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Will slow supply dampen Apple’s iPhone X dreams in India?

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New Delhi, Oct 31: After facing a lacklustre response to iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus globally, including in India, Apple has now placed its bet on successful delivery of “super premium” iPhone X that aims for a scheduled arrival on November 3.

In the past few days, several media reports have claimed that Apple is facing a huge supply gap primarily for two reasons: difficulties in assembling the new facial identification software and 3D camera, and “off the charts” pre-orders for iPhone X after the Apple fraternity didn’t make the expected beeline for iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

The scenario suggests that people will have to wait long before they can grab an iPhone X. Analysts have already warned that the stock on hand is scarce, owing to constrained supply of key iPhone X components. The advanced depth-sensing camera system in iPhone X requires parts that only a few manufacturers can produce.

The iPhone X, which marks the 10th anniversary of the device, costs Rs 89,000 for a 64 GB model and Rs 1.02 lakh for the 256 GB variant.

According to Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems, Counterpoint Research, supply issues will have three main implications for Apple.

“Either the demand for iPhone X will shift to subsequent quarters or some part of the demand will be absorbed by iPhone 8 series if supply is delayed for long. In both the cases, it won’t have much impact on Apple as its user base will remain within the iOS ecosystem,” Pathak told IANS.

However, there is another scenario – where an Android premium user who wishes to shift to iPhone X decides instead to upgrade within the Android ecosystem due to unavailability of iPhone X.

“In that case, it will be an opportunity lost for Apple. However, in India where the super-premium segment (above Rs 50,000) is just 1.2 per cent of the market and with small user base, we don’t think it will have a major impact on Apple in terms of volumes,” Pathak said.

iPhone X brings a different design and an almost full-OLED (edge to edge) screen display.

“Many users who are on iPhone 6 and 7 for the past two-three years are eagerly waiting to upgrade to the entirely new 10th anniversary iPhone, which should help bring good demand for this new device,” Navkendar Singh, Senior Research Manager at IDC India, told IANS.

Earlier, smartphone users in India cited lack of innovation and high prices for holding their decision to buy iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Apple made iPhone 8 obsolete in a matter of minutes by announcing iPhone X with advanced features, they said.

“iPhone X will certainly help drive good volumes for Apple, more so after a very tepid and weak demand for iPhone 8 series,” Singh noted.

Apple has announced international warranty for iPhones bought from outside India.

“A large number of users will try to get their hands on the device from countries with lower pricing. Having said that, the only dampner for the demand can be supply issues that Apple is facing,” Singh added.

Ming-Chi Kuo, famed Apple analyst with KGI Securities, said earlier this week that it’s likely Apple “won’t repeat” the supply and production struggles it experienced with iPhone X with the new 2018 models.

“Shipments of the 2018 iPhone models will arrive on time and in stable supply during the late Q3 of 2018,” Kuo said.

Retailers in India who have seen huge iPhone X pre-orders are keeping their fingers crossed for the stocks to arrive before November 3, and also keep the stocks coming on to meet soaring demand.

“Considering that Apple enjoys a huge aspirational value and premium positioning, iPhone X will do well in the Indian market. The high price will not deter consumers from paying huge premium for Apple products,” Singh told IANS.

People normally upgrade iPhones in September/October but owing to the launch of iPhone 8 and iPhone X at the same time, they waited for X this time instead of upgrading to iPhone 8.

“The buyback offer from Reliance Jio will also help customers purchase iPhone X. Given the supply chain issue Apple is facing, Indian customers expect to face issues related to availability in the initial few weeks,” Satish Meena, senior Forecast Analyst, Forrester Research, told IANS.

IANS

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Nokia 7.1: HMD Global nearly perfects this one

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New Delhi, Dec 15: HMD Global, the Finnish company that manufactures and markets the iconic Nokia-branded phones, has launched devices in India at a steady pace this year.

Its mid-priced smartphones, including the Nokia 7 Plus that was launched in April, were received fairly well in the highly-competitive Indian smartphone landscape.

The handset maker’s focus has been on manufacturing value-for-money devices for the price-conscious Indian buyers with good hardware and neat Android One experience.

Its latest offering, the Nokia 7.1 Plus, is a new mid-ranger that comes in a single configuration of 4GB RAM with 64GB on-board storage for Rs 19,999.

The device is the first to feature “PureDisplay” screen technology for HDR10 cinematic-quality entertainment.

Here’s how the Nokia 7.1 fared in real-life usage.

Talking about its biggest USP — “PureDisplay” screen technology that enables HDR10 support on the display — indeed translated into deeper contrast and vivid colours on supported applications.

HDR10 essentially converts SD content into HDR content on supported apps.

The full HD+ 5.84-inch screen with 19:9 aspect ratio was the best feature of the smartphone.

However, the smartphone doesn’t compromise on design either, which was clearly visible as soon as we picked it up; the aluminium frame laid over glass rendered an appealing design to the phone.

Our gloss midnight blue review unit looked beautiful when held up in light. However, the glass back also meant the phone becomes a fingerprint magnet.

Despite the use of glass in the front and back, the phone felt every bit solid in our hands.

In the middle sits a vertically stacked dual-lens camera set-up while the fingerprint sensor sits just below it.

Talking about the front of the phone, there’s a notch, though it was smaller than many other handsets, thus giving us ample space to either side for the status bar.

The addition of a standard 3.5-mm headphone jack and futuristic USB type-C fast-charging surely were added bonuses.

The rear camera set-up includes a main 12MP sensor with an f/1.8 aperture, and a secondary 5MP lens. The ZEISS tuned camera let us take some pretty good pictures with enough details and good dynamic range. We particularly liked how the shooter handled close-up shots.

Low-light imaging was satisfactory and at par with most smartphones in the same price segment. There’s an 8MP lens in the front for selfies that also supports the much-talked about portrait-style Bokeh effect.

Thanks to Android One, this is an easy to understand device sans any bloatware which also means there are no unnecessary apps.

There’s a Qualcomm SnapDragon 636 system on chip (SoC) on-board which certainly isn’t a flagship chipset. However, the handset handled most tasks, including browsing multiple social media accounts and videos pretty smoothly.

What doesn’t work?

The 3060mAh battery is typically average and would barely last a day on a single charge. We also noticed the phone was performing a bit sluggishly on certain occasions that included heavy gaming.

Conclusion: The Nokia 7.1 stands out in this price segment, courtesy its design language. The sleek, glass sandwich design is to be considered and so does the neat Android One experience.

By Krishna SinhaChaudhury

(Krishna SinhaChaudhury can be contacted at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>)</mailto:[email protected]>

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Pre-order Microsoft Surface Go now on Flipkart in India

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New Delhi, Dec 15: With an aim to take on the Apple iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, Microsoft on Saturday brought its smallest and affordable Surface Go device to India, starting at a price of Rs 38,599.

Weighing at just 1.15 pounds and 8.3 mm thin, the 10-inch, two-in-one device is now available for pre-order with Flipkart, the company said in a statement.

The Surface Go with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage will cost Rs 38,599 while the 8GB RAM and 128GB variant can be purchased for Rs 50,999.

The Surface Go type cover (black) will cost an additional Rs 8,699 and the signature type cover (colour) will cost Rs 11,799.

Microsoft launched the Surface Go globally earlier this year.

The 2-in-1 device comes with the Surface Pen — with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and a 3:2 high-resolution “PixelSense” custom calibrated display designed to render the pages of most school textbooks.

Powered by the 7th Generation Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y and protected by Gorilla Glass 3, the device offers up to nine hours of battery life.

Surface Go also has several ports for various needs, including Surface Connect for charging and docking, USB-C 3.1 for data, video, and charging, a headphone jack and a MicroSD card reader for storage expansion.

For users who require connectivity via video calls, the Surface Go features a 5-MP HD camera and rear auto-focus 8MP HD camera, along with dual microphones.

“Commercial customers can opt for Windows 10 Pro which brings essential business security features to protect devices and infrastructure from modern threats,” said Microsoft.

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6.8 million users possibly affected by latest photo bug: Facebook

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San Francisco, Dec 15: US top social media network Facebook admitted that about 6.8 million users may risk their private photos being exposed to third-party apps.

The company on Friday said more than 1,500 apps built by 876 developers may have also been affected by the bug that exposed users’ unshared photos during a 12-day-period from Sept. 13 to Sept 25, Xinhua news agency reported.

Facebook said it has fixed the breach and will roll out next week “tools for app developers that will allow them to determine which people using their app might be impacted by this bug.”

Those affected by the bug were apps “that Facebook approved to access the photos API and that individuals had authorized to access their photos,” Facebook added. The bug allowed those apps to see pictures of Facebook users that they were not granted access to.

Facebook said it will give its users notification about the possible exposure of their private photos, and that it will be working with developers to delete those copies of photos from impacted users.

The disclosure is another example of Facebook’s failure to properly protect users’ privacy that may drew more criticism of its privacy policy.

The world’s largest social media network has been grilled over the past year for its mishandling of user data, including its involvement in a privacy scandal in March when Cambridge Analytica, a British political consultancy firm, was accused of illegally accessing the data of more than 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

The private information of Facebook users was alleged to be used to influence the U.S. 2016 general elections in favor of President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Last month, Facebook announced that up to 50 million users could have their accounts controlled by hackers due to a security bug that its CEO Mark Zuckerberg called “very serious.”

IANS

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