SoftBank leads group in talks to buy up to $1 billion stake in Micromax: Sources

IndiaMUMBAI: A group of investors led by Japanese mobile telecom firm SoftBank Corp is in talks to buy a 20 per cent stake in Indian handset maker Micromax Informatics for up to $1 billion, two people aware of the discussions said. The investment would value Micromax, an unlisted provider of affordable smartphones that competes with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co, at around $5 billion, the people said. They did not want to be named because the talks aren’t public.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/hardware/softbank-leads-group-in-talks-to-buy-up-to-1-billion-stake-in-micromax-sources/articleshow/46703320.cms

Huace Film&TV teams up with Xiaomi for online expansion

China.gifHangzhou-based TV drama production company Huace Film&TV has teamed up with smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, with the former’s programs being made available on the latter’s platform including internet TV and mobile devices, reports Shanghai’s China Business News. Hua Theater, the brand name of Huace’s original Chinese-language TV dramas, will enter Xiaomi’s TV and mobile devices via apps or a special section pre-installed in individual devices.

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1204&MainCatID=12&id=20150329000003

Xiaomi to finally sell phones offline

IndiaNEW DELHI: China’s largest smartphone maker Xiaomi will begin selling its flagship phones in The Mobile Store’s brick and mortar shops, a first for the company which has so far stuck to its online-only sales model. A top executive at Xiaomi told ET a relatively lower number of Mi 4 and Redmi Note 4G will be available for purchase at The Mobile Store, which will begin selling them in 55 stores in Delhi NCR, from Saturday, at Rs 19,999 and Rs 9,999, respectively, the same prices as that offered on online partner Flipkart.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/Xiaomi-to-finally-sell-phones-offline/articleshow/46717023.cms

Smartbars for smartphone repair: B2X is rolling out a new one every two days in India

IndiaA dead battery, a cloudy screen, or a displaced earphone jack, and suddenly that shiny new smartphone stares blankly at you. That’s when you feel grateful for choosing a manufacturer who has a good customer support network in place – or despair at not having done so. Fixing a smartphone is not like changing a lightbulb. Most warranties require us not to open up the gadget even if we feel courageous enough to replace a part ourselves. That’s why most buyers want to know what kind of servicing will be available if something goes wrong.

https://www.techinasia.com/smartphone-repair-india-b2x/

Apple tops Taiwan smartphone market for 5th straight month

TaiwanApple led Taiwan’s smartphone market in sales volume and sales value and had the best-selling single model for the fifth consecutive month in February, according to statistics released Wednesday by industry sources. A total of 771,000 smartphones were sold in Taiwan in February, down 3.4% from a month earlier, the figures showed. Apple was once again the top smartphone vendor with a 23.4% share of all smartphones sold, followed by Taiwan-based HTC with a 19% share, Samsung Electronics with a 14% share, Asustek Computer of Taiwan with a 12% share and Sony Mobile with a 9.1% share.

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1204&MainCatID=12&id=20150326000008

TSMC to supply chips for rumored iPhone 6S and 6C

TaiwanTaiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will remain the major processor supplier for Apple in the second half of 2015 as the foundry will supply 20nm chips for an upcoming 6C model and 16nm FinFET chips for 6S models, according to industry sources. TSMC is reportedly the sole supplier of processors for Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which industry observers believe are the best selling iPhone models of all time. Strong demand for the 6 and 6 Plus has boosted TSMC’s sales generated from 20nm process technology.

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20150325PD212.html

Apple to launch trade-in programme in China

ChinaNEW DELHI: Apple Inc plans to introduce a trade-in program for iPhones in China in association with the Foxconn Technology Group, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the effort.  Under the program, consumers will be able to exchange older iPhones at Apple stores in China for credit against the company’s products starting March 31, Bloomberg reported. Chinese demand for larger-screen iPhones helped fuel Apple’s record profit of $18 billion in the final quarter last year.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/Apple-to-launch-trade-in-programme-in-China/articleshow/46701770.cms

Apple rumored entry-level iPhone 6C to be made by Wistron

TaiwanApple is reportedly planning to unveil a new range of iPhones in the second half, and among the new smartphones, the 4-inch entry-level iPhone 6C is expected to be manufactured by Wistron, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. However, the ODM declined to comment on clients or orders. Wistron and Compal Electronics recently joined as manufacturing partners of Apple. Wistron is mainly handling the vendor’s previous-generation iPhones while Compal assembles iPads.

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20150326PD202.html

SoftBank eyeing stake in Micromax: Report

IndiaMUMBAI: A group of investors led by Japanese mobile telecom firm SoftBank Corp is in talks to buy a 20% stake in Indian handset maker Micromax Informatics for up to $1 billion, two people aware of the discussions said.  The investment would value Micromax, an unlisted provider of affordable smartphones that competes with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co, at around $5 billion, the people said. They did not want to be named because the talks aren’t public.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/SoftBank-eyeing-stake-in-Micromax-Report/articleshow/46703437.cms

Huawei aims to sell 2 million Honor handsets this year: President

China.gifNEW DELHI: Chinese handset maker Huawei aims to sell two million units of its Honor range of handsets in India this year as it aims to target the “digital natives” in the country with the online-only brand.  The company has unveiled two new devices under the Honor range — 4X (priced at Rs 10,499) and 6 Plus (Rs 26,499), which will be retailed through e-commerce major Flipkart.  It now has four devices under the Honor range.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/Huawei-aims-to-sell-2-million-Honor-handsets-this-year-President/articleshow/46690424.cms

Philippines moves up to become 3rd largest smartphone market in Southeast Asia

PhilippinesIn a milestone for smartphone growth in the Philippines, the nation is now the third largest market for smartphones in Southeast Asia. Jerome Dominguez, market analyst at IDC in the Philippines, tells Tech in Asia that the Philippines overtook Vietnam in 2014, which now drops to fourth. Indonesia is first, while Thailand is second. This is thanks to the growing adoption of smartphones by consumers. According to IDC, a total of 26.8 million mobile phones were shipped to the Philippines in 2014. The ratio of smartphones increased to 47 percent in 2014, up from 24 percent in 2013.

https://www.techinasia.com/philippines-third-biggest-smartphone-market-southeast-asia/

Homegrown smartphone brand beats Samsung in the Philippines

PhilippinesPhilippine budget phone maker Cherry Mobile beat South Korean giant Samsung as the leading smartphone brand in the Philippines in 2014, IDC said today. It was the second straight year that Cherry has whipped Samsung in the nation. According to the research firm, Cherry cornered 21.9 percent of the Philippine market in terms of volume of smartphones shipped in 2014, overtaking Samsung, whose share declined further to 13.3 percent.

https://www.techinasia.com/samsung-loses-top-spot-philippines-smartphone-market/

China market: Asustek launches new ZenFone smartphone

ChinaAsustek Computer has launched its second-generation ZenFone smartphone in China with pricing starting at CNY1,299 (US$209) and the device is expected to pose a strong threat to China-based Xiaomi’s flagship product, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News(EDN) report. For 2015, Asustek is looking to ship 25-30 million smartphones worldwide and sell four million units in China to become a top-10 smartphone vendor in the country, the report noted.

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20150325PB201.html

Digitimes Research: Samsung to rank as top smartphone vendor in 2015

TaiwanSamsung Electronics will lead the world’s top-10 smartphone vendor rankings in 2015, followed by Apple, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Huawei, Xiaomi Technology, Microsoft, TCL Communication Technology, Coolpad and Oppo, according to Digitimes Research. Samsung and Apple will ship over 330 million and 230 million smartphones, respectively in 2015, while Lenovo will ramp up its shipments to 84 million units following the completion of its acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20150324PD208.html

Samsung to soon go the Xiaomi way in India: Report

IndiaNEW DELHI: Samsung seems to be taking a leaf from rival Xiaomi’s book. The South Korean manufacturer reportedly has plans to sell its smartphones online-only, a strategy made popular by Xiaomi.  According to a report by Korea Times newspaper, Samsung plans to sell its smartphones via leading e-commerce websites in India, Vietnam and China.  Citing supply chain sources, the report says that Samsung aims to save on sales costs through its new online-only plan. Moreover, this means that Samsung will be able to sell its products cheaper to the consumers.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/Samsung-to-soon-go-the-Xiaomi-way-in-India-Report/articleshow/46677761.cms

Microsoft Launches Cheapest Windows Phone

APACMicrosoft recently launched its cheapest Lumia yet — the Lumia 430.  The Windows smartphone has a retail price of US$70. The new Lumia ousted its fellow Lumia 435, which has a retail price of US$81.  It’s not an iPhone 6 and it doesn’t have the price of one.  The smartphone has a 4 inch wide WVGA display; an internal storage of 8 GB; a gigabyte of RAM while a microSD slot is also included.

http://www.chinatopix.com/articles/43500/20150324/microsoft-launches-cheapest-windows-phone-lumia-430-70-usd.htm

Two cool phones from Cherry Mobile

PhilippinesMANILA, Philippines – Cherry Mobile recently launched two new Alpha series devices at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain recently. In its five years in the industry, Cherry Mobile has continued to expand its gadget lineup and market share despite international brands dominating the country. In 2014, Cherry Mobile it worked with Microsoft to introduce the Alpha series which boasted of two smartphones and two tablets – all equipped with a Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 operating systems.

http://www.philstar.com/technology/2015/03/16/1434058/two-cool-phones-cherry-mobile

Samsung to pre-install Microsoft apps on Android tablets

KoreaMicrosoft’s Office apps will be pre-installed in some Samsung tablets running Google’s Android system, extending an agreement to put some Microsoft apps on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 phone. The move is the latest in Microsoft’s efforts to get its cloud-enabled software into the hands of as many customers as possible, regardless of platform or device. Microsoft said Samsung will pre-install Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Skype and its note-taking and cloud storage apps on certain tablets in the first half of this year.

http://www.itnews.com.au/News/401974,samsung-to-pre-install-microsoft-apps-on-android-tablets.aspx

Karbonn forays into mobile accessories business; eyes Rs 100 crore revenue

IndiaHandset maker Karbonn entered the mobile accessories business and said its revenues from this vertical may touch Rs 100 crore by March, 2016. Currently, the accessories market is dominated by grey market products which impact the functioning and efficiency of devices.  The move is aimed at offering consumers the choice of technologically superior mobile auxiliaries that are affordable, Karbonn Executive Director Shashin Devsare said in a statement.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/hardware/karbonn-forays-into-mobile-accessories-business-eyes-rs-100-crore-revenue/articleshow/46666523.cms

Samsung S6 and S6 Edge to launch on April 2 (updated)

KoreaFans of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will not have to wait much longer as the next generation flagships will finally be launched in about a week from now come April 2. It comes as no surprise as both smartphones were revealed only last month at the Samsung Unpacked in Barcelona. The flagships will see a complete redesign of Samsung’s premium Galaxy smartphone look which now incorporates a slim body made aerospace-grade aluminium alloy and glass surface on the front and rear.

http://www.thestar.com.my/Tech/Tech-News/2015/03/23/Samsung-Galaxy-S6/