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...
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