Friday, August 3, 2018

One million new customers added in last 7 months as HCPH continues its rapid growth in PH


Home Credit, the Prague-based consumer finance company that has captured the attention of mallgoers and gadget lovers alike with its affordable in-store loans, has a very good reason to celebrate after it recently signed its three millionth customer.


(L-R: HCPH Sales Associate Mayeth Valencia, HCPH CEO Annica Witschard, 3 millionth customer Virginia Dela Torre and husband Almer, HCPH Chief Marketing and Product Officer Franchette Chingcuanco-Cardona)

Lucky winner Virginia and her husband Almer were in the process of applying for an in-store loan for a flat screen TV when HCPH surprised them on the spot. Home Credit Philippines’ Chief Executive Officer Annica Witschard and Chief Marketing and Product Officer Franchette Cardona were personally there to reveal the surprise and congratulate the “winning” customers who got 5,000php worth of GCs and the perk of having the rest of their loan waived.

HCPH has come a long way since its establishment in Manila in 2013. From starting with less than 30,000 customers in its first year, the company quickly grew in the next few years, hitting the one million customer mark in 2017 before finishing the year with two million customers. A few more months later, HCPH’s customer base now stands at three million.

“We credit our success to the thriving market here in the Philippines. There is a strong demand for financially-inclusive products, and we are more than happy to cater to this demand by offering loans even to first-time borrowers and those without formal accounts,” Annica shared when asked about the company’s growth.

According to the latest data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, 77 percent of adults have no formal accounts such as savings accounts with banks. HCPH taps this group of consumers by making applying for an in-store loan easy even if they have no credit history. The customer simply needs to approach a Home Credit Sales Associate, provide two (2) IDs, and wait for ten minutes to process their application.

In addition, the company has also been rapidly expanding in terms of stores and the range of products it finances. It now has more than 4,000 stores and has a presence in more than 50 provinces and Metro Manila. In terms of product portfolio, Home Credit Philippines has also been actively expanding its lineup. In addition to mobile devices and gadgets, its roster also includes home appliances, hardware tools, e-bikes, musical instruments, and sporting goods.

When asked about their reaction for being named the three millionth first-time customers, Almer shared his happiness by saying, “Napaka-ganda ng Home Credit dahil napapaluwagan nila yung mga tao na hindi usually na-aafford na bumili ng ganitong mga bagay.” Virginia added, “Napakadali ng proseso. Biyaya talaga ito.” [Home Credit has a good program because it helps people who can’t usually afford to buy these things. The process is very easy. This is really a blessing.


Besides in-store loans, the company also offers cash loans which, according to Annika, are used by some of the customers to start small businesses so they can make a better living for their families. Others use their cash loans to pay for other needs like school tuitions or finance house renovations.


Creating Moments of Joy Through Taste and Experience

In emerging economies like the Philippines and Malaysia, income shifts have challenged the traditional definition of a consumer. Mondelēz International has noted that growing middle-class consumers now demand for products and formats which fit their lives and growing families. They seek enhanced brand experiences which go beyond the first bite. 




As for Filipino families, Amante said, “Our insights have shown the trend in income shifts affecting the parent-to child segment. Parents’ lives have grown to be hectic. Because of this, their interests lie in spending time with their family, who still come first in their priorities.” She added, “To address these lifestyle needs, Mondelez Philippines will continue to expand into consumer white spaces or new categories, creating meaningful innovations to turn ordinary moments into joyful experiences, just like with Cadbury Dairy Milk Lickables.”

As a new entry in the Market, particularly in the Philippines, Mondelez Philippines created excitement for Filipino families through teaser campaigns leveraging on social media and the internet, which are key touchpoints in consumers’ lives. Amante announced that in the coming months, the market will see and hear more from Cadbury Dairy Milk Lickables in the channels and mediums they prefer like online, TV, billboards and radio. 

“Through brands like Cadbury Dairy Milk Lickables, we invest in creating more moments of joy by bringing together the delicious taste experience and bonding spirit of being with a loved one,” Amante said.

With different Pokemon toy freebies that can be collected and a suggested retail price of P46.50 in the Philippines, Cadbury Dairy Milk Lickables can now be availed at your favorite supermarkets and convenience stores. 




Monday, July 23, 2018

Taiwan Excellence Basketball Camp fuels Pinoy court skills and Taiwanese innovation

Combining the Filipino passion for basketball and the Taiwanese drive for innovation, the first-ever Taiwan Excellence Basketball Camp filled the Mall of Asia Music Hall with an intense 3-on-3 Hoop Challenge, top-notch innovations from Taiwan Excellence, and PBA stars last July 21 – 22, 2018.


A partnership between Taiwan Excellence and legendary PBA star Coach Eric Altamirano, the two-day Camp aimed to promote sportsmanship as it brought together some of the Metro’s most promising basketball players while highlighting the incredible products awarded with the Taiwan Excellence Seal.


 “Taiwan Excellence Basketball Camp is an exemplary showcase of excellence from both countries: the fighting spirit of the Filipinos further empowered by the products of Taiwan,” said Alfred Wang, Director of the Economic Division of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO).

With its aim of promoting the leading products, Taiwan Excellence shares to the world a variety of truly innovative brands. Initiated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), Taiwan, R.O.C., in 1992, the symbol of Taiwan Excellence is continuously recognized by 102 countries.

The symbol of Taiwan Excellence, according to Wang, honors Taiwan’s most innovative products “that provide tremendous value to users worldwide.” Each product has been selected for a specific Taiwan Excellence Award based on their excellence in the following categories: design, quality, marketing, Taiwanese R&D, and manufacturing.

Boasting participation of 192 amateur Pinoy ballers, the Camp put their skills to the test in a rigorous 3-on-3 matches while 3 PBA stars are on the sidelines showing support.


Alongside Coach E of Alaska Aces, local court heroes JC Intal and Doug Kramer of Phoenix Fuel Masters also gave their support to the budding ballers.

Also integral to the whole Taiwan Excellence Basketball Camp set up is the Taiwan Excellence Experience Zone which exhibits the top-of-the-line products of Taiwan.

With products from tech giant Asus, fitness company Johnson, and bike manufacturer Tern, among others, the Taiwan Excellence Zone got everyone up close and personal with impressive products championed by Taiwan.

Wang hopes these superior products from Taiwan will boost the way of life and strengthen the love of Filipinos for basketball and sports in general.



 “They did a great job in showcasing the best products that Taiwan can offer. The quality can go head to head with other global brands,” said Christian Ramos, one of the players for the Camp.

Meanwhile, the two celebrity players look forward to using the products themselves.

“I am really excited about the bikes from Tern. They make biking and going around the city a much more fun experience,” said Intal.

As for Kramer, he has his sights on the Paper Shoot, compact digital cameras with cases made out of eco-friendly paper.

“I really feel that the whole family will fall in love with it. It is so simple and sophisticated, I know my kids will love using Paper Shoot.” Kramer said.
For updates about Taiwan Excellence, visit their website https://www.taiwanexcellence.org/ph and follow their Facebook page at facebook.com/TaiwanExcellence.ph.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Yes, we’d like a serving of the new LG G7 ThinQ, please


LG Electronics Philippines finally unveiled the LG G7 ThinQ, its new flagship premium smartphone, at an exclusive launch recently event held at trendy bar and lounge Yes, Please.
Mr. Paul Jeon (center), LG Philippines’ VP for Mobile Communications, with Yugatech founder  Abe Olandres (left), and film director Mr. Mikhail Red (right)


Combining exciting innovations, a sleek design, and stunning display and sound with LG’s intuitive ThinQ AI technology, the G7 ThinQ takes the smartphone experience to unprecedented heights. The G7 ThinQ comes with a Super Bright 6.1-inch display that, at 1000nit is brighter than any other mobile phone screen. This, along with the phone’s AI-powered operational and creative features, a Quad DAC feature that provides distortion-free sound, and a hardworking camera, offers consumers a better user experience all around.  


LG has always striven to provide products that makes the daily grind easier for its consumers. In the LG G7 ThinQ, this principle is reflected in the Hotkey, a button on the side of the phone that activates Google Assistant with one tap. Holding down the button will allow for instant conversations with Google Assistant, and will allow the user to search the internet, open applications and remotely use the phone on voice command (LG has worked with Google to come up 32 new Google Assistant commands). The G7 ThinQ also sports Super Far Field Voice Recognition, which allows it to hear commands for Google Assistant up to five meters away.


During the launch, LG invited gadget website Yugatech’s founder, Abe Olandres, to explain how the G7ThinQ’s AI-powered features can provide beneficial advantages to everyday life. As Abe explained, the phone’s AI CAM helps deliver an unprecedented smartphone photography experience by recognizing an object and automatically adjusting settings according to what it sees. The phone also has 19 different color and contrast filters to help enhance results. All these features combined makes capturing professional-quality images a truly effortless experience for everyone. 

To fully display how the G7 ThinQ delivers the ultimate camera experience in a smartphone, LG commissioned a short video from up and coming director Mikhail Red, whose latest film Birdshot won the Asian Future Best Film Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival, and was the first Filipino full-feature film to be included in Netflix’s inventory. The video not only demonstrates Mikhael’s skill and dexterity as a director and photographer, but showcases how the LG G7 ThinQ’s camera delivers a higher range of details, more vivid colors and striking luminance when capturing both moving and still subjects. Mikhail’s video also demonstrated how the LG G7 ThinQ  enables the Super Bright Camera feature in a low-light setting, resulting in clearer, more focused images, or how the camera supports depth-of-field Bokeh effects with a Super Wide Angle feature.

Superior sound is also another G7 ThinQ boast. The flagship smartphone has a Boombox Speaker that, as demonstrated in the launch, increases the base sound level by more than 6dB with twice the amount of bass. Translated in layman terms, the LG G7 ThinQ packs more than 10 times the loudness than that of a typical smartphone. 



Thursday, June 28, 2018

Vivo and Qualcomm collaborate on breakthrough 5G antenna technology

Vivo has detailed its collaboration with Qualcomm to address a critical 5G development milestone with their ground-breaking 5G antenna technology. This collaboration has resulted in the successful design and integration of new 5G mm-Wave (millimeter wave) antenna arrays into a Vivo commercial form factor as well as the measurement of system-level OTA (over-the-air) performance.

This milestone is significant as the arrival of 5G is creating major design challenges for smartphone manufacturers and network operators. To fully support the rollout of 5G services, even greater complexity and tougher requirements have been added to antenna designs and technologies.

For end users, mm-Wave technology can attain higher data rates to enable the 5G peak data rate of around 10-20 times higher than that of existing 4G LTE technology, providing a better wireless experience especially with AR, VR, AI, and UHD (ultra-high definition) video applications.

“Through this landmark cooperation between Vivo and Qualcomm, Vivo's industry leadership and innovation on 5G mm-Wave antenna design will contribute to creating optimal devices for end users,” said Dr. Huan-Chu Huang, Antenna Technical Director/ Principal Antenna Expert at Vivo. “After this successful completion of 5G mm-Wave antenna design and measurement based on a Vivo commercial form factor, consumers will soon see the next round of new device designs offering superior performance benefits and a taste of the next generation mobile experience.”

It is expected that both 5G sub-6 GHz and mm-Wave antenna technology will be deployed in every major market around the world, with some markets by 2019 and others to follow in 2020. Beyond this collaboration, according to Dr. Huan-Chu Huang, Vivo is also proactively applying for patents and publishing international research papers on mm-Wave antenna designs to prepare for the arrival of 5G age.

This latest innovation is another example of Vivo’s dedication to break new ground and to lead in critical industry initiatives such as 5G development. “From the early days of WiGig to 5G mm-Wave today, Vivo has been focused on deep studies and solid works on mm-Wave antenna designs and technologies. This successful development of 5G mm-Wave antenna array technology for smartphones denotes a further progression of Vivo’s accumulation of industry-leading technology breakthroughs and capabilities,” said Dr. Huan-Chu Huang.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

SM Cinema treats kids to the movies for free!


Nothing beats seeing a movie with your little ones on the big screen. Now, kids and kids at heart can have a more exciting time seeing a movie with SM Cinema’s Kids Watch for Free! 




SM Cinema’s Kids Watch For Free gives a complimentary movie pass to your kid for every movie ticket you purchase. With this, parents and guardians are given the chance to spend time watching their favorite animated movies with their kids for a cheaper cost.

               

Kids 4 feet and below in height can avail of the free movie ticket started last June 21 until December 4 this year.



Get your kid a free movie pass now and don’t miss the best superhero family in Incredibles 2 on June 21- 27. You can also avail of the free ticket movie for your kid in these upcoming animated movies: Richard the Stork on July 2531, Teen Titans Go! and Christopher Robin on August 8 – 14, Wheely on September 12 – 18, Small Foot on October 3 – 9, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms on November 7 – 13, Luis and the Aliens on November 7 – 13, Marnie’s World 3D on November 14 – 20, and Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck it Ralph 2 on November 28 – December 4.



Enjoy watching blockbuster animated movies with free movie seats for your kids in SM Cinemas nationwide. Kids Watch For Free is also available on IMAX and Director’s Club. Book your tickets through the website, www.smcinema.com or download the SM Cinema mobile app.  You may also follow /SMCinema on Facebook and @SM Cinema on Instagram for updates!   

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Vivo Launches Pioneering In-Display Fingerprint Scanning Technology in PHL with New Flagship Smartphone X21

Vivo finally released the X21 flagship smartphone in the Philippines to bring users a brand new and futuristic unlocking experience with industry-leading In-Display Fingerprint Scanning Technology. Combined with its FullView™ Display, AI photography and upgraded face recognition technology, the X21 is the ideal mobile partner for the tech-savvy consumer.


Through its continuous research into user needs, Vivo has consistently pursued innovation to solve consumer pain points. Having invested in long-term research and development to overcome the problems posed by mass producing In-Display Fingerprint Scanning Technology, Vivo is finally bringing this secure and intuitive unlocking solution to more consumers. Vivo has also made major technology breakthroughs with its FullView™ Display and AI photography featured in the X21.



Two unlocking technologies to bring double convenience

Vivo has been the industry pioneer of In-Display Fingerprint Scanning Technology from showcasing its first prototype demonstration to successful mass production. To ensure user expectations for this technology are being met, Vivo has tasked its teams to innovate and perfect this technology on the new X21 to provide a reliable and secure unlocking solution to all consumers.

Vivo X21 replaces the rear fingerprint sensor with the latest In-Display Fingerprint Scanning Technology. This allows the sleek and unified design of the smartphone to be preserved without the need for a rear fingerprint sensor. With mere a flick of the wrist and a press on the screen to unlock, this convenient and seamless process is intuitive for any user.

Other than In-Display Fingerprint Scanning Technology, X21 also offers upgraded facial recognition technology with Face Access which scans users’ facial features for enhanced security.

Impressive FullView™ experience with a screen-to-body ratio of over 90%

Vivo X21 has a 6.28-inch 19:9 FHD+ FullView™ Display. With a super slim notch, and 1.66mm side bezels, it achieves a 90.3% screen-to-body ratio to provide a wider viewing experience compared to other similar-sized phones. Vivo has even enhanced its software to support the notch and developed a notification bar that maintains an immersive experience. Maximizing the beauty of the display, Vivo X21 uses P3 display color management technology and supports a P3 wide color gamut to ensure more accurate, natural and saturated colors.

Taking phone design to the extraordinary, X21 has ditched the metal body for a new 3D glass back cover. Every arc and curve on the back cover are ergonomically optimized to ensure comfort in your hand, with only 3.1mm thick in the middle. More than just smooth to the touch, X21 uses a new color-blending technique, which creates a unique luster that creates its elegant look.

AI Photography Brings a Superior User Experience

X21 continues Vivo’s heritage of photography leadership, featuring 12MP (24 million photographic units) front and rear cameras with Dual Pixel Sensors. The secondary rear camera is 5MP. Thanks to the larger photographic area of each pixel, X21’s camera significantly boosts picture clarity. On top of this, the X21 features fast focusing technology that rivals DSLRs, which enables it to focus fast and capture depth of field data in every pixel.

Vivo X21’s AI Scene Recognition not only identifies night, sports, vibration or back light scenarios, but it can also detect and identify 18 tags and 140 scenarios such as portraits, food and plants as it shoots. It then actively adjusts photography settings and effects to make it easy for the user to capture a great photo.

By upgrading Vivo’s photography technologies with AI, Vivo’s AI Face Beauty and AI HDR features can identify the subject’s sex, skin tone and surrounding lighting environment to create the ideal facial enhancement settings, even in a backlit environment. With AI Face Beauty learning the user’s specific preferences for beauty, it can generate custom beautification effects tailored to each user. Think of X21 as your personal make-over team packed into one intelligent device.

System level optimization enhances mobile entertainment

Hardware forms the basis of any user experience. The X21 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660AIE chip which can effectively utilize CPU resources for complex AI and neural computing. Its 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM increases the speed of launching, loading and switching even large and complex mobile games. With the large storage space, users can go wild downloading all the applications, movies and photos they want without the hassle of clearing space.

While gaming, the system will automatically adjust the CPU to optimize performance according to the game’s resources for a smoother gaming experience. The Game Mode on X21 even prevents accidental touch operations, ensuring gamers only make the moves they intended.

X21 continues Vivo’s Hi-Fi legacy and houses the AK4376A audio chipset. It is also equipped with Deep Field technology, which was developed by Vivo to provide panoramic surround, mega bass, clear voice effects and various environmental audio effects, allowing users to tailor their audio experience.