Items tagged with India

Issues with batteries inside smartphones and other tech devices that pose a fire hazard are nothing new. Samsung has had problems with its flagship Galaxy Note 7 device catching fire; Apple has been associated with battery fires also, most recently with the 2015 MacBook Pro. Budget smartphone maker OnePlus has been called out in India for a smartphone that allegedly caught fire while it was sitting unplugged and turned off. The owner of the smartphone claims that it caught fire at about 3:15 am on July 3 as it sat unused. The smartphone is said to have been sitting in an air-conditioned room when the user woke up to a burning smell. The user alleges that fumes were pouring out of the device,... Read more...
The Indian market is one of the fastest growing markets for smartphones, internet users, and other electronic devices. The challenge for device makers and services is that the country is extremely price conscious as many in the nation have lower incomes. A low cost strategy is in part why budget smartphone maker OnePlus was able to beat out smartphone juggernauts Apple and Samsung in the Indian market. Music streaming service Spotify has now launched in India, and the launch brings with it the cheapest pricing for the premium tier that Spotify has ever offered. Spotify's monthly premium tier starts at Rs 119, which works out to about $1.67. To compare the U.S. price for the premium tier is $9.99... Read more...
Chatter is starting to ramp up surrounding an update to Apple's iPhone SE entry-level smartphone. Apple first introduced the iPhone SE in early 2016, and it was little more than an iPhone 5s smartphone that was modernized with an iPhone 6s-class A9 processor, Apple Pay support and improved cameras. For people that were disappointed with Apple’s move to larger 4.7- and 5.5-inch form-factors (at the time), the 4-inch iPhone SE represented a modern, lithe smartphone for those people that didn't want to pay flagship prices. Earlier this year, Apple shuffled the storage SKUs a bit, but the smartphone remains largely the same as when it was introduced over a year. That will all change early next... Read more...
The earlier reports were off by a month, but at least Samsung’s Tizen-based Z1 smartphone is finally a reality. After nearly a year of stalling, failed launches, and developer apathy, the Z1 is launching in India for a relatively low 5,700 rupees ($92). As we reported earlier, the Samsung Z1 is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 768MB of RAM and includes 4GB of internal storage plus a microSD slot. As you can see from the pricing and processor specs, this is a decidedly low-end smartphone and the 4.3-inch WVGA screen further confirms this. Other specs include a 3.1MP rear camera, VGA front camera, Bluetooth 4.1, 802.11n, 3G connectivity, dual SIM capabilities, and a 1500 mAh battery... Read more...
Back in September, Google released its Android One smartphone in India in an effort to make high-quality smartphones be accessible to as many people as possible. On Monday, Google announced its plan to release the Android One in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka as part of its initiative to expand further into Asia. By releasing in these countries, which have a combined population of over 200 million people, Google is expanding its potential consumer base and will begin to sell Android One smartphones with the help of a range of manufacturers and network partners. Micromax, Karbonn and Spice, and Bangladesh’s own Symphony have partnered with Google and will launch their first Android One.“All... Read more...
It looks as though Samsung’s on-again, off-again Tizen smartphone project is back on. According to Reuters, the South Korean electronics giant is targeting India for the launch of its mid-range Z1 smartphone that will run Tizen. Samsung will reportedly hold a press conference on December 10 to officially announce the device, which has the internal designation of SM-Z130H. The Z1 will have a sub-$100 price tag, and its specifications are in line with that pricing. It will reportedly feature a 1.2GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB of onboard storage, a microSD slot, 4” WVGA (800x480) display, dual SIM slots, GPS, Wi-Fi, and 3G connectivity. The Z1 could give Samsung a shot at competing with Chinese... Read more...
Car maker Renault took the wraps off of a new concept car called the Kwid. The crossover is immediately noticeable for its bold gray-and-yellow color scheme and gull-wing doors, but if you look closely, you’ll notice another prime feature: A drone. Yep, this car is designed to have a little drone buddy that putters along with it. The “Flying Companion” as Renault calls it can be launched out of the roof along a pre-programmed flight to scout the traffic ahead, obstacles, and other potential concerns. (It would also be guaranteed to alternately terrify or annoy the various other drivers populating the same road.) The Kwid itself is the proof of concept for a mini-SUV platform... Read more...
Back in 2011, the Indian government in collaboration with Datawind and IIT Rajasthan developed a low-cost tablet for the masses dubbed the “Aakash”. That was followed by the Aakash 2 (commercially known as the UbiSlate 7Ci), which was designed to offer substantial upgrades over the previous version. Datawind promised to deliver 100,000 Aakash 2 tablets to India's government for (approximately) $49.98 each, and now the company has delivered on its promise. Late in the process, the project was handled in part by IIT Bombay, which recommended some changes to the Aakash 2 design, including an embedded SIM slot, and the slightly tweaked versions were actually a bit cheaper at about $42.... Read more...
Whatever else you may think of Google’s Eric Schmidt, good or bad, the man is not afraid to visit countries that others may consider dangerous or unstable. He took his daughter to North Korea earlier this year, and according to Reuters, he’s headed to Myanmar next week. Myanmar is no longer under military control, so Western nations have eased up on sanctions which opens the door for businesses of all stripes to tap into the country’s 60 million or so residents. For the likes of Google, this is primo territory to expand their mobile business, as the report indicates that mobile penetration in Myanmar is a meager 5-10%. When we speak of companies targeting “developing nations”,... Read more...
In the mobile market, 2013 will be the year that smartphone shipments reached a tipping point where they beat out feature phone shipments for the first time--just barely. According to numbers from the IDC, smartphones accounted for just under 42% of all mobile phone shipments in 2012, and that number will climb to about 50.1% in 2013. The IDC only expects feature phones to diminish from here on out, with shipments dwindling every year until they reach about a third of all mobile phone shipments in 2017 (which is as far out as the firm has projected numbers). The reasons for the swing are perhaps obvious; smartphone prices have dropped worldwide while there are ever more price points to choose... Read more...
There’s always talk about products aimed at developing markets, and India, the country with the second-largest population in the world, is most definitely one of those markets. Though there are lots of companies with an eye on India’s enormous potential customer base, Datawind is a company that has found ways to deliver extremely low-cost technology there already. Datawind’s latest low-cost device is the UbiSlate 7 tablet, a 7-inch device with modest specs that the company believes it can offer in 12 months’ time at the astounding price of $25. What’s more, the tablet could be accompanied by a data plan that costs as little as $2 per month. (That’s on a 2G... Read more...
Much is made of “developing markets” in nations like India, where the population dwarfs that of the U.S. and tech companies work to develop products that average consumers can afford. Sometimes, those developing nations take matters into their own hands. The long-awaited, Indian-homegrown tablet that alleged to cost just $35 and landed in October is making a splash. The tablet, dubbed “Aakash” but commercially known as the DataWind UbiSlate7, actually costs closer to $47 (2,499 rupees) at the moment (it was $60 when it launched), which is still a sensationally low cost. In the two weeks since it went on sale, the Aakash has 1.4 million orders. According to an AFP report,... Read more...
Another day, another e-reader. Actually, it's another hour, another e-reader. There seems to be a never-ending flow of these guys, probably caused by the amazingly warm reception that Amazon's Kindle and the B&N Nook have received in North America. This particular rival, however, was made specifically for the Indian market, but the support for 15 languages also means that it's capable of being used just about anywhere. The new Wink e-reader is just the first of a number of devices on the roadmap for this India-based company called EC Media. The unit will feature a 6" display (800x600 pixels), 2GB of storage that's expandable to 16GB, Wi-Fi, built-in 3G, a 400MHz ARM9 processor, a 3.5mm headphone... Read more...
After several decades of exploiting cheap workers and low costs in China, a number of companies may have to move their facilities elsewhere. Chinese workers have begun demanding better compensation and safer working conditions (we saw how Foxconn dealt with the iPhone issues last month). Meanwhile, the yaun is finally appreciating after years of being deliberately undervalued. This puts further pressure on businesses already struggling with low profit margins. The chinese government has also entered the picture--it wants workers trained in high technology, not assembly lines or cardboard box production. China is going to go through a very dramatic period. The big companies are starting to exit.... Read more...
Right now, smartphones are all the rage. Every new phone that comes out seems like a smartphone, and if it's not, it gets overlooked and brushed aside within hours of being announced. Put simply, if a phone can't check your e-mail or update your Twitter status, it really has no place in American society right now. It's an interesting situation, and it has only recently become a reality. We're crediting the iPhone with putting the smartphone so firmly on the map of "must-have" devices, and now that the smartphone has advanced to include Android and webOS, using a non-smartphone just feels like a step back in time.Still, America isn't the only mobile market in the world, and there are many other... Read more...
Fresh guidance from Intel suggests that while the netbook market is booming worldwide, first time computer buyers aren't driving the market. The company's statements reflect a significantly different understanding of the role netbooks are playing in the market than what Intel first envisioned. Originally, the Classmate PC, like the OLPC XO that preceded it, were intended explicitly for the developing world. In reality, however, netbooks are playing a supplementary role, even in markets where PC penetration is relatively low. "I don't think first-time buyers are going to buy netbooks," Intel executive vice president Sean Maloney said at a media event organized by the company. "The first time you... Read more...
It's no Lightning GT, but you won't have to sell the roof over your head in order to afford it. Tata's Nano, which has been coined the "world's cheapest car" since debuting to high hopes last January, it just about ready to roll off the production line, but it won't be easy to get one. After suffering through months of delays, this tiny vehicle is now scheduled to ship to early buyers in July for around 100,000 rupees apiece, or just under $2,000. Unfortunately, the initial rollout is restricted to India, so Americans, Canadians, Britons, Australians (you get the point), etc. will simply have to sit this one out.It's stated that "hundreds of thousands are set to queue up to book, including motorbike... Read more...
The old adage proves true once again: if it sounds too good to be true, well, we'll let you finish the rest. The so-called $10 laptop that was expected to be unveiled in India has turned out to be a complete letdown. For starters, it's not a laptop at all. Furthermore, it could cost two to three times more than the "intended" $10. Needless to say, it can't get much more deflating than that.Announced this past week by India's Ministry of Human Resource Development was a low-cost computing device that looks more like an over-sized, port-filled power adapter than a true-to-form notebook computer. Granted, this device is just a prototype, but we aren't counting on it to grow an LCD and QWERTY keyboard... Read more...
Anyone ever had a tech support issue, not just with Dell, but with any company, and ended up with a TS rep who was obviously based in India or Manila, or some country with cut-rate employee pay? of course you have. It doesn't even have to be a tech company for that to happen. And have you ever wished you could speak to someone in the U.S.? Probably. Dell says they can guarantee you a support person in North America, but only for a price ... It's called Your Tech Team. Thing is, although the Washington Post first brought it to light on Thursday, it doesn't appear to be new, at least me. It seems that it was first unveiled in July on the Direct2Dell blog. Your Tech Team costs $12.95 / month for... Read more...
India is actually starting to outsource some of their IT functions back the U.S.  One example of this is new trend is Tata's new facility:"Tata Consultancy Services said last week it has opened a development center in a former paper plant outside Cincinnati, with initial plans to employ 1,000 people, which would make it one of the largest U.S. development centers by an India-based IT services company. The 200,000-square-foot facility will include a lab where TCS hopes to show off its experience in such areas as industrial engineering and services. TCS plans to hire Midwest tech talent for the facility."Tata isn't alone, the trend of IT jobs returning to US shores via foreign employers may only... Read more...
Last month Nokia issued a massive battery recall.  Unfortunately for this pregnant Indian woman, it didn't include her battery, which was of a different series, though still manufactured by Matsushita.  The battery exploded 10 minutes after she plugged it into the charger. A pregnant woman was injured at her south Kolkata residence on Wednesday when her Nokia handset battery exploded 10 minutes after she had put it on charge. The battery was a BL-D3, not part of the BL-5C series that Nokia recalled earlier this month. However, both series were manufactured by Matsushita Battery Industrial Co, Japan. The handset that blew up was purchased in 2004. Legal action against Nokia is being considered... Read more...
Dell Computer is opening up a factory in Chennai, India, to manufacture desktop PCs, and later notebooks as well. But the factory is not there to take advantage of cheap labor to make computers for the US market. India's market is poised for explosive growth, and the Chennai plant will be a foothold for Dell in the Indian subcontinent. It wasn't too long ago that India was an afterthought for many people in the computer industry. For years, the country took a back seat to China. For good reason: China has quickly grown to become the world's second-largest PC market, after only the U.S., and it's likely to become No. 1 in the next few years. This year, Chinese are likely to buy 33.6... Read more...
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