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Flipkart is now taking pre-orders for Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, which were unveiled at a special event in San Francisco last week. Price in India for the Google Pixel starts at Rs. 57,000 and Flipkart is promising delivery of these smartphones by October 25.

While only three SKUs of the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL smartphones are up for pre-order on Flipkart right now, a Google spokesperson confirmed to Gadgets 360 that the rest of the SKUs will go up for pre-order later on Thursday. Google unveiled the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones in two storage capacities, and three colours, out of which we were told the Really Blue colour won’t launch in India, leaving us with two colours. So two phones, two storage capacities, and two possible colours would mean a total of eight SKUs, all of which will become available for pre-orders on Thursday.

As launch day offers, Flipkart is offering exchange discount up to Rs. 27,000 on the new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, as well as electronic gift vouchers of 10 percent of the value of the smartphone you buy for the first 1000 Pixel/ Pixel XL smartphone buyers.

To recall, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones sport an aluminium unibody and also feature polished glass combination at the back. Both phones are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, with two cores clocked at 1.6GHz, and two cores clocked at 2.15GHz. The Pixel and Pixel XL will pack 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and sport Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor. The smartphones sport 12.3-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX378 sensor, PDAF, a large f/2.0 aperture and 1.55-micron pixels.

Both sport an 8-megapixel front camera with a Sony IMX179 sensor, an f/2.4 aperture and 1.4-micron pixels. 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 the models will be available with almost identical innards except the screen size and battery size.

Google has specified however that both smartphones have access to unlimited storage for full-resolution photos and videos via Google Photos. The Android 7.1 Nougat-based Pixel smartphones will come with a USB Type-C port and will include the 3.5mm audio jack. The smartphones are also IP53 rated for dust and water resistance.

BlackBerry late last month announced that it won’t make any smartphones and instead focus on its software business. The company said it would completely outsource smartphone design and production marketed under its brand. Now, the BlackBerry DTEK60 Android smartphone, which had leaked on several occasions earlier, has made it to the market via third-party retailers.

The BlackBerry DTEK60 Android smartphone was last month accidentally made public on the company’s own website ahead of any official announcement. The official webpage with BlackBerry DTEK60 smartphone featuring some specifications was soon taken down by the company. The smartphone, said to be a rebranded variant of the TCL 950, has since then briefly made its way back to the company site, and was even spotted passing through the US FCC and the Wi-Fi Alliance. The smartphone is now available for pre-orders via a third-party online retailer, B&H Photo, priced at $499.99 (approximately Rs. 33,500). The online retailer clearly lists the handset as “Coming soon” and the shipping time as “Not available.”

According to the online retailer, the BlackBerry DTEK60 Android smartphone features a 5.5-inch QHD Amoled display with 534ppi pixel density; a Snapdragon 820 processor; 4GB of RAM; 32GB of inbuilt storage; a 21-megapixel rear camera with PDAF and dual-LED flash, and an 8-megapixel front camera. It measures 153.9×75.4x7mm, weighs 165 grams, and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The handset is backed by a 3000mAh battery and supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 for fast charging. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS, GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, and 4G. The online listing was first reported by Crackberry.

To recall, BlackBerry in July this year launched its second Android-based smartphone – DTEK50 – and called it “the world’s most secure Android smartphone.”

[“source-ndtv”]

Apple fans from Sydney to Tokyo, the first to snap the new iPhone 7 off the shelves, cheered as they left stores on Friday brandishing their purchases, flanked by applauding sales staff.

But underneath the usual fanfare, and despite complaints that the larger size of the new phone and the new jet black colour were sold out, crowds were smaller than in past years.

Some 200 people were gathered in Sydney light drizzle for the privilege of being the first worldwide to hold an iPhone 7. Apple will launch in its key Asian market China later on Friday.

“It feels great to be the first in the world to have the iPhone 7. It was 100 percent worth it,” said Marcus Barsoum, a 16-year-old “diehard Apple fan” who spent two nights camped outside the Sydney store.

Weary but elated, Barsoum charged in to the store at 8am to the cheers of Apple staff. He emerged with a matte black iPhone 7 although he had wanted a iPhone 7 Pus in jet black.

Dale Adams, who works at J.P. Morgan in Sydney, arrived only 15 minutes before the store opened and was able to buy a iPhone 7 Plus, having ordered it online more than a week ago.

“I’m certainly not one of the hardcore Apple fans but I think the bigger capacity, better battery, better camera, that’s enough to make the jump,” he said.

Chatter about the launch on Chinese microblog Weibo has been far more muted than when the iPhone 6 debuted in 2014. An index of searches on Baidu, China’s equivalent of Google, shows the new phone lagging both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5.

Sales in China will be the acid test for Apple’s year ahead: the mega success of the iPhone 6 in China drove sales last year, while the slower-burn iPhone 6s contributed to Apple’s first global revenue drop in over a decade earlier this year.

Stores open in China later on Friday, a holiday.

New Delhi: Life insurance companies’ business from new premium rose by 59 per cent to Rs. 14,285.20 crore in August this year.

The 24 life insurers had clocked in Rs. 8,982.59 crore as new business premium during the same month a year ago.

Of the total business generated from new premium in August, LIC – Country’s largest and the only state-owned life insurer – garnered Rs. 10,713.55 crore, 92 per cent higher than year ago’s Rs. 5,587.67 crore.

The data were released by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai).

The rest of the new business premium of Rs. 3,571.65 crore was generated by 23 private insurers, up 5.2 per cent from August 2015.

Among the private life insurance companies, SBI Life registered a growth of 54.6 per cent in new premium at Rs. 822.28 crore in August 2016 and ICICI Prudential Life’s business grew 13.7 per cent at Rs. 732.81 crore.

New collection of Max Life rose 23.9 per cent to Rs. 253.05 crore and Bajaj Allianz witnessed a rise of 24.4 per cent at Rs. 187.85 crore, showed the Irdai data.

Future Generali Life’s new business premium increased by 52.4 per cent to Rs. 21.62 crore while that of DHFL Pramerica Life were higher by 24.9 per cent at Rs. 68.11 crore.

However, HDFC Standard Life registered a fall of 1.67 per cent in new business during the month at Rs. 546.34 crore and Reliance Nippon Life’s business slumped 83 per cent at Rs. 58.43 crore.

Others registering fall in new collection included Birla Sun Life at Rs. 122.05 crore (from Rs. 181.44 crore); Star Union Dai-Ichi Lifeat Rs. 35.61 crore (from Rs. 49.19 crore) and Aegon Life Rs. 4.54 crore (against Rs. 12.76 crore).

The cumulative new business during April-August of all the 24 life insurers rose 29.6 per cent at Rs. 59,468.75 crore.

LIC’s business till August rose 35.8 per cent to Rs. 44,045.69 crore and the private life insurers clocked a cumulative new business premium of Rs. 15,423 crore, up 14.8 per cent from year ago.

[“source-ndtv”]

India has attracted investment from 37 mobile manufacturing companies in last one year that have generated 40,000 direct jobs and 1.25 lakh indirect employment, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.

“We decided to make India a big hub of electronics manufacturing. In the last one year, 37 new mobile manufacturing units have come,” Prasad said after inaugurating government-funded ‘Electropreneur Park’.

He said that 11 crore mobile phones have been made in the country in last one year compared to 6 crore earlier. “We have given jobs to forty-thousand people and 1.25 lakh indirect jobs,” Prasad said.

Chinese companies like Gionee and Xiaomi are making their handsets at Foxconn plant in Andhra Pradesh. Domestic companies such as Karbonn, Lava, Micromax, Intex, Jivi, iTel, and MTech too have set up their manufacturing plants in the country.

As per industry sources, Chinese company LeEco will start mobile manufacturing unit on Tuesday. Prasad said that besides manufacturing electronics product in India, product designing is also important.He said that government has provided Rs. 10,000 crore under Electronics Development Fund to support new entrepreneurs in the field of electronics. The Electropreneur Park (EP), which was innaugurated today in South Campus of Delhi University, is an incubation centre set up with government funds of around Rs. 21 crore to support incubation of up to 50 companies.

Set-up in collaboration with academia and industry represented by Indian Electronics and Semiconductor Association, the Park will focus on creation of intellectual property rights and product development to increase domestic manufacturing of electronics items.

“India imports electronic goods of over Rs. 3 lakh crore. By 2020 government aims to bring down import to zero. The Electropreneur Park started today is a step in that direction,” Minister of State for IT and Law P P Choudhary said.

Ministry of Electronics and IT has selected six start-up firms that will develop products at this incubation centre. “6 out of 176 start-ups have been selected which means they have capability of developing good quality products and selection of six more are in pipeline,” MEITY Additional Secretary Ajay Kumar said.

Handset maker Gionee will set up a manufacturing unit in northern India, pumping in about Rs. 500 crore, to tap into the demand in India as well as to serve markets like Africa and South East Asia.

The Chinese company, which assembles its smartphones in India through third-party players like Foxconn and Dixon, expects the plant to be operational in about 2 years.

“We are in process of getting land in northern India. The 50-acre unit have an annual capacity of 30 million units. It should be operational in about two years,” Gionee India MD and CEO Arvind Vohra told PTI. He declined however to share details about the location of the plant. “It will be an end-to-end manufacturing unit. It will help us cater to demand in India as well as nearby markets and African region… We will invest about Rs. 500 crore on the plant,” Vohra said.

About 60 percent of Gionee India’s devices sold in the country are manufactured locally at facilities run by Foxconn (Tamil Nadu) and Dixon (Noida).

According to research firm IDC, smartphone shipments in India grew 17.1 percent sequentially to 27.5 million units in April-June quarter, with Chinese vendors like Lenovo, Xioami, Gionee and Vivo driving the growth.

The shipments have revived after two successive quarters of decline. Samsung led with 25.1 percent market share followed by Micromax (12.9 percent), Lenovo (7.7 percent), Intex (7.1 percent) and Reliance Jio (6.8 percent).

Vohra said Gionee India has crossed half million units sales per month and by year-end, he expects the number to go up to one million. Vohra aid the company has witnessed 100 percent growth last year and expects a “robust growth” this year too.

To cash in on the festive season demand, Gionee India will spend around Rs. 400 crore on marketing and branding activities over the next few months. It also plans to launch four new smartphones, priced between Rs. 9,999 and Rs. 24,999, by mid-October as part of its efforts to expand its market share in India to 7-10 percent by next March from the current five percent.

“We had earmarked a budget of Rs. 600 crore this year and we have utilised one-third of it till now. About Rs. 200 crore will be pumped in the festive season and the remaining amount will be used in the latter part of the fiscal towards various marketing and branding efforts,” Vohra said. Gionee India has signed up Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt as its brand ambassador and is in discussions for signing up another celebrity but that is yet to be finalised, he said.

The company today launched its S6s, priced at Rs. 17,999. The 5.5-inch handset features 1.3GHz octacore processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal memory (expandable up to 128GB), 13-megapixel rear and 8-megapixel front camera and 3,150mAh battery.

[“source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Life insurance companies had collected Rs 13,319.97 crore in new business premiums in July 2015. New Delhi: New business premiums of life insurance companies saw a four per cent rise to Rs 13,854.44 crore in July 2016 as against Rs 13,319.97 crore premium collected in the corresponding period last year.

State-run Life Insurance Corporation’s (LIC) new business premium was the highest at Rs 10,737.92 crore, up 3 per cent from Rs 10,421 crore in July 2015, data collected by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority showed.

Sector regulator IRDAI’s data comprises a total of 24 firms including LIC – the country’s largest life insurance company.

New business generated by the remaining 23 companies rose 7.5 per cent year-on-year to Rs 3,116.52 crore in July this year, against Rs 2,898.97 crore a year ago, the data showed.

Among private players, SBI Life registered the highest premium from new business at Rs 676.54 crore, a jump of 36 per cent from Rs 497.08 crore last year.

HDFC Standard Life new business was up 17 per cent at Rs 521.43 crore as against Rs 445.54 crore a year ago, ICICI Prudential Life’s new business was up 16.5 per cent at Rs 565.59 crore from Rs 485.50 crore last year.

Further, new business premiums of Max Life stood at Rs 217.39 crore from Rs 185.78 crore last year and Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life reported (new business premiums of) of Rs 157.25 crore as against Rs 128.34 crore July 2015.

During April-July period of current fiscal year, new business premium by all the 24 life insurers rose by 22.7 per cent at Rs 45,247 crore as against Rs 36,888.11 crore in the corresponding period of the preceding fiscal year, the data added.

 
[“source-ndtv”]

Mobile phones could become dearer by 7-8 percent after the GST comes into effect, Chinese handset maker Coolpad said on Wednesday.

“Depending on the rate of GST, prices could go up 7-8 percent,” Coolpad India CEO Syed Tajuddin told PTI.

While the GST rates are yet to be announced, handset makers are concerned that the regime may result in concessions currently offered by different states coming to an end.

However, Tajuddin said GST will result in a “big jump” in online sales of mobile phones that have slowed down in the last 2-3 months on account of additional taxes levied by certain states.

The company has reduced its sales target for the year from 4 million to about 2.5-3 million units.

“In the last 2-3 months, online sales of mobile phones have slowed down a bit on account of additional taxes by certain states. We now expect to see sales to be about 2.5-3 million units this year (by March),” he said.

Coolpad also plans to launch three new devices, priced under Rs. 15,000, in the coming months to push sales in India, which is among the fastest growing smartphone markets globally.

The company on Wednesday launched a new handset, Coolpad Mega 2.5D, priced at Rs 6,999 in partnership with Amazon.in.

Coolpad, which competes with the likes of Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo in India, is also working on expanding its offline presence to boost sales.

“We are working on a pilot with Amazon.in for offline sales where they supply to the retailers. Both Coolpad and Amazon.in have invested in the pilot and once we have the

results around September, we will decide on the future course,” Tajuddin said. The pilot was started last month, he added.

Asked about its peer LeEco becoming the largest shareholder in Coolpad, Tajuddin said there has not been any impact on the Indian operations yet.

Earlier this week, LeEco said its founder, Chairman and CEO Jia Yueting has become the chairman of Coolpad. LeEco and Coolpad will adopt a dual-brand strategy, where the two brands co-exist and target different market segments, it had said.

LeEco is aggressively expanding its retail presence in India as well as R&D operations to cash in on the market here.

[“source-gadgets.ndtv”]

If you are the uber rich with a penchant for everything luxurious, it is likely you are into a sport called Golf and usually, drive up in your chauffeur driven Mercedes-Benz to your preferred club. Now, the German car maker understands all of this and does not want to leave your Mercedes experience in the parking lot. As a result, Mercedes-Benz has partnered with Golf cart maker Garia to jointly develop the ‘Garia Golf Car’. A funkier, futurist, Smart-For-Two-ish looking version of the standard Golf car, the automaker suggests that the Garia Golf car will define a “new class of transport for the golf course.”

Mercedes Garia Golf Cart

In terms of styling, the Garia Golf car looks stellar and certainly something that could also make it to expansive private lawns. The front grille design has been inspired by a golf ball and is flanked by LED headlamps, along with a curved windshield, carbon-fibre roof and five-spoke alloy wheels. You also get a carbon fibre diffuser, rear spoiler and the most needed of all – an angled golf bag holder, for easy access to your choice of clubs.

Mercedes Garia Golf Cart Rear

On the inside, Mercedes has replicated its experience in luxury to perfection with the best of materials at play. A lounge styled chair makes it instead of conventional seats upholstered in premium leather and also holds a refrigerator underneath. Cool and convenient, eh? There is also an abundance of expensive materials all around the open cabin including leather, wood and carbon fibre. There is also a 10.1-inch infotainment system, which shows a host of information like vehicle statistics, in addition to the course layout and the current score. Users can also check the weather using the infotainment system and also order refreshments. Other tech features comprise of Bluetooth connectivity and hi-fi speakers with the ability to stream music from your smartphone.

Mercedes Garia Golf Cart Dashboard

Propulsion on the Mercedes golf cart comes from an electric motor that produces up to 14hp and is powered by a lithium-ion battery that allows for a top speed of 30 km/h and a range of 80 km. Unfortunately, the golf car is in a conceptual stage, and Mercedes along with Garia have no immediate plans of introducing the production model. Nevertheless, the company did state that it could put the model to mass production, should there be sufficient demand.

Mercedes Garia Golf Cart Design

[“source-ndtv”]

Hyderabad: Buoyed by strong stock markets, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has said the Employees Provident Fund Organisation may invest up to 12 per cent of its investable amount in equities over a period of time.

According to the minister, as of June 30, retirement fund body EPFO invested Rs 7,468 crore in two index-linked ETFs (exchange-traded funds) – one to the BSE’s Sensex and the other to NSE’s Nifty – and as of now the market value of the investment stood at Rs 8,024 crore with 7.45 per cent yield.

“There will be a CBT meeting before July 22. We may take a decision on the quantum of investments to be made in ETF. We are in discussions with Bombay and National Stock Exchanges also. The investment will certainly increase (over last year).”

“The Finance Ministry gave us clearance to invest from 5 to 15 per cent. It is a long term investment. It may up to 10 to 12 per cent also depending up on the market conditions. We expect the markets would be stabilised in the long run. Markets also need money,” Mr Dattatreya told PTI.

The Finance Ministry has given its consent to EPFO to invest from 5 per cent to 15 per cent of the investable income of the organisation every year.

Investable income is the net income of the organisation from the investments it had already made in various forms and fresh contributions, among others.

This year, the investable income would be Rs 1.35 lakh crore, said an official.

The minister had earlier indicated that the investment would be over 5 per cent this year.

Replying to a query, he said the ministry is all set to restructure its flagship unit EPFO keeping in view the growing number of subscribers and services it should offer.

“We are creating 21 zones in place of the existing 10 zones. Factors such as extension of EPFO service in the coming days and reducing the employee strength (for firms) from the existing 20 to 10 for EPFO (contribution) eligibility, bringing the rural, semi-urban, unorganised, contract workers into the fold of EPFO social security may result in increase of PF subscribers from existing 6 crores to about 9 crores in the country, prompted reorganisation of the EPFO,” the minister said.

He further said that an amendment to the EPF Act in Parliament is proposed and the Cabinet approval is in the process.