Reliance Jio today announced a partnership with Apple to offer iPhone customers in India a number of offers, including a year of complimentary Jio service worth Rs. 18,000 for retail customers and a 25 percent discount for enterprise customers.
Those who buy a new iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus as well as the existing iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone SE from a Reliance retail store or Apple authorized store will be eligible for the offer. All Jio users currently benefit from free service under the Reliance Jio Welcome Offer, so the one year of free service kicks in as soon as that offer expires, on December 31 2016. That means those who buy now will get almost 15 months of free service.
In particular, users will get the benefits of Jio’s Rs. 1499 monthly plan: unlimited local, STD and national roaming voice calls, 20GB of 4G data, unlimited 4G data usage at night, 40GB of Wi-Fi data at Jio hotspots, unlimited SMS, and subscription to Jio’s apps. Reliance pegs the value of all this at Rs. 18,000.
Enterprise customers will be eligible for a 25 percent discount and a special tariff plan, but further details of this offer are not available yet. The discount will be upfront rather than implemented as a cashback offer, sources told Gadgets 360. Details will be made available on Jio’s website in a few days’ time.
Sources also indicated that iPhones will not be locked to the Jio network in any way, and that customers are free to use other service providers if they do not want to take advantage of the free service. However, stocks of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are running low, and those who haven’t pre-booked might not find their preferred colour and capacity available.
Sony Corp’s image sensor production will return to full capacity in the October-March half-year due to a pickup in smartphone demand, having spent part of the past year running just under full strength, the head of its chip-making subsidiary said.
“The business environment for our customers is improving,” President Yasuhiro Ueda of Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp said at a news conference on Friday, at Sony’s sensor factory in the Kumamoto region of southern Japan.
Sony commands about 40 percent of the market for complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors, a type of chip that converts light into electronic signals.
The sensors were central to Sony’s recovery from years of losses stemming mainly from price competition in consumer electronics. A slowdown in the global smartphone market prompted Sony to cut sensor production in the October-March half of the last business year, but demand has since picked up.
Ueda said combined monthly production would rise in the second half of this business year from 70,000 wafers at present to 73,000 wafers – full capacity at Sony’s five image sensor plants. The figure excludes outsourced production.
He said brisk demand for Sony’s sensors also reflects the firm’s effort to diversify its client base, noting clients had recently experienced some ups and downs.
Sony’s clients include Apple and Samsung.
Samsung’s first-half mobile profit rose nearly 50 percent on strong sales of its Galaxy S7 phones, but its momentum has stalled due to the recall of its follow-up Galaxy Note 7. Apple meanwhile booked its first-ever iPhone quarterly sales declines, but subsequently enjoyed a stronger-than-expected launch of its iPhone 7.
“Our client portfolio is getting less reliant on specific customers, as we are adding Chinese smartphone makers that are recently thriving,” Ueda said.
He also said sensor shipments from the Kumamoto factory, which was damaged by a series of earthquakes earlier this year, have recovered to pre-disaster levels.
At its Made by Google event, the tech giant unveiled the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. The smartphones are coming to India this month, and the pre-order begins from October 13. However, in the US, Google has already started taking pre-orders. The Pixel and Pixel XL are being sold unlocked on the Google Store, while the only carrier partnered for these smartphones is Verizon. This exclusive partnership has raised eyebrows, and buyers are looking for hidden caveats that could stem as a result of this exclusivity. Now, clarity on the Verizon and Google partnership is surfacing, and the Pixel smartphones sold through Verizon will come with ‘preloaded’ apps, a locked bootloader, and the system updates will be managed by Verizon – not Google.
Verizon will be ‘preloading’ three apps onto the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones – My Verizon, Go90, and Verizon Messages. We are placing the word preloaded between quotes as out-of-the-box, the smartphones will not have these apps on board, instead, they will be installed during the setup ad activation process. These apps are in addition to the Google suite that anyways comes pre-installed on most Android smartphones. This time Google is bundling Allo, Duo, Android Pay, Docs, and Keep apps as well. Thankfully, the Verizon installed bloatware is removable, and can be uninstalled, reports Business Insider. So, even though the smartphone will initially bundle these Verizon Play Store apps, they can be easily manually uninstalled from the smartphones.
Regarding updates, Google has informed 9to5Google that it will take care of all monthly security updates, but the Android system updates will be managed by Verizon for the units they sell. However, all the unlocked units brought from Google, the tech giant itself will handle the system updates and security patches for those phones. “Monthly security updates will come from Google (for all models), and system updates will be managed by Verizon for Verizon models, and Google for unlocked models bought from Google Store,” the Google spokesperson told the publication.
A Verizon spokesperson told Engadget that it won’t delay in system updates, as it looks to give the ‘best experience’ to its customers, but did not divulge in any specific timeframe. Customers that pre-order the Pixel or Pixel XL are getting a Daydream View VR headset for free as well.
In India, only the Pixel smartphones are coming for now. As for the other hardware products launched at the event – Google Home, Daydream View, Google Wi-Fi router, and the Chromecast Ultra – there is no clarity on when Google plans to launch them in India.
India’s biggest smartphone launch of the year is upon us – Apple’s release of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. Unlike recent years, where we’ve seen midnight launches, the smartphones are expected to become available to buy via online retailers and Apple authorised resellers in the country from 7pm IST on Friday.
This year’s iPhone models come in three storage variants – 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB. The 32GB iPhone 7 has been priced at Rs. 60,000, while the 128GB iPhone 7 has been priced at Rs. 70,000, and the 256GB iPhone 7 has been priced at Rs. 80,000. The 32GB iPhone 7 Plus has been priced at Rs. 72,000, the 128GB iPhone 7 Plus has been priced at Rs. 82,000, while the 256GB iPhone 7 Plus has been priced at Rs. 92,000.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in Gold, Jet Black, Matte Black, Rose Gold, and Silver colour variants in India. Apart from the new colours and new storage capacities, there are several major differences between the last generation and the current generation iPhone models. The biggest of these are the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack (Apple is bundling a Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter with each phone however) and IP67 rating for dust, splash, and water resistance. The current generation is lighter and faster than the previous, and comes bundled with Lightning-powered EarPods.
The iPhone 7 sports a 3D Touch-enabled 4.7-inch Retina HD display with a resolution of 750×1334 pixels at a pixel density of 326ppi, and a wide colour gamut. It is powered by the Apple A10 Fusion processor alongside the M10 motion coprocessor. It bears a 12-megapixel rear camera with an f/1.8 aperture, a six-element lens, optical image stabilisation, a Quad-LED True Tone flash, and a sapphire crystal lens cover. The rear camera is capable of 4K video recording at 30fps, and 1080p HD video recording at 60fps. The FaceTime HD camera on the front bears a 7-megapixel resolution and is capable of 1080p HD video recording. It measures 138.3×67.1×7.1mm, and weighs in at 138 grams.
The iPhone 7 Plus on the other hand sports a 3D Touch-enabled 5.5-inch Retina HD display with a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels at a pixel density of 401ppi, and a wide colour gamut as well as a bigger battery than the iPhone 7. It bears a dual rear camera setup – one 12-megapixel wide angle lens camera with an f/1.8 aperture, and one 12-megapixel telephoto lens camera with an f/2.8 aperture. It measures 158.2×77.9×7.3mm, and weighs in at 188 grams, with the rest of the specifications similar to the iPhone 7.
Leading Taiwanese chip designer MediaTek Inc, said on Thursday it will triple its workforce in India within three years to 1,500 from more than 500 as it expands research and software development as well as customer service operations.
The projection compared with MediaTek’s current staff of around 12,000 worldwide, and came as chairman M.K. Tsai said the company will host 50 Indian engineers before the end of the year in Taiwan as part of a collaborative government training program on smartphone design.
“MediaTek is committed to Make in India,” Tsai said at a seminar discussing opportunities between Taiwan and India in the technology sector, referring to the Indian government’s push to attract foreign investment. He estimated MediaTek’s market share in Indian-brand smartphones grew to around 70 percent by 2014 from 35 percent in 2007.
Taiwanese tech firms have identified India as the next major market outside of China that is capable of boosting business in an increasingly saturated smartphone market.
Taiwan’s Foxconn signed a pact last year with India’s Maharashtra state to invest $5 billion over five years in a new electronics manufacturing facility as part of a broad plan to set up 10 to 12 facilities, both manufacturing and data centres, by 2020.
Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer and assembler of Apple Inc’s iPhones.
MediaTek’s latest announcement comes after the firm invested $60 million in late August in India’s One97 Communications, which operates under the trade name PayTM, to aid expansion at the payment services and e-commerce firm.
Tsai said MediaTek’s investment in India totals $350 million to date, after setting up a subsidiary in Noida city in 2004 and expanding its operation with a research and development centre in Bengaluru in 2014.
The first Tango smartphone in the world was made by Lenovo, and was due to launch in September. That didn’t happen, and Lenovo quietly delayed the release “to this fall”. Now, a Google representative has confirmed that the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is coming to markets next month.
For those unaware, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro was unveiled at the Lenovo Tech World event in June this year. The smartphone has been made in collaboration with Google, and is the first smartphone that uses AR and VR to sense and map surroundings. The smartphone will make “AR and VR as pervasive as the GPS”, and will be intelligent enough to understand the size of the room you’re in, and even sense the presence of people in it. Project Tango (now renamed as just ‘Tango’) is expected to transform how we interact with e-commerce, education and gaming.
During the launch, the company claimed that the smartphone would hit the market in September, but that didn’t happen, and Lenovo quietly pushed the release to fall. Now, Clay Bavor, head of VR at Google, has told CNET that the phone will go on sale this November.
Around the same time Google’s two Pixel smartphones will hit the market as well. The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro’s abilities are based on machine vision, with a camera and sensor setup that provides motion tracking, depth perception, and area learning. This can enable augmented reality applications like indoor navigation, search, and gaming. With depth sensing, it can be used for gesture tracking in virtual reality as well.
And for all of this to work, Lenovo has introduced four cameras inside the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. It bears an 8-megapixel front camera, a 16-megapixel rear RGB camera, a depth-sensing infrared camera with an imager and an emitter, as well as a motion tracking camera. The smartphone is huge with a 6.4-inch QHD display, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor paired with a 4GB of RAM.
It is expected to be priced at $499 (roughly Rs. 33,300) on launch. The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro also packs a 4050mAh battery and promises 15 hours of battery life.
A replacement model of the fire-prone Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone began smoking inside a US plane on Wednesday, the family that owns it said, prompting fresh investigations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration.
A problem with the replacement for the Galaxy Note 7 model would create a new, embarrassing and potentially costly chapter to a global scandal which has hurt Samsung’s reputation. It also could add new dangers for consumers.
Indiana passenger Brian Green’s phone began emitting smoke inside a Southwest Airlines Co flight to Baltimore from Louisville, Kentucky, his wife Sarah told Reuters after speaking with her husband. She said that Green had replaced the original phone about two weeks ago after getting a text message from Samsung.
Samsung said in a statement it was working to recover the device and to understand the cause. “Until we are able to retrieve the device, we cannot confirm that this incident involves the new Galaxy Note 7,” the South Korean company said.
The world’s largest smartphone maker announced a global recall of at least 2.5 million of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in 10 markets last month due to faulty batteries causing some phones to catch fire.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is in touch with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Samsung and the phone’s owner to gather facts, Chairman Elliot Kaye said in a statement, reminding consumers that they could get refunds for the troubled model.
The FAA said in a statement that it had confirmed a Samsung phone caused the smoke on the Southwest flight and that it was investigating the incident.
Technology news site The Verge, which earlier reported the incident, quoted Brian Green as saying the phone was a replacement, and it posted a picture taken by him of the packaging. The picture showed an identifying label with a black box, which Samsung has described as the indicator of a replacement phone. A spokeswoman declined to comment on the picture.
Samsung customers in China have reported problems with phones that have the same battery as the global replacement model, but Samsung has said it examined the Chinese phones and found the batteries were not at fault.
Green picked up the new phone at an AT&T Inc store on Sept. 21, the Verge said.
Southwest said the plane was evacuated after a customer reported smoke from a Samsung device. All passengers and crew exited the plane and no injuries were reported, a Southwest Airlines spokesperson said.
Google unveiled its own Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones at its keynote running on the new Android 7.1 Nougat software. While the Pixel smartphones ran on new software, Google kept mum about the update roll out details for other Google-supported devices. However, Google has now confirmed that it plans to release Android 7.1 Nougat to Nexus devices and the Pixel C, and the developer preview will be released soon.
Google told Android Police that the Android 7.1 Nougat developer preview will hit Nexus devices and the Pixel C tablet before the end of this quarter. This means that before 2017 beckons, compatible Nexus phones and the Pixel C tablet should get the developer preview of Android 7.1 Nougat. The list of Nexus devices that will support this update remains hazy at best, but last year’s Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P should at least make the cut.
The publication also got hold of the Android 7.1 Nougat changelog, and there are some Pixel exclusive and non-exclusive features. The Pixel exclusive features include the Pixel Launcher, Google Assistant, Smart Storage, unlimited original quality photo and video backup to Google Photos, electronic image stabilisation 2.0, solid navbar icons, new blue SystemUI theming, wallpaper picker with new wallpapers and sounds, a brand new setup and look of the interface, and a dynamic calendar date icon. It is unsure whether these changes will be supported on the Pixel C tablet or not.
Non-exclusive features include night-light (another name for night mode or a blue-light filter), and other performance improvements. Support for fingerprint gestures, a new Daydream VR mode, circular app icons, and a manual storage manager are also a part of the update.
For now, only the Pixel and Pixel Xl smartphones run on Android 7.1 Nougat update out-of-the box. The smartphones priced starting at Rs. 57,000, and the pre-sale in India begins on October 13.
Lenovo in September announced that its Moto Z lineup and the Moto G4 would receive the latest Android 7.0 Nougat update beginning Q4. The company has now put up a full list of its smartphones that will soon receive the Android 7.0 Nougat update.
The list now includes Moto G4 Plus and Moto G4 Play along with Moto X Pure Edition (3rd Gen), Moto X Style, Moto X Play, Moto X Force, Droid Turbo 2, Droid Maxx 2, Moto Z, Moto Z Droid, Moto Z Force Droid, Moto Z Play, Moto Z Play Droid, and the Nexus 6.
To recap, Android 7.0 Nougat brings tons of new features such as multi-window support which will allow you to run two apps side by side, direct reply to notifications, updated Doze for better battery life, virtual reality support and improved system performance.
Lenovo India on Tuesday launched the Moto Z and Moto Z Play modular smartphones in India, along with the Moto Mods. The Moto Z has been priced at Rs. 39,999, while the Moto Z Play has been priced at Rs. 24,999. Both the smartphones go on sale staring 11:59pm on October 17 via Amazon and Flipkart.
Google has launched its Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, and prices start at Rs. 57,000. The smartphones have Google Assistant inbuilt, a rear camera with 89 DxOMark score, unlimited cloud storage for full resolution photos and videos, and Android 7.1 Nougat running out-of-the-box. Even with the steep price tag, Google is betting big on these smartphones and expects many users to make the switch. With this in mind, Google is bundling a ‘Quick Switch Adapter’ with all Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones for free to help users migrate from iPhones and other Android phones easily.
Switching between Android phones has always be relatively easy since most of your data is backed up on Google accounts, the big pain point is when users move to Android after using an iOS device. In order to make the switch easy for both Android and iPhone, Google has bundled the tiny Quick Switch Adapter. This adapter is bundled with the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. All you have to do is use your old phone’s data cable, connect one end to your old phone, and the USB port on the other side into the adapter that’s attached to your new Pixel phone. Once the two devices are connected, the Pixel smartphone will throw up instructions automatically. Google adds that the Quick Switch Adapter and the transfer process is compatible with both iPhone and iPad devices (running iOS 8 and higher), and most Android devices (running Android 5.0 and higher).
Google warns users to switch off iMessages and FaceTime in Settings before removing the SIM from an iPhone. It also asks users to ensure that the Pixel smartphone is at least 50 percent charged before beginning the transfer. Briefly detailing the instructions users will see on their Pixel phone during the process, Google says the Pixel smartphone will ask you to sign-in into your Google account. If you don’t have one, you will need to register. Once the sign-in process is completed, the Pixel smartphone will ask you what you want to move from the old phone. You can move your contacts, calendar events, photos, videos, music, SMS messages, and even iMessages to the new Pixel smartphone with the Quick Switch Adapter.
The Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are already up for pre-order in US, Germany, Canada, UK, and Australia, and the pre-sale in India will begin on October 13.