October 2016 – Page 2 of 11 – My Blog

Claiming that genuine Apple accessories like Lightning-to-USB cables and USB power adapters sold on Amazon and Groupon are 90 percent fake, the Cupertino-based tech giant has filed a lawsuit against US-based Mobile Star LLC, accusing it of selling counterfeit accessories online.

“Almost nine out of 10 Apple-branded products the iPhone maker bought on Amazon were fakes,” according to the trademark infringement case reported by Patently Apple on Thursday.

Apple seeks up to $150,000 per copyright violation and $2 million (roughly Rs. 13 crores) per trademark infringement, believing that these counterfeit products could lead to fires and are, therefore, a risk to the public.

“Consumers, relying on Amazon.com’s reputation, have no reason to suspect the power products they purchased from Amazon.com are anything but genuine. Consumers are likewise unaware that the counterfeit Apple products that Amazon.com sourced from Mobile Star have not been safety certified or properly constructed… and pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock,” the lawsuit read.

The suit targets 5 Watt USB power adapters and Lightning-to-USB cables sold by Mobile Star, according to court documents from the US District Court for the Northern District of California, highlighted by Patently Apple.

“Apple purchased the power products from Amazon.com and determined that they were counterfeit. Apple was informed by Amazon.com, and upon that basis believes that Mobile Star was the source of those particular counterfeit power products purchased by Apple,” the lawsuit further read.

Reacting to this, Amazon told AppleInsider in a statement: “Amazon has zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeits on our site. We work closely with manufacturers and brands, and pursue wrongdoers aggressively.”


Google announced its Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones at the Made By Google event earlier this month. The smartphones come with built-in Google Assistant and offer a pure Android experience, with some custom features on top.

The tech giant has now clarified via a support page that the Pixel and Pixel XL are guaranteed Android updates till October 2018.

“Pixel phones get Android version updates for at least 2 years from when the device became available on the Google Store. After 2 years, we can’t guarantee additional updates,” the page says.

The timeline is similar to what most Android OEMs follow.

Furthermore, Google mentions that updates will rollout to all Pixel phones brought from the Google Store within 2 weeks. If the device is picked up from a mobile carrier or somewhere else, the updates may take longer to arrive. However, Verizon, the exclusive carrier partner in US has confirmed that the updates will roll out at the same time as Google.

Coming to security patches, Google says “Pixel phones get security patches for at least 3 years from when the device first became available, or at least 18 months from when the Google Store last sold the device, whichever is longer,” which means that security updates should be available for Pixel phones until October 2019.

To recall, the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL phones sport an aluminium unibody and also feature polished glass combination at the back. The Google Pixel sports a 5-inch full-HD Amoled display and the Google Pixel XL sports a 5.5-inch Quad HD Amoled display – both with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. Both phones are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, paired with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and sport Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor. The smartphones offer 32GB and 128GB of internal storage options.

The Pixel is up for pre-order in India on Flipkart, and the delivery is promised to begin on October 25. The Pixel 32GB costs Rs. 57,000 and the 128GB costs Rs. 66,000. The larger Pixel XL 32GB costs Rs. 67,000 and the 128GB costs Rs. 76,000.


After the Xolo Era 1X launch last month, the company has launched yet another smartphone in India. The Xolo Era 2 supports 4G VoLTE, which means it will work on the Reliance Jio network. The smartphone is priced at Rs. 4,499, and Xolo will sell the device exclusively via Snapdeal.

The Xolo Era 2 will be sold via the flash sale model, the registrations for which have begun. The first sale will begin at 10am on October 27 and it will be made available in Black, Nile Blue, and Pyramid Gold colour variants . It is a dual-SIM device (4G + 4G), and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box.

The Xolo Era 2 features a 5-inch HD display, and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor. The CPU is paired with a 1GBDDR3 RAM. Furthermore, it offers 8GB of internal storage that can be further expanded via a microSD card (up to 32GB).

Optics include a 5-megapixel rear camera with 4P Largan lens, f/2.0 aperture, 1.4 micron pixels, and LED flash support. At the front, there is an additional 5-megapixel selfie camera with LED flash as well. Some of the features included in the camera app are Live Photos, Beauty Mode, Burst Mode, Time-Lapse and Slow-Motion.

The Xolo Era 2 packs a 2350mAh battery, which is removable in nature. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.0, and Wi-Fi; and the smartphone comes with the Jio 4G Preview Offer of unlimited 4G data. Additional features on the smartphone include Audio Note, Smart Screenshot, Smart Awake, Assistant Cast screen, LED flash for call, and Flip to mute for alarms and calls. Additionally, the smartphone has a quick action feature called Quick Camera. Essentially, double tapping the Home Button activates the camera instantly.


Google announced earlier this month that the Android 7.1 Nougat developer preview will be released for select devices by the end of this month. The search giant has now delivered on its promise and made the developer preview available for Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C.

In order to get the developer preview, you can sign up for the company’s Android Beta Program, which was announced earlier this year, and receive the update over-the-air. You can also choose to download the factory image for the preview from the Android website and flash it to your compatible device.

Google confirmed earlier that other devices will also get the preview by the end of developer preview cycle, but there’s no word on the timeline yet. The company also confirmed that the final build of Android 7.1 Nougat will be coming to all Google devices that support Android 7.0 Nougat by early December.

The Android 7.1 Nougat developer preview brings some notable improvements like support for Daydream View VR headset and image keyboard. Other changes include features such as night-light, circular app icons, app shortcuts, and a manual storage manager.

The timing of the developer preview’s release can be considered perfect given that the company’s Pixel smartphones running Android 7.1 will be made available for sale in the US from Thursday.


Samsung India has confirmed that the next Galaxy On-series smartphone will be launching in the country on Thursday. In a series of tweets, Samsung teased the launch and also confirmed that the upcoming Galaxy On smartphone will be Flipkart exclusive. The South Korean company has so far not revealed the name of the upcoming handset.

The e-commerce website has launched a dedicated page ahead of the launch and is referring it as Samsung Galaxy On Nxt. We expect Samsung to launch the Galaxy On7 (2016) smartphone considering the handset was unveiled in China last month. In a teaser tweet, Samsung said that the next Galaxy On smartphone is powered by an octa-core processor and features a metallic body, in line with the 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor and metal body of the Samsung Galaxy On7 (2016).

The Samsung Galaxy On7 (2016) was launched in China at CNY 1,599 (approximately Rs. 16,000) and the India pricing of the handset can be expected to be around the same range.

For specifications, the Samsung Galaxy On7 (2016) features a 5.5-inch (1080×1920 pixels) full-HD TFT display; packs 3GB of RAM; comes with 32GB inbuilt storage; supports expandable storage up to 256GB via micro SD card; runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow; comes with hybrid dual-SIM; sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash; an 8-megapixel front camera, and is backed by a 3300mAh battery. The handset also features fingerprint scanner that comes embedded in home button at the front. It supports 4G LTE, GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v 4.2, and GPS connectivity options. The Galaxy On7 (2016) also comes with Samsung’s Knox security suite of apps.

To recall, Samsung earlier this month unveiled the Galaxy On8 priced at Rs. 15,900 which was exclusively available via Flipkart. The biggest highlight of the Samsung Galaxy On8 was its 5.5-inch full-HD Super Amoled display.


As expected, Chinese mobile manufacturer Oppo has launched the R9s and R9s Plus smartphones. The Oppo R9s and Oppo R9s Plus will be available in Gold and Rose Gold colour variants in China, and are priced at CNY 2,799 (roughly Rs. 27,700) and CNY 3,499 (roughly Rs. 34,700) respectively. The devices are up for pre-order, and the shipping will begin on October 28 in the country.

As the name suggests, the Oppo R9s Plus is the larger variant of the two. It sports a 6-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It is powered by a 1.9GHz Snapdragon 653 octa-core processor paired with 6GB RAM and Adreno 510 GPU. It offers 64GB of internal storage that can be further expanded via the hybrid microSD card slot (up to 128GB).

There’s a 16-megapixel Sony IMX398 camera sensor with f/1.7 aperture, dual-core focus, OIS, and LED flash. An additional 16-megapixel sensor is also housed in the front for selfies. The Oppo R9s Plus runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box with the ColorOS 3.0 skin on top, and sports a hybrid dual-SIM dual-standby card slot.

It packs a 4000mAh battery with VOOC flash charging technology. The company claims that the smartphone can give up to 2 hours of talk time after just 5 minutes of charge. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, GPS, Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.0. The Oppo R9s Plus measures at 163.63×80.8×7.35mm and weighs 185 grams.

Coming to the smaller variant, the Oppo R9s features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It is powered by 2.0GHz Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor paired with 4GB RAM and Adreno 506 GPU. It packs a smaller 3010mAh battery with VOOC fast charging tech, and the optics lack OIS. The Oppo R9s measures at 153×74.3×6.58mm and weighs 145 grams.

The fingerprint sensor is located below the display inside the Home Button. Oppo further mentions that the smartphones come with three antenna lines with just 0.3mm width, while traditional metal smartphones sport 1.5mm to 2mm width antenna lines. There’s no word on India availability the Oppo R9s and Oppo R9s Plus.


LeEco’s Le Pro 3 and Le S3 smartphones were front and centre as LeEco on Wednesday announced its entry into the lucrative US market. At an event in San Francisco, the backyard of Google and Apple, the Chinese company unveiled the new product line-up, which also includes the LeEc uMax85 4K  television, a week after it accidentally let slip some of its upcoming products.

The LeEco Le Pro 3 is priced at $399 (approximately Rs. 26,700), while the LeEco Le S3 costs $249 (approximately Rs. 16,700). The uMax85 4K television, unsurprisingly, is the most expensive of the lot at $4,999 (approximately Rs. 3,34,000).

However, more than the devices, LeEco wants users to use the hardware to adopt its suite of streaming services and value-added features which it calls EcoPass. Customers who buy the phones will get a three month free subscription while the TV comes with a year’s subscription to EcoPass. This entails you to a two year warranty for phones and three years for TVs; 5TB LeCloud storage space; unlimited movies on Fandor; exclusive sale on LeMall; and discounted prices for add-on content partners in LeApp. The devices will be available via a flash sale system on LeMall.com, beginning on 2nd November.

The Le Pro 3 is the same smartphone that was launched in China last month. It features a 5.5-inch, full-HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 4070mAh battery, and will be available in gray and gold trims. The cameras include a 16-megapixel shooter on the back and a 8-megapixel sensor on the front.

The Le S3 is very similar to the Le 2 and features a 5.5-inch full-HD display, Snapdragon 652 SoC, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage and comes with 16-megapixel and 8-megapixel cameras for the rear and front. It will be available in gray, gold, and rose gold.

LeEco’s Super4 X series televisions will also go on sale around the same time and will include the Super4 X43 Pro for $649 (approximately Rs. 43,500); Super4 X55 for $899 (approximately Rs. 60,300); and the Super4 X65 for $1,399 (approximately Rs. 93,700). The full range of LeEco’s TVs in the US runs on EUI with the LIVE and Le apps along with support for Harman Kardon speakers (except the Super4 X43 Pro), Android TV and Google Cast technology. LeEco’s mammoth 85-incher supports 4K with HDR 10 and Dolby Vision support, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and according to the company, an ‘industry leading’ dimming zones for better contrast.

Like we mentioned earlier, the devices are a platform to leverage LeEco’s big content push in the US market. The company is also tying up with a host of content partners, right from MGM to Cosmopolitan, with many more jumping onboard in the weeks to come.

In order to build a better ecosystem, the company also announced a User Planning to User (or UP2U), an early access system program where your participation can yield monetary rewards in terms of instant rebates on LeEco’s products.

“We developed the UP2U model to let users directly influence how our products and services evolve. We have a dynamic process for gathering and implementing the feedback into every aspect of our business from design, R&D and software, to pricing and even the content we deliver,” said Rob Chandhok, Chief R&D Officer for LeEco North America.

The company also showcased the Super Bike, which runs on Android and offers connectivity and security features like laser lane markers, fingerprint locking system, and more. The bike will only be available as part of the UP2U program in the US and won’t be going on sale in the country anytime soon. The same goes LeEco’s VR headset called ExploreVR, which is currently only available as a developer kit.

Last but not least, we got a glimpse at the LeSEE Pro, LeEco’s successor to the LeSEE concept electric car. Unfortunately, LeEco didn’t share many details associated with the car, which isn’t surprising considering the first version itself is still far from being production ready.

Hisilicon, the Chinese semiconfuctor design firm wholly owned by Huawei, announced its next-generation flagship SoC at a press event in China. According to reports, the new chip will deliver massive graphics and storage subsystem performance improvements while also improving battery life. The Kirin 960 could debut as soon as next month, powering Huawei’s expected Mate 9 smartphone.

The Kirin 960 combines four high-powered 2.4GHz ARM Cortex A73 cores and four lower-powered 1.8GHz Cortex A53 cores. This arrangement is fairly common, allowing the SoC to allocate resources to tasks depending on power and battery life considerations. According to figures provided by Huawei, the Kirin 960 beats Apple’s A10, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 and Samsung’s Exynos 8890 in the multi-threaded Geekbench 4 test, and is second only to the A10 (though by a large margin) when considering only one core.

Huawei can also boast of being the first to market with ARM’s new Mali-G71 GPU, which was announced at Computex this year. The Kirin 960 uses the G71 MP8, which indicates 8 GPU cores. The Mali-G71 is based on ARM’s new “Bifrost” architecture and is geared for 4K content and VR.  Support for the Vulkan graphics API is also a first. The improvements add up to a claimed 180 percent improvement in graphics performance compared to previous-generation Kirin SoCs. HEVC and h.264 encode and decode are supported at 4K 30fps.

Another improvement is support for the high-speed Universal Flash Storage 2.1 standard which can improve overall system responsiveness. Thirteen of the 14 most popular apps load faster on the Kirin 960 than its competition, according to Huawei. In addition, LPDDR4 RAM can be used in devices based on the Kirin 960, and there are promised improvements to the camera ISP and sensor control logic.

The SoC integrates a 4G LTE modem, which can handle up to Cat 12/13 speeds, ie 600Mbps downloads and 150Mbps uploads. It is fabricated on a 16nm process and will be manufactured by TSMC.

Huawei is expected to launch the Mate 9 next month. It is unknown whether it will take advantage of all the Kirin 960’s capabilities, but it should be running Android N when it makes it to markets.


Xiaomi is set to unveil the Mi Note 2 at an event in China on October 25. Running up to the launch, there has been no shortage of leaks and speculations. The latest one comes in the form of purported photographs of the Xiaomi Mi Note 2, and the pictures hint that the upcoming smartphone will sport just one camera at the back, and not two.

A little while earlier, an alleged Xiaomi Mi Note 2 teaser had been leaked, showing the phone sporting a dual camera setup. However, these latest pictures snapped by a Weibo user, speak a different story. If these images are real and accurate, the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 will sport a single camera at the back. This image also brings back hopes of a dual edge screen. The jet black variant snapped in the photos comes with a dual curved screen, synonymous with the Samsung Edge series.

This latest leak also refutes previous rumours that claim the Mi Note 2 will sport an edge-to-edge bezel-less display with no curved edges. As is the case with all leaks, we expect you to take this with a grain of salt and since we are just a week away from the launch, all the details will be official soon.

As mentioned, the Mi Note 2 has been rumoured to launch for quite some time. The smartphone is said to be powered by a Snapdragon 821 SoC, and pack a 3600mAh battery. It’s anticipated to sport two speaker grilles at the bottom, and have a fingerprint sensor at the front. Lastly, the Mi Note 2 is expected to come in 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage and 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage bundles.

The Mi Note 2 is rumoured to be priced at CNY 5,699 (approximately Rs. 57,000) for the top-end variant and go on sale in China from November 1.


Laird Plc dropped the most on record in London trading after the supplier to Apple pared its outlook, citing “brutal” price competition from Asian parts providers and sluggish demand from the mobile industry.

Laird tumbled as much as 50 percent and was down 49 percent at 149.8 pence, at 9:15 in London.

“The acceleration of production for mobile devices has come much later than in previous cycles and visibility on volumes remains poor,” the company said in a statement. “In addition, we have experienced increased margin pressure due to unprecedented pricing pressures and some operational factors.”

Competitors based in Asia are driving down prices, leading to continuous rounds of negotiations with customers, Chief Executive Officer Tony Quinlan said on a conference call.

The London-based company, which makes materials that protect smartphone parts from heat and interference, predicted annual pretax profit of about 50 million pounds ($61 million) amid a “very challenging trading performance” in its Performance Materials division. That was about 32 percent below the average analyst estimate.

‘Big Customer’
Quinlan declined to name Apple on the call, referring only to the company’s “big customer.” Apple’s website lists Laird as a supplier.

Revenue in the third quarter was up 29 percent to 207 million pounds, but that was lifted by acquisitions and by favorable currency conversion rates after the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union. On an organic basis at constant rates, sales were down 4 percent.

Former Laird CEO David Lockwood left in August to take the top job at defense contractor Cobham Plc, and he was replaced by Quinlan, the former chief financial officer.

After a weak first half, Laird said it had expected an improvement that did not materialize. Apple said in July that it sold 40.4 million iPhones in the three months ended June 25, down 15 percent from a year earlier and 21 percent from the previous quarter. Rival Samsung has been roiled by problems with its Galaxy Note 7 phone, which it stopped making after a number of the devices caught on fire.

The problem with the Note 7 “hasn’t helped,” Quinlan said, though the impact on Laird has been “relatively” small.