Micromax names Amarinder S Dhaliwal as COO to lead unit YU

NEW DELHI: Micromax Informatics on Wednesday appointed Amarinder S Dhaliwal, former co-founder and chief executive of Donebynone.com, as the Chief Operating Officer for its new Internet brand, YU.  Dhaliwal will work closely with Rahul Sharma, co-founder Micromax, to build an innovative digital brand that engages directly with the user community, the company said in a statement.


Smartphone sales in India to cross 53 million in 2014

NEW DELHI: Falling prices of entry-level smart devices and growing demand for Internet access are expected to drive sales of smartphones to 53 million units this year.  According to research firm GfK, total mobile phone sales in India are expected to touch 200 million units this year, of which 53 million would be smartphones.  In value terms, revenue sales of total mobile phone market is forecast to be about Rs 75,000 crore, of which Rs 52,000 crore would be smartphones.


India fastest growing smartphone market in Asia Pacific: IDC

NEW DELHI: India continues to be the fastest growing smartphone market in the Asia Pacific region, with about 82 per cent growth in the July-September quarter of 2014 over the same period last year, research firm IDC said today. The growth in sales is being driven by increasing preference of consumers to upgrade to smartphones as well as shorter refresh cycles.


Samsung stays India smartphone market leader in Q3: IDC

NEW DELHI: Korean giant Samsung continued to be the smartphone market leader in India with 24, followed by Micromax (20%) and Lava (8%), research firm IDC in a statement said.  The research firm said that Samsung has witnessed shipment growth in Q3 2014 but it has been lower than than the industry average.  “There is a contraction in their (Samsung) market share”, IDC added.


Internet access, local content must for Digital India success: IAMAI

NEW DELHI: The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has said that Internet access is a key to the centre-driven Digital India program while local content remains a key challenge. Narendra Modi-led BJP government that came to power in May this year has embarked on an ambitious ‘Digital India’ umbrella program, at an initial cost of Rs 1.13 lakh crore that envisages encourage broadband penetration into the nook and corner of the country and delivering a slew of e-services riding the network.


Holaa! A new mobile app from India identifies callers and blocks spam. It’s a challenge to TrueCaller

India is a unique market for mobile phones in more respects than one. It has a massive base of feature phone users. Large numbers of them are shifting to smartphones as more and more affordable devices – like the just launched Xiaomi Redmi Note – become available. But the ways in which Indians use their affordable smartphones is very different from those in other regions. This creates opportunities for mobile app developers to address some unique pain points.


China UnionPay Rumored To Soon Launch Mobile Payment Service For Android Smartphones

China UnionPay has reportedly decided to launch a mobile payment service named “AndroidPay” for Android smartphones. According to reports in Chinese local media, several information sources confirmed the new service will reportedly be available in China in the third quarter of 2015. Several smartphone makers also confirmed the news. Cao Jingsheng, vice president of Coolpad Group, said that the company and China UnionPay have been discussing for over a month and both parties have strong willingness to cooperate, although there is no specific timeline yet. Cao said one of Coolpad’s high-end products will support this new service in 2015.


Trai examining Bharti Airtel’s special deals on Facebook and WhatsApp

NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel’s data packages offering access to Facebook and WhatsApp for fixed but nominal amounts are being examined by the telecom regulator to determine whether they amount to “preferential access” for such services, an issue at the heart of the debate on net neutrality, a concept recently backed by US President Barack Obama.


Tango CTO: “Alibaba investment gave us wings”

In May 2014, Alibaba led messaging app Tango’s $280M financing round, during a period when the mobile messaging space saw giant movements with acquisitions from Facebook (Whatsapp) and Rakuten (Viber) also hitting the headlines. It’s apparent that Alibaba didn’t want to miss out. It has been trying hard to push its own Laiwang app, but has had little success.


Xiaomi launches Redmi Note 4G in India, will sell at brick-and-mortar stores

Chinese phone maker Xiaomi has launched the Redmi Note in India. The phone-maker has also introduced a 4G model for the Indian market. However, Xiaomi has a different game plan this time. Apart from the flash sales at Flipkart, the Redmi Note will also be sold at the Indian Telco Airtel’s flagship stores starting December 2. The Redmi Note will be sold in India at INR 8,999 (US $146) while the Redmi Note 4G at 9,999 (US $162). The Redmi Note 3G model will support a dual-SIM configuration with dual standby support.


Vic Coalition promises $25m for police smart devices, from AU

A re-elected Victorian Coalition government will spend $25 million on equipping the state’s police force with mobile devices, Police Minister Kim Wells announced today. He pledged the money towards a four-year ‘tech policing fund’ that will pay for projects leveraging technology to keep police out of the office and on the beat. Victorian police officers currently spend just over half of their day out in the community, with much of the remainder dedicated to filling out paperwork in the office.


Digitimes Research: Samsung, Apple, LG rank as top-3 smartphone vendors in 3Q14

Samsung Electronics, Apple and LG Electronics ranked as the top-three smartphone vendors globally in the third quarter as well as the first three quarters of 2014, based on third-quarter reports released by individual vendors and data from makers in the supply chain, according to Digitimes Research. China-based vendors Huawei, Xiaomi Technology and Lenovo took the fourth, fifth and seventh positions, respectively, during the same period, Digitimes Research added.


Digitimes Research: Taiwan makers will ship over 24 million handsets in 4Q14

Taiwan-based ODMs and own-brand makers will ship 24.05 million handsets in the fourth quarter of 2014, increasing 15.1% on quarter and 43.8% on year. 20.55 million units (85.4%) will be smartphones, growing 11.7% on quarter and 27% on year, according to Digitimes Research. WCDMA will account for 74.2% of the handset shipments, GSM 13.3% and CDMA 2000 12.5%, Digitimes Research indicated.


China aims to streamline its mobile game censorship process

Mobile gaming is huge in China, and thousands of new games come out each year. That’s good news for the tech industry, but it also means a lot of work for China’s government, and long delays for developers because every game released has to be formally approved by China’s censorship board. And until recently, the group that was reviewing mobile games included just ten people. (It has since been upped to twenty).


Amazon Hints at Getting Exclusive Indian Selling Rights of OnePlus One Smartphones

The OnePlus One smartphone has started an invite distribution for buying their smartphones in India through an exclusive contest. In the contest, participants need to post a quote along with their #neversettle hash tag and take a selfie. OnePlus will choose 100 lucky winners from among the posted picture to get the right to buy a phone in India. The entire contest strongly hints that the smartphone manufacturer is about to start selling devices in India through a local seller. According to sources, Amazon India is about to get the unique selling right for this smartphone.


Xiaomi, Youku, and more get virtual telecom operator licenses, but can they right the ship?

According to Techweb, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has issued its fourth round of virtual telecom operator licenses. The licenses grant companies the right to operate a “virtual” telecom company, charging their own fees and offering their own plans but leasing their network from one of China’s three state-owned telecom companies (China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom). The latest list of companies issued licenses includes Xiaomi, Youku-Tudou, and Haier.


NZ on edge of phone revolution

New Zealand is on the edge of a smartphone revolution being led from an epicentre in Asia. Kiwis are traditionally early adopters for technology and this country holds its own in smartphone penetration. About 70 per cent of mobile users have a smartphone that enables them to access the internet, which is broadly similar to comparable markets. The question is whether a small country such as New Zealand can take advantage of the shift to a world where internet communications are mostly on cellphones – a mobile-first world.


South Korean government launches ‘heavy crackdown’ on… selfie sticks?

Apparently nothing gets away from the South Korean government’s eagle eye supervision – including selfie sticks. Specifically, those with built-in bluetooth functionality. You know the one – these models usually have a button at the grip of the stick that act as the “shutter release” for your smartphone’s camera.


Taiwan set for record 2014 export orders on smartphone demand

TAIPEI: Taiwan’s export orders are set to reach new heights this year, after October orders doubled market expectations as global retailers rushed to meet year-end sales for smartphones. The strong figures come on vibrant demand for Apple Inc’s newest iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which include dozens of parts made by many Taiwanese technology manufacturers. The strength in demand underpinning export orders should propel the value of the island’s orders to a record high of around US$480bil (RM1.61tril) this year, the government said.


Apple and Xiaomi trade smartphone barbs in China

WUZHEN, CHINA: Top executives from US technology giant Apple and Chinese smartphone upstart Xiaomi traded light-hearted barbs on Thursday at a Chinese Internet conference, acknowledging the fierce competition between the rivals.  Apple’s iPhones and iPads are wildly popular in China, encouraging smuggling and crowds at the company’s stores as consumers try to lay their hands on the latest products.