Pakistan. The number of 3G subscribers has reached 4 million mark, apparently surpassing all other broadband technologies in the country, within the first three months of the issuance of 3G and 4G licenses in the country. There are around 3.7 million broadband subscriptions in Pakistan for all technologies combined including WiMAX, DSL, EvDO, FTTH, Satellite, HFC and others till May this year.

Total number of mobile subscribers in Pakistan is over 150 million. A growing number of these subscribers are smartphone owners who are using web services like e-commerce and social media. Gertjan van Laar, an app developer who recently published a report on smartphone usage in Pakistan, told Tech in Asia that smartphone penetration has reached between 7 and 10 percent of the population – in contrast to the general mobile penetration rate of 80 percent.

Here are some of the highlights of the report on smartphones in Pakistan:

1. Android is Pakistan’s top smartphone OS with 68 percent share just among smartphone users

2. Apple iOS is second with 24 percent share; Windows Phone is third at eight percent

3. Samsung is the top brand; iPhone is second; homegrown phone-maker QMobile is third

4.  35 percent  of smartphone users in Pakistan own a low-cost phone.

Growing availability of smartphones  and 3G/4G services is enabling Pakistani apps developers to build and offer a wide range of apps, including everything from the most-used messaging apps to social networking, games, entertainment, government, banking, business and finance, navigation and utility apps, such as budgeting and data backing, according to a report in The Express Tribune newspaper. In addition to software houses, an active community of mostly self-taught freelance app developers is also bidding for projects listed on global online platforms, such as oDesk, Elance, Guru and Freelancer, the paper adds.

Increasing access to advanced smartphones and mobile broadband augurs well for innovation and investment in Pakistan.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Mobile Broadband in Pakistan

Pakistan Government Deploys Mobile Apps

Telecom and Media Boom in Pakistan

Mobile Money Revolution in Pakistan

Smartphones in India and Pakistan

Pakistan Among Top Outsourcing Destinations

Pakistan Starts Tablet PC Production

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Riaz Haq said…
Yet Zaheer Ahmad, vice president of Kestral, representing a range of primarily North American contractors such as L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, and Sikorsky, said IDEAS2014 was comparable to any other large exhibition in terms of the variety of attendees and exhibitors.

A number of key smaller exhibitors were present for the first time.

ByField Optics, a developer of surveillance and security products and manufacturer of leading edge ultraviolet/kinetic eye protection and optics, came from Australia. Czech manufacturer Inflatech showcased its inflatable decoys that reflect radar energy and can simulate infrared signatures. Lithuania’s Helisota promoted its helicopter maintenance, overhaul and upgrade expertise. Yugoimport, Serbia’s arms export agency, was also a major presence.

With local industry the largest presence, the bulk of the remainder came from China, Turkey and the US.

The Sino-Pakistani Karakorum K-8 trainer was notable for being displayed armed for the first time with two AIM-9P Sidewinders, practice bombs and a 23mm gun pod in recognition that it now serves in the advanced jet trainer role.

Most eyes were on the JF-17, Pakistan’s flagship defense project, and Nigeria is reported to be in the final stages of negotiations to equip up to two squadrons.

“So far, there are 11 countries talking to us; so far we have not actually signed any deal,” said Air Commodore Khalid Mahmood, director of sales and marketing for the JF-17.

He outlined a wide range of improvements and weapons integrated with the aircraft. Weaponry now includes the CM-102 air-launched supersonic anti-radiation missile and GB-6 air-launched standoff submunition dispenser, which were unveiled at China’s Zhuhai Airshow last month.

Mahmood said Pakistan is “open to all suppliers” for advanced short-range air-to-air missiles, and dispelled rumors the active/passive SD-10A long-range missile was not fully operational.

He stressed the program continues to evolve and potential customers are being offered a partnership, not just an aircraft.

The expected deals for Chinese submarines and Russian Mi-35M helicopter gunships were not signed.

Russian Helicopters representatives said only that the deal is “for more than five.” Pakistan’s Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanvir Hussain also declined to directly address the issue, but did say Pakistan is also considering the Mi-28NE Havoc.

Similarly, Chinese and Pakistan Navy officials would not discuss the submarine contract, but Cmdr. Hasnain Ali of Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) said they would likely mostly be built in Pakistan.

Other deals have been quietly signed, including those for the third and fourth stealth missile boats being built at KSEW. The remaining pair have yet to be contracted.

Three batteries of the China Aerospace Long-March International LY-80 surface-to-air missile system have been purchased for nearly US $226 million, with eight units of the IBIS-150 air defense surveillance radar for $40 million.

A model of an LY-80 battery was displayed, but little further information was forthcoming.

Analyst Haris Khan of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank, who attended IDEAS2014, said the LY-80 was a “good system that looks like it will be very effective,” but does not yet know if it will be produced locally as speculated.

NORINCO displayed its SH-1 155mm wheeled artillery system, but Khan said its worn appearance proved it had at least been trialed by Pakistan’s Army, though officials would not comment on this.

State-owned armored fighting vehicle manufacturer Heavy Industries Taxilia (HIT) has been busy. Spokesman Lt. Col. Amer Ahmed Khan said it will partner with Belgian engineering firm and licensee Duma Engineering to produce General Dynamics’ Dragoon four-wheel-drive armored fighting vehicle (AFV).
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani Investors: Invest in Local Technology Startups NOW!
I believe that the technology entrepreneurship ecosystem in Pakistan is at a tipping point! There are a number of factors at play that make Pakistan so ripe for both local and international investors looking to invest in the tech space:
Quickly growing internet adoption currently estimated to be 25 million internet users and 15 million mobile internet users;
Cheap smart phone devices costing under $50;
3G and 4G rollouts;
Massive amounts of marketing and media spend by companies like Rocket Internet, Schibsted, and Naspers that’s targeted to make Pakistani consumers comfortable transacting online;
Development of platforms like The Foundation at LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship and Plan9 that are supporting passionate entrepreneurs during their formative years;
Slow but steady investments flowing into startups at seed (e.g. Kima Ventures investment into Eyedeus Labs) and early stage (Frontier Digital Venture’s US$3.5 Million investment into PakWheels...) from local and foreign angels as well as early-stage funds;
Tens of millions of dollars being poured into developing pervasive electronic and online payment infrastructure in Pakistan (you have to take my word for it, but telcos and major banks will soon start announcing these plays);
Successful entrepreneurs returning from abroad and providing mentoring to startups and building bridges for them outside of Pakistan;
Gradual realization by seasoned businessmen and young aspiring entrepreneurs alike that internet has a massive equalizing power and they can tap into a global market of billions through online channels;
Low cost of starting a technology business due to easy access to cloud computing platforms; massive distribution channels like the PlayStore, AppStore and Facebook; ability to create very targeted online marketing campaigns; inexpensive outsourcing of development tasks to freelancers; and quick feedback from customers to iterate and improve the products and services;
Ease of doing a tech business in Pakistan compared to the red tape and bureaucracy that has to be dealt with while setting up an industry (in fact, software exports still enjoy a complete tax holiday in Pakistan);
Excellent leverage on HR that tech (product) businesses provide compared to any other business and we all know that good HR is a constraint anywhere in the world;
And lastly, because tech businesses are not as widely impacted by security, electric power shortfalls, gas load-shedding and others infrastructure issues plaguing the rest of the industries in Pakistan.
You inject a bit of capital to catalyze all this further in the 6th most populous (196 Million) country in the world, and we can have a perfect storm that can turn the Pakistani technology startups of today into the giant global businesses of tomorrow!
Riaz Haq said…
Mobilink, Pakistan’s leading provider of voice and data services with over 37 million subscribers, in collaboration with Samsung has exclusively launched the highly anticipated Samsung S6 and S6 Edge smartphones for customers.

The launch coincides with Samsung S6 and S6 Edge global launch and is in line with Mobilink’s strategy of introducing the latest devices to the market.

This launch will provide customers with the opportunity to experience Mobilink’s superior 3G and voice services on one of the most innovative smartphone till date. With every purchase of the Samsung S6 and S6 Edge, Mobilink will provide its users free 1 GB data per month for a period of 12 months.

Aamer Manzoor, Head of Data, Mobilink commenting on the launch said, “The launch of 3G services in Pakistan has made inroads to consistently introduce the most appealing and innovative handsets. This exclusive collaboration with Samsung is another step in enhancing Mobilink’s 3G device portfolio in the market. The launch of Samsung S6 and S6 Edge will enable and empower our customers to use Next Generation Mobile Services with unprecedented mobile experience and the best data offers on the go.”

Farid Ullah Jan, Head of Mobile Phone Division, Samsung Pakistan while commenting on this launch said, “We are extremely excited to introduce Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge for the first time in Pakistan. Samsung mobile has really gone back to the drawing board this past year, and the result is one of the most significant efforts in Samsung history. In a very big way, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge is result of our mission to redefine the GALAXY brand. We started from scratch and imagined an entirely NEW design with never-before-seen technology, and next level enterprise solutions.”

S6 Edge is the world’s first dual edge display phone with one of the most colorful displays in the market. The Quad HD Super AMOLED display makes the display appear brighter and sharper. Samsung S6 has a state-of-the-camera with a 16 MP resolution. Samsung users can enjoy superior productivity via 64-bit processor and Android Lollipop OS. The processor is the first ever 14 nm processor in the smartphone market providing extended battery power. Mobilink customers can purchase the phone from their nearest Mobilink Business Centers.

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