Apple iPhone -A Disappointment?

Apple iPhone -A Disappointment

Multiple leaks have been made about the tech giant’s soon to be launched

A large number of people have been impatiently waiting for Apple Inc.’s upcoming iPhone 7. However, several unnamed sources have brought down the anticipation level citing that the impatient shoppers should better focus on Galaxy Note 7.

The Journal has earlier reported that the tech giant’s iPhone 8 –which is expected to be released sometime in 2017 –will undergo major changes and ramping up. For soon to be launching iPhone 7, it reported that the biggest change in the handset will be the removal of the headphone plug. This removal will likely make the device less thinner and strengthen its water resistance, according to the sources privy to the matter disclosed on the basis of anonymity. The sources further opined that the Lightning connector is likely to serve double duty including as a port for connecting headphones and for phone’s charging.

The removal of the headphone jack is something which several analysts had earlier anticipated. A famous and renowned Japanese analyst, Mac Otakara has also highlighted a handful of design changes in the latest iPhone 7 but none of them were too major.

It is no doubt that with its new handset, the tech giant has always made upgrades however in this case it should be assumed that the changes relate to internal software of the phone instead of the external outlook. Mr. Otakara has also opined that the new iPhone 7 will bear resemblance to its predecessors –from the outside though.

Regarding the phone, he expressed, “[The] iPhone 7 has its proximity sensor on the front changed to the dual specification in addition to the ambient light sensor on the side moving from the left side to the right with a slightly longer receiver.”

Apart from this, it has been noted that the latest iPhone will be accompanied by a bigger rear camera. Also, the iPhone 7 Plus rear camera will be converted to a dual lens setup.

The absence of any big or notable design revamping is a bit discouraging but the subtle design changes also form a small irritant which according to analyst is that: “iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus cases cannot be used while it’s also likely that front LCD protection films etc. cannot be used for the new model.”

For the users which will be upgrading from much older models such as iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S, the new iPhone will definitely be accompanied with a large number of changes however for the consumers who will be upgrading from iPhone 6 then the latest edition will not likely offer something much newer or unique.

As of now, iPhone sales have been witnessing a sluggish growth. Therefore, the tech giant is struggling quite hard to increase its sales so not to tamper its revenue any further. The most valuable company is making a lot of efforts to offer one of a kind handset to its loyal customers. The iPhone 8 which is expected in the year 2017 will have major design changes including edgeless display and all glass chassis.

The near future will endorse whether company’s strategies pay off or not. Currently, at the market which closed on Monday, Apple stock stood at a price of $92.04. The 52 week range of the stock is $89 to $133.

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Posted by on July 5, 2016 in Finance News, Technology


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BlackBerry’s Latest Smartphone -Rumors and Truth

BlackBerry's Latest Smartphone -Rumors and Truth

The Canadian tech company’s new smartphone bears resemblance to TCL’s Idol 4

BlackBerry CEO John S. Chen has revealed that most probably in next month, the next BlackBerry smartphone will be revealed. Mr. Chen has had previously disclosed that two cheap offerings –compared to the high end PRIV –should be expected in the current year. One of the such devices will be with a physical keyboard while the other wont.

Earlier, the company has hinted that it would opt for outsourcing the manufacturers for its mid-range smartphones. Now, the rumors have it that the expected all-touchscreen model which will be unveiled in July is the creation of Chinese company TCL. The latter is famously known for manufacturing alcatel-branded phones and it might be the one collaborating with the Canadian firm to produce the mid-range devices.

But the manufacturer is only identified on the basis of speculations and rumors. No concrete evidence has been found to base the speculations on. However there have been few incidents which might give breath to all the rumors going around. Currently, a TCL device having product name DTEK 50 has procured a certificate from Wi-Fi Alliance. This has raised some questions as the privacy suite which is in charge of shipping BlackBerry PRIV is also dubbed as DTEK. In addition to it, the model number of such device is listed as STH100-2 –following the same pattern which the Waterloo based firm uses for its product (company has listed PRIV as STV100-1).

This is going in line with all the older speculations which regarded that TCL and BlackBerry had signed some kind of cooperation agreement some time back. The rumors went on to predict that the very first result of the latest partnership will be a smartphone which –thanks to frequent leaks –is famous around the circle as BlackBerry Hamburg. The new handset is more likely to be based on alcatel Idol 4.

Based on the revelation by a benchmark run, it is expected that the Hamburg will have a 5.2-inch 1080p touchscreen and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset. With the exception of chipset of Snapdragon 617, TCL’s Idol 4 has the exact same screen size and resolution. Also, Hamburg’s entire specs –leaked intervally –had acute resemblance with Idol 4.

It can be, therefore, said that the latest smartphone of BlackBerry is no more than a rebranded alcatel Idol 4 with a different SoC. Or, on the other hand, the smartphone might look different but have the basis of same innards as the Idol 4. Or, there’s a likelihood that the phone would be completely different with the specs being same just being a coincidence. In the next month, the rumors and speculations will be waived off by the truth itself.


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Posted by on July 5, 2016 in Technology


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Microsoft Saves Millions Of Dollars In Taxes In UK

Microsoft tax, Microsoft employees

By booking sales in Ireland, Microsoft has evaded tax worth $143.59 million in UK

Microsoft Corporation has allegedly been avoiding making a British Corporation tax payment of $143.59 million according to a “confidential deal” with British taxation authorities. The agreement supposedly lets the information technology company sends its revenue through its Ireland based operations, which charges a tax rate of 12.5%, which is quite low compared to the Britain’s 20%.

As per reports by the Sunday Times, since 2011 the organization has sent “more than $11.7 billion” (US equivalent of £8bn) through Ireland and the important sections of its overseas structure were ratified by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the so-called advance pricing contract signed 4 years. Under the agreement, the inquiry found, revenue earned from online purchases by customers in UK could be recorded through the Dublin based Microsoft Ireland Operations.

Sunday Times has reported that from June last year MIO accounts have shown that sales in Britain generate a sum of over $3.35 billion in 2015. Nevertheless, the tax payment by the British division of the organization was $24.65 million. Nevertheless, according to the findings, Sunday Times has claimed that the taxation authority has signed 143 advance pricing contracts in the half a decade starting from 2009 and ending in 2014 alone.

The taxation authorities would not reportedly reveal any further details on the agreements, citing confidentiality. By no means, Microsoft is the only foreign organization running in the country that is enjoying the present legal regime. Other tech organizations-including Google as well as Facebook- have earlier been criticism for similar issues.

The American social networking service provider Facebook was challenged by a backlash following the revelation that it was employing alike tax avoidance strategies.2 years ago, the organization only paid $6311 in British Corporation tax on the profit of $2.9 billion earned that year. In comparison, on an average the tax billion for its British workers was $7865.80.

After being criticized, the Menlo Park based organization stated it would stop routing its sales for its main business clients through Ireland. In other news, following the disclosure of the details regarding the confidential agreement between HRMC and Microsoft, campaigners have raised the demand that the regime must publish every detail of any deal signed with multinationals.

In other news, as per reports by Silicon Republic Microsoft Corporation has employed 1200 persons in Ireland and is constructing a new campus worth $152.05 million in Leopardstown. Previously this year, Verge reported that Google also exploited the tax arrangement in Britain and instead of paying more than $220 million in taxes it paid just around $29 million by recording its sales revenue in Ireland which means it was charged an effective tax rate of more than 2.5%.

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Posted by on June 22, 2016 in Microsoft, Technology


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Alibaba Bets On Indian Logistics Companies

Alibaba delivery, Alibaba Asia

The Chinese E-Commerce company bets on India based logistics delivery service providers for helping it deliver items to its customers in India

Alibaba Group Holding Limited, which has previously invested in the Indian online retailers Snapdeal as well as Paytm, is now betting on Indian logistics companies. As per reports by Economic Times, it’s looking to invest in or purchase Xpressbess Logistics as well as Delhivery in the upcoming four to six months.

The online retailer has also planned to sell off the marketplace business of Paytm and inject with more capital investment. The Hangzhou based organization and its financial affiliate Ant financial jointly own around a 40% share in the organization. In recent times, Ecom Express and GoJavas have also shown interest in the organization’s entrance in the country to clinch a tie-up.

Senior executives from XpressBees and Delhivery have interacted with the group which the web retailer has established for entering India. The team is led by the Alibaba Company’s Bharati Balakrishnan and Global Managing Director K Guru Gowrappan.  In 2011, Gurgaon-based organization Delhivery was founded by Suraj Saharan, Kapil Bharati, Bhavesh Manglani, Sahil Barua and Mohit Tando.

The organization was valued at $4.43 million in its $85 million Series D financing round. It is funded by a number of investors like Times Internet, Nexus Venture Partners and Tiger Global management. On the other hand, a number of current investors invested $12.38 million in Pune-based E-commerce logistics service provider. These include Valiant Capital, Vertex Ventures, NEA, IDG Ventures India and SAIF Partners.

FirstCry had begun to run its logistics business 3 years ago when it took the decision to begin express deliveries of its items, and then entered into the market for third party logistics  at the start of the last year. The business has been established by its founders of FirstCry Amitava Saha and Supam Maheshwari. The organization was sold off as BusyBees in Sept last year.

Busybees Logistics Solutions-owned Xpressbees  has claimed that it has scaled more than 1 million deliveries on a daily basis on the back of only $5 million in financing. It makes deliveries to 200 cities, with ‘next day’ and ‘same-day’ in almost 100 cities, and covers more than 3000 pin codes.

Xpressbess will use the money to improve its tech and extend its operations. The organization looks to compete with other online retailing-focused logistics organizations such as Ecom Express, which is backed by Warburg Pincus and Delhivery. Many of the topmost E-commerce organizations including Amazon, Myntra and Flipkart are supported by logistics service providers.

Indian online shopping platform operator FlipKart delivers through Ekart, while Snapdeal bought a share in GoJavas to help it deliver items. Besides, online furniture retailer, FabFurnish introduced its logistics facility Fabone. Previously in June 2016, Xpressbees received around $8 million from Singaporean state-owned investment organization Temasek and SAIF Partners.

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Posted by on June 16, 2016 in Technology


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BMW Wins Supply Contract -Ahead of Tesla

BMW Wins Supply Contract -Ahead of Tesla

LAPD has awarded an electrically powered vehicle supply contract to BMW for acquiring EVs for reaching out to the community

Tesla Motors has lost a contract to German automaker BMW. The latter has acquired Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) electric car contract under which it is required to deliver 100 electrically powered cars to the department. Instead of car chases or patrols, the department intends to use the vehicles for reaching out to community and other police business.

The current contract involving the probable lease of Munich based automaker’s 100 i3 all-electric plug in vehicles brought the number of electric vehicles-in-use by the police department in various cities to 200.

In 2015, the police department tested Tesla P85D, a Model S variant that has been now suspended. Initially, the LAPD was looking at leasing or purchasing the replacement, the P90D, but instead opted for the BMW i3. Small as well as weak in comparison with electric giant Tesla, the German electric vehicle is also cheaper. Its cost is $42,000 –almost 50% lower than the California based organization’s price.

Vartan Yegiyan, who heads the police department’s motor transport unit, stated the BMWs lease payment will be $387 monthly. The lease period will be three year long and the accumulated price is calculated to be around $1.4 million –including repairs and maintenance, he stated. Also, an additional $1.5 million will be required to purchase the infrastructure for electric vehicles charging and purchasing other such vehicles in the future, Mr. Yegiyan added.

BMW runs at a lower topmost speed and can just be driven 80 to 100 miles on 1 electric charge. But for an extra fee, the German EV is also offered with a gas-engine “extender” that takes the range to around 150 miles. The recent leasing contract could result in a contract for automobiles more suitable for patrolling work. Chief of Police Charlie Beck stated the LAPD was continuing its practice to work with Tesla, BMWs and other car makers to develop a more capable electric automobile.

Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti stated the automobiles are being leased by LAPD under a 3 year contract with the company. He also stated L.A aims to purchase 100 extra electric automobiles this financial year. In an announcement, BMW stated the availability of a huge network of BMW “i centers,” which can maintain EVs, had an influence on the decision by LAPD.

The usage of the company’s motorbikes by LAPD in its fleet might also have played a helpful role in sealing the deal. BMW stated a California based organization Greelots that does management of electric automobile charging networks, would supply 100 level 4 and 2 DC fast chargers to the department.

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Posted by on June 9, 2016 in Technology


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Tesla’s New Competitor May Setup A Factory In Vallejo

Tesla rival, Tesla California

Faraday Future’s proposal to establish factory in Vallejo will be discussed in the city council

Members of city council Vallejo met on May 31, 2016 to decide whether to approve the requisition of electrically powered car maker Tesla Motors’ rival Faraday Future to set up a manufacturing plant. The plant will be used for assembling vehicles as well as for customers’ correspondence.  The California based EV maker Faraday Future, which is backed by China-investors and is establishing a plant in the state of Nevada, seems to be following closely the footsteps of potential competitor Tesla.

The headquarters of Tesla is located in Pal Alto, manufactures its vehicles in Fremont, and is establishing a battery manufacturing plant outside the city of Reno in Nevada. At the moment, the Chinese backed organization is big on promise, but it is quite early to say if the organization will succeed in implementing its aspiring plans. The start-up connected to the China based online video company LeTV, just emerged in late 2015. The organization could finally become more like Fisker Automotive- a heavily- financed electric vehicle startup that burned and crashed- than CEO Elon Musk’s organization.

In May 2016, Faraday inaugurated a 3 million square-foot plant in the state of Nevada. The startup states it will pay $1 billion establishing the Nevada plant and recruit 4500 workers in a decade. Nevada has provided the organization with tax incentives worth $215 million to establish the plant in North Las Vegas. The head office of Faraday is in Los Angeles(L.A.), and the organization states it has employed 700 people.

In Vallejo, Faraday intends to do electric car assembling as well as establish a “customer experience center,” presumably to show EV technology, similar to how the automaker teaches potential consumers about electrically powered car tech at its storefronts. The land in Vallejo that the startup is taking interest in is known as North Mare Island, which covers an area of 150 acres controlled mostly by the waterfront city. The city has continued to work for revitalizing the region for a number of years following the closure of a base by the Navy in 1996.

The land requires high investment to meet industrial purposes. The proposal of the city council of Vallejo states North Mare Island has “negative land value.” Faraday would acquire the area in its present condition, and Vallejo would give the site free of cost. An investment of $50 million will be required to get it prepared to establish the plant.

It is not clear precisely what Faraday intends to establish in its Nevada plant and do assembling in the B.A facility.  The organization has been light on specifications of its planned EVs and just showed a vague concept vehicle to the doubtful media during the yearly technology conference Consumer Electronics show in Jan 2016.Faraday’s choice of the city further strengthens the spot of California as the electric car industry center.

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Posted by on June 7, 2016 in Technology, Tesla Motors


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Facebook finds a way to secure its users’ communication

Facebook message, Facebook conversation

The American social network operator may now encrypt its users’ conversation on Facebook Messenger


Facebook might be developing its Messenger application encrypted version, a report by The Guardian has disclosed. The publication, after talking to sources near Facebook venture, stated an app opt-in version would be launched in the “coming months”. Instead of launching out an end-to-end encryption to 900 million Messenger users, it is reported that the American social networking company will be requiring users to turn on the feature.

That’s because switching on the encryption would stop the working of its artificial intelligence (AI)Messenger bots. End-to-end encryption, which is frequently dubbed ‘strong encryption’, tells us that messaging networks as well as their owners cannot read messages sent through their platform; the receiver as well as the sender can only access the content.

Apple’s Face Time and iMessage are already using an end-to-end encryption method and secure messaging applications like Signals and Telegram. If the measure taken by the social networking service provider goes ahead it would contribute to a very high profile encryption launches ever seen. In April 2016, WhatsApp, which was bought by the social network platform operator 2 years ago launched end-to-end encryption for its 1 billion users by default.

The Ex NSA contractor Edward Snowden-backed end-to-end encryption method Open Whisper Systems was used by WhatsApp. In May this year, the US search company Google added an option in its own messenger application Allo that lets users enable end-to-end encryption – also with the use of the method Open Whisper Systems.

As suggested by the networking organization’s development, the Mountain view based organization’s opt-in function is stated, by the Guardian, to be there to ensure that the Messenger’s AI functions are not limited by the organization not getting user data. The search engine operator’s video calling application Duo backs the powerful encryption technique by default.

The reports regarding an encrypted Facebook Messenger encrypted version comes in context of the public battle between FBI and the American smartphone maker regarding the access to the content on terrorist Syed Farook’s locked iPhone.

Up till the FBI, by seeking the help of an anonymous third party, discovered a method to crack Farook’s iPhone 5S, the consumer electronics maker refused to develop new software to permit the smartphone to be accessed.

During that disagreement the Cupertino based organization’s claim that developing a “backdoor” for law enforcers to crack into the iPhone would undermine its encryption techniques was backed by huge tech organizations including WhatsApp, Facebook as well as Google.

The tech industry is highly caught between 2 conflicting patterns. Customers look to be demanding that organizations share less data with them– but are also interested in companies making an improvement in their facility through the integration of more of their private data.

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Posted by on June 3, 2016 in Facebook


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