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Apple Reports 25% Growth in Smartphone Market With 45.1mn iPhone Sales Globally

Image for Representation
(Image: Reuters)

Image for Representation
(Image: Reuters)

Compared to Apple’s growth, Samsung fell 30 percent, Huawei 5 percent, Xiaomi 10 percent, OPPO 16 percent, and others 23 percent in terms of smartphone shipments.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: August 1, 2020, 11:24 AM IST

As the global smartphone market plummeted 14 per cent in the June quarter, Apple was the only vendor to grow as it shipped 45.1 million iPhones globally, a growth of 25 per cent compared to the previous year, according to a new report. Samsung fell 30 per cent, Huawei 5 per cent, Xiaomi 10 per cent, OPPO 16 per cent and others 23 per cent in terms of shipments in the second quarter, reported market research firm Canalys.

“Apple defied expectations in Q2. Its new iPhone SE was critical in the quarter, accounting for around 28 per cent of its global volume, while iPhone 11 remained a strong best-seller at nearly 40 per cent,” analyst Vincent Thielke on Friday. According to him, iPhone SE will remain crucial to prop up the volume this year, amid delays to Apple’s next flagship release. “In China, it had blockbuster results, growing 35 per cent to reach 7.7 million units. It is unusual for Apple’s Q2 shipments to increase sequentially,” said Thielke. The smartphone market worldwide fell to 285 million units, a second consecutive quarter of freefall, as lockdown orders caused by the Covid-19 pandemic persisted through April and May.

Huawei toppled Samsung with shipping 55.8 million units, compared to Samsung’s 53.7 million in Q2 2020. Apple was third with 45.1 million units. Xiaomi came fourth, shipping 28.8 million units, which was down 10 per cent, and OPPO reclaimed fifth place from Vivo, shipping 25.8 million units with a 16 per cent decline. “As well as the new iPhone SE, Apple is also demonstrating skills in new user acquisition. It adapted quickly to the pandemic, doubling down on the digital customer experience as stay-at-home measures drive more customers to online channels,” said the report.


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Tech

25 Years Ago, the First Mobile Phone Call Was Made in India, Costing Over Rs 8/Minute

On this day, exactly 25 years ago, a telephone call was made. It changed the way we communicate forever and ushered in a communication revolution in India. What was different? It was the first time that a phone call was made using mobile phones – back then, massive large bricks with chunky number keys that look archaic today but way too sleek back in 1995.

The then-Union Telecom Minister Sukh Ram, and erstwhile Chief Minister of West Bengal, Jyoti Basu, spoke to each other using handheld mobile phones on July 31, 1995. It was a first for India, where two of Nokia’s earliest mobile phones were used, and the network itself – a joint venture between India’s B.K. Modi Group and Australia’s Telstra, was primitive by today’s standards, but completely uncongested.

The call made in July 1995, between the Writer’s Building in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Sanchar Bhavan in New Delhi, was carried over this Modi Telstra’s MobileNet service. That cellular call inaugurated MobileNet services in Calcutta. The company was one of the eight companies licensed to provide cellular services in India. Two licences were awarded each for the four metropolitan cities.

Interestingly, reports state that back then, the initial phone call rates ranged from Rs 8.4 per minute for both outgoing and incoming calls, and in peak mobile phone traffic hours, the cost also went up to Rs 16.8 per minute. For the Modi-Telstra JV network operator, which later became Spice, simply establishing the network itself was a massive cost even after they estimated that their services would reach at least 10 lakh people in the near future, soon after premiering in 1995.

The phones themselves weren’t affordable, either – they would cost upward of Rs 40,000, which after adding 25 years of inflation, is worth over Rs 2 lakh in today’s valuation. While it is not known exactly which mobile phones were used in India’s first ever mobile phone call, they may have been something like the security-focused Nokia 2080, or the mainstream oriented Nokia 350, or for that time, the cutting edge Nokia 880 sleek and rugged mobile phone. It had cutting edge features such as a snap-on, vibrating battery to give you silent call alerts, the ability to read three lines of text at one time to read the then-latest SMS service, and a ‘user friendly keypad’.

Telecommunications in India has come a long way since 1995. Today, just in the wireless mobile telephony market, India has around 450 million users of ‘feature phones’ – a term for non-internet-enabled mobile phones, and close to 400 million users of ‘smartphones’ – swanky sheets of glass that puts the world at your feet. Our telephony costs are next to a fraction of what it was back then – calling comes for free, while data costs less than Rs 4 per gigabyte.

While the question back then was giving one million people in India mobile devices to remain connected through, today, India’s challenge is ‘the next billion’ – an aim to bring India’s massive population online, not just through mobile telephony, but with the interconnectivity of the internet.


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25 Years of Mobile Phones: Mukesh Ambani Underlines Need to Upgrade All 2G Users in India

File photo of Reliance Industries chairman, Mukesh Ambani. (Image: Reuters)

File photo of Reliance Industries chairman, Mukesh Ambani. (Image: Reuters)

Ambani highlighted the four ways in which mobile telephony has changed over the years, and also touched upon the way forward for India.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: July 31, 2020, 4:48 PM IST

At the celebration of 25 years of mobile telephony in India, Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, the holding company behind Reliance Jio, stressed on India’s need to upgrade any 2G network and users that have so far failed to make the most of India’s growing 4G internet ecosystem. Addressing Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at the Desh ki Digital Udaan session earlier today, Ambani underlined four fundamental ways in which mobile telephony has transformed India, before stressing on the need for policy reforms to upgrade over 300 million users in India that still use 2G network, and hence, fail to make the most of India’s digital transformation.

As Ambani said, “As we take legitimate pride in the achievements of mobility in the last 25 years, this is also an occasion for us to look at the obstacles that have prevented Indian consumers and Indian society from fully benefiting from the digital revolution. Here I specifically referred to the fact that India still has 300 million mobile subscribers trapped in the 2G era. Their feature phones, keep them excluded, even from the basic uses of internet at a time where both India and the rest of the world are standing at the doorsteps of 5G telephony. I think necessary policy steps should be taken with utmost urgency to make 2G a part of history.”

He further said, “It is obvious that the next 25 years will bring even more breath taking changes in mobility. 25 years ago, India was behind the developed world in mobility. Now the time has come for India to be ahead of the rest of the world in key areas of technology. Let’s all work together to realise this vision and mission.”

Noting four fundamental ways in which mobile telephony has changed, Ambani said that mobile communications is now more affordable than ever before. This has further helped India erase the divide between the rich and the poor like no other technology ever before. Further, he noted how mobile phones today are multitasking computing tools, and finally, the advent of truly affordable data, largely owing to Reliance Jio, has brought about key changes to the Indian economy.

Disclaimer:News18.com is part of Network18 Media & Investment Limited which is owned by Reliance Industries Limited that also owns Reliance Jio.


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Tech

Increase in AI Adoption by One Unit Will Boost India's GDP by 2.5 Percent: Report

One unit increase in Artificial Intelligence (AI) intensity by Indian firms can result in a 2.5 per cent increase in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the immediate term, a study by Google, IT industry body Nasscom and think tank ICRIER revealed on Monday. AI intensity is measured as the ratio of AI to total sales of the firm, said the report titled “Implications of AI on the Indian Economy”.

In the absence of a direct measure of AI at the firm level, the model uses investments in software, databases and computer machinery as a proxy for AI. “This is a seminal report, estimating a 2.5 per cnet growth in India’s GDP if India adopts AI in a sustained way,” Sanjay Gupta, Country Head and Vice President, Google India, said in a statement.

The research, however, found that the current rate of growth in AI investments is unlikely to increase the levels of AI intensity adequately. In order to trigger a positive growth shock, AI intensities should be sharply increased, it added. “India is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation disruption driven by AI. AI has become a strategic lever for economic growth across nations and will continue to be one of the most crucial technologies of the future,” said Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, in a special address. “By integrating new technologies like AI and ML into various sectors, we can radically leapfrog and catch up with advanced economies.”

The suggested policy measures required to support AI’s wider adoption in India include identifying a nodal agency for the development and diffusion of AI; building collaborative frameworks for engagement between governments, industry and academia; building an all-encompassing data strategy for India; addressing India’s skill gap in AI; and promoting the development of AI safety standards.

“In hopes to accelerate growth and pave a path towards innovation, AI has a definite role to play in empowering industries, infrastructure and the society at large,” said Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscom. “With sheer enthusiasm, we are now fostering investments in the new generation of digital natives to elevate industry growth trajectory and further boost productivity levels.”


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Tech

Apple iPhone Batterygate Victims in US Can Now Claim a $25 Settlement: Here's How

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(Image: Reuters)

Image for Representation
(Image: Reuters)

the payouts from Apple will cover the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus and SE devices that ran iOS 10.2.1 or later or iOS 11.2 or later.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: July 14, 2020, 11:02 AM IST

Apple has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit against ‘Batterygate by paying affected US customers $25 each for slowing down their older iPhone models without notice. The proposed settlement will see Apple provide a cash payment of approximately $25 to each eligible iPhone owner who submits a claim, which adds up to a total payout of between $310 million and $500 million, reports GSMArena.

The exact amount each person will receive may slightly vary based on the number of claims received. According to the settlement, the payouts from Apple will cover the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus and SE devices that ran iOS 10.2.1 or later or iOS 11.2 or later. The phones will also need to have been purchased and used before Dec. 21, 2017, the day after Apple admitted to the speed-throttling practice.

There is a specific website for users to submit a claim, which must be done online or by mail. All claims must be submitted online or received by letter mail by October 6, 2020, or else payment is forfeited, said the report. Apple admitted in 2017 that the software update slowed down certain iPhone models with degraded batteries. The iPhone maker said that the update was necessary to prevent unexpected shutdowns and preserve the life of the devices.

However, the Cupertino-based tech giant also apologised for not communicating to users properly and offered affected customers cut-price iPhone battery replacements. France’s consumer fraud group imposed a 25 million euros fine on Apple for deliberately slowing down certain older iPhone models.


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Tech

Microsoft Launches New Digital Skills Initiative to Help 25 Million People Worldwide

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(Photo: Associated Press)

Image for Representation
(Photo: Associated Press)

The initiative provides free access to content in LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, GitHub Learning Lab and more.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: July 1, 2020, 11:58 AM IST

Microsoft announced a new global skills initiative to help 25 million people worldwide acquire new digital skills by the end of the year. The announcement comes in response to the global economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Covid-19 has created both public health and an economic crisis, and as the world recovers, we need to ensure no one is left behind,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during a digital event.

“Today, we’re bringing together resources from Microsoft inclusive of LinkedIn and GitHub to reimagine how people learn and apply new skills — and help 25 million people facing unemployment due to COVID-19 prepare for the jobs of the future.” Expanded access to digital skills is an important step in accelerating economic recovery, especially for the people hardest hit by job losses.

This initiative includes immediate steps to help those looking to reskill and pursue an in-demand job and brings together every part of the company, combining existing and new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub and Microsoft. This includes the use of data to identify in-demand jobs and the skills needed to fill them, free access to learning paths and content to help people develop the skills these positions require, and low-cost certifications and free job-seeking tools to help people who develop these skills pursue new jobs.

This is a comprehensive technology initiative that will build on data and digital technology, Microsoft said. It starts with data on jobs and skills from the LinkedIn Economic Graph. The initiative provides free access to content in LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn and the GitHub Learning Lab, and couples those with Microsoft Certifications and LinkedIn job-seeking tools.

These resources can all be accessed at a central location, opportunity.linkedin.com, and will be broadly available online in four languages: English, French, German and Spanish. In addition, Microsoft is backing the effort with $20 million in cash grants to help nonprofit organisations worldwide assist the people who need it most.

One-quarter of this total, or $5 million, will be provided in cash grants to community-based nonprofit organizations that are led by and serve communities of colour in the United States. Microsoft also pledged to make stronger data and analytics — including data from the LinkedIn Economic Graph — available to governments around the world so they can better assess local economic needs. Microsoft will use its voice to advocate for public policy innovations that will advance skilling opportunities needed in the changed economy.

The tech giant also announced it is creating a new learning app in Microsoft Teams designed to help employers skill and upskill new and current employees as people return to work and as the economy adds jobs. “The biggest brunt of the current downturn is being borne by those who can afford it the least,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. “Unemployment rates are spiking for people of colour and women, as well as younger workers, people with disabilities and individuals with less formal education. Our goal is to combine the best in technology with stronger partnerships with governments and nonprofits to help people develop the skills needed to secure a new job.”


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Tech

Realme X3, Realme X3 SuperZoom to Launch in India on June 25 via Flipkart

The Realme X3 and the Realme X3 SuperZoom are set to launch in India next week. According to ecommerce website Flipkart, the two handsets will launch on June 25. The same information was shared on the company’s official social media channels. The Realme X3 SuperZoom was launched in Europe last month but there is a possibility that the handset would launch in India with slightly different specs.

The two new smartphones, according to Flipkart, are going to Flipkart on June 25 at 12.30PM. The India pricing is expected to be revealed on the launch day itself. Notably, the Realme X3 SuperZoom was launched at EUR 499 (Rs 43,000 approx), so we can expect the handset to launch around the same price range in India as well. The launch event is also expected to witness the launch of Realme Buds Q that will go head to head against Xiaomi’s Redmi Earbuds S.

Realme X3 SuperZoom Specifications

We already know the specification of the X3 SuperZoom so expect a 6.6-inch full-HD+ (1080×2400 pixels) display with 120Hz refresh rate. Notably, this will be an LCD panel and not an AMOLED panel. The handset will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ SoC along with up to 12GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of storage. There is a quad rear camera setup highlighted by a 64-megapixel primary camera along with an 8-megapixel sensor and periscope-style lens with 5x optical zoom and 60x digital zoom. There will be an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera and 2-megapixel macro camera as well. At the front there will be a dual selfie camera setup with a 32-megapixel sensor and an 8-megapixel sensor. The handset is also going to pack a 4,200mAh battery with support for 30W Dart Charge.

Realme X3 SuperZoom Specifications

The Realme X3 is expected to come with a 6.57-inch full-HD+ (1080×2400 pixels) display with a hole punch for the front camera. It is expected to be powered by the same Snapdragon 855+ SoC with up to 12GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of storage. It is also expected to feature a quad rear camera setup but the primary sensor could be a 48-megapixel along with an 8-megapixel secondary shooter. The front camera is also expected to have a dual setup but with a 16-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor. The battery could be smaller on this device, rated at 4,100mAh.


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Google Has Identified Over 25 Billion Spam Pages on Search Using Artificial Intelligence

Image for Representation.

Image for Representation.

The tech giant said it has designed systems to prioritize the most relevant and reliable web pages at the top.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: June 10, 2020, 10:35 AM IST

The automated Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based systems at Google are detecting around 25 billion spammy pages in Search every day, ensuring they don’t rank well in the overall results that people see.

Although the company did not share the specific techniques it uses for spam fighting because “that would weaken our protections and ultimately make Search much less useful”, but it shared details about spammy behaviour that can be detected systematically.

“A low-quality page might include the right words and phrases that match what you searched for, so our language systems wouldn’t be able to detect unhelpful pages from content alone. The telltale signs of spam are in the behavioural tactics used and how they try to manipulate our ranking systems against our Webmaster Guidelines,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Last year, the company observed that more than 25 billion of the pages it find each day are spammy. “If each of those pages were a page in a book, that would be more than 20 million copies of ‘War & Peace’ each day,” said Google.

“If you’ve ever gone into your spam folder in Gmail, that’s akin to what Search results would be like without our spam detection capabilities,” it added. Google said it has designed systems to prioritize the most relevant and reliable web pages at the top.

The Webmaster Guidelines detail the types of spammy behaviour that is discouraged and can lead to a lower ranking: everything from scraping pages and keyword stuffing to participating in link schemes and implementing sneaky redirects. Google admitted that fighting spam is a never-ending battle, a constant game of cat-and-mouse against existing and new spammy behaviours.

“As with anything, our automated systems aren’t perfect. That’s why we also supplement them with human review, a team that does its own spam sleuthing to understand if content or sites are violating our guidelines,” said the company.




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Realme Buds Air Neo Launching in India on May 25, Could be Priced at Rs 2,999

Realme Buds Air Neo Launching in India on May 25, Could be Priced at Rs 2,999

Realme will be launching the new Buds Air Neo alongside the new Realme smart TV range on May 25.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 22, 2020, 12:42 PM IST

Realme is going to host an online event on May 25 in India where it is expected to launch its first smart TV product. It is also expected to launch a new pair of true wireless earphones dubbed as the Realme Buds Air Neo. As per a report, these new earphones are going to be priced at Rs 2,999, lower than the company’s first TWS offering, the Buds Air.

The company has not shared the official price of the Buds Air Neo, however, a leaked poster was spotted by MySmartPrice. The upcoming earphones are expected to go on sale via Flipkart, Realme.com, as well as offline stores.

While the Buds Air Neo are expected to be a successor to the existing Buds Air, the lower price seems to indicate that it could be a toned-down version. The company has teased some of the specifications for the upcoming true wireless earphones via a teaser page. Expect the Buds Air Neo to feature 13mm drivers, 3 hours of playback on a single charge, and 17 hours of playback with the charging case.

They will feature Bluetooth 5.0 hence they will also bring support for dual-channel transmission along with super-low latency mode. The company says that they will offer 50 percent lower latency compared to normal mode, which means that these could be great for gaming as well. Like the Buds Air, the upcoming Buds Air Neo will offer touch controls for music control, voice assistance, and more.




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Fujifilm X-T4 India Launch on May 25, Adds Stabilisation to Revered Mirrorless Lineup

The all-new Fujifilm X-T4 camera. (Image: Fujifilm)

The all-new Fujifilm X-T4 camera. (Image: Fujifilm)

The Fujifilm X-T4 is a premium mirrorless camera that follows up on the X-T3, a camera with a strong reputation in the market.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 22, 2020, 2:49 PM IST

Fujifilm India is set to launch its latest mirrorless camera in India, the Fujifilm X-T4, on May 25. The premium mirrorless camera was launched globally in February this year, and comes about a year and half after the X-T3 was launched in India. Among major improvements, the Fujifilm X-T4 brings the much awaited in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) to the critically appreciated camera lineup, as well as a swivelling LCD display at the rear to make shooting a more flexible process.

The key improvement here is the in-body stabilisation, which was so far missing from the Fujifilm X-T range. With the X-T4, stabilisation with select X-system lenses can go all the way up to 6.5 stops, which is the maximum stabilisation possible in a camera body. Standard image stabilisation on other lenses can go up to 5 stops. This is further combined with an option for digital image stabilisation, which would crop the frame by 10 percent.

Other benefits that the Fujifilm X-T4 will bring include a swivelling LCD display that is also richer in resolution. While standard video recording will remain at 4K 60fps, slow motion videography will now peak at 240fps, up from 120fps. Regular Fujifilm users will also note a new, one-touch control to switch between stills and movie shooting modes, and even the settings will preserve your parameteres between stills and videos. This will ensure that users do not need to keep fiddling with settings as they switch between photos and videos. Reports state that while the integrated headphone jack is now gone, Fujifilm will pack a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter that can be used by videographers.

With the X-Trans CMOS 4 image sensor and Fujifilm’s fourth generation X-Processor 4 image processor at hand, what now remains to be seen is how Fujifilm prices the camera in India. Its previous generation, the Fujifilm X-T3, was launched at an MRP of Rs 1,17,999, and presently retails at a shade below Rs 95,000. As a result, the price of the Fujifilm X-T4 may not see any significant increase from its predecessor. Further details will be unveiled via a YouTube live stream at 12PM on May 25.




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