In addition to announcing iOS 6 at yesterday’s WWDC keynote, Apple also revealed their next generation of Macbook featuring the awesome retina display. The machine is a powerhouse. Lets take a look at its features:
The prices start from $2199 and can go up to $3749 with the maximum configuration possible. In India, the price will range from INR 152,900 to INR 192,600 for off the shelf models and will increase depending on what configuration you choose.
Apple announced the 6th version of their iOS mobile operating system at the WWDC 2012 keynote yesterday. The update brings a lot of new features to thrash the competition. Let us look at some of the key new & improved features:
The biggest change in iOS 6 is going to be a totally new, built from ground up maps app replacing Google Maps. The new app has been developed by Apple. The change was inevitable given Apple’s and Google’s rivalry in the mobile space. The new maps app by Apple is amazingly designed using vector images which do not need to reload when you zoom in (the biggest issue if you are on a slow connection). The app will also give you turn by turn navigation directions – something for which you have to buy expensive apps currently. This is built in collaboration with Tom Tom which has its operations in India. So, in my opinion, they should be available in India as well at launch.
Last year, we informed you that TataSky is maxed out on its capacity of HD channels and that we should not expect any new HD channels from them until they get more transponder space or figure out a way to overcome the technical limitation. Turns out, they chose to go with the latter (as getting more transponders is not in their hands). TataSky is now offering 10 HD channels on its platform with Zee TV HD and Sony HD being the latests two additions.
Video and audiophiles claim that one of the things they did in order to squeeze the new channels is lower the bitrate of all the HD channels which in turn compromises the overall quality of the channel. I do agree with them, however, I believe it was a necessary step as the competition is heating up in this space. With airtel now offering 15 HD channels, many TataSky HD customers are planning to jump the ship. The only thing which is probably stopping them is the increased prices of the set top boxes. And as I always say, the competitors should do something to poach these customers. The competition can’t get any stiffer and everyone needs to be on their toes in order to survive.
I hope TataSky is doing its best to get rid of the technical limitation. One of the things I heard that they are doing is enabling vertical polarity on the transponders to increase their capacity. Apparently, this is why they started the mega drive to run two separate cables from the dish to all the HD+ boxes wherever they were installed with a splitter. Whatever be the case, they need to buckle up and work harder to fix this as soon as possible.
The National Telecom Policy 2012 for reforming the Indian telecom space has been approved by the union cabinet. The policy aims to:
Pretty good news for all of us as every one of us is going to benefit in some or the other way. Lets hope the new policy is implemented as soon as possible.
In related news, TRAI has a new, better & cleaner website.
Tata Docomo has launched an innovative way for activating & deactivating value added services via twitter. Here are the steps one needs to perform in order to use the service:
[via BGR India]
Following acquisition by Flipkart.com in February, online retailer letsbuy.com has shut down its operations in India. Users landing on the home page are being shown a message stating that letsbuy has merged its operations with flipkart – the largest player in the category. All the links in the header now point to corresponding categories on flipkart. Here is the full message:
Dear Visitor,Yours sincerely,The Letsbuy team
There were multiple speculations as to what flipkart wants to do with letsbuy when it acquired it in February and one of them did point at such an outcome. Letsbuy was the biggest competitor for flipkart as far as electronics & gadgets sale was concerned. Eliminating a bigger competitor will enable flipkart to monopolize the category. However, what they probably fail to understand is that electronics and gadget online shoppers are probably the smartest of all and possess the ability to figure out when they are not being offered the best deal.
Following Airtel’s move, both Reliance & Idea have reduced their 3G tariffs by 70%. As always, in the Indian market, one player has to buckle up and do something competitive and everyone follows. The revised tariffs from both the providers rival that from Airtel.
Reliance’s revised 3G tariff:
|3G Data Usage||Billed amounts (Rs)|
|Up to 1000 MB||250|
|Greater than 1000 MB, up to 6000 MB||250 + 20p/MB for usage above 1000 MB|
|Greater than 6000 MB (Speed throttled)||1250|
Idea’s revised 3G tariff:
|3G Data Usage||Billed amounts (Rs)|
|Unlimited (Speed throttled after 6 GB)||950|
In an unprecedented move, Airtel has slashed it 3G data tariffs across India. The new plans look much more economical than the predecessors and Airtel is also offering its Smartbytes solution on its 3G network now. Smartbytes solution allows users to buy additional data quota if they run out of the free quota in a bill period. The new 3G plans are as follows:
Smartbytes plans are available to postpaid customers in the following denominations:
A very good move by Airtel. The competition should follow suit.
Samsung has opened pre booking for its latest Galaxy phone, the S III in India via its online store samsungindiaestore.com. One has to pay INR 2000 to book a Galaxy S III. Samsung will send a coupon of the same amount to the customer which can be redeemed against the full payment of the phone when its launched for sale (the rumored date is 31-May-2012). Furthermore, users buying the phone within 3 days of the launch will also get a bluetooth headset worth INR 2900 free with the phone.
To book one for yourself, head over to samsungindiaestore.com now.
Adobe India has launched its online store at shop.adobe.com/in where users can buy Adobe software. The titles are available as digital downloads and payments can me made in Indian currency. Most Adobe software are available as full copy or upgrades if you have a previous version. The Adobe Creative Suite 6 (CS6) is also available for pre order on the store. Adobe plans to launch sale of physical products (software on CD, DVD etc.) in the near future as downloads can be pretty heavy for many users in india owing to low internet speeds.
After about a year, Croma has finally launched its online store today at cromaretail.com. The Tata group backed electronics megastore chain aims to establish an online presence in the emerging Indian ecommerce market. However, a quick glance at the store reveals that most products are available at MRP or with little or no discounts. This is another example of companies assuming an ecommerce portal as merely another channel for selling items as opposed to looking at it as a potential channel for massive sales if they offer products at attractive prices. Moreover, limited products are available on the site which will make excited new customers unhappy in my opinion. Hopefully things should improve going forward.
Popular electronics & home appliance retailer Vijay Sales has also launched it online store in India today at vijaysales.com. The store offers limited inventory just like croma. However, prices are competitive and Vijay Sales seems to be offering some discount on the MRP. Unfortunately, many of the items are out of stock on the store making this launch a total flop (WTF?). I am not sure why they felt the need to launch the store when they did not have enough stock.
Perhaps they succumbed to peer pressure from Croma? Vijay Sales informed us in a tweet that their online store is live since January 2012. Very well. But it would be great if they can stock up their warehouses.