Flipkart has kicked off a new sale targetting smartphone buyers. The Mobile Bonanza Sale is offering discounts and offers on a variety of smartphones. Apart from discounts customers can avail exchange offers as well as no-cost EMI options. Flipkart has partnered with Axis Bank where customers can get 10 percent instant discount using credit and debit card transactions. The sale has begun and will continue till February 21.
Here are some of the best offers that you shouldn’t miss out:
Apple iPhone XS – Rs 54,999
Apple’s 2018 flagship, the iPhone XS is available at a reduced price of Rs 54,999. There is also a discount of Rs 14,050 when you exchange your old device. The iPhone XS comes with a dual-camera setup at the back with two 12-megapixel cameras along with a 7-megapixel front-facing camera. It is powered by Apple’s A12 Bionic chip and features an OLED panel at the front.
Google Pixel 3a – Rs 27,999
One of the best camera phones at its price, the Google Pixel 3a is currently selling at Rs 27,999. Apart from clicking great shots, the handset also offers stock Android experience and of course the latest updates.
Asus 6Z – Rs 26,999
The flipping camera on the Asus 6Z is one of the most unique features that we saw in 2019. The main camera can rotate and be used as the front camera as well. The phone also packs great specifications and a solid 5,000mAh battery.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus – Rs 27,999
If you are looking for a high-end Samsung flagship, then the Galaxy S9 Plus seems like a good choice to buy. Yes, it is an old flagship now but the company is recently released Android 10 update for the handset, which is a win-win.
Oppo Reno 10x Zoom – Rs 26,999
Oppo is selling the Reno 10x Zoom at a low cost of Rs 26,999 ahead of the launch of its Reno 3 series. The handset offers 6GB of RAM, Snapdragon 855 processor and the cameras at the back can shot up to 10x zoom with zero loss in quality.
The famous Apple-Qualcomm lawsuit had famously been settled in order to facilitate Apple’s launch of 5G iPhones.
Last Updated: February 15, 2020, 6:18 PM IST
Seems like Qualcomm’s antennas are too big for Apple and that’s why the iPhone maker is designing the antenna module that will be used in its 5G iPhones. According to a report in Fast Company, in a year where the 5G radio will be the new iPhone’s spotlight feature, Apple has decided to design the phone’s antenna itself.
Apple balked at the QTM 525 millimeter-wave antenna module offered to it by Qualcomm because it doesn’t fit into the sleek industrial design Apple wants for the new phone, a source with knowledge of Apple’s plans told Fast Company on Friday. However, chipset making giant Qualcomm will still provide the 5G modem chip used in the new iPhones.
However, Apple typically designs on several tracks, and it’s concurrently working on another design that uses both the Qualcomm modem and antenna. It could default to this option later this year, our source said. But that would require Apple to settle for a slightly thicker iPhone than it wants. Qualcomm has said that its QTM 525 antenna module will “support 5G smartphone designs sleeker than 8 millimeters thick”, the report added.
Leaked images of Apple’s upcoming iPad Pro with triple rear cameras.
The iPad Pro 5G is also expected to overhaul the camera setup on Apple’s tablets, and the same may be launched by the end of 2020.
Last Updated: February 14, 2020, 4:18 PM IST
Apple is reportedly planning to introduce 5G-capable iPad equipped with 5nm-based A14 chips – likely A14X in the second half of 2020. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G modem will support both mmWave and sub-6GHz technology, DigiTimes reported on Wednesday. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently revealed that the iPhone maker is expected to release new iPad Pro models with rear 3D sensing.
Kuo in a research note with TF International Securities said the iPad Pro models will gain 3D sensing through the rear-facing camera system. As per the report, Apple is expected to use a time-of-flight system, which measures the time that it takes for light to bounce off of objects in a room to generate a 3D map. Additionally, Kuo also reiterated that Apple plans to release its low-cost iPhone “SE 2” in the first half of 2020 too.
The iPhone SE 2 will use a 10-layer Substrate-like PCB (SLP) for its motherboard, the same technology used by the iPhone 11 version. Kuo expects the device to look similar to the iPhone 8 and believes it will be a popular upgrade option for existing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S owners.
It will be interesting to see if Apple actually pulls through with the iPad Pro launch, after the Coronavirus outbreak in China has led to multiple delays in production plans of smartphones. Apple is likely to lend more importance to its iPhones over its iPads, but on the other hand, the company will want to keep up with the trends of upgrading all its devices to include 5G connectivity.
If the rumour mill is to be believed then the Apple iPhone 12 line up will include four models this year.
Last Updated: February 14, 2020, 1:48 PM IST
Apple’s upcoming flagship range, the iPhone 12 series’ production is likely to get delayed but the same is not likely to affect the date of its scheduled launch in September this year. The delay in the production of the upcoming iPhone has occurred due to the outbreak of Coronavirus in China.
Unnamed sources have been quoted by Digi Times as stating that the iPhone 12’s production will not begin in June, however, even in that case, Apple’s launch of the iPhone 12 lineup in September is likely to get affected. Meanwhile, what must be taken into consideration is that Apple has stopped sending engineers to China to assist with the Engineering Validation Test of iPhone 12 development. It is also being said that there is a high demand for the new A14 chip as orders going up to 50-percent higher compared to the A13 chips. This is notably due to the fact Apple is going aggressive when it comes to rolling out 5G on its phones.
If the rumour mill is to be believed then the Apple iPhone 12 line up will include four models this year. All four are expected to feature 5G connectivity and will be available in four sizes, a 5.4-inch OLED iPhone, a 6.1-inch OLED iPhone with dual-rear cameras, a 6.1-inch OLED iPhone with triple rear-cameras and the new 3D time-of-flight sensor, and a 6.7-inch OLED iPhone. Further, the report also adds that suppliers based in Taiwan are gearing up for the production of a lower-cost iPhone which is being rumored to be known as iPhone 9 or iPhone SE 2.
Apple’s Swift Playgrounds does not require any prior coding experience and is aimed at students who are just starting out with coding.
Last Updated: February 13, 2020, 3:36 PM IST
Edited by: Chhavianshika Singh
Apple has launched the Swift Playgrounds app for Mac as part of the company’s Catalyst app initiative, designed to help bridge the software gap between its macOS and iOS platforms. The app requires no coding knowledge to use and is ideal for students who are just starting out with coding.
“Swift Playgrounds is a revolutionary app for iPad and Mac that makes learning Swift interactive and fun. It requires no coding knowledge, so it’s perfect for students just starting out. Solve puzzles to master the basics using Swift, a powerful programming language created by Apple and used by the pros to build today’s most popular apps,” the company said in a statement.
Swift Playgrounds is built around a collection of Apple-created lessons, using puzzles and an interactive 3D world. “Now you can make robots do incredible things with code you write yourself. Learn to program-connected devices like the Sphero SPRK+, Lego Mindstorms EV3, and drones by Parrot, and watch them come alive right before your eyes,” the company added.
Swift Playgrounds for Mac is available from the Mac App Store and it is a free download.
The Apple iPhone 9 is expected to come with a 6.1-inch LCD display supplied by Japan Display.
Last Updated: February 11, 2020, 1:16 PM IST
Apple is soon expected to launch its much-rumoured successor of the iPhone SE, which is likely to be called either the iPhone SE2 or the iPhone 9. According to the latest report, the starting price of the iPhone 9 is expected to be $399 (approximately Rs 28,466). A report mentioned that according to their sources, the upcoming iPhone is likely to be around the same price as the first iPhone SE. The latest report puts emphasis on previously predicted prices by Apple tipster Ming-Chi Kuo, who had stated that the starting price of the iPhone 9 would be $399. Apple launched the iPhone SE in 2016 at $399, but Apple discontinued the device in September 2018.
As per earlier leaks, the iPhone 9 is expected to come with a 6.1-inch LCD display. It is likely to come equipped with Full Active display supplied by Japan Display. The upcoming iPhone, the first device to be launched by Apple in 2020, will have a single camera along with an LED flash. The device might come powered with the A12 chip from Apple. The power key is expected to be positioned on the right and the ring/silent switch, as well as volume rocker, will be to the left. The bottom of the iPhone 9 is expected to sport dual speakers with a Lightning connector in between.
Apple could replace Intel processors with AMD in its future MacBook and other Mac devices according to a report. The rumours surfaced after the code for macOS Catalina 10.15.4 beta showed references to AMD’s APUs, TechRadar reported quoting a tipster. As per the @_rogame, the codes do not directly contain references to AMD but its Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), which is a combination of both CPU and GPU. Apple uses AMD graphics in select MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro and Mac Pro models, but it relies on Intel processors for all the MacBook laptops and PC devices.
If references to AMD’s APU are anything to go by, it can be assumed that Apple’s rumoured gaming laptop will be powered by APUs instead of Intel processors. There is no surety if Apple’s future laptops will feature AMD chips in the future, though the tech giant is probably testing it. The reports of the switch to AMD came to the fore after Apple witnessed a decline in Mac sales due to Intel’s chip shortages, reported TechRadar. Intel’s 14nm (nanometer) and 10nm processor chips have faced supply issues since September 2018. The semiconductor chipmaker’s next-generation 10nm chips got delayed due to manufacturing problems faced by 14nm CPU.
Street view of Wuhan, Hubei province, China. (Reuters)
China accounts for 16% of global production output. Coronavirus has forced companies to shut stores and offices with factories and supply chains disrupted.
Last Updated: February 10, 2020, 1:21 PM IST
By the time the deadly Coronavirus outbreak was finally declared as a global health emergency at the end of last month, the impact on the various sectors of the Chinese economy was already being felt. Tech remains hit badly, with production stalled, supply chains have come to a grinding halt and companies shutting offices in the country to keep employees safe. As time has passed, the impact of what is happening in China because of the Coronavirus is being felt globally too.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that a US$675 million global response plan is needed to fight Coronavirus, even as the global infections have surged past 30,000. The global death toll has also crossed 800 while Chinese authorities have confirmed 3062 new cases and 97 more deaths, which takes the toll to 908 deaths and 40,171 cases in the country. China’s economy accounts for more than 16% of the global production output, and that includes everything from iPhones to copper.
With that as the backdrop, tech companies have over the past few weeks taken the decision to shut down offices and stores in China. Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Tesla, to name a few, took the decision to not reopen offices post the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays last month, or extended the break with the policy to work-from-home. The same is also true for Chinese companies, including Xiaomi, Huawei, Vivo and Oppo. Most companies have also restricted employees from traveling to China. Starbucks has closed 2000 outlets in China, while KFC has also shuttered thousands of outlets in the country after one of their employees was diagnosed with the Coronavirus. Yum China, which operates Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC outlets in more than 1,300 cities in China, has introduced what it calls “contactless food deliveries” to protect their employees. According to reports, videos on the Chinese social media site, Weibo show delivery drivers having their temperature recorded before wearing Hazmat suits and face masks and disinfecting all food packaging while leaving the restaurant.
Factories are also non-operational in China, which is grinding the supply chain to a halt. Electronics manufacturing is disrupted significantly. At the same time, materials and components that may be required by factories located outside China, are also not being shipped. The ripple effect, unprecedented in terms of something we have never seen before. Product shipments will be hit at least in the next couple of quarters. This will also hurt the next set of product launches, because the prototyping, build stages and advance production is not happening as we speak. Perhaps, TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s forecast should put things in perspective. “Our latest survey indicates that the iPhone supply is being affected by the coronavirus and, therefore, we cut the iPhone shipment forecasts by 10%,” he said. Foxcon and Pegatron, two of the biggest employeers in China, make almost all of the iPhones, but that’s just one thing they do. The Nikkei Asian Review reported that the Chinese authorities have not allowed Foxcon to reopen its Shenzhen plant over Coronavirus prevention concerns. Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant has also not reopened. Apart from being the largest production base for Apple iPhones, the Foxcon factories also churn out electronics and gadgets for the likes of Google, Amazon, Dell, HP and Huawei, to name a few.
“The local governments do not want to risk the potential virus spreading in such a labor-intensive working environment. No one wants to bear the responsibility of restarting work at this critical moment,” the Nikke Asian Review reported.
Consumer prices in China have already recorded their biggest jump since 2011 as prices rose 5.4% in January as the effects of the Coronavirus disaster became clear, according to numbers by the National Bureau of Statistics, reported by the Financial Times.
Earlier this month, Asus had warned customers that there will be delays in the availability of their popular gaming phone, the ROG Phone II. They also cited the “disruption in supply chain” for the temporary shortage.
Chip maker Qualcomm has already said that the Coronavirus outbreak will cause significant uncertainty regarding supplies needed to produce smartphone processors. This will have a significant impact on the company’s ability to produce these critical components which phone makers will then use in the phones they make.
It is not just global brands who are facing delays and uncertainty. Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Huawei and Lenovo are facing operational delays because of the Coronavirus. “Companies which rely on components from Hubei will be the most impacted, such as Lenovo. For companies like Huawei, whose operations are in Guangdong, the situation is less severe, although no company right now will be able to resume factory operations at 100 percent capacity,” Nicole Peng, mobile analyst at Canalys, told the South China Morning Post. Oppo is relying heavily on production facilities in India and Indonesia to soften the blow.
Xiaomi is already looking at a situation where several of their products are already out of stock. “The planned release of new products has been disrupted and we are making adjustments,” said Lu Weibing, vice-president of Xiaomi in a Weibo post last month. “The smartphone industry will face difficulties this year,” Lu Weibing added.
In the short term globally, there will a gradual reduced availability of a lot of tech products that emerge out of Chinese factories, or rely heavily on components from the region. This will lead to lesser availability of products in the near future, but a lot of that will depend on how long the factories remain shut in China. Eventually, prices of tech products will also see an upward correction, which will directly hit the consumers’ wallets and budget.
Representative image of the rise of digital technology usage in India. (Photo: Telenor)
According to IDC’s annual data from the Indian smartphone industry, Vivo led the sub-premium category, and OnePlus played a key role too.
Last Updated: February 7, 2020, 3:55 PM IST
India is among the few smartphone markets that are still registering growth, as most developed markets are seeing a slowdown in smartphone shipments due to saturation. According to IDC’s annual data of 2019, India saw a total of 152.5 million phones being shipped through the year, which marks an 8 percent annual growth over what was shipped in 2018. While India no longer remains in double digit growth phase, industry watchers and companies will still take note of the key growth areas that are still contributing to smartphone shipments growing in the country.
IDC’s data further states that the share of online smartphone shipments are steadily on the rise in India. Upasana Joshi, associate research manager at IDC India states on this matter, “The online growth momentum continued through the year with a record share of 41.7% in 2019, growing by 18.4% YoY annually due to deep discounts, cashback offers, buyback/exchange schemes, and complete protection offers clubbed with attractive financing schemes like No Cost EMIs across major model line ups and brands.” In contrast, the offline smartphone market grew only 1.6 percent in India, through the year.
In terms of price distribution in India, IDC states that the sub-$200 (~sub-Rs 15,000) smartphone market in India accounted for 79 percent of the market. The mid-range market, which roughly stands for between Rs 15,000 and Rs 35,000, captured 19.3 percent of the market, while the remaining sliver of 1.7 percent was captured by premium devices. In the latter, IDC notes that Apple crossed Samsung to capture 47.4 percent of the premium smartphone market in India, thanks to the iPhone XR and a lower priced launch of the iPhone 11.
In the premium end of the mid-range phones, IDC states that Vivo led the charts with 28 percent market share, largely thanks to the Vivo V15 Pro. Vivo was closely followed by OnePlus in this segment, thanks to the OnePlus 7. With 5G on the horizon and more interesting form factor smartphones on the way, it remains to be seen how the Indian market fares through 2020 and beyond.
The first beta version of Apple’s iOS 13.4 update has been released. With this version, users will be able to use their iPhone or Apple Watch as their car keys that can lock, unlock and even start their car. As per a report published by 9to5 Mac, the latest iOS 13.4 beta update contains references to a ‘CarKey’ application programming interface (API). It is with this interface that a user will be able to use their Apple device like the iPhone or Apple Watch as the key of their car.
Further, the report mentions that according to the system’s internal file, a user will only be able to use this feature if the car is NFC (Near Field communication) compatible since a user will need to hold their Apple device near the car to use it as its key. In order to pair a car with the device, users will have to go to the Wallet app and follow the procedure, after which he/she will have to go to the car manufacturer’s app to complete the process. Once the setup is done, users will have to keep their iPhone on top of the NFC reader for the initial process. After the process is done, the car key will be available in the Wallet app and then can be used through the iPhone or even an Apple Watch. Moreover, the feature can be shared with multiple people after the main user invites them through the Wallet app.