Tim Cook explains why India could be the next China for Apple

Apple’s game plan is to turn India into the next China, not only in terms of sales but also manufacturing and exports

As sales of Apple’s flagship iPhone slow globally, the company’s bullishness that India will emerge as a major driver of volumes is causing an acceleration in its investments here.

In the last quarter alone, Apple’s iOS app accelerator, as well as its manufacturing unit run by contract manufacturer Wistron in Bengaluru, went online. These investments are in addition to the company’s overall investment in growing its sales channel and marketing more to consumers in India.

“We began to produce the iPhone SE there during the quzjbzarter, and we’re really happy with how that’s going. And so we’re bringing all of our energies to bear there. I see a lot of similarities to where China was several years ago,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, in a call with investors on Tuesday.

Apple’s game plan is to turn India into the next China, not only in terms of sales but also manufacturing and exports. The company has been engaged with the Indian government to receive sops for setting up full fledged manufacturing and not just iPhone assembly for over a year now.

The going is a bit slow due to India’s unwillingness to grant subsidies specific to Apple and the former is looking at a policy that can attract all smartphone makers to manufacture

their devices here.

Company News : While sales of the iPhone have been growing at a blistering pace in India, analysts said the growth Apple is seeing is nothing out of the ordinary. With a base of just 2-3 per cent of India’s overall smartphone market, Apple still has a long way to go, especially in convincing Indians to buy its latest iPhone each year.

However, everyone seems to agree with Cook’s reading that the India market will provide a significant opportunity for Apple to sell millions of its high-end devices.

Apple has for long maintained that as network infrastructure in India gets better, more customers will begin to see the benefits of owning an iPhone. This combined with a young population that is aspirational by nature is what could turn India into Apple’s next China.

Paytm GST clearance sale offers discount up to 80%, here are the best deals

You could win an Apple iPhone 7 on minimum purchase worth Rs 1,000 as well; sale ends on Thursday

Companies News :Paytm is running a pre-GST clearance sale on its e-commerce platform Paytm Mall. The three-day sale — June 13 to June 15 – offers discounts, cashbacks and a chance to win Apple iPhone 7 in a bid to clear the stock before the final roll-out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the country on July 1.

Under the Paytm Mall pre-GST clearance sale, the e-commerce portal is offering up to 80 per cent off on products including TVs, laptops, phones, cameras, air-conditioners and refrigerators. The clearance sale also offers a cashback of up to Rs 20,000 on DSLRs, televisions, laptops and air conditioners.

Apart from all the discounts and cashbacks, the e-commerce portal is offering a chance to win Apple iPhone 7 on a minimum purchase amount of Rs 1,000.

Here are some of the best deals that the Paytm Mall is offering under pre-GST clearance sale:

Apple iPhone 7

maximum retail price of Rs 60,000, is currently going on sale at a discount of 24 per cent for Rs 45,366. Also, the e-commerce portal is offering a cashback of Rs 5,750 that brings down the overall selling price of the smartphone to Rs 39,616. At this price, the iPhone 7 is a great deal.

Also Read : Apple iPhone 7 Plus, Apple MacBook Air 13, HP OMEN Gaming Laptop, Canon EOS 1300D DSLR camera, Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Kit (EF 24 – 105 IS II USM)

Apple helped UK investigate terrorist attacks, says Tim Cook

‘We have been cooperating with UK govt on some attacks besides law enforcement matters’, he added

Company News : Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the company has helped UK officials investigate terror attacks, while reiterating his dismay over US plans to quit the Paris agreement on climate change.

“We have been cooperating with the UK government not only in law enforcement kind of matters but on some of the attacks,” Cook said during a Bloomberg Television interview on Monday. “I cannot speak on detail on that. But in cases when we have information and they have gone through the lawful process we don’t just give it but we do it very promptly.”

A third attack in the UK in less than three months has put more pressure on technology companies to prevent their products and services from being used by violent extremists. Tim Cook didn’t specify which attacks led to the company’s cooperation. Apple’s high privacy standards and tough encryption have been criticised by law enforcement officials and the company clashed last year in court with the FBI over the issue.

Cook said on Monday that Apple’s encryption is misunderstood. “It doesn’t mean no information. Metadata exists and that’s very important for building a profile,” he added. “The reality is that cyberattacks on people and governments, these affect your safety and security.” Cook also said he didn’t join any of US President Donald Trump’s business advisory councils because he thinks those groups aren’t “terribly productive.” “It wasn’t about not wanting to advise on something that we thought should be heard,” he added. Cook said he will continue to advise the president on matters that are important to him and the US, such as the Paris climate accord. Trump decided last week to pull the US out of the pact.

“He didn’t decide what I wanted him to decide,” Cook said of the president. “He decided wrong. It’s not in the best interest of the United States what he decided.” Cook spoke after Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California, where the company unveiled a new internet-connected speaker called HomePod and updated its Siri digital assistant to wed users more tightly to its growing slate of products and services. (more)

Vivo V5s: At Rs 18,990, it’s a wallet-friendly smartphone for great selfies

The phone has neat looks and the Apple design influences are apparent

Vivo is one Chinese brand that has created a niche in the Indian smartphone market for its top-of-the-line camera and music experience.

With the smartphone penetration maturing and demand for high-end devices retailing at competitive prices continuing to grow in the country, Vivo, with its strong offline presence, has been investing substantially in the domestic market.

The company has differentiated itself by introducing the “Moonlight Glow” feature in its Vivo V5 and V5 Plus devices, raising the bar for closest Chinese rivals like Oppo and Gionee when it comes to selfie-focused smartphones.

Taking design cues from Apple, Vivo has now launched Vivo V5s at Rs 18,990.

Here is what works for the device.

The phone has neat looks and the Apple design influences are apparent. One of great features is the fingerprint sensor which is located on the front, below the display, and works just like Apple’s Touch ID on iPhone, unlocking the device in a jiffy.

The device runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but it is a modified version called Funtouch OS.

During the review period, the phone was fast and responsive. Playing games like “Asphalt 8: AirBorne” was smooth and social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat worked without hiccups — even while adding filters.

Read more

Samsung launches Galaxy S8; looks to recover from Note 7 fiasco

Two versions of Galaxy S8 launched; year ahead to be crucial with Apple’s new iPhone coming in

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled its Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone as it battles to regain the market leadership it lost to Apple Inc after the embarrassing withdrawal of the fire-prone Note 7s.

Boasting some of the largest wrap-around screens ever made, the long-awaited S8 is the South Korean technology company’s first new premium phone since its September recall of all Galaxy Note 7 smartphones equipped with fire-prone batteries. Samsung halted their sales in 10 markets, and the phones were banned from aircraft in the United States, denting a revival of the firm’s mobile business.

Two versions of the Galaxy S8, code-named Dream internally, were launched at a media event in New York on Wednesday, with 6.2-inch (15.75 cm) and 5.8-inch curved screens – the largest to date for Samsung’s premium smartphones. They will go on sale on April 21.

“We must be bold enough to step into the unknown and humble enough to learn from our mistakes,” D J Koh, the company’s mobile chief, said at the event after acknowledging that it had been a challenging year for Samsung.

US carriers T-Mobile US Inc and Verizon Communications Inc announced retail pricing for the smaller S8 around $700. The larger phone will sell for $840 at Verizon and $850 at T-Mobile. Read more

Also Read : Hero, Honda offer up to Rs 12,500 discount on BS-III two-wheelers

Apple to start making iPhone 6 and 6S models in India over next two months

Contract manufacturer Wistron will manufacture iPhones at its Bangalore plants

Apple Inc. will soon start assembling iPhones in India for the first time, say government officials familiar with its plans, boosting the company’s chances of gaining a foothold in the fast-growing market.

Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron Corp. will likely start making iPhone 6 and 6S models here in the next four-to-six weeks at its plant in Bangalore, said an official of the southern state of Karnataka where the tech hub is located. It will add Apple’s cheapest iPhone model, the SE, to its assembly line in about three months, the official said.

“Almost all preparations have been done for launching Apple’s first phase project in Bangalore through Wistron,” the official told The Wall Street Journal.

“We’ve been working hard to develop our operations in India,” an Apple spokeswoman said. “We appreciate the constructive and open dialogue we’ve had with government about further expanding our local operations.” A Wistron spokeswoman said the company doesn’t comment on “rumor or speculation.”

With sales cooling in China, long an engine for Apple’s growth, manufacturing iPhones locally would help Apple address what analysts say is its biggest problem in India: its smartphones are simply too expensive for the vast majority of people.

Smartphone shipments in India grew 18% last year, compared with 3% globally, according to Counterpoint Research, but the majority of phones sold here cost less than $150.

The iPhone SE, which some online retailers now sell for as low as $330, is still out of reach of most Indian consumers. Read more

Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro Review: The phablet returns to India

Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro: The front camera is good at capturing groups and can be activated by voice

I had sleepless nights pondering the matter; my friends’ conflicting views confused me further. Was there no answer in sight? I was hopelessly perplexed. Let me tell you how things came to such a pass.

My tale began with this basic premise: If you’re looking for a phone in the Indian market, there are two options. One, buy a flagship product from storied brands; and two, pick the device which could blow the socks off a flagship, from one of the newer companies (and it helped that the challenger’s phone would cost a lot lesser than the flagship).

But what was I to make of the Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro (Rs 38,900)? At first glance, it seemed like a sleeker successor to Samsung’s Mega phablet range; yet it was packed with 6GB of RAM, six-inch screen and 16-megapixel (MP) front and back cameras — features we’ve come to expect from the upstarts in the mobile market. Yet, the C9 Pro most certainly isn’t an inexpensive phone — the price coming in a shade below Samsung’s flagship models.

Also Read : Advantage Air India as US curbs carriage of laptops, ipads from the Gulf

The matte black review unit, while not exactly a lightweight, looked sleek and I daresay like phones from a certain Taiwanese manufacturer, especially from the back. Gone are Samsung’s signature shiny metal highlights; what one gets instead is the power button on the right, with slots for the dual SIMs and a dedicated slot for the expandable memory card. The volume rocker’s on the left, while the home button-cum- fingerprint scanner rounds off the front face. A headphones port, USB Type-C port and speaker grille are at the bottom edge. The back has the Samsung monogram just below the camera, which juts out a bit. (more)