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Flagship battle hots up: Honor 8 Pro with impressive specs revealed in India

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Close on the heels of OnePlus 5 launch, Huawei has unveiled its challenger in the flagship battle. Huawei Honor 8 Pro boasts an impressive spec sheet.Though unlike OnePlus 5 Honor 8 Pro is not a completely new device and has been selling in Europe since April.

The smartphone boasts of Dual Camera setup, a massive 4000 mAH battery, 6GB RAM and Quad core processor clocked at 2.4GHz. Colour options include Navy Blue and Midnight Black colour, and the phone will be available in first half July. Price has not been revealed yet but Huawei officials said that price will be in affordable range.

Dual camera setup of Honor 8 Pro consists of two 12-megapixel sensors with f/2.2 aperture, laser auto-focus, LED flash, and 4K video recording. One sensor takes the images in RGB while the other takes them in monochrome. At the front an 8-megapixel sensor is available.honor-8-pro back

Honor 8 Pro runs Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.1 skin on top. It gets a 5.7-inch QHD (with very impressive 1440×2560 pixels resolution) LTPS LCD display. It is powered by Kirin 960 (4 Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.8GHz + 4 Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.4GHz) coupled with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM. It comes with 128GB inbuilt storage which can be expanded further by using the hybrid microSD card slot (up to 256GB).
The connectivity options on the Dual SIM Honor 8 Pro include 4G LTE connectivity, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC. The smartphone houses a 4000mAh battery and comes with a fingerprint sensor at the back.

Honor 8 Pro also gets some Virtual reality apps preinstalled and even the box that the phone comes in will turn into a Google Cardboard viewer for VR experience. Galaxy on Fire 3 and Jaunt VR apps come pre-installed. Company has also partnered with Gameloft and GoPro for in-built apps (including the GoPro Quik app).

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NationalNews

Airtel Launches Digital Care Service In Regional Languages

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Airtel today launched digital self-care, a kind of self initiated customer care service, in 10 different regional languages for its prepaid customers.  This free digital care facility requires customers to simply dial *121# from their mobile and follow an easy to navigate menu on their screens to get all information relating to their prepaid numbers in their preferred language

Using the digital self care facility, the prepaid customers or Airtel, a whooping 93.7% of its total users, can get services and quickly resolve basic queries like balance, validity etc. without having to call customer care or visit a retail store.

The service is available in Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bangla, Oriya and Assamese.

“This is yet another innovation from Airtel for the Indian market and will add to the overall service delivery experience. *121# Digital Care is already popular among our pre-paid customers given its ease of use, convenience and the introduction of regional languages will further lower the barrier to self-care adoption for basic information. The growing penetration of mobile devices with regional language support will accelerate the adoption of this platform,” said Sarang Kanade, Director – Customer Experience, Bharti Airtel.

*121# Digital Care is a quick and easy to use platform for Airtel prepaid customers to get basic information like balance amount/recharge validity/ details of last few transactions etc. In addition, information relating to ongoing offers can be accessed via this platform and customers can also activate/deactivate value added services on their own.

Customers simply need to dial *121# from their mobile phones and access an easy to navigate menu on their mobile screens to get their account related information in a matter of seconds. No need to wait to speak to a customer care executive or visit an Airtel retail store for basic queries.

*121# Digital Care facility is completely free of cost and does not require a data connection. It can be accessed via all smartphones and feature phones with regional language support.

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NationalNews

Vodafone Red Shield Smartphone Insurance Launched In Rajasthan

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Vodafone India introduced Vodafone Red Shield on Thursday. Vodafone India introduced Vodafone Red Shield, on Thursday, that will provide insurance cover for smartphones along with complete device security to the residents of Rajasthan.

The protection cover, up to Rs 5000, will be available for new handsets as well as handsets of six months old.

The Red Shield offer provides theft cover along with basic handset damage cover and anti-virus protection.

The Vodafone Red Plan is available to Vodafone Red postpaid customers with 1699 plans, for free. For customers who opt for Red plans less than 1699, an annual subscription charge of Rs 720 will be debited to the customer’s monthly bill over 12 instalments.

Vodafone customers can avail this service by downloading Vodafone Red Shield App and sending an SMS “DSS” to 199 from their handset.

Smartphones don’t come with damage insurance and this is what the company is willing to offer.
Called ‘Red Shield’ program, it offers a protection cover of up to Rs. 50,000 on newly purchased smartphones as well as those that are up to 6 months old. It is an application available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

This service is available only to Vodafone Red prepaid customers, with a validity of one year right now. The insurance cover for your smartphone is being provided through New India Assurance Co Ltd.

“Smartphones have become a way of life and to ensure hard earned money spent by our customers on acquiring expensive handsets remains insured, we’ve launched this first of its kind mobile security offering that builds in a unique combination of features like theft protection, accidental physical & liquid damage, virus protection and many more security features,” said Arvinder Singh Sachdev, Business Head- Kolkata & Rest of Bengal, Vodafone India.

What All is Covered in Insurance?

Vodafone says that this is the first type of insurance that offers insurance against theft and handset damage. The type of damage being talked about is beyond the basic damage on the smartphones we might see. It also comes with malware protection, call blocking and anti-virus protection alongside these features.

Since it is available to postpaid customers, the charges of this insurance will be credited to customer’s monthly bill. Availing this shield program will set the customers back by Rs. 720 a year, or Rs. 60 a month. The premium for this insurance will be borne by Vodafone itself.

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NationalNews

BSNL Launches Rs 786, Rs 599 Special Combo vouchers On Eid

BSNL

State-owned operator BSNL will be offering special combo vouchers for Rs 786 and Rs 599 for its pre-paid customers, on the occasion of Eid-ul-fitr.

The combo vouchers of Rs 786 will provide voice calls and 3 GB data which will be valid for 90 days. The Rs 599 offer will give users talktime of 786 minutes out of which 507 minutes will be credited to the main account and 279 minutes will go to a dedicated account with 30 days validity. The pack will also give 10 on-net local SMS which will be valid for 30 days. The offer will be effective from June 30.

The denomination of these STVs may marginally differ from circle to circle. The offers are applicable for 90 days and 30 days respectively on pan- India basis.

“These offers are most competitive combo STVs in current market scenario. These are available across the country to greet our valuable & loyal customers,” said R.K.Mittal, Director (CM) BSNL Board.

The telco has also launched top-ups of Rs 60, Rs 210 and Rs 290 for prepaid GSM mobile customers.

The Rs 599 voucher offers talk value of Rs 786 (Rs 507 in main account + Rs 279 in dedicated account with 30 days validity), and 10 on-net local SMS with a validity of 30 days. BSNL’s special combo vouchers will be applicable till June 30.

Additionally, BSNL is offering several other full and extra talk time plans on recharge of Rs 60, Rs 110, Rs 210, and Rs 290. The plans can be availed by prepaid GSM users. “These offers are most competitive combo STVs in current market scenario.These are available across the country to greet our valuable & loyal customers,” R.K.Mittal, Director (CM) BSNL Board said in a press statement.

BSNL recently unveiled a special promotional offer Chaukka-444 that gives users unlimited data at 4GB per day. Users will need to recharge with Rs 444 and validity is 90 days. Vodafone announced the launch of its Ramzan special offer as well. Vodafone is giving 25GB data along with unlimited calling at Rs 786. It is only available for its customers in select circles.

Telecom operators in India have significantly brought down their data prices thanks to the entry of newcomer Reliance Jio. To counter Jio’s affordable offerings, rivals like Vodafone, Idea, and Airtel have rolled out a slew of special offers for their customers across various circles. Reliance Jio has ‘Dhan Dhana Dhan’ plan for its Prime members, which gives 1GB/2GB data per day at Rs 309/Rs 509 a month.

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InternationalNews

Apple Releases New Betas Of iOS 11, macOS 10.13, watchOS 4, tvOS 11

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Sixteen days after making the first releases available, Apple on Wednesday released second versions of its upcoming operating system refresh set to arrive this fall, with developers now able to access iOS 11, macOS 10.13 High Sierra, watchOS 4, tvOS 11 and and Xcode 9.

The second iOS 11 beta, carrying build number 15A5304i, arrives with a host of improvements and bug fixes addressed during the more than week-long interval since the first test version dropped on June 5.

As expected, Apple’s next-generation mobile operating system appears to carry the most changes, with upgrades to Siri, Apple Pay, Photos and a general user interface revamp. Of note, the Cupertino firm has fully activated “Do Not Disturb While Driving,” a feature previewed at Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that could lower the number of automobile crashes due to in-car device use.

In addition, Apple fixed 3D Touch functionality as it applies to data detectors (phone numbers, dates, addresses and other assets), while addressing a number of issues with third-party apps.

With the new beta, Android Migration now works as intended, Bluetooth communication is more reliable and apps over 100MB can be downloaded over cellular. Apple also fixed a bevy of first-party app bugs and a Control Center quirk that in some cases prohibited Bluetooth radio control.

The macOS High Sierra update, dubbed build 17A291j, contains a number of refinements and other improvements like Apple File System integration, migration from H.264 to H.265, and Metal 2. The update resolves an issue that prevented enabling FileVault on APFS volumes, and the company has also incorporated improvements to Messages, OpenCL, FileVault and other apps and services.

Developers evaluating watchOS 4 build 15R5307f gain access to the set of animated “Toy Story” watch faces Apple demoed onstage at WWDC. The update also fixes issues related to haptic feedback, music playback, location-based HomeKit triggers and Siri usability.

Finally, tvOS 11 beta 2 build 15J5310e addresses a host of home screen problems like text clipping and app icons. Issues that cropped with individual apps, like Music, have been resolved, while developers can more easily connect to an Apple TV for QuickTime screen recording.

TestFlight implementation has been streamlined across all platforms.

Registered devices can get the new beta releases through the Software Update feature, while stand-alone images are available through Apple’s Developers portal.

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DevicesIndustry

Will iPhone 8 cause shortage of memory chip? Firms stock up on memory chip!

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Global electronics makers are scrambling to stock up on memory chips to keep production lines running as Apple Inc’s new iPhone 8 launch later this year threatens to worsen a global squeeze on supply.
While heavyweights such as Apple and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd – which is also the world’s top memory chip maker – will not be seriously hit, industry sources and analysts say some electronics makers are paying a premium to lock into longer-term contracts.
Others are placing orders earlier than before to ensure their perilously low inventories do no dry up completely.
“After the supply shortages emerged we brought forward our procurement decisions, to ensure a stable supply,” smartphone and personal computer maker LG Electronics Inc said in a statement, adding it had pushed up quarterly purchase decisions by about a month.
Chip manufacturing technologies are growing increasingly complex, raising investment costs yet providing less output growth as some suppliers struggle to improve yields. This has caused some chip prices to double or triple from a year earlier.
Some analysts say device makers could be forced to cut down on the amount of DRAM chips, which help devices perform multiple tasks at once, or NAND chips that are used for long-term data storage, on new products if the cannot get enough chips.
A chip supplier source told Reuters a handful of clients have moved to 6-month supply agreements, accepting higher prices than the customary quarterly or monthly deals, to make sure they get enough memory chips for their products.
“The problem will be more acute for the NAND market, where the iPhone remains a critical source of demand given the huge sales volumes and recent moves to increase storage capacity on the device,” said the source, who declined to be identified as he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

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Industry

TRAI To Set Framework On Predatory Pricing

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Telecom regulatory authority of India, according to a report in Economic Times, will bring in new norms on pricing in the next 45 days. Ever since Reliance Jio launched its service a war of words has ensued in the telecom industry regarding predatory pricing. With both incumbent and the new comer alleging malpractices on one another.

 

TRAI has been under pressure both to end the fued and also to check downward slide in Government’s revenue from Telecom sector. Now according to a report in Economic Time, TRAI is reviewing Telecommunication Tariff Order 1999.

Telecom watchdog plans announce a set of new rules to oversee tariffs fixed by service providers and ensure transparency in the process. “We will come up with a set of regulatory principles on tariff in about 45 days,” Trai Secretary Sudhir Gupta told The Economic Times.

Move also becomes important as revenue from Data segment has grown many fold in the last few months and is expected to overtake voice revenue in coming months. Telecommunication Tariff Order 1999 is voice focused and there is need to review that in light of new realities of the sector.

The move comes after telecom majors Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea accused new entrant Reliance Jio of predatory pricing.

While Airtel had approached the Competition Commission of India to penalise Mukesh Ambani’s Jio for offering anti-competitive prices to customers. In April, Jio had alleged violation of pricing regulations and misleading customers through false marketing of some of its plans.

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IndustryNews

Apple iPhone Most Popular Brand On Quikr

Quikr

Indian classified advertising platform Quikr has released its report on used mobile phone market in India and it has revealed some interesting trends, including exponential growth of Chinese brands in the country.

According to Quikr report based on consumer’s behavior on its platform between January and June, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Apple and Motorola are the fastest selling brands for used phones in India. Apple is the most desired brand, while Nokia has seen a spike in interest, which could be triggered by the launch of Nokia 3310, Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6

Cupertino-based iPhone maker Apple is the most desired smartphone brand for the Indian consumers, according to e-marketplace Quickr finding.Apple continues to be most desired brand.

“Xiaomi, Motorola, Lenovo and OnePlus are seeing the highest growth on our platform,” the Bengaluru-based firm said.

The company that resell pre-owned electronics including phones, in its study, said that more than 65% of the users sell their phones in less than 2 years and nearly 35% within one year.

Quikr’s finding added that a majority or 77% smartphones sold were 4G-enabled, and said that there was a healthy balance between supply and demand for 4G devices, attributing it to a new entrant Reliance Jio.

19% of all the phones sold on doorstep and 32% of all the phones sold on Quikr were above Rs 10,000 which it said was partially due to Apple-certified inventory.

The report attributed the growth of Chinese brands on its competitive pricing.

More than 65 percent of the users sell their phone in less than two years and around 35 percent within one year as advancement in technology has triggered the consumers to change their habits and look for an upgrade sooner, says the report. People in Tier II and Tier III are most active in used phone market with high-end phones witnessing more demand. A total of 19 percent phones sold on Doorstep and 32 percent sold on Quikr Certified come with a price tag of over Rs 10,000.

Quikr Doorstep ensures only secure transactions between two consumers with timely delivery but
Quikr Certified phones come with replacement guarantee and go through 35 plus points rigorous quality checks, hence more demand on the latter. In what could be boosted by an increase in photo sharing on social media, 87 percent of phones sold have good selfie capabilities and 77 percent phones were 4G enabled.

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InternationalNews

Intel Partners Bosch For Air Pollution Monitoring System

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Global chipmaker Intel has tied up with German auto component major Bosch to develop a cost-effective monitoring system that will efficiently measure and manage optimal air quality, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Intel-based Bosch Air Quality Micro Climate Monitoring System (MCMS), can provide intelligent data and enable real-time analysis of ambient air pollution that communities can leverage for a variety of applications, ranging from adjusting traffic flow in congested areas to providing fitness recommendations based on air quality to other actions.

The compactly built device is designed to withstand rugged weather conditions, and features remote monitoring enabled by both wired and wireless interfaces (Wi-Fi and 3G).

It also includes the ability to provide over-the-air calibration to keep the sensors adjusted and generate high-quality environmental data.

MCMS features cloud-based analytics, data management and visualization software and has a serviceable, user-friendly design that is closely aligned with Environmental Protection Agency standards and features Intel Security to help protect and secure data from all devices.

In industrial and factory environments, it will help track emissions and provide safety checks for workers to meet compliance requirements.

On construction sites, managers will be able to provide early warning signals and improve efficiency while improving work conditions.

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IndustryNews

India To Have 370 Mn VoLTE Users In Next 5 Years

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Five years from now or by 2022, the VoLTE subscriber base will rise to 370 million from current few millions. On a global scale, same is pegged at 4.6 billion by end of 2022, says a just released Ericsson Mobility Report.

“VoLTE represents a great opportunity for telecom operators in India who are looking to route voice calls over 4G LTE networks enabling lower cost per minute for voice calls as well as free up legacy spectrum bands for re-farming” states Nitin Bansal, head of Network Products, Ericsson India.

In India, VoLTE became a household name with the launch of Reliance Jio services. When the Mukesh Ambani-led firm launched its services in September 2016, VoLTE or voice over LTE networks helped the company offer voice calls for free and make the service an instant hit with customers.

“The introduction of VoLTE will unleash a superior experience for users by enabling high quality voice and video calling as well as other rich communication services from their device’s native dialer with no need of additional applications,” he added.

At present, only Reliance Jio offers VoLTE services in India though other operators like Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular are planning to launch the same in near future. This will help the incumbent operators put up a fight against the new comer as the new entrant to India’s 4G space was able to capture most of its customers through its free offers – for data as well as voice calls, thanks to VoLTE.

Ericsson, as a telecom gear company, helps many an operators offer VoLTE services by providing end-to end VoLTE calling offering, including IMS, LTE-RAN, Evolved Packet Core, Mobile Switching, subscriber data management, BSS/OSS and professional services.

The Ericsson Mobility Report, that periodically tells about the industry trends, forecasts about the communications industry, also said that in 2016 GSM remained the dominant technology, accounting for over 70 percent of total mobile subscriptions. LTE and WCDMA/HSPA technologies are together expected to represent 85 percent of all Indian subscriptions by 2022, while 5G subscriptions are forecast to become available only in 2022, representing 0.2 percent of total mobile subscriptions reaching 3 million.

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