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Tag - India
Facebook's project to provide people in developing countries access to essential websites has come under fire in India, with the local telecommunications regulator banning free mobile data programs that appear to go against net neutrality principles. Free Basics, the Facebook-created service is no longer allowed to operate in the country, after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) instituted new regulations effectively forbidding it.
Apple is apparently getting closer to launching its first retail stores in India, with the government reportedly preparing to fast-track the company's application. A source of a report claims Apple will be able to bypass a number of regulations that typically prevent foreign entities from setting up stores to sell their own products, with Apple deemed a "provider of cutting-edge technology" and is being given preferential treatment.
At a "Town Hall" meeting with employees following the company's Q1 earnings report, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly rejected the notion -- long favored by analysts -- that Apple needs a "pared down" and inexpensive iPhone model in order to attract buyers in developing or "emerging" markets like India. While most of the meeting dealt with a rehash of information given during the analyst call, some was concerned with employee matters like retention incentives, as well as saying the Apple TV and tvOS both have "bright" futures.
Apple is getting closer to launching its first retail locations in India, after it recently filed with local regulators its intention to build Apple Stores in the country. While there is an Apple retail presence in India, it is via third-party resellers rather than those owned and operated by Apple itself, but the company is now looking to change this by filing an intention to open stores with the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP).
Hot on the heels of a price cut to the iPhone 5s that saw its price cut nearly in half, Apple has reduced prices on its latest iPhones, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, by between 11 and 16 percent to bring the prices closer to US pricing. While the iPhone 5s' price was cut from 44,500 rupees ($663), it now sells for 25,000 rupees ($372). After the new price cut, the iPhone 6s is still expensive, but more realistically priced at Rs 48,500 ($732) compared to the $649 price for the same base model in the US.
A new study (PDF) by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) claims that as of the end of September, more than 101 million iPhones were in use in the United States, a ratio approaching one iPhone for every three Americans. The study further found that of that number, 62 million units -- were recent models from either this year or last. The majority, 58 million, are 2014's iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, with only four million of the latest model sold in the US in the first weekend of availability before the end of the September quarter.
Apple has shipped the Apple Watch in India, as previously indicated, with the wearable devices offered in the country approximately seven months after its initial launch. There is also news that Apple may be getting closer to launching its own stores in India, instead of relying on a network of distributors, with it apparently in discussions with the government about relaxing certain restrictions that prevent Apple from proceeding.
US retail chain Target has begun carrying the Apple Watch across its entire US and online stores, limited to the regular and Sport versions of the device. As with Best Buy and other mass-market third-party retailers, Target will only carry a limited selection of optional Apple accessories such as extra bands, and will not carry the gold Edition or the Hermes collection versions. Both the 38mm and 42mm sizes will be available, and buyers can opt to add additional AppleCare+ coverage.
Apple has launched a pilot program in India, which will bring the store-in-a-store concept to consumer electronics chain Croma. The design identity of the locations will remain the same as in the US locations, and the personnel will be trained by Apple, a departure from the franchise model currently used in the country.
Following a meeting with the President of China, Apple CEO Tim Cook has also met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as we reported previously. According to a report in the Times of India, the two discussed the possibility of Apple setting up manufacturing facilities in the country, as well as how Apple Pay might be implemented there. Cook is said to have "responded positively" to both proposals, which could open the door to official Apple Stores in the country.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k