Saturday, 26 January 2013

Nokia's 808 PureView officially declared as the last Symbian device


It was just a matter of time for Nokia to carve the initials R.I.P in its Symbian OS and now, the Finnish handset maker has made it official. Alongside releasing its Q4 results, the company stated in itsearrings call report that the Nokia 808 PureView , that garnered all the attention for its monstrous 41-megapixel camera, will be the last Symbian device in the history of the Symbian OS.

During our transition to Windows Phone through 2012, we continued to ship devices based on Symbian. The Nokia 808 PureView, a device which showcases our imaging capabilities and which came to market in mid-2012, was the last Symbian device from Nokia.

The report duly mentioned that the company sold 2.2 million Symbian handsets in Q4 2012. That's half as many as the Lumia Windows-Phone devices at 4.4 million units and less than 14 percent of the overall volume of smartphones totalling 15.9 million.

The company's sales in Greater China suffered a huge crash due to Symbian's decline. "On a year-on-year basis, the decrease in Greater China net sales was primarily due to our Smart Devices business unit, most notably lower net sales of our Symbian devices," Nokia said in its report.

The company's marketing expenses and have been declining on a yearly basis due to decreased attention to Symbian. The report goes on to say, "From an operating system perspective, the year-on-year decline in our Smart Devices gross margin in the fourth quarter 2012 was primarily due to a lower Symbian gross margin."

Prior to touch screen devices, the Symbian OS ruled the roost for quite a long time. The OS was highly noticed in the Nokia 9210 communicator phone followed by QWERTY devices like the E61, E71 and other E-Series phones offering better specs in an attempt to compete with BlackBerry messenger phones.

Nokia evolved further with offering camera phones, the Nokia N95 being the most popular. But by this time, Symbian was nearly hanging by a thread when the company decided to launch the Nokia N8 in its attempt to claw back market share and remain relevant to fast-changing consumers. Even though the device flaunted great camera capabilities,  it it never gained momentum because of Android and Apple that had already established their ground. Nokia was dethroned as the mobile leader by Samsung last year.

But what about the Asha line of phones? Well, as per the report, from a total of 79.6 million mobile phones shipped in Q4 2012, 9.3 million were Asha full-touch smartphones. In developing countries like Brazil, Africa and India, the Asha series phones are quite popular since they offer decent specs at highly affordable prices.

 "We will continue to innovate around our Asha smartphone line in order to compete with the very lowest levels of Android with assets that we have", says Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.

Nokia recently introduced the Asha 205 and Asha 206 in both single SIM and dual-SIM versions. Both devices reflect Nokia's heritage by combining stylish design and long-lasting battery life.

The Nokia Asha 205 and Nokia 206 are the first mobile phones devices to include Nokia's exclusiveSlam feature, which enables consumers to share multimedia content such as photos and videos with nearby friends almost instantly. Slam works with most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones without the need to pair devices, and without the recipient needing to also have Slam Nokia commenced shipments of the Nokia Asha 308 and Asha 309, models offering a fluid 'swipe' user interface and an open environment for third-party application development.

Given that Nokia is planning to compete with the Android at the lowest level (which are priced below Rs. 5,000), the company will either have to scale its Windows devices to that level or continue to launch its feature smartphones based on Symbian for some more time. Currently, the cheapest Windows smartphone that is available is the Nokia Lumia 510, which is retailing for Rs. 9,999.

Last year also, Nokia had launched a few low to mid range devices in its Asha series and we believe that will continue to be their strategy for 2013 as well and have Windows Phone OS for their Lumia series.


Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 spotted in first real images


It took a couple of rumours, a confirmation by the Samsung Chief and a supposed press render for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 to grace us with its appearance for real, at least according to DDay.

The Italian forum has posted a few images of the device that seems to have been photographed very carefully so as to not reveal much detail. Nevertheless, what we can see is that design wise, it looks like an over-sized Galaxy S III and nothing like Samsung's previous tablet offerings.

The tablet sports the same curved chassis as seen in the Galaxy S III and another possibility is that it could be used as a phone, considering the image shows a speaker grill housed on the top. We think Samsung may have stretched it a bit too far this time.

One of the images also shows the S-Pen holder at the bottom right of the tablet. The device also sports the traditional menu, home and back buttons. Though the images look pretty real, we wouldn't completely ignore the possibility of them not being final after all, considering what Samsung did with the Galaxy S III in an attempt to keep the final design under wraps.

As far as rumoured specs go, this new tablet is expected to sport 8.0-inch 1280X800 TFT (Super Clear LCD) display. It may come in two versions - Samsung GT-N5100, which will be a 3G+Wi-Fi version and the GT-N5110, which will be a Wi-Fi only version. The dimensions of the tablet will be 211.3X136.3X7.95 mm and it will weigh around 330g.

Other alleged specs for Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 include 4600mAh battery, 2GB of RAM, option of 16 or 32GB as internal storage, 5-megapixel rear camera and 1.3-megapixel front camera. Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is likely to run on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean). Other connectivity options may include Bluetooth version 4.0, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and A-GPS.

Just a day ago, we heard rumours of the tablet being priced under $300. Also, apart from the Galaxy Note 8.0, the Korean manufacturer is planning to launch 7-inch and 10.1-inch tablets as part of the company's next generation Galaxy tablets that will be branded as Galaxy Tab 3. They will come with and without 3G support and will feature a 5-megapixel camera.

These Galaxy tablets will be developed under the codename "SANTOS" and their new code numbers would be GT-P3200, GT-P3210, GT-P5200 and GT-P5210. Additionally, there will also be a high-end tablet from the Korean manufacturer, the GT-P8200 currently codenamed "ROMA" that will come in 16 and 32GB variants.

Galaxy Note 8.0 key specifications
  • 8-inch 1280×800 TFT (Super Clear LCD)
  • 1.6GHz quad-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16/32GB (optional) with microSD expansion up to 32GB
  • 5-megapixel rear camera
  • 1.3-megapixel front
  • 4,600mAh
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, A-GPS
  • EDGE (850/900/1800/1900) HSPA+21.1Mbps, HSUPA 5.76Mbps (850/900/1900/2100)
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 211.3×136.3×7.95 mm
  • Weighs 330grams

Xolo X500, second Intel-powered smartphone officially launched for Rs. 8,999


Lava International has launched the second smartphone based on Intel's new Lexington chips called the Xolo X500. We had recently done an exclusive, which mentioned that the Xolo X500 will be available in India for Rs. 8,999 and it has indeed been listed at the same price.
The Xolo X500 features an Atom Z2420 processor, which has a clock speed of 1.2GHz and combines Intel's hyper-threading technology. It is a dual-SIM smartphone, which runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The device has a 3.5-inch display with a resolution of 480X320. It in 512MB RAM, 4GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD card. It has a 1,500mAh battery.

The Xolo X500 comes with a 5-megapixel auto focus rear camera that can click seven images in the burst mode at 6 fps (frames per second).TheXolo X900 was the first device in the Xolo series in April 2012. This was also the first smartphone in the world to come with an 'Intel Inside' tag. With the Xolo X500 the company is now looking at addressing its price conscious consumers.

With the addition of the Xolo X500, the company is now offering five smartphones under the Xolo brand which range between Rs. 6,999 to Rs. 17, 500. The company is bullish about the affordable smartphone market in India and will be looking at offering some more new products by the end of the financial year.

Lava has also launched its Xolo A500, which comes with a 4-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen and has a resolution of 480X800 pixels. It is powered by a 1 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Krait processor accompanied by 512MB RAM.

The Xolo A500 comes with 4GB of internal storage, which can be expanded to up to 32GB via microSD card, 5-megapixel rear camera and VGA front camera. It runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and is available in the market for Rs. 6,999.

Key specifications of the XOLO X500

  • 3.5-inch TFT display with 480X320 pixel resolution
  • 1.2GHz processor with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB Internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • 5-megapixel camera
  • 1,500mAh battery
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

Samsung targeting sales of 10 million Galaxy S IV devices per month: Report


Samsung's latest flagship device, the Galaxy S IV hasn't even been launched yet and a new report is claiming that the Korean manufacturer aims to sell 10 million devices each month.

BGR reports via South Korean news portal Money Today that Samsung is aiming to sell 10 million Galaxy S IV smartphones and that the company is reportedly planning to keep up to its target each month.

It took Samsung almost two months to achieve the 10 million sales mark for its current flagship Galaxy S III smartphone since its debut in May last year. The figure hit 20 million in September 2012 with the company saying that brisk sales of the S III are helping it retain dominance in the smartphone market.

Global sales touched 30 million in November last year. The company sold 56.3 million smartphones, including its flagship S III, in July-September 2012, representing 31.3 percent of the global market, more than twice as much as bitter rival Apple's share, as reported by research firm IDC in October 2012.

So far, rumoured specs for the Galaxy S IV codenamed 'Altius', include a 4.99-inch Super AMOLED display with full-HD resolution, 13-megapixel rear autofocus camera, Android Jelly Bean, Exynos 5 Octa chipset and an S-Pen stylus. It is also likely to come with wireless charging support.

The news site also offers additional information regarding Samsung's tablet offerings staying that the company is likely to introduce 12-inch and 14-inch tablet models apart from the currently rumoured 7-inch, 10.1-inch and the 8-inch Galaxy Note.

The latter will be a part of the company's next generation Galaxy tablets that will be branded as Galaxy Tab 3. They will come with and without 3G support and will feature a 5-megapixel camera.

These Galaxy tablets will be developed under the codename "SANTOS" and their new code numbers would be GT-P3200, GT-P3210, GT-P5200 and GT-P5210. Additionally, there will also be a high-end tablet from the Korean manufacturer, the GT-P8200 currently codenamed "ROMA" that will come in 16 and 32GB variants.


Does the new Mega file-sharing service live up to the mega challenge?


New Zealand entrepreneur Kim Dotcom still wanted by U.S. authorities on allegations of copyright infringement launched a new online service this week for storing and sharing files.Staying true to his outsized personality and reputation for excess, Dotcom unveiled the Mega service with great fanfare, renting a helicopter and hiring actors dressed as police agents to re-enact a raid that followed the shutdown of his first venture, Megaupload.
The new Mega service promises user privacy and a generous 50 gigabytes of free storage space officially for documents and other files you own or are authorized to share.
What Mega doesn't promise is a good experience. Instead, it feels like a work in progress.
Several other services do what Mega does and do it better. I have reviewed Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft's SkyDrive, and I like the way they let people store files remotely using a Web browser. Like Mega, they all let you create links that you can send to friends to download and view specific files.
All three go further by letting you do so from a wide range of browsers. Mega warns that using anything other than Google's Chrome browser is bound to cause problems. That includes Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which comes with every Windows computer, and Apple's Safari, which comes with Mac machines. Chrome comes with, well, Chromebook machines, which few people have. Mega says it's pushing the envelope with technology that other browsers lack, and it offers links when using other browsers to download and install Chrome.
Mega also doesn't have one of the best features available with Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive - the ability to create a special folder on your computer that automatically syncs with the service. You can add a document to your Dropbox folder on your work computer, for instance, and it will automatically appear on your Dropbox account online. When you're home, the updated document is waiting on your computer. Make a change there, and the work computer will get it, too. Mega says it's working on something similar.
Same goes for mobile apps. Mega says apps to access files on smartphones and tablet computers are coming.
Mega also isn't as versatile when it comes to sharing options.
Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive offer two main ways to share individual files and entire folders. You can create a Web link that anyone can use to access a file or folder without signing up for an account. You can also add specific users to a permission list and invite non-users to join. Shared files and folders would show up in their accounts, without needing a specific link. Either way, you can revoke access to specific users or cancel a link entirely should you change your mind.
With Mega, files can be shared only through a link, but there doesn't seem to be a way to cancel it. With Google Drive and SkyDrive, you can also give others permission to edit documents with the link. Links with Mega and Dropbox are for viewing only.
For folders, you need to add people's email addresses to the permission list, and those who are not already users will get an invite to join. With this approach, you can choose whether to let them read files only or make changes. You can also revoke permission. But again, this works only with folders. To allow someone to edit one file, you have to put it alone in a folder and give that person permission to edit that folder.
Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive let you share both files and folders with either method.
One thing Mega has that other services don't enhanced encryption of files. Unless you're sharing a file with someone, Mega says, you are the only one with a key to view that file. Mega says its employees can't access it, even under the threat of legal action.
Mega also offers far more free storage than any of the other three services - 50 GB compared with 2 GB on Dropbox, 5 GB on Google Drive and 7 GB on SkyDrive. Upgrade plans on Mega start at 120 euros ($160) a year for 500 GB. You'd have to pay $499 to get that on Dropbox and $240 to get just 405 GB on Google Drive. SkyDrive doesn't even offer that much. Unlike Google Drive and SkyDrive, Mega doesn't impose any limits on the size of any one file.
All that space is perfect for super-large files - say, a feature-length movie. Of course, I don't condone piracy, and Mega says it doesn't, either. Its terms of service prohibit you from using Mega for copyright infringement. If you do, according to Mega, it's you who will be liable, not Mega. Mega says it will remove links to unauthorized files brought to its attention.
That was Dotcom's position, too, when he presided over the now-shuttered Megaupload service. It had been one of the most popular sites on the Internet until last January, when U.S. prosecutors shut it down and accused him and several company officials of facilitating millions of illegal downloads. U.S. authorities are trying to extradite Dotcom from New Zealand, where he is free on bail. Mega's launch Sunday came on the one-year anniversary of the arrest of Dotcom and the raid on his home.
What makes Mega different from Megaupload is encryption. Mega says it can't see what's in the files being shared, and thus it cannot be held liable.
In addition, Megaupload deactivated files on free accounts unless someone downloaded that file at least once every 90 days. According to the government's indictment of Dotcom and related parties, that made Megaupload useless for long-term personal storage of legitimate files, as only pirated materials with frequent downloads tended to avoid deactivation. Mega doesn't appear to have a similar expiration, though the company didn't respond to email requests to clarify that and several other points.
One thing is similar Like Megaupload, Mega allows you to upload files without an account. That means you don't have to share your email with Mega, though it's possible the service will have your computer's numeric Internet Protocol address if you're not using an IP-masking service like Tor for anonymity. If you upload a file this way, you can create a link that you can give to others to download your file. This is something not available with Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive.
Still, that's not enough to overcome Mega's shortcomings. Mega's sharing options aren't as versatile. The service doesn't even let you change a compromised password or reset one you've forgotten. Once again, Mega says that's coming. I also had trouble signing up with Hotmail accounts. Emails that Mega sent to verify accounts didn't go through. I even checked the spam folder.
Mega is useful for sharing large files that won't fit on a free Dropbox, Google Drive or SkyDrive account. That can be one that exceeds Google's 10 GB limit or SkyDrive's 2 GB cap for a single file, or that can involve several that collectively exceed your free space. (Google's single-file limit, by the way, is already double what you get for free.)
For routine use, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive are all more versatile and easier to use.


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Apple shares fall on reports of cuts to iPhone 5 parts orders


Apple's stock slipped below $500 for the first time in 11 months on Monday as investors reacted to reports signaling the company's latest iPhone is falling further behind a slew of sleek alternatives running Google's Android software.
The latest indication that Apple, the world's most valuable company, is seeing sluggish demand for its iPhone 5 emerged in separate stories published Monday in the Japanese newspaper Nikkei and The Wall Street Journal. Both publications cited unnamed people familiar with the situation saying Apple has dramatically reduced its orders for the parts needed to build the newest iPhone because the device isn't selling as well as the company hoped.
The adjustment means Apple will buy about half as many display screens for the iPhone as management originally planned for the opening three months of the year, according to the newspapers.
Apple Inc., which is based in Cupertino, Calif., declined to comment Monday. Spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said Apple executives would share their views on market conditions Jan. 23 when the company is scheduled to release its financial results for the final three months of 2011. The period covers the first full quarter that the iPhone 5 was on sale.
Although Apple hailed the iPhone 5 as the best version yet of a product that has revolutionized the telecommunications and computing industry, the company's stock has wilted since the device hit the market.
After peaking at $705.07 on the day of the iPhone 5's Sept. 21 release, Apple's stock has plunged nearly 30 percent. The shares fell $18.55, or 3.6 percent, to close Monday's regular trading at $501.75, dragging the company's market value nearly $190 billion below where it stood in late September. The stock traded at $498.51 earlier in the day, its lowest price since February.
The stock's decline hasn't been entirely caused by concerns about the iPhone 5's sales performance. Industry analysts are also worried about the recent introduction of a smaller, less expensive iPad cutting into the company's profits.
But the biggest fears hover around the iPhone because it has become Apple's most valuable product since the company's late CEO, Steve Jobs, unveiled the first model in 2007. Apple has sold more than 271 million of the devices since then, and in the company's last fiscal year ending in September, the iPhone generated $80 billion in sales to account for more than half of the company's total revenue.
But Apple's upgrades of the iPhone in the past two years have disappointed gadget lovers who have been clamoring for Apple to do more to stay in front of device makers relying on the free Android software made by Google Inc. For instance, there were high hopes for a larger iPhone screen with the release of the 2011 model, but Apple waited until last September to take that leap. And when Apple moved to a larger display screen with the iPhone 5, it didn't include a special chip to enable users to make mobile payments by tapping the handset on another device at the checkout stand. Such a mobile payment feature is available on some Android phones.
Finally, Apple has insisted that wireless carriers subsidize so much of the iPhone's cost in exchange for customers' two-year commitments on data plans that the carriers make little or no money by selling the devices. That has prompted more wireless carriers to tout less expensive Android phones in their stores, undercutting the demand for iPhones, said Darren Hayes, who has been studying the shifting market conditions as chairman of the computing systems program at Pace University in New York.
Through the third quarter of last year, Android devices represented 75 percent of smartphone shipments worldwide according to the research firm International Data Corp. That was up from 58 percent at the same point 2011. Meanwhile, Apple's share of worldwide smartphone shipments has fallen from a peak of 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 15 percent in the third quarter of last year.
Samsung Electronics, in particular, has been benefiting from the growing popularity of its Android-powered phones, led by its Galaxy S line. The company said Monday that it sold more than 100 million Galaxy S phones in less than three years. It took the iPhone nearly four years to reach that milestone.
"This is a real wake-up call for Apple," Hayes said. "They need to be more flexible in how they do things." Among other things, Hayes thinks Apple may have to reduce the financial burden on wireless carriers selling the iPhone and spend more money advertising the devices, especially with the recent wave of phones running on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows software. Apple's efforts to sell more iPhones to companies also could be short-circuited if Research in Motion Ltd.'s upcoming release of a revamped BlackBerry proves to be a hit. The BlackBerry is due out Jan. 30.
In an attempt to regain its competitive edge, Apple already is considering the release of a less expensive version of the iPhone made of cheaper parts to boost sales in less affluent countries, according to a report last week in The Wall Street Journal. The company so far hasn't commented on that speculation, either. The least expensive iPhone 5 without a wireless contract sells for $649. With the subsidy included with a two-year wireless service contract, the iPhone 5 sells for as little as $199.
Even as it loses ground to Android products, the iPhone remains a solid seller. Some analysts believe Apple sold more than 50 million iPhones in its last quarter ending in December, which would be far the most units that the company has ever shipped during any previous three-month period.
What's more, the iPhone 5 got off to a torrid start in China, where Apple expects to eventually sell more devices than it does in the U.S. Apple said it sold more than two million iPhone 5s in the three days after its debut in China last month.

Worry over sales spurs talk of cheaper iPhones


By now, most of the world knows what an iPhone is - and they know it typically doesn't come cheap.
That is the problem Apple faces. Analysts say it must decide whether to keep catering to the high end of the phone market, reaping fat profits from relatively fewer sales, or offer something cheaper to compete with lower-cost alternatives like Samsung's phones.
Worries about low-cost competition weighed on Apple's stock on Monday after reports that the company had reduced orders of screens for the iPhone 5, suggesting that demand for the phone could be weaker than expected. The company's shares dropped 3.6 percent for the day to close at $501.75; they have slid 29 percent from their high in September.
The long slump in the stock price has increased the pressure on the company to produce a solid earnings report on Wednesday, when investors will be looking closely to see how strong iPhone sales were.
The iPhone is still a top seller in the American market. But it has a tougher time competing in other markets, where consumers buy phones without a subsidy from a wireless carrier. In countries like Brazil, Germany and Spain, the iPhone 5 can cost $650.
And even the cheaper iPhones, like the 4 and 4S, are more expensive than the cheapest Android phones, said Tero Kuittinen, an independent mobile analyst and vice president of Alekstra, a company that helps people manage their cellphone bills.
"The people buying their first smartphones now are lower-income households," Mr. Kuittinen said. "They don't have enough money to have $650 to pay for a smartphone."
Analysts say that in the earnings report, they will pay special attention to the average selling price of iPhones to determine whether the iPhone 5 is still the hot seller or whether cheaper models are making up a majority of sales. The trend might help determine whether Apple will eventually introduce a new lower-end iPhone.
Apple does appear to be cutting back on orders for its latest iPhone from its manufacturing partners, as Nikkei of Japan and The Wall Street Journal reported earlier. Paul Semenza, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch, a research firm that follows the display market, said that for January, Apple had expected to order 19 million displays for the iPhone 5 but cut the order to 11 million to 14 million. Mr. Semenza said these numbers came from sources in the supply chain, the companies that make components for Apple products.
The reduction in orders for screens could be related to excess inventory, or because consumer demand for the iPhone 5 just was not as strong as Apple had predicted, Mr. Semenza said. "Certainly, demand from Apple to the display makers seems to have been corrected pretty significantly," he said.
Natalie Kerris, an Apple spokeswoman, declined to comment.
Laurence I. Balter, an analyst at Oracle Investment Research, said one reason Apple's stock had been hurting was that analysts often overshoot with their predictions for how many devices Apple will sell each quarter. He said that might explain some of Monday's sharp drop: "Everybody got a little too aggressive and optimistic."
Mr. Balter said there was plenty of room left for Apple to grow and China was a particularly important market. The iPhone is available there for China Unicom, a major wireless network. But Apple has yet to strike a deal with China's bigger cellphone carrier, China Mobile, which has a whopping 600 million subscribers - about six times as many as AT&T. That is Apple's opportunity for huge growth, Mr. Balter said.
"In China, the Apple brand on the iPhone is a status symbol," he said. "You're going to have the Samsung device, which is a nice phone, or you'll show your friends you have an Apple device. It's like wearing a pair of Levi's versus a Costco brand."
Mr. Balter said he thought Apple's strategy for growth would be to go after more price-conscious consumers, because once they become customers, they are likely to keep buying other Apple products. Perhaps the key to that strategy will be a cheaper iPhone, he said.
But even if Apple were to offer a cheaper iPhone, it is unlikely it would be dirt cheap, Mr. Kuittinen said. If it chose to play more aggressively in foreign markets, Apple would more likely introduce a midprice model that is cheaper than the newest iPhone but more expensive than the cheapest phones on the market, he said. That would be similar to its approach with the iPad Mini, which is more expensive than the smaller tablets sold by Google and Amazon but much cheaper than the full-size iPad.

Monday, 14 January 2013

HTC hopes phones with local font will give it Myanmar edge


Peter Chou, CEO of Taiwan smartphone company HTC Corp, will on Monday launch what he hopes will be a major boost to both a backward tech sector in Myanmar, his country of birth, and to his company's share of one of the few untapped mobile markets a phone that locals can use out of the box.
Until now, Chou says, Myanmarese users of mobile phones and computers must install fonts in their own language, a process that is cumbersome, often invalidates the device's warranty and has, he says, slowed innovation and the embrace of technology.
HTC has instead teamed up with a local distributor and a software developer to customise Google's Android operating system so its devices display local fonts and sport a dedicated and, Chou says, intuitive, Myanmar language onscreen keyboard.
"You don't have to spend two months to learn how to type it," Chou said in an interview ahead of the launch. "You just type it. We want to give people here a computing device they don't have to learn. They just try it, they just use it, they just get it."
Myanmar IT experts say that while the country's alphabet is no more complex than some other Asian scripts, a failure to agree how to apply an international standard for language symbols called Unicode to existing versions of the computer font has made it difficult to bake the language into software.
As a result, web pages and apps will often be unreadable.
Big challenges, little penetration
The issue of fonts may seem a basic one, but reflects the challenges Myanmar faces in catching up with its neighbours as it sheds decades of military control over politics and the economy. Myanmar has one of the lowest mobile penetration rates in the world, with only 3 percent of the population owning a phone in 2011, according to the World Bank. In neighbouring Bangladesh, 56 percent of people have a mobile phone.
When IT enthusiasts met last year for a conference on the future of technology called Barcamp Yangon, much of the discussion revolved around such basic issues, participants said. With at least two competing types of font software available, disagreements remain.
The problem is worse on smartphones, says Soe Ngwe Ya, general manager of KMD, HTC's distribution partner for the new phones. In order to install such fonts on mobile devices users must first "root" the phone, effectively bypassing the manufacturer's controls on customizing the phone's operating system. That often invalidates any warranty. "It's a major issue," he says.
HTC also hopes it can claw back some ground from its biggest competitor in Android phones, Samsung Electronics, which has established a first mover advantage in Myanmar.
Samsung has at least two distributors for its handsets and its advertisements are visible around the capital. Soe says KMD will act as HTC's distributor, open a flagship store and service HTC users.
Chou, who was born in Myanmar but left to work and study in Taiwan more than 30 years ago, says that at least for now the Myanmar fonts and keyboard will only be available on HTC devices. He denied that this undermined his claims of contributing to his homeland.
"While sometimes you can be idealistic," he said, "the first thing you have to show the people is something to get excited about."

Samsung Galaxy S smartphones reach 100 million sales mark


Samsung Electronics said Monday that global sales of its flagship Galaxy S smartphones had topped 100 million since the first model debuted in 2010, cementing its dominant position over US rival Apple.
The original Galaxy S phone, launched in June 2010, sold 25 million units, the South Korean electronics giant said in a statement.
The Galaxy S II, launched in April 2011, racked up sales of more than 40 million, and the S III has reached the same volume since coming on the market in May last year.
For Samsung, 2012 was a watershed year that saw it take a giant bite out of Apple as it carved out a dominant position in the global mobile computing market.
Samsung saw its share of the lucrative smartphone market surge to 31.3 percent in the third quarter of 2012, up from just 3.3 percent in late 2009.
It extended its lead over Apple as the top maker of smartphones worldwide, according to research firm IHS iSuppli, which gave Samsung 28 percent of the market in 2012, up from 20 percent the previous year.
Apple's share rose to 20 percent in 2012 from 19 percent, IHS said.
The two tech giants have been embroiled in a long-running patent battle with each accusing the other of stealing designs and technology.

Google releases Chrome Beta channel for Android 4.0 and above


Google has introduced the Chrome Beta channel for smartphones and tablets running Android 4.0 and above. The company's latest Beta channel for phones and tablets now joins their existing Beta versions of Chrome for Mac, Windows, Linux and Chrome OS. 

Version 25.0.1364.8 of Chrome Beta, which is now available in the Google Play Store will allow users to access and try out new features of the browser before they're rolled out as stable. 

Users must keep in mind that since the browser is in the beta phase, they are liable to come across bumps and encounter various bugs. As a user you can, however, provide feedback regarding issues.

Users can install the Beta alongside their current version of Chrome for Android. Google promises to push timely updates so that users can test out their latest work as soon as it's ready. 

Google says Chrome for Android beta now has all the same optimisation and speed that its desktop browsers have, including improvements to the Octane performance benchmark. The changes are expected to bring an improvement of about 25-30%. The update also includes HTML5 features for developers like CSS Filters. 

Lava launches Iris N501 with 5-inch display, Android 4.0 for Rs. 9,999


Lava had announced its plans to launch Android phones under 10K as part of its Iris series last year. After the company came out with the Iris N350, it has now launched the Iris N501 in the series priced at Rs. 9,999.

Running on Android 4.0.4, the Iris N501 comes with a 5-inch (480x800 pixels) capacitive touch display. It features a 5-megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED flash and a VGA front camera as well. 

On the inside, the dual-SIM device is powered by a 1 GHz dual-core MediaTek processor with 512MB RAM and has 4GB of internal storage with external expansion support upto 32GB via microSD. it comes with a 2,300mAh battery with up to 7.8 hours talk time and up to 620 hours standby.

The smartphone also comes with many pre-installed apps like Saavn, Fusion Music Organizer and games including Asphalt HD, Saving Private Sheep, Cricket Fever, Little Big City and Shark Dash. Connectivity options on the Iris N501 include 3G (HSDPA 7.2Mbps; HSUPA 5.76Mbps), WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth and GPS.

This will be the first smartphone in the Iris series to sport a 5-inch display. That's not surprising other homegrown companies already have 5-inch screen offerings. The Lava Iris N501 will be competing in the same league as the recently launched Zync Z5 Cloud Dual Core,  Micromax A110Spice Stellar HorizoniBall Andi 5c and the Intex Aqua 5.0.

Lava's previous Iris N350 sports a 3.5-inch touchscreen and packs in a 1GHz processor. It runs on Android 2.3.6 and comes with a 1300 mAh battery. For connectivity it supports EDGE/ GPRS/ Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There is a 2-megapixel rear camera and VGA front camera. 

Lava has not yet announced the price or availability of the Iris N350 but it is already available through online retailer Snapdeal for Rs. 4,499. The company was also expected to launch the Iris N320, but there is no word on its availability yet.

Furthermore, company plans to add five more smartphones to this portfolio between January to March 2013. All the smartphones launched by Lava under this series will have a processor that's at least 1GHz or faster and will be priced between Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000.

Lava Iris N501 key specifications
  • 5-inch (480x800 pixels) capacitive touch display
  • 1 GHz dual-core MediaTek processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage expandable upto 32GB with microSD
  • 5-megapixel auto focus rear camera with LED Flash
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • 3G (HSDPA 7.2Mbps; HSUPA 5.76Mbps), WiFi 802.11 b/g/n,Bluetooth, GPS
  • 2300 mAh battery
  • Android 4.0.4

Meet Cookoo, Pebble competitor smart watch with a long battery life


"Smart" watches that talk to cellphones have been around for some time, but they've been hampered by their high battery drain - usually needing recharging every few days. At this week's International CES electronics trade show in Las Vegas, a startup launched a smart watch, the Cookoo, that runs for a year on a standard button cell.
What it is
The Cookoo is a somewhat beefy watch, most suited for the male wrist. It has analog hands to show the time, but the watch face can also display several digital indicators, prompted by Bluetooth signals from your smartphone. Aided by beeps and a vibration motor, it can tell you that someone is calling or that you missed a call. It can also alert you about new email or an appointment. The watch can also talk back to the phone, so you can use it as a remote release for the camera.
How it works
A free app on your iPhone prompts it to send signals via the Bluetooth wireless technology to the watch. The reason the Cookoo can run for a year on a button cell is that it uses a new, low-energy flavor of Bluetooth, known as 4.0.
The caveats
Only a few devices have the chips necessary for low-energy Bluetooth connections. The app is for Apple devices only, so the watch is limited to talking to the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5, the full-size iPad models released last year, the iPad Mini and the latest iPod Touch. Early reviewers on iTunes complain of the watch dropping the connection to the phone and running down the phone battery - problems that might be fixed with a software update.
Price and availability
ConnecteDevice Ltd., which makes the Cookoo, sells it on its website for $130. AT&T's flagship store, in Chicago, is also carrying it for the same price.
The competition
CES also saw the launch of the Pebble, a programmable smart watch with a fully digital display. Users can send different "watch faces" to it and make it perform a wider range of tricks than the Cookoo can, but it needs to be recharged every week. Like the Cookoo, the Pebble raised the money to start production by selling units on group-fundraising site Kickstarter.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

CES 2013: Olympus unveils three rugged, two long-zoom cameras


There were plenty of companies launching rugged cameras at CES 2013 and Olympus too joined the league with three offerings. Their flagship camera is the Olympus STYLUS TOUGH TG-2 iHS, which is waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, crushproof and dustproof.
It is a successor to Olympus TOUGH TG-1 iHS and features a f/2.0 high speed lens. It comes with a 12-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor combined with a DSLR-quality TruePic VI image processor. According to Olympus, the new Microscopic Macro function helps this camera to boosts zoom magnification from 4x to 14x. This camera is expected to arrive in United States from March 2013 with a price tag of $379.99 and will be available in black and red colours.
Olympus STYLUS TOUGH TG-830 iHS is a 16-megapixel camera, which comes with a BSI CMOS sensor. This camera too is waterproof up to depths of 10 metres, and shockproof from drops of heights up to 2 metres, and is both freeze-proof and dust-proof.
TG-830 iHS is also capable of capturing high speed video at 120 frames per second in 720p and 240 frames per second in HVGA along with high speed sequential shooting for still images. This camera too will be available from March $279.99. It will offer Silver, Black, Red, and Blue colour options.
TG-630 iHS is the third camera introduced in STYLUS TOUGH series. It is also a rugged camera but it is not crushproof like TG-830 iHS. STYLUS TOUGH TG-630 iHS includes a 12-megapixel CMOS sensor and is shockproof from 1.5 metres, waterproof up to 5 metres. This camera is expected to be available for $200 and will start retailing in March.
Apart from this, Olympus also added SP-620UZ and Olympus SZ-12 to its range of long zoom cameras. Olympus SP-620UZ comes with a 21x optical zoom lens and a 16-megapixel CCD sensor. The biggest advantage that SP-620UZ boasts of is the flexibility to focus and capture distant subjects without having to carry interchangeable lenses
This camera also comes with a 3D image capture feature, which combines two photos of the same subject from different angles to generate dynamic 3D images that can be viewed on a 3D-compatible monitor or television. It will be available sometime later in January. Priced at $200, SP-620UZ will be available in silver and black colour options.
The Olympus SZ-12 is a long zoom camera that comes with 24x optical wide-angle zoom lens. According to the company, this camera packs in two forms of image stabilisation to help curb blur. OLYMPUS SZ-12 is a slim camera that comes with 14-megapixel sensor and a 3-inch LCD display. This camera costs $199.99 and will be available in silver, black and red colour options.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Apple CEO Tim Cook visits China for second time in less than a year


Apple Inc's Chief Executive Tim Cook is meeting with partners and government officials in China on his second visit to the firm's second-largest market in less than a year.
China is Apple's fastest-growing market, with the maker of the popular iPhone and iPad opening a raft of retail stores last year. Last month, Apple sold more than 2 million iPhone 5s in the country in just three days, the company's best ever smartphone launch in the country.
Despite the roaring success of iPhone sales in China, analysts say the company's longer-term outlook in the market may hinge on expanding its partners to include China Mobile Ltd, the country's top telecoms carrier.
"Tim is in Beijing meeting with government officials and partners. China is an important market for us and we look forward to continued customer excitement and growth here," Apple's spokeswoman in China Carolyn Wu said on Wednesday.
She declined to say whether or not Cook would be meeting with China Mobile executives.
In China, the iPhone is currently sold through Apple's seven stores, resellers and through China Unicom and China Telecom - which together have fewer than half the mobile subscribers of bigger rival China Mobile.
A deal with China's biggest carrier is seen as crucial to improving Apple's distribution in a market of 290 million users. Apple has been in talks on a tie-up with China Mobile for four years.
China Mobile and Apple initially said they were separated only by a technical issue - as the Chinese carrier runs a different 3G network from most of the world - but that has evolved into a broader and more complex issue of revenue-sharing.
On Tuesday, Cook met with the Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Miao Wei, where they discussed the development of the smartphone industry and innovation trends, according to a statement posted on the ministry's website.
China, Apple's biggest market after the United States, currently accounts for about 15 percent of its annual revenue.

Panasonic showcases its new TV line up headed by 56-inch 4K OLED TV


The star products at this year's CES seem to be OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diodes) and ultrahigh definition TVs. After Sony, Samsung and LG it was Panasonic's turn to showcase its OLED TV.
Thanks to OLED technology, the 56-inch set from Panasonic Corp. is less than half an inch thick and weighs 27 pounds, about half of what equivalent conventional sets weigh. The set has four times the resolution of today's high-definition sets.
Apart from this, Panasonic also showcased 16 new LED/ LCD TVs that will be a part of their 2013 Viera line-up. These TVs span across 32-inches to 60-inches and are designed to meet the needs of varied consumers.
The Japanese TV maker also showcased a few new features that the company is now introducing. One such feature is 'My Home Screen'. This feature will be available in Viera WT60, DT60, ET60, and E60 Series and will allows each user in the home to create their own personal home screen giving them quick access to their favourite content.
Another nifty feature that will be available to WT60, DT60, ET60, and E60 Series TV is Swipe and Share 2.0. This feature allows users to tap their NFC smartphone against their TV to share content.
"Panasonic's new LED/LCD models transform the home, creating not only the ultimate viewing experience, but the finest in design innovation, allowing the television to become the centrepiece of the home" said Henry Hauser, Vice President, Merchandising Group, Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America. "We're committed to pushing the envelope in terms of form and functionality while maintaining our strong commitment to producing the most environmentally-friendly products."
Panasonic has also showcased its Plasma range for 2013, which comprises of with 16 new models ranging from 42-inches to 65-inches. These TVs are expected to be available from February 2013.
Features such as 'My Home Screen' and 'Swipe and Share 2.0' are also available to Plasma TV users who purchase Viera ZT60, VT60, and ST60 Series. Additionally, Plasma TV users will also get 'Touch Pen' feature, which allows users to add their own writing to their photos on screen and transfer them back to their smart devices using the optional Electronic Touch Pen (TY-TP10U) accessory.
Electronic Touch Pen (TY-TP10U) accessory is a new accessory and will have to be purchased separately.
"Panasonic continually strives to surpass the previous year's successes, and the new 2013 series of VIERA Plasma HDTVs does just that," said Henry Hauser, Vice President, Merchandising Group, Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America. "The series' enhanced VIERA Connect IPTV functionality, superior picture and sound quality, and advanced connectivity capabilities have completely transformed the TV viewing experience. With the 16 new models, Panasonic has set the bar for years to come."
With Inputs from Associated Press

Panasonic shows off a 20-inch 4K Windows 8 tablet at CES


One of the most interesting announcements from Panasonic was the huge 20-inch Windows 8 tablet touting a whopping 4K resolution offering ultra sharp and crisp images. The 4K resolution until now was restricted only to televisions (Also seePanasonic showcases its new TV line up headed by 56-inch 4K OLED TV)

Measuring 18.7x13.1x0.4 inches, the tablet is very light and incredibly thin and is mainly targeted at industry and business professionals. The tablet also comes with a stylus that can serve as an excellent tool for photographers, graphic designers and even video editors to multitask on-the-go.

The tablet makes use of Anoto's digital writing technology. Panasonic is looking forward to implementing this technology in in the development of its various next generation products. The technology can turn virtually any surface, including large formats, into a "live digital surface" in which the dot pattern is read by a digital pen and converted into computer-usable data. 

Details on the tablet's hardware specifications seem to be minimal at this point, considering it is just a prototype and a pretty good one at that.

What is known, courtesy Engadget, is that it packs in an Intel Core i5 and includes Micro-USB, microSD and Wi-Fi. As of now, the tablet promises two hours of battery on-the-go, which may not sound like much right now, but we expect it to improve.

Mashable reports that the prototype features a 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 34207U vPro processor with 4GB RAM and a 128GB solid-state drive. Screen resolution stood at 3840x2560 translating to a 230ppi density. Panasonic didn't reveal much details on the GPU, only saying that it will be Nvidia GeForce.

The tablet doesn't have a name yet and even pricing and availability details currently remain unknown, which is no surprise given Panasonic is just showcasing it as a prototype.

India displaces Brazil, Russia to become fourth largest market for Sony


Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony today said its Indian operations have emerged as its fourth largest globally, overtaking businesses in Brazil and Russia by the end of December quarter this fiscal.
The sluggish demand in developed nations has helped the company's growing subsidiary Sony India, which has clocked a revenue of over Rs. 6,000 crore during April-December period in 2012-13, to improve its position in global ranking.
"The Indian operations has become the number four in global ranking. We have overtaken Brazil and Russia, which were ahead of us in last fiscal," Sony India Managing Director Kenichiro Hibi told reporters here.
The existing top three positions are held by the US, China and Japan, he said without sharing details.
"We have almost touched last year's revenue... We are completely on our track to treble our turnover to Rs. 20,000 crore by 2015," Hibi said.
The Indian operations' revenue for 2011-12 was Rs. 6,313 crore compared to Rs. 5,446 crore in the previous fiscal. The company is expecting 30-40 percent growth in this fiscal.
Sony India's achievement comes at a time when its parent is reporting losses due to unfavourable foreign exchange rates, impact of tsunami in Japan, floods in Thailand and adverse market sentiments in developed countries.
Sony Corporation reported 9.58 percent fall in its sales for the year ending March 31, 2012, at 6.49 trillion yen. Its net loss also widened to 456.7 billion yen in the year.
For the quarter ending September 30 last year, the Japanese major incurred a net loss of 15.5 billion yen. Its sales stood at 1,604.7 billion yen.
Asked about the growth driver for Sony India, Hibi said: "Bravia, Vaio and Xperia are the major contributor to our rise. These three have contributed 70 percent of our revenue."
He further said the Indian operations is contributing 5-10 percent of Sony Corp's global revenue at present and it "has the potential to grow".
When asked if Sony India will be able to move further in the ranking, Hibi said: "The gap between Japan and India is very big, but the growth rate in India is higher than that of the parent... The headquarter is focussing more in India and it is a very strategic market."
To expand its presence further, the company is looking to customise products more to meet Indian customers' demand, he added.
The company will also introduce more "affordable and entry-level products, mostly TV sets, but with certain premiumness" in India during next year.
Hibi, however, said the company does not have any plan to set up an assembly line in India at present despite "demand for our products are rising".

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Draft industrial plan to focus on IT, tourism

Draft industrial plan to focus on IT, tourism

January 6, 2013

Panasonic unveils bone-conduction TV headphones


People who don't want to disturb sleeping family members could use a new product from Panasonic that doesn't need speakers or even your own ears wireless bone-conduction headphones.
The headphones connect to a TV via the Bluetooth wireless standard and attach to your head like a normal set of headphones. But instead of using your ears, the headphones work like hearing aids by transmitting sound waves through your skull.
They are one of several innovations Panasonic unveiled at the International CES show in Las Vegas. It also showed off a new user interface for its "Smart Viera" TVs, featuring a TV-mounted camera that recognizes the user and sets viewing preferences accordingly.
The Japanese electronics maker also showed off an easy way to send YouTube videos from smartphones to the TV.

Samsung unveils gesture-control TVs at CES 2013


New TVs from Samsung will recognize an expanded range of gestures so people can swipe through on-screen menus in a way that revolutionizes the old remote control.
Samsung Electronics Co., the Korean electronics maker that is successfully challenging Apple in smartphones, touts the new user interface as faster and more intuitive than before.
Samsung said Monday that the new interface will be a feature of upcoming smart TVs. In addition, certain high-end Samsung smart TVs sold since last year can be upgraded with an add-on kit - complete with the required quad-core processor - that will be sold separately for a few hundred dollars.
Samsung President Boo-Keun Yoon said the new features are designed to make TV-viewing easy as consumers face more and more choices in what they watch.
"We have developed TVs that respond to people's needs and lifestyles, TVs that know in advance what people want to watch, TVs that have the power to create the ultimate lean-back experience," Yoon said.
At the International CES gadget show, Samsung also introduced an 85-inch "ultrahigh definition" set, in line with rivals that are all rolling out screens with four times the pixels as the current HD. The higher resolution will let TV screens get larger and people to sit closer without a decline in picture quality, though initially the price tag will limit those sets to technology's early adopters.
The new lineup of smart TVs respond to more natural speech and motion, similar to the way the Kinect controller on an Xbox 360 game console allows users to swipe through menus by gesturing in the air. The camera is mounted on top of the screen and can be folded back for people concerned about privacy.
Earlier Monday, LG Electronics Inc. unveiled a new Magic Remote, which acts like a wand that is sensitive to motion and is used to navigate on-screen menus. LG said the new model responds better to natural speech and can be controlled with a single finger. It also lets you change the channels by writing numbers in the air.
Samsung's new handheld remote control comes with a touch-sensitive clickable track pad, which is another way to navigate through viewing options.
Because it is integrated with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the new interface accepts text input. You have a range of options for typing - through a synced smartphone, a Bluetooth-enabled wireless keyboard accessory, using hand gestures for an on-screen keyboard, or using its voice-to-type software.
Search functions also span Web video apps and live TV, meaning that searches of a show will inform viewers if and when an episode is available on live TV, or if it's available through an app such as Netflix.
Nintendo's Wii U game console does something similar by showing search results from live TV and Web video apps. But by being integrated with the TV, Samsung's universal search function doesn't require the user to change the TV's source input.
And since you can also play some games on its new smart TVs, the new sets from Samsung are acting more and more like mobile computing devices with an extra-large screen.

Sharp introduces 32-inch 4K IGZO LCD monitor


Sharp is jumping on the "ultrahigh definition" bandwagon by introducing two super-clear TVs and one ultra-HD computer monitor that will give PC users something to brag about to Apple fans in love with the high-resolution Retina display.
At the annual International CES gadget show in Las Vegas, Sharp is showing off a 32-inch monitor that uses its IGZO technology, based on a semiconductor material called indium gallium zinc oxide.
Sharp Corp. touts IGZO for its high resolution, low power, and very accurate touch response. The monitor measures 3,840-by-2,160 pixels, giving it about 8.3 million pixel. Apple's largest MacBook Pro with Retina display boasts 5.2 million pixels on a 15.4-inch screen.
The monitor, planned for launch in February, responds to 10 points of contact at once - one for each finger.

Huawei debuts 6.1-inch Ascend Mate and 5-inch Ascend D2


Chinese tech giant Huawei moved further into the high end of the smartphone market on Monday, unveiling two devices for Asian consumers aimed at rivaling the top global sellers.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Huawei unveiled its new Ascend Mate claimed to have the world's biggest screen for such a device, a 6.1 inch display as well as an Intel processor and improved battery life.
The company also showed its new flagship Ascend D2, touring its power-saving and easy sharing capacity.
The devices are set to be released in China, with the D2 slated for Japan later. But Huawei is also edging into the US and other markets where the high end is dominated by Apple's iPhone and Samsung's top line smartphones.
Huawei consumer group chief Richard Yu called the Ascend Mate "an industry-leading smartphone" which "showcases our innovation as we continue to make great technology available to more people globally."
Yu said the Ascend D2 "has the style, power and all-round performance capabilities you would expect" with a "revolutionary" screen, "unsurpassed camera quality" and power saving technology.
The two Android-powered devices, offering some of the sleek lines of the top sellers, will nonetheless be competing in a crowded market with phones from Apple, Samsung, and some powered by Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system.
Huawei has been stymied in efforts to increase its presence in the US market amid concerns that it is too closely aligned with the Chinese government.
But it has been selling its Ascend P1 smartphone to US consumers, and recently announced plans to sell an unlocked version through Amazon.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Indian tablet market expected to double in 2013; Samsung leads the pack


The year 2012 was an interesting year for the tablet market. There were plenty of new Indian players that entered this market such as Micromax, Karbonn and Lava. According to India Quarterly Media Tablets Market Review for 3Q 2012, the India tablet market recorded sales to the tunes of 1.1 million units in 3Q (July-September) 2012.
This is a huge jump considering that only 98,135 tablets were sold in the same quarter last year.
Furthermore, the India's tablet market is expected to double to around six million units in 2013, led by increased enterprise adoption and availability of Windows 8-based devices, as per research firm CyberMedia.
The research also indicates that there were about 135 vendors that have launched their tablets in India till 3Q 2012. It is expected that keeping the current trends in mind a few more vendors might be tempted to join the bandwagon soon.
Another interesting facet that gets highlighted in the research report by CyberMedia is that the Average Sales Value of tablets in India during 3Q 2012 was approximately Rs. 13,200, while 63.5 percent of all tablet sold were below the Rs. 10,000-mark.
In terms of ranking, CyberMedia research pegs that Samsung is currently the market leader in the tablet market with a market share of 23.9 percent, followed by Micromax at the second position with 15.3 percent share and Datawind (manufacturer of the controversial Akash tablet) at third position with a 12.3 percent share, in terms of sales during 3Q 2012. However, sales of Aakash tablet have not been taken into consideration for the compilation of this data.
The total shipments for the tablet market are expected to close at 3 million units in 2012, as per this report
Commenting on the trends for 2013, CyberMedia says 2013 will see markets crystallise around three price points, which include Rs. 5,000-10,000; Rs. 15,000-20,000 and over Rs. 35,000. The research firm believes that some vendors might have to undertake price corrections to fit their devices within these three price segments, to serve the market aptly and participate in these high-volume price levels.
The analysts at CyberMedia also feel that will be at least a few Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) who will announce LTE / LTE-ready Tablets for the India market in 2013. According to Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice, "A majority of the Tablets currently on offer have built-in Wi-Fi connectivity with 3G access enabled through a USB dongle. However, going forward, increased penetration of 3G networks, declining ASVs of 3G-enabled Media Tablets and launch of BWA (4G / WiMax / LTE) services in the country is likely to see a rise in 3G-only Tablet devices with larger screen sizes. This trend is expected to give a fillip to new types of data services and content being demanded and consumed by subscribers, which in turn will drive a further increase in adoption of Media Tablets in India."

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Apple acknowledges iOS 6 Do Not Disturb bug, claims normal functionality to resume after Jan 7


Apple has acknowledged the iOS 6 Do Not Disturb bug that was reported by some users on New Year's Eve. It also claimed that the service will start functioning without any bugs after January 7.
As reported earlier iOS 6's 'Do Not Disturb' feature, which basically allows a user to silent all calls, messages and notifications, reportedly went kaput for many users on New Year's Eve. Unsuspecting iOS 6 users found the scheduling of DND to be completely off track. A few of them found DND running on the phone without being switched by the user, while it wouldn't shut off for others.
Apple's support article confirmed that iPhone, iPad and iPod touch were all impacted by the issue, which all but confirms that it is a core iOS 6, not limited to a single device.
Apple also suggested users should manually turn notifications off and on as a workaround until 'normal service' is resumed post January 7.
After January 1st, 2013, Do Not Disturb mode stays on past its scheduled end time.
Do Not Disturb scheduling feature will resume normal functionality after January 7, 2013. Before this date, you should manually turn the Do Not Disturb feature on or off.
To turn off the scheduling feature, tap Settings > Notifications > Do Not Disturband switch Scheduled to Off.