Starting today, purchasing an iPhone in India will require you to pay more. The Cupertino-based company has revised the retail price of its entire iPhone range in the world’s second most populous nation. While the company is yet to officially offer an explanation behind the price bump, it is likely because of the changes introduced in the recent budget in the country. The new iPhones will cost Rs 2,500 ($40) more than the previous retail price.
First reported by FoneArena, the 16GB variant of iPhone 6, which was launched in India late last year for Rs 53,500 ($860) will now set consumers back by Rs 56,000 ($900). Similarly, the 64GB iPhone 6 is now available at Rs 65,000 ($1,045) while the top-of-the-line 128 gig edition costs Rs 74,000 ($1,188). The iPhone 6 Plus now costs Rs 65,000 ($1,045), 74,000 ($1,188) and Rs 83,000 ($1,132) for 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB storage-specced variants respectively.
Let’s face it, you’ve picked the mobile operating system you like. Whether you’ve opted for an iPhone, a Lumia handset or a device running Android, the chances are you’re not going to switch allegiances no matter what others may do or say to try to convince you otherwise. At the same time, few people would argue that their handset of choice is perfect.
You’ve picked your side when it comes to OS, but what about the handset itself? Apple, Samsung, HTC et al keep releasing slightly tweaked versions of last year’s handset, perhaps adding a faster processor, a larger screen and more memory. One thing is constantly overlooked, however -- battery life. And it’s time for things to change.
With MWC 2015 underway in Barcelona, the tech world is laser focused on mobile devices at the moment. Whether your mobile device preference is an iPhone, an Android handset or a Windows Phone device, your decision will have been swayed by a number of things -- price, brand reputation, knowledge of the ecosystem, and range of apps. Android may be the most popular choice at the moment, but this appears to be in spite of problems the platform suffers form.
A new report from Crittercism suggests that Android apps crash more frequently than their iOS counterparts. But this is not the only bad news for Google's mobile operating system; the report also finds that the fragmentation of Android persists.
Every mobile operating system would have you believe that it has the best built in keyboard. It's clear that plenty of people disagree judging by the number of alternative keyboard apps that exist in the Windows Phone, Apple and Android stores. Sometimes even the best software keyboard isn't good enough, but few people are enamored with the idea of carrying around a full size Bluetooth keyboard.
There are numerous mobile keyboards that are particularly suitable for use with smartphones and tablets, and today at MWC in Barcelona, Microsoft threw its hat into the ring with the Universal Foldable Keyboard. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to a large money wallet, this svelte device connects via Bluetooth to whatever mobile device you happen to be using -- including the newly announced Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL.
Apple has been granted a patent that could potentially allow it to track an individual’s iPhone, even when it appears to have been turned off.
The feature enables phones to enter a sleep-like state that suggests it has been shut down, but instead the phone’s movements can still be traced.
Google Wallet far predates Apple Pay, but even with the head start, the Android-owner has failed to impact the mobile-payment market. Meanwhile, the fruit-logo company has made a serious dent, gaining the support of many partners. Even in popular culture, Apple Pay is featured in many TV commercials, while the average consumer probably has no idea what Google Wallet even is.
Today this changes, as Google announces a strategic agreement with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile to pre-load Wallet on all Android handsets. Clearly, this is a declaration of war against Apple Pay, but can Google realistically win?
Wearables are awesome, the next big thing. Smartwatches in particular are very functional extensions of the smartphones, which have become ubiquitous nowadays. True, many tech pundits were dubious of the smartwatch's utility; including myself. I came around after actually using a smartwatch -- the Android Wear-based Samsung Gear Live -- for an extended period and loving it. My colleague Joe Wilcox is a recently converted proponent.
As great as Android Wear is, there are problems. While the most glaring is the fairly short battery life of devices, its lack of cross-platform support is a bigger issue. In other words, it can be harmful to consumers to have a product that only works with a certain platform, as it limits their freedom. An Android user with Android Wear that wants to move to an iPhone for instance, will be left with a useless smartwatch. Thanks to a developer named Mohammad Abu-Garbeyyeh, this may no longer be an issue. This impressive dev has gotten Android Wear to work with iOS. The best part? No jailbreak needed!
Believe it or not, even as a big tech and gadget nerd, I have never owned an iPhone. My smartphone life went from Palm, to BlackBerry and ultimately Android. I didn't purposely boycott the iPhone or anything, it just never happened.
As an iPad owner, however, I have come to love iOS for its ease of use and collection of amazing apps. For whatever reason, I usually prefer the iOS version of apps over the Android equivalent; they seem more snappy and fluid. So, why haven't I switched to the iPhone? There are still some major issues with Apple's phone and mobile operating system that prevent the jump. The ball is in Apple's court, however, and if the company meets my demands, I will switch.
It's not all that long since Google launched Inbox. The 'smart' alternative to Gmail appeared a few months ago and Google tried to get the hype machine going by launching it as an invite-only service, gradually trickling out invites here and there.
Now the search giant is trying a new tactic to encourage people into using the service, specifically Apple users. Google has pulled the iOS and Mac version of the Sparrow email app from the App store; the hope is clearly that Sparrow users will migrate to Inbox.
It's something that has been supported by iCloud for a while now. Bringing two factor authentication to iMessage and FaceTime means that messages and video chats are now locked behind an extra layer of protection.
If you log out of your iMessage or FaceTime account, the next time you try to sign in you will be prompted to activate two factor authentication. This means you'll have to log into your account and generate an app-specific password before you can continue.
Apple is giving app developers more breathing room for their apps by increasing the maximum size of binaries from 2GB to 4GB. The move comes as devices' resolutions have grown, placing greater demands on developers' abilities to stick to the upper size limit.
Increasing the maximum size to 4GB gives greater scope for including high resolution images and video, as well as creating larger, more immersive games. While this is news that will be welcomed by developers and some iOS users, not everyone will be as pleased. Many people with 16GB devices are already struggling to find room for apps.
Smartphone theft in some of the major cities in the US and the UK has declined dramatically, so say the authorities.
But it's not because of improved law enforcement, it's actually down to manufacturers implementing a kill switch option, allowing smartphones to be deactivated remotely.
That is the only takeaway from today's brutal bias assault against Android Wear. Canalys reports half-year 2014 shipments of 720,000, and the Apple-loving free press categorizes the number as a failure. Meanwhile, the analyst firm boasts that "All eyes are now on Apple, which will reveal further details about the Apple Watch prior to its release in April". Not mine. Are yours?
Over at Wall Street Journal, Rolfe Winkler begins his hatchet piece with: "It's been a slow start for Google’s smartwatches". The search and information giant doesn't sell any of the devices, developing the underlying platform. Nitpicking aside, he ridiculously writes: "Apple sold roughly 114 million iPhones over the same period. That means Apple sold almost as many iPhones each day as makers of Android smartwaches sold over the six months". Oh yeah?
Outside Apple Store, people excitedly line up to buy iPhone 6. The crowd is remarkably eclectic. Tattoos here. Mohawk there. Someone wearing a prim business suit chats with a burly biker wearing sleeveless T-Shirt. Everyone's clothes beam bright, vibrant colors. Loud laughter and uproarious chatter is everywhere. This is one happy group of buyers.
The store's doors exit onto a green pasture of sheep. Each wears a chain around its neck, with iPhone 6 attached. Cow bells appear on the screens, and clanging sounds against the chirping of birds. One animal looks up: "Baaaaaaa!" Then another, and another. An announcer asks: "Do you really want to be an iSheep?" Then the Android logo and robot flash across the screen.
I should read Harvard Business Review more often. There, Juan Pablo Vazquez Sampere offers insightful and fresh perspective in post: "We Shouldn’t Be Dazzled by Apple’s Earnings Report". Of course, I would agree, having written something similar in past BetaNews posts. Point is the same, just the context changed. I lack his prestige and venue, and that's okay. The observations we both make aren't rocket science, or shouldn't be.
Simply stated: Atop the pinnacle of success, Apple stands at the precipice of failure. The scrappy innovator is gone, replaced by the, ah, Establishment cofounder Steve Jobs and his renegades challenged with years of guerrilla tactics. Apple has in this decade achieved huge success. But managing success is challenging, if your business model is innovation. The two objectives often work cross-purposes.