Apple App Store turns 10 with 500 mn weekly visitors in 155 countries

Subscriptions are up 95 per cent from 2017, and as of June 2018, developers have earned over $100 billion from the App Store

Customers in 155 countries are visiting Apple App Store more often, staying longer and downloading and using more apps than ever before, the Cupertino-based iPhone giant has said.

App Store, that will turn 10 on July 10, now sees 500 million weekly visitors and hundreds of stories on the “Today” tab that have been read by more than 1 million people.

“When Apple introduced the App Store on July 10, 2008, with 500 apps, it ignited a cultural, social and economic phenomenon that changed how people work, play, meet, travel and so much more,” Apple said in a statement on Friday.

With the introduction of in-app purchase (IAP) in 2009, customers could download an app and then pay to unlock different levels and functionality.

By June 2010, $1 billion were paid out to developers from IAP and paid apps.

Subscriptions are up 95 per cent from 2017, and as of June 2018, developers have earned over $100 billion from the App Store, the company informed.

“In its first decade, the App Store has surpassed all of our wildest expectations. We could not be more proud of what developers have created and what the next 10 years have in store,” said Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Apple.

According to Marco Arment, a long-time iOS developer, App Store has been by far the easiest way for developers to reach the most people with his apps.

“It eliminated the friction and overhead of setting up our own distribution and payment systems, making development far more accessible to everyone and letting us focus on our true passion: making the best apps we can,” he said.

Later, start-ups including Instagram, Calm, Uber and Instacart embraced features like the iPhone camera, Apple Pay, GPS and Location Services to deliver on-demand and personalised experiences — with many creating billion-dollar businesses that started with apps in the App Store.

“At the same time, both traditional companies and those that started as websites, such as Twitter, Facebook, eBay, Yelp, Airbnb and Amazon, began building apps to meet changing customer behaviour,” Apple said.

The App Store brought gaming mainstream owing to the Multi-Touch technology on iPhone and iPad and the convenience of playing on the go.

Article Source : BS


Is Asus Zenfone 5z better than OnePlus 6, Honor 10, Vivo X21? Click to vote

The Zenfone 5Z is priced at Rs 29,999, Rs 32,999 and Rs 36,999 for 6GB/64GB, 6GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB variants, respectively. It will be available in midnight blue and meteor silver colours

Asus, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, on July 4 launched the Asus Zenfone 5z in India. The phone is priced at Rs 29,999, Rs 32,999 and Rs 36,999 for 6GB/64GB, 6GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB variants, respectively. The phone will be available in two colours — midnight blue and meteor silver – and will go on sale starting from July 9, exclusively on Flipkart.

First unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in February, the Asuz Zenfone 5z is a flagship smartphone with top-of-the-line innards, notch-based screen, dual rear cameras and system-wide artificial intelligence capabilities. Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip (SoC), the Zenfone 5z boasts 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio, thanks to its 6.2-inch fullHD+ screen that covers almost the entire front. The 19:9 aspect ratio leaves just a small notch on top to accommodate an 8-megapixel camera, earpiece and sensors.

On the back, the smartphone sports a dual-camera set-up, which features a 12MP primary shooter and a wide angle 8MP shooters. The primary 12MP sensor boasts f/1.8 aperture and the 8MP sensor features 120-degree wide-angle lens. Both the front and rear cameras are backed by AI for automatic scene selection and portrait photography, and machine learning to improve the output by learning usage patterns.

In a quick hands-on experience, the phone seemed to be on par with other smartphones in same segment, which includes the OnePlus 6, Honor 10 and Vivo X21. But, is Zenfone 5z the smartphone that can take on these smartphone and set a new benchmark for midrange flagships? Take the poll and let us know:

Reliance Jio postpaid users can get JioFi 4G router for Rs 499: Here is how

The JioFi cashback offer is valid only for new Jio postpaid subscribers on the purchase of JioFi 4G router. The cashback offer is applicable from today onwards i.e. July 3

Reliance Jio , a Mukesh Ambani-owned telecommunication service provider, on July 2 announced Rs 500 cashback offer on its JioFi 4G wireless portable dongle, which brings down the effective cost of ownership from Rs 999 to Rs 499. However, the JioFi cashback offer is valid only for new Jio postpaid subscribers on the purchase of JioFi 4G router. The cashback offer is applicable from today onwards i.e. July 3.

Here are the steps to avail JioFi cashback offer:

Step 1: Purchase JioFi 4G router and Jio postpaid connection by paying the device’s full amount and refundable deposit for the connection

Step 2: Use the device with Jio postpaid connection for 12 months

Step 3: After successful completion of 12 months billing cycles, the cashback of Rs 500 would be credited to user’s account that can then be adjusted in future bills

Currently, Jio only has Rs 199 postpaid plan in which the company offers 25GB of 4G data, along with free voice calls, SMS, national roaming and free access to Jio app suite, which includes Jio music, Jio movies, JioTV, Jio newspaper, etc.

ALSO READ: Reliance Jio double dhamaka offer: Know new plans, data offers, discounts

The Rs 199 postpaid plan also offers international roaming in select countries at Rs 2 per minute for voice, Rs 2 per megabyte (MB) for data and Rs 2 per SMS. It also comes with an add-on roaming pack of Rs 500 a day for unlimited voice, data and SMS.

Xiaomi prices Hong Kong IPO at bottom of range, raises $4.72 bn: Report

Xiaomi had been expected to raise up to $10 billion, split between Hong Kong and mainland China, but last week shelved the mainland offering until after listing in Hong Kong

China’s Xiaomi Corp priced its Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) at the bottom of an indicative range, raising $4.72 billion in the world’s biggest tech float in four years, people close to the transaction said on Friday.

Xiaomi priced its share offering at HK$17 per share ($2.17), the bottom of a price range of HK$17 to HK$22, the people said. It is selling about 2.18 billion shares, one of the people said, making the IPO the largest in the technology sector since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd raised $25 billion in New York in 2014.

Xiaomi declined to comment on the IPO pricing. The people declined to be identified as the information was not public.

The pricing comes at a delicate time for Hong Kong’s stock market, with the benchmark Hang Seng index falling 6.5 per cent this month and 4.8 per cent this year amid escalating trade tension between the US and Chinese governments.

The share sale is widely seen as a test of market sentiment for what is expected to be a packed second-half of the year in terms of IPOs in Hong Kong including offerings by China Tower, the world’s largest mobile mast operator, and Meituan Dianping, a massive online food delivery-to-ticketing services platform.

ALSO READ: Alibaba’s Jack Ma among three billionaires to grab a slice of Xiaomi’s IPO

Several Chinese IPO candidates preparing to float in Hong Kong and New York could be met with cautious investors if tension persists between the world’s two biggest economies, potentially dragging on capital raising amounts after a stellar first half.

China Tower has won approval in Hong Kong for an IPO that could raise up to $10 billion. Its listing timing will, however, depend somewhat on how well Xiaomi’s deal is received, sources have told Reuters.

Xiaomi’s IPO adds to the $6 billion of new listings so far in 2018 in Hong Kong and is set to be the first under the city’s new exchange rules permitting dual-class shares common in the tech industry in an attempt to attract tech floats.

The firm lined up $548 million from seven cornerstone investors for its share sale including US chipmaker Qualcomm Inc and telecom service provider China Mobile Ltd.

Set up in 2010, Xiaomi doubled its smartphone shipments in 2017 to become the world’s fourth-largest maker, according to Counterpoint Research, defying a global slowdown in handset sales. It also makes dozens of internet-connected home appliances and gadgets, including scooters, air purifiers and rice cookers.

RBI to defer putting lending, expansion curbs on PNB till Q1 results

Andhra Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, and Canara Bank, too, are likely to make a similar presentation before the regulator


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may defer putting lending and expansion restrictions on Rs 143 billion fraud-hit Punjab National Bank (PNB) till the first-quarter results of 2018-19 are out.

The regulator has conveyed to the management of the bank in a recent meeting that it will examine, after looking at the June quarter results, whether PNB’s financial conditions warrant putting it under the prompt corrective action (PCA) framework.

“The regulator will take a call after the June-ended quarter results (are declared). The regulator has told PNB to improve recovery, shed risk-weighted assets, and focus on reducing expenditure till then,” an official said.

PNB, led by its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Sunil Mehta, made a presentation on its revival plan to the RBI last Monday, requesting the regulator to defer action under PCA till December, according to sources.

Most public sector banks (PSBs) declare their financial results for the April-June period between the end of July and beginning of August. So PNB may not face any business restrictions till at least August if the regulator has its way.

“Looking at the PCA framework, PNB, like a few other banks, fulfils a couple of important parameters to be added to the list. But PCA will not affect business operations as such. In the present situation, no bank is looking at aggressive credit growth, looking at branch expansion or aggressive hiring, and these are a few things that the banks have to go slow on under PCA,” said Karthik Srinivasan, senior vice-president—group head, financial sector ratings, Icra, adding, “it does not change life for any bank unless the RBI puts a specific lending restriction.” According to a recent report by Credit Suisse, with net non-performing assets (NPAs) over 8 per cent and common equity tier levels down to less than 6 per cent, PNB and Andhra Bank are likely candidates for PCA. Under RBI rules, fulfilling any of the three conditions — net NPA levels above 6 per cent, two years of consecutive losses, or the capital adequacy ratio below the regulatory requirement — could put banks under PCA. PNB suffered the highest ever loss by any domestic bank, at Rs 134 billion, mainly due to the Rs 143-billion swindle on account of fraudulent loans to jewellery firms belonging to Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and the RBI’s new provisioning norms. Last week, on the directives of the finance ministry, apart from PNB, Union Bank also met the regulator, urging a deferment of PCA by citing a revival plan.

Fortis shortlists Munjal-Burman, TPG-Manipal, IHH, Radiant for stake sale

Fortis said it has received interest from various parties on May 31, as per the timeline specified in the fresh process for bidding

Fortis Healthcare on Friday said it has shortlisted four entities — the Munjal-Burman combine, Manipal-TPG consortium, Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Berhand and Radiant Life Care to bid for the sale of its business.

In a regulatory filing, Fortis said it has received interest from various parties on May 31, as per the timeline specified in the fresh process for bidding.

It said the company’s board has decided to include the following four parties — Hero Enterprise Investment Office and Burman Family Office (Dabur), IHH Healthcare Berhand, Radiant Life Care, Manipal-TPG consortium in the bidding process.

Earlier this week, Fortis Healthcare initiated a fresh time-bound bidding process for its sale after terminating the offer made by the Munjal-Burman combine.

As part of the process, the Fortis board decided to invite three entities that had put in binding offers — Munjal-Burman combine, TPG-Manipal consortium, and Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Berhad — to participate in the fresh bidding process subject to certain conditions.

The three entities were given time till today to confirm adherence to the new bidding process while other interested parties were also required to submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) by May 31.

As per the fresh criteria, the buyers have to make a minimum investment of Rs 1,500 crore into Fortis Healthcare by way of preferential allotment apart from having a plan for funding the acquisition of RHT Health Trust (RHT) and a plan for providing exit to private equity investors of diagnostic arm SRL.

Among others, the bids should be unconditional as well as mention about the source of funds for the transaction and elaborate on the plans for retention of current management and employees.

Last week, Fortis board was reconstituted after shareholders had voted out its director Brian Tempest, who was among the four directors whose removal was sought by two institutional investors.

Three other directors — Harpal Singh, Sabina Vaisoha and Tejinder Singh Shergill — had resigned ahead of an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on May 22. During the meeting, shareholders voted out Tempest.

Interestingly, these four directors were among those who had favoured the binding offer made by Munjal-Burman combine.

Following the board revamp, Suvalaxmi Chakraborty, Ravi Rajagopal and Indrajit Banerjee have joined as independent directors.

RCom, Ericsson agree on settlement; green signal for Reliance Jio deal

The NCLAT asked the Anil Ambani-controlled firm to pay Ericsson Rs 5.5 billion by the end of September

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) stayed the May 15 order of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Mumbai, which had admitted Reliance Communications (RCom) and two of its subsidiaries for insolvency proceedings.

The NCLAT asked the Anil Ambani-controlled firm to pay Ericsson Rs 5.5 billion by the end of September.

With the stay on bankruptcy proceedings, RCom can now continue with its asset monetisation scheme involving the sale of towers, optic fibre cable network, spectrum and media convergence nodes to brother Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance JioInfocomm (Jio) for Rs 170 billion.

On Tuesday, NCLAT chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhaya asked the parties to settle the matter stating that the fate of operational creditors under the corporate resolution process was not ideal, especially if Ericsson wished to recover the majority of its dues.

NCLAT also asked RCom and Ericsson to file an affidavit by June 7 stating that the two companies will abide by the settlement.

Ericsson India, a subsidiary of the Swedish telecom equipment maker and service provider, had filed a case at NCLT, Mumbai last September seeking the liquidation of Reliance Communications (RCom), and its subsidiaries Reliance Infratel and Reliance Telecom, in order to recover Rs 11.5 billion.

The three companies were subsequently admitted under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), and NCLT appointed a resolution professional (RP) to take over the management of each company. Ericsson had argued that it had entered into a seven-year agreement in 2014 with RCom and its subsidiaries for maintaining, upgrading and developing the latter’s telecommunications infrastructure, which was not honoured.

RCom and its subsidiaries owed Ericsson around Rs 9.78 billion for their services which, Ericsson’s counsel told the NCLT, had increased to around Rs 16 billion given that there were delays in the payment, despite several notices being issued to the Anil Ambani controlled companies.

RCom filed its appeal with the NCLAT, and was awarded with a stay on the order admitting the three firms under the IBC.

RCom and its subsidiaries now have the permission to go ahead with the debt restructuring plan that was prepared in December 2017. There were fears of the three Reliance group companies undergoing insolvency proceedings, which would have meant that the asset monetisation scheme under the plan would not be allowed.