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Big believer in India, weak currency just speed bump: Tim Cook

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Tim Cook
Tim Cook, Photo Credit: Getty Images

New Delhi, Nov 2: Admitting that his business in India was flat in the fiscal fourth quarter and weak currency trends worry him although these are just “speed bumps”, Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated that he is a big believer in the country and can’t wait for the future there.

“The emerging markets that we’re seeing pressure in are markets like Turkey, India, Brazil, Russia. These are markets where currencies have weakened over the recent period.

“To give you a perspective in some detail, our business in India in Q4 was flat. Obviously, we would like to see that be a huge growth,” Cook said during an earnings call with analysts after announcing Apple’s Q4 2018 results late Thursday.

Cook noted that the currency weakness has been part of their challenge in India.

“But I view these as speed bumps along a very long journey, though. And the long term I think is very, very strong there,” said the Apple CEO who spoke about the Indian market at great length after quite some time.

Cook said he has had really great productive discussions with the Indian government.

“We’ve had really great productive discussions with the Indian government, and I fully expect that at some point, they will agree to allow us to bring our stores into the country,” Cook responded to a question.

“We’ve been in discussions with them, and the discussions are going quite well,” he added.

The iPhone maker is seeking tax relief and other incentives from the government to begin assembling more handsets in the country and its proposal to set up a manufacturing unit is reportedly being evaluated.

According to Cook, “there are import duties in some or most of the product categories that we’re in and in some cases, they compound.

“This is an area that we’re giving lots of feedback on. We do manufacture some of the entry iPhones in India, and that project has gone well,” Cook told analysts.

Apple is currently assembling iPhone 6S in India with its partner Wistron.

“I am a big believer in India. I am very bullish on the country and the people and our ability to do well there,” Cook added.

According to industry experts, India is the fastest growing among the top 20 smartphone markets globally, with a large untapped user base potential in Tier 5 and 6 cities and beyond.

The current smartphone user base in India is around 450 million which is set to grow by leaps and bounds.

Cook is aware of the tremendous growth opportunity in India.

“There’s a huge number of people that will move into the middle class. The government has really focused on reform in a major way and made some very bold moves.

“I applaud them for doing that and I can’t wait for the future there,” Cook said.

Cook, however, said the sales of Mac and iPads have been very strong in India.

“We were pleased with Mac momentum in emerging markets, with strong growth in Latin America, in India, the Middle East and Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe,” the Apple CEO said.

Mac has an active install base of over 100 million units globally.

Apple sold 9.7 million iPads during the quarter.

“We generated iPad growth in a number of key regions around the world, including Latin America, Europe, Japan, India, and South Asia,” Cook announced.

Apple ended the quarter with $237.1 billion in cash plus marketable securities.

IANS

Business

Black Friday Deals: Realme to bring offers on Realme X3 Superzoom, X50 Pro, Buds Air Neo and more

The Black Friday sale will take place on Realme’s online store, Flipkart and Amazon.

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Realme X2 Pro

Over the last few years, online and offline retailers have been offering their Black Friday deals for almost an entire week ahead of Thanksgiving, and some of these deals and offers last well after the Cyber Monday sale.

Black Friday Sale is here!!

After Xiaomi, handset maker Realme on Thursday announced a Black Friday Sale that would arrive with several offers and discounts on a range of its products. The Black Friday Sale would be live for 24 hours and would start November 27, 12:00 AM. The sale would see massive discounts on a range of Realme smartphones including Realme 6i, Realme 6, Realme X3 Superzoom and X50 Pro, and various AIoT products such as Realme Buds Classic, Realme Smart Watch, Realme Buds Air Neo and Realme Smart Cam 360°.

“Realme would also be hosting the ‘Realme Days’ sale offering similar discounts on its own website Realme.com, Flipkart and Amazon.in,” the company said in a statement.

The Black Friday sale will take place on Realme’s online store, Flipkart and Amazon. In addition to the discounts, SBI credit cardholders can avail of 5% cashback on EMI transactions.

  • Realme is offering discounts from Rs 1,000 up to Rs 7,000 for its Black Friday sale. Realme X50 Pro has received the biggest discount of Rs 7,000 bringing its price down to Rs 34,999 from Rs 41,999. Realme X50 Pro with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage also gets a discount making its offer price Rs 40,999.
  • Realme X3 SuperZoom will be available with a Rs 4,000 discount on all three variants. Realme X3 has also received a Rs 3,000 discount on both its variants. Realme C3, Realme 6, Realme 6i, and Narzo 20 Pro can be purchased with a discount of Rs 1,000.
  • In the AIoT portfolio, Realme Buds Air Neo would be available at a discounted price of Rs 1999, along with the Realme Buds Wireless Pro for Rs 3199 and Realme Buds Air Pro at a special price of Rs 4299. These offers would be applicable on all purchases made through Realme’s official website Realme.com.
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India

India’s ban on 43 Chinese apps draws mixed reactions

While announcing the ban on 59 apps in June, the ministry also said that it received “many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps.”

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New Delhi: While Indian startups have largely welcomed the government’s move to ban 43 more Chinese apps, taking it to a total of 267 in a span of about five months, experts have also cautioned that users deserve more information and transparency about the reasons behind the actions.

Extending its support to the latest “digital strike” on Tuesday that banned 43 more Chinese apps, homegrown short video-sharing platform Chingari said that some of the apps in the new list “were banned earlier as well but they just cloaked themselves under a new identity to enter the Indian market.”

“The ban is a very smart move and sends out a clear message that Chinese apps cannot use such tactics to engage in activities that are ‘prejudicial to India’s sovereignty’. At the same time, we would like to assure our Chingari family that the safety of their data is our highest priority,” Sumit Ghosh, CEO, Co-founder Chingari, said in a statement.

One of the banned apps include Snack Video which offered homegrown short video apps, that gained traction following ban on TikTok, very tough competitions.

“This is yet another welcome move from the government to stand against Chinese apps that always have had serious privacy issues. We happily extend our support to all the language users and creators of Snack Video especially who are residing in tier 3/4 cities to come and join Bolo Indya,” said Varun Saxena, Founder and CEO, Bolo Indya.

However, Mishi Choudhary, Founder of SFLC.in, a legal services organisation working on law, technology and policy, said that the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology “has made it a practice of issuing orders banning websites citing vague reasons without offering details that users deserve when being deprived of access to information.”

Earlier on June, 29, the government had blocked access to 59 mobile apps and on September 2, 118 more apps were banned under section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

In addition, the government in late July, cracked down on 47 more mobile apps, most of which were reportedly clones or lite variants of the Chinese apps banned in June.

Launching the fresh assault on 43 Chinese apps on Tuesday, the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said the “action was taken based on the inputs regarding these apps for engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”

While announcing the ban on 59 apps in June, the ministry also said that it received “many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps.”

“What started with the ironical assertion that the government was worried about personal data — considering we are still dithering on a personal data protection law and stories about data theft are so rampant that they don’t even make it to front page news anymore — has now turned into an unfortunate trend,” Choudhary said.

“If these Chinese apps are indulging in notorious practices which they might be, more information and transparency would help users see these orders as necessary instead of what they look like now –a sign of controlling choice,” she added.

SafeHouse Technologies, a cyber security tech enterprise that provides solutions to secure mobile phones, has welcomed the government’s move to ban 43 more Chinese apps, saying that “the government has yet again proved that the security and hygiene in the Indian smartphone and app ecosystem needs to be maintained.”

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India

Landline users need to prefix ‘0’ to call mobile phones starting Jan

Come January 1, landline users across India will need to prefix all calls to any mobile phone with a `0′ , with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) calling on telcos to modify the dialing pattern for such calls in line with the sector regulator’s recommendations.

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Mobile Subsriber

Kolkata: Come January 1, landline users across India will need to prefix all calls to any mobile phone with a `0′ , with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) calling on telcos to modify the dialing pattern for such calls in line with the sector regulator’s recommendations.

The move is likely to create fresh numbering resources for mobile services amid the continuing rise in India’s mobile user base and the decline in wireline connections.

The DoT, in a circular, dated November 20, has backed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recommendations and mandated telcos to ensure all landline subscribers are “given a `0 dialing’ or STD facility” to be able to connect with mobile phones under the new calling system from next year.


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