Apple is reportedly suspending iPhone production in India up until April 14. The decision comes after PM Narender Modi announced a nationwide lockdown on Tuesday evening. This essentially means that Foxconn and Wistron, manufacturers for iPhones in the country, are shutting down their production facilities to comply with orders.
While Foxconn has confirmed to suspend its operations until April 14, a representative from Wistron has also confirmed the shutdown without giving any broad details. Now since Foxconn or Wistron haven’t provided any information as to what all devices will be impacted, it is assumed only the older iPhone models will be affected which include the iPhone XR and iPhone SE among others.
The two manufacturers not only produce smartphones for Apple, but also for the number smartphone seller in the country, Xiaomi. As of now there hasn’t been any information from the company regarding the production shutdown. Various other smartphone makers are also said to be impacted due to the Coronavirus nationwide lockdown including the likes of the Vivo, Oppo and Realme.
The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has also restricted smartphone companies to restrict their launches to online-only events. But the recent nationwide lockdown is definitely going to have a big impact on inventory and production.
The Amazon Apple Days sale is currently running on Amazon India where customers can avail offers and discounts on various Apple products. The sale began on Tuesday, March 17 and will continue till Saturday, March 21. Apart from discounts, customers can avail no-cost EMI and additional discounts using HDFC Bank Debit and Credit Cards. There is also an additional discount of Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,000 on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max for Amazon Prime members.
The latest iPhone 11 series is available with additional discount where Apple is offering, exchange offers of up to Rs 10,200 as well as no-cost-EMI. There is an additional Rs 6,000 instant discount with HDFC Credit and Debit cards on the smartphone.
All variants of the iPhone XS Max are selling at discounted prices and the iPhone 8 256GB storage variant is currently selling at Rs 40,999. The iPhone XR 64GB storage variant is now priced at Rs 48,899 while the 128GB and 256GB storage variants are available at Rs 53,900 and Rs 64,900, respectively. Specifically the Black colour option of the iPhone XR 128GB is priced at Rs 50,900. There also no-cost-EMI offers available on Amazon Pay card and ZestMoney.
The iPhone XS 512GB variant is selling for a slashed price of Rs 79,000, available in both gold and silver colour options. Notably, the 256GB storage variant of iPhone XS is priced at Rs 1,03,900 and is available with no-cost EMI and exchange offers.
Apart from the iPhone range, Apple has slashed the prices of the latest MacBook Air. The 128GB variant is selling for Rs 93,120 and while the 512GB version is selling at Rs 1,09,900. There are also some discounts on other MacBook products including the MacBook Pro. Other than that, limited models of the Apple Watch are selling for as low as Rs 20,900 while there are special discounts on the 11-inch iPad Pro through HDFC Bank Debit and Credit cards.
The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Apple is seemingly going beyond its upcoming devices. A recent report by Bloomberg has stated that owing to the factories being closed in China and component suppliers at a crunch, Apple’s service centres are presently facing a crisis in terms of replacements and repairs on iPhones, across various markets. As a result, Apple is instructing Apple Store employees to advise customers of a wait of about two to four weeks in procuring a replacement iPhone for them.
However, the report maintains that Apple Stores do have some inventory of devices at hand, which may be offered to individuals whose phones are damaged to an unusable point. Apple executives may also offer users devices on loan, until the point when their own replacement devices reach them. At the moment, Apple’s iPhone 11 series of devices are said to have faced the most of the brunt. This seems plausible, since Apple still uses its partner plants in China to manufacture the latest generation of iPhones, while older devices such as the iPhone XR and other models are made in nations such as India and Vietnam.
Apple is also facing a dearth of supply of components from its supply partners in China, whose factories are either under lockdown, or employees have refused to return due to the viral outbreak of the disease. Due to this, small device repairs that were typically made in-store are also being postponed, leading to a back log of about one month in the repairs and replacements of iPhones.
Going forward, it remains to be seen how the company reacts to the present situation, and if last moment adjustments would be made for its upcoming devices, too. Apple is expected to launch its new mid-range iPhone, the iPhone 9, towards the end of this month. While the launch is still expected to take place at its scheduled time, the prolonged coronavirus outbreak means the entire situation may come under crisis, and Apple is forced to push its launches back to accommodate for the crunched supply.
Depending on which plan you pick, Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone are bundling subscriptions for Amazon Prime, Netflix, Zee5 and even their own content-rich streaming apps.
A recent Ovum-Amdocs report on the state of OTT services in India suggested that as many as 50% of users are willing to pay for premium media services via their carrier bill if offered at a discount or with an extended free trial. Cellcos are tripping over themselves to bundle Netflix, Amazon Video, Zee5 and more with your bill plan or prepaid recharge.
Last Updated: February 26, 2020, 12:43 PM IST
Time to Netflix and chill? It turns out, you may not have to pay even a single rupee for subscriptions to video streaming services if you play your cards right. Actually, play your postpaid mobile bill plan or prepaid mobile recharge properly, and you could save a lot of money in the process. And yet not compromise even one bit on the entertainment portfolio. That is because Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone are bundling subscriptions for video streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Zee5 and more with the postpaid bill plans as well as prepaid recharge packs. You might want to pay attention to this and reconfigure your prepaid or postpaid plan to get the best value.
Here is how much you will save, if you get the bundled subscriptions for video streaming platforms with your mobile prepaid and postpaid plans. The Hotstar VIP subscription costs Rs 365 per year while the Hotstar Premium subscription costs Rs 299 per month or Rs 999 per year. Amazon charges Rs 129 per month or Rs 999 per year for the Prime subscription that also includes Amazon Video. Netflix subscription options start at Rs 499 per month for the basic HD subscription going all the way up to Rs 799 per month for the 4K HDR plan—though you have a mobile only plan for Rs 199 per month but that’s just too limiting anyway. Sony Liv charges Rs 499 per year for the premium pack, while Zee5 will cost Rs 999 per year for the All Access Pack. Now that would be a lot of money saved, wouldn’t it?
This is what you mobile plan can get you
Let us give you a snapshot of what is available with each mobile connection, be it prepaid or postpaid. If you have a Reliance Jio subscription, with any prepaid and postpaid plan for the Jio mobile service, you get bundled subscription for a complete range of apps that include Jio TV and Jio Cinema. That is a lot of content to consume, including Live TV which no rival does as well, though Airtel comes close. Speaking of which, Airtel is bundling the Amazon Prime subscription for a year which includes the Prime Video streaming platform, Zee5 and the Airtel Xstream premium video streaming app as part of the Airtel Thanks rewards for postpaid users. Interestingly enough, the Airtel Prime subscription option is available only on the Rs 249 prepaid recharge pack. Vodafone offers subscription to Amazon Prime as well as Vodafone Play and Zee5 platforms with all postpaid plans above Rs 499. The Vodafone REDX premium postpaid plan which costs Rs 999 per month gets the additional benefit of Netflix bundle as well along with a lot of other benefits. All Vodafone prepaid plans bundle Vodafone Play and Zee5 subscriptions.
Reliance Jio: Jio TV and Jio Cinema offer a world of entertainment
Let us start with Reliance Jio first. The Jio TV app is available for Android and iOS platforms, and is perhaps your best choice if you want to watch Live TV without actually needing a DTH or cable TV subscription—there are more than 500 Live channels on board, which includes more than 60 HD channels. As we said before, no other Live TV app in India comes close to the sort of variety and extensive channel options that Jio TV offers. Be it English or Hindi entertainment, news, Live sports, infotainment, music and more, all possible channels covering almost all Indian languages are available—Colors, Star Plus, Sony, Zee TV, &TV, Star Gold, Sony Max, Zee Cinema, Star Movies, HBO HD, Star Sports channels in HD, Sony sports channels in HD, Discovery HD World as well as some value-adds such as the Jio Sports channels. Watching Live sports, including cricket matches, just becomes incredibly more convenient than having to jump from app to app. And that is before we get to the Jio Cinema app—this has an extensive library of Movies and TV shows, including the exclusive Disney content that includes Star Wars, Iron Man and Avengers franchises. Jio Cinema is available for Android, iOS, Android TV and the Amazon Fire TV Stick platforms.
India likes the convenience
A recent Ovum-Amdocs report on the state of OTT services in India suggested that 47% subscribers less likely to switch service providers if they get their preferred OTT streaming services. At the same time, 30% of respondents would not mind switching to another operator if their current operator doesn’t offer their preferred streaming subscriptions. In India, the biggest video streaming services include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, Sony Liv, Voot, Zee 5 and Eros Now. The report also suggests that as many as 50% of users are willing to pay for premium media services via their carrier bill if offered at a discount or with an extended free trial. The report did throw up a rather interesting set of statistics. It turns out that Sony Liv gets 50% of its total subscriptions from bundles with mobile, broadband or TV bills. That is the most for any streaming service in India, with Voot in second with 38% while Zee5 follows at 34%. Amazon Prime, which includes the Amazon Prime Video streaming service, gets 25% of its total subscriptions from media bundles—though it is quite commonly found in tariff plans offered by Airtel and Vodafone Idea. For some reason, the survey calculates Amazon Prime’s conversion separately at 15%, but it would be prudent to add the 25% and 15% together under one umbrella. Netflix gets just 19% of its subscribers from media bundles.
Airtel: Are you on prepaid or postpaid?
If you are an Airtel subscriber, postpaid plans have the better bundles—these plans are priced upwards of Rs 499. You get a one-year subscription for Prime Video streaming platform as well as access to premium content on Zee5 and the Airtel Xstream premium video streaming app. In fact, the Airtel Xstream app has more than 10,000 movies on board, TV shows as well as content from a variety of platforms under one roof—these include ZEE5, Hungama, Eros Now, HOOQ, ShareIt, YouTube, ShemarooMe, Ultra, Curiosity Stream. Airtel Xstream app also has Live TV including HD channels. You can access the Airtel Xstream app on Android as well as iOS devices. Airtel prepaid plans which start at Rs 129 for 28-days validity offer Airtel Xstream subscriptions, though only the Rs 349 plan with 28-days validity also bundles the Amazon Prime subscription.
Vodafone: The Vodafone REDX gets it all
For Vodafone, if you are a prepaid subscriber, you will get the Vodafone Play subscription as well as premium content from Zee5 with all unlimited recharge packs. The Vodafone Play app gives you access to more than 450 Live TV channels as well as more than 15,000 movies on the platform. Vodafone says the Play content includes movies and TV shows from ZEE5, SonyLIV, Lionsgate Play, Eros Now, Shemaroo Me, Hoichoi, Sun NXT, Hungama, Discovery and Yupp TV. Now that’s out of the way, let us look at the slight complexity that the postpaid plans offer. The entry spec Rs 399 Vodafone RED plan also only offers Vodafone Play and premium Zee5 content. But for the Vodafone RED plan Rs 499 and more, there is the additional sweetener of the Amazon Prime subscription worth Rs 999. However, the flagship Vodafone REDX plan which costs Rs 999 per month gets you one year of Netflix subscription worth Rs 5,998 per year as well, among other advantages such as complimentary international roaming packs and airport lounge access.
Bharti Airtel has a bunch of announcements about the International Roaming (IR) option for prepaid and postpaid users. And it is all great news if you are one of those absent-minded folks who inevitably forget to activate an international roaming pack ahead of the travels and panic as your flight is about to take off. Airtel says that prepaid and postpaid users across all telecom circles in India will be able to pre-book IR packs which will get activated on the date of travel. Airtel prepaid customers can activate an IR pack up to 30 days before the date of travel, and it will only get activated when they eventually connect to a mobile network in the country they are traveling to.
Airtel has also launched new IR global packs for prepaid and postpaid users in India. The prepaid users can choose from two new packs, under the Travel Basics umbrella. The first pack is priced at Rs 1199 and bundles 1 GB data, 100 minutes of incoming and outgoing calls to India and host country, unlimited incoming SMS and has a validity of 30 days. The second pack is priced at Rs 799 and bundles 100 minutes of incoming and outgoing calls to India and host country, unlimited incoming SMS and also has a validity of 30 days. Do note that the Rs 799 plan doesn’t bundle any data. Both of these new Travel Basics IR plans for prepaid users are ideal if you are not a heavy data user in particular or may be relying more on Wi-Fi connectivity at the destination country.
Airtel postpaid users can now also choose from the new Rs 4999 plan, called Travel Unlimited. This bundles 1 GB data per day as well as unlimited incoming calls, 500 minutes of outgoing calls to India and host country, unlimited incoming SMS and has a validity of 10 days.
While these new IR packs for Airtel prepaid and postpaid users are global packs, it may be prudent to check if your destination country is covered by these international roaming packs before activating these ahead of the travels abroad. You will also be able to check the exact consumption of your IR pack bundles via the Airtel Thanks app for Android and iPhones. Airtel also says that once a pack’s bundled data is exhausted, data services would be barred to protect against unwanted charges—and data tends to be very expensive on international roaming. The company says that prepaid and postpaid users will have the option of adding a new IR pack or a top-up to their plan, from the Airtel Thanks app.
Apple’s latest iPhone patent describes a six-sided glass enclosure with the device’s entire surface being touch-sensitive.
Last Updated: February 24, 2020, 10:59 AM IST
Edited by: Chhavianshika Singh
Apple is reportedly working on an all-glass iPhone with a wraparound touch screen, which can display information, icons and images on any surface with the entire device touch-sensitive. Electronic Device with Glass Enclosure, US Patent No 20200057525, describes an iPhone that comprises a six-sided glass enclosure, Apple Insider reported recently. The patent describes an all-glass iPhone which perhaps could be a better then foldable phones.
“Described herein, however, are electronic devices with enclosures that use glass to define multiple sides of the enclosure. In such cases, the enclosure may appear visually and tactilely seamless, such that the entire enclosure may appear to be formed from a single piece of glass (even though it may be formed from multiple separate pieces attached together),” states the patent.
The sketch of the phone illustrates the curved edges of the device from all the sides with some information showing upon them. It also shows the wallpaper stretched to the sides with some information showing at the bottom side.
People wearing masks are seen at a subway station in Shanghai, China. (Reuters)
The outbreak, which has infected more than 72,000 and prevented many employees from returning to work due to travel and quarantine restrictions, was reverberating throughout the U.S. firm’s supply chain.
Last Updated: February 18, 2020, 4:35 PM IST
IApple Inc’s surprise warning that it will likely fall short of this quarter’s sales target due to the coronavirus epidemic points to much pain for its chip and other suppliers as well as for rivals who also rely on China to build their products. Revising guidance set just three weeks ago, the world’s most valuable tech company said while many factories that make iPhones have reopened for work, they were ramping up more slowly than anticipated. The outbreak, which has infected more than 72,000 and prevented many employees from returning to work due to travel and quarantine restrictions, was reverberating throughout the U.S. firm’s supply chain, a source familiar with Apple’s operations in China said.
“If one component factory stays closed and they’re the only supplier, then everyone has to stop and wait. And if there are two suppliers and one is shut down, then we need the other to do more,” said the source who was not authorized to speak to media and declined to be identified. Stacy Rasgon, a Bernstein analyst, said Apple’s woes probably also mean fewer chips will be sold throughout the mobile device industry because the overwhelming majority are made in China. “Maybe this is the wake up call. I would be astonished if Apple is the only one,” he said. “Every electronic supply chain runs through China in a big way.”Research firm Canalys estimates both Apple, which outsources much of its manufacturing to Taiwan’s Foxconn, and rival Huawei Technologies have 99% of their production in China. The world’s No. 1 smartphone market is likely see sales halve in the first quarter due to the virus, analysts have said.
Chinese rivals Oppo, Xiaomi Corp (1810.HK) and Vivo have 83%, 72%, and 65% of their production in China respectively. Reuters reported last week that roughly 10% of Foxconn’s workers in China have resumed production, while other plants in the country remain largely shuttered. Foxconn denied the reports in a company filing without elaborating.
Shares of Apple’s chip suppliers fell on the news on Tuesday, with Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) losing 2.8%, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) (2330.TW) down 2.9% and SK Hynix (000660.KS) shedding 2.9%.
Analysts at ANZ noted Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) was vulnerable to disruptions caused by the epidemic as it supplies mobile modem chips to almost all major smartphone makers and generates nearly half of its sales from China. U.S.-based suppliers that do a lot of business with Apple include Broadcom Inc (AVGO.O), Qorvo Inc (QRVO.O) and Skyworks Solutions Inc (SWKS.O).
Broadcom makes a range of wireless components for iPhones and said last month it had signed a deal to supply Apple for contracts worth as much as $15 billion. Sales to Apple accounted for 20% of its annual revenue in fiscal 2019.
Qorvo, which sells parts that help phones connect to wireless data networks, generated around one third of its revenue from Apple in fiscal 2019. Skyworks, another wireless component supplier, got more than 10% of its annual revenue from Apple.
Other U.S. suppliers to Apple include Texas Instruments Inc (TXN.O). Its battery charging chips have been found in iPhone teardowns, although the company sells across a broad spectrum of the electronics industry.
In Europe, the Netherlands’ NXP Semiconductors (NXPI.O) supplies Apple with the near-field communications chips used in the iPhone’s Apple Pay contactless payments feature, according to TechInsights teardowns and industry analysts. Chips made by Franco-Italian firm STMicroelectronics (STM.MI) (STM.PA) are used for wireless battery charging and for infrared cameras in iPhones, according to teardowns. Its shares lost 3.5% in morning trade. Investors in chipmakers have until now have been willing to look past temporary coronavirus disruptions, hoping for a sales recovery in the second half, said Bernstein’s Rasgon Mike Fawkes, who previously ran supply chain operations for Hewlett-Packard, said even if it wanted to, Apple was unlikely to find alternative production sources soon. “They’re stuck with China for some period of time,” he said. “It’s very hard when you’re managing a big battleship like they are.”
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.
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.