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When an NBTC official bit the Apple

Takorn Tantasith, secretary general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, reportedly upset Apple Inc when he tweeted on August 12 that the iPhone 6 had passed a standard certification and was permitted by the telecom regulator to make its local debut.

A day later he told reporters the two "iPhone 6" models under the code names A1586 and A1524 would be introduced in Thailand in September. Based on Apple's tradition of secrecy regarding information of its new products prior to their launches, Takorn's acts unsurprisingly perturbed the company which flew in three top executives from its Singapore regional headquarters to call a meeting with the Thai regulator. All three executives wore T-shirts and jeans and one even wore a hat - perhaps to disguise himself. Although these guys denied, when asked by Thai reporters, that they were from Apple, Takorn confirmed to the press he met representatives from Apple South Asia from the Singapore HQ who arrived to "have a chat" with him and clarified that the two phone models may not use the name "iPhone 6" in the market.

After the meeting, Takorn walked up to the reporters' room at the NBTC office three times, saying that he had come under severe attack in pantip.com's online communities and explained that he did not reveal confidential product details and he meant to protect consumers. The issue was resolved and his act would not undermine the launch of iPhone 6 here.

"As for the specs, the NBTC did not disclose anything. I spoke about two models. Am I wrong?" asked Takorn.

"Next time Apple might not need to submit its applications too early. Only three days ahead should be enough," he said.

Power drive

Banpu chief executive Chanin Vongkusolkit said Laos authorities were delighted that power project investments by Thai investors had helped the country tap overseas funding through its issuance of baht bonds.

Moreover, Chanin said, foreign travellers visiting Luang Prabang would not have to worry about electricity blackouts in Laos' Unesco World Heritage city any more after the Hongsa power plant in which his Banpu holds a stake, starts up from the middle of next year. The lignite-fired power plant that will supply cheap electricity, amounted to 5 per cent to 6 per cent of Thailand's total generating capacity. It will dispatch 100 megawatts of electricity through a new transmission line built to serve demand in Luang Prabang and Laos' other cities.

Meeting the media

British Ambassador Mark Kent will open his residence to media guests on August 28. The media thank you reception was earlier postponed due to Thailand's recent political situation. Kent, who can speak Thai fluently, will also take the venue to officially launch his Ambassador's webblog.

Destiny?

Although this is his first assignment in Asia, Neil A Hansen, chairman and managing director of Esso (Thailand) doesn't feel out of his depth, as he has experience working in Sakhalin, Russia, where the atmosphere was similar.

Fatefully, several years ago when he was working there as a financial reporting manager for ExxonMobil, Hansen and his family chose to take a vacation in Thailand.

Contributed by Pichaya Changsorn


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