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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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Elon Musk quits OpenAI group to avoid conflict with Tesla

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Elon Musk (File Photo)

 San Francisco, Feb 23: SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has quit the board of OpenAI, a non-profit artificial intelligence (AI) research company he co-founded that aims to promote and develop friendly AI that benefits the humanity.

“Elon Musk will depart the OpenAI Board but will continue to donate and advise the organisation. As Tesla continues to become more focused on AI, this will eliminate a potential future conflict for Elon,” the research group said in a blog post on Thursday, welcoming some new donors.

In 2014, Musk said AI was humanity’s biggest existential threat later adding that the United Nations needed to act to prevent a killer robot arms race.

OpenAI has fast become a significant voice in the global machine learning community.

Its research has been wide-ranging, including teaching computers to control robots with minimal instruction and the creation of AI agents to play popular video game Dota.

OpenAI recently contributed to the “Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence” report, which warned AI was ripe for exploitation by rogue states, criminals and terrorists.

Drones turned into missiles, fake videos manipulating public opinion and automated hacking are just three of the threats from artificial intelligence in the wrong hands, experts said in the report.

They said that those designing AI systems need to do more to mitigate possible misuse of their technology and that governments must consider new laws to tackle such misuse.

IANS

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Airtel offers Rs 2,000 cashback on Motorola, Lenovo 4G device

As part of the offer, Moto C would be available for Rs 3,999, Moto E4 for 6,499 and Lenovo K8 Note for Rs 10,999.

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AIRTEL

New Delhi, Feb 23: As part of its “Mera Pehla Smartphone” initiative, Telecom services provider Bharti Airtel announced to offer a cashback of Rs 2,000 on select 4G Motorola and Lenovo smartphones.

Two popular 4G smartphones from Motorola — Moto C, Moto E4 and Lenovo K8 Note are available with the offer.

As part of the offer, Moto C would be available for Rs 3,999, Moto E4 for 6,499 and Lenovo K8 Note for Rs 10,999.

“We look forward to working with Motorola to bring smartphones within the reach of more and more customers,” Vani Venkatesh, Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel, said in a statement.

“It is a great opportunity for Airtel subscribers to upgrade to 4G and enjoy the meaningful experiences across Motorola & Lenovo smartphones,” added Sudhin Mathur, Managing Director, Motorola Mobility India and Lenovo MBG India.

IANS

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New iPhone app to aid heart attack survivors

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Corrie app

New York, Feb 23: A new iPhone-based app may help patients who survived a heart attack to maintain their health and reduce the number of hospital readmissions, according to a study.

The “Corrie” app is the first cardiology app for the Apple CareKit platform and is designed to help patients navigate the hospital discharge process by educating them about heart disease.

The app allows them to keep track of medications, follow-up appointments and lifestyle changes needed after a heart attack.

“We have found there are many gaps in care in patients recovering from a heart attack,” said lead author William Yang, from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, US.

“We wanted to engage patients in their own care, and help them transition from the hospital to home using existing technology,” Yang added.

Heart attack patients “may suddenly have new doctors and more medical visits, including cardiac rehab, and the app helps them track and centralise all those appointments”, he said.

The app helps patients to keep track of all their medications, including how much to take and at what time.

It also syncs with the Apple Watch to monitor heart rate and keep track of how much they are walking and with a Bluetooth blood pressure monitor.

Yang said the app has also proven useful to patients even while they were still in the hospital as it allows patients to store important medical information on the app.

The results were presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Cardiovascular Summit in Las Vegas.

IANS

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