How Is the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Still a Thing?

How Is the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Still a Thing?

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Galaxy Note first launched in 2011 creating the ‘phablet’ category
  • Today, that size of phone is the norm, and there is little to make the Note stand out
  • The difference between the Galaxy S7 Edge and the Note 7 is minimal

Samsung may not dominate the entry level Android market anymore, but at the very top end of the market, where people pay iPhone-equivalent prices, it is pretty much the only Android manufacturer that’s still competing in a meaningful way. Its two lines – the smaller S-series phones, and the phablet-sized Note series, have been hugely successful, with the Galaxy S7 Edge the most popular phone of the year so far according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5, which launched a year ago,got good reviews and at first glance, the Note 7 – Samsung decided to skip ‘6’ to sync the Note line with the Galaxy S line – appears to be a solid update. It has got some new features such as a HDR-capable display, an iris-scanner, and it has also added water and dust resistance. On the other hand, there’s now less and less to differentiate it from the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – the screens are almost the same size, both have curved edges, and much of the hardware powering the phones is also similar.

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The fact is that while the 2011 Note might have helped create the concept of a ‘phablet’, it’s an outdated term today as most high-end phones now are above 5-inches in size. In 2011, when the first Galaxy Note launched, the 5.3-inch screen was considered enormous, and most reviewers kept arguing that users would not be able to use the phone comfortably. Today, we live in a world that has theXiaomi Mi Max – a 6.44-inch ‘phone’.

The Note series’ large screens were marketed as being useful for professionals to see more of a spreadsheet, to see more of an email, in a single screen. That’s a difference that doesn’t exist anymore. The other big advantage that the Note holds is the stylus – it doesn’t sound like a very big deal because after all, our phones are designed for use with our fingers right? But Samsung actually made superb use of the stylus, and it can be used for sketching quick notes, more easily copying and pasting from webpages, or to annotate things. If you are using the phone for actual work, then Samsung’s work on the stylus is something to be celebrated.

But if it’s the only difference between an Edge and a Note, then there’s not much call to have both, is there? For Samsung, the Note series also represented what was in many ways, its most cutting edge devices. Today, it’s playing it safe, and offering a phone that’s just a better version of the last one – not something that’s new or different. And that’s going to be a problem when you go to the customers.

galaxy_note7_official.jpgAfter the launch announcement of the Note 7, one of the very first comments that came up on the Gadgets360 article simply read: “Not good specifications.” The Note phones have typically been more expensive than the corresponding S-series phone. Based on past trends, a price of around Rs. 65,000 would not be entirely unexpected, though Samsung has been known to spring a surprise or two.

That’s a pretty big markup to pay for just getting a good stylus experience – especially because the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge launched in India six months ago, and you can get one for about Rs. 50,000 now.

As it stands, it looks like Samsung might want to merge the Edge and Note lines – and if that’s the case, which brand will matter more to the company? The fact is that the Note is getting too hard to justify. If the only thing it brings to the table is a stylus, then why doesn’t Samsung just enable those features on its other phones, and sell the stylus as an optional accessory instead?

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Samsung Galaxy Note7

Samsung Galaxy Note7

Display

5.70-inch

Processor

1.6GHz

Front Camera

5-megapixel

Resolution

1440×2560 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 6.0.1

Storage

64GB

Rear Camera

12-megapixel

Battery capacity

3500mAh

See full Samsung Galaxy Note7 specifications
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Tags: Galaxy Note 7, Mobiles, Samsung, Samsung Edge, Samsung Note

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

A Pressing Concern About the Next iPhone

A Pressing Concern About the Next iPhone

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple’s new iPhone models may sport a pressure-sensitive home button, says report
  • The revamped home button could make Apple devices harder to repair
  • Apple may also bring Touch ID power button to new MacBooks

When it comes to the next iPhone, it seems that in many ways users will have to do without. Apple’s changing things up and continuing its long war on that most humble gadget component: the button.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who has an excellent track record when it comes to iPhone leaks, reports that the new gadget will have a much different home button. Per the article: “[The] new models will have a pressure-sensitive button that provides feedback to the user via a vibrating haptic sensation rather than a true physical click, according to the people.”

In other words, it will look like a button and feel like a button but it won’t actually, you know, be a button.

Which, I have to admit, troubles me a little bit.

Some of it is psychological. Physical buttons and switches feel direct and can make you feel as if you have more control. If your touch screen is unresponsive, you know you can hit the power button and the side button on an iPhone and reboot it.

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On a broader level, the revamped home button could make Apple devices harder to repair. Several Apple consumers complain about “planned obsolescence” – the idea that the firm makes things hard to repair so that it can make money on new hardware. It’s a bit of a tinfoil-hat way to look at things. But with no button and no easy way to get into a phone, we’re likely to see fewer ways for third-party businesses to be able to replace parts.

And not being able to replace parts could, in effect, shorten a gadget’s life span.

Complicating the function of the home button has already had this negative effect for some Apple customers. In February, many people were upset that replacing Apple’s home button made their phones inoperable. Apple said it was to ensure that no one tampered with the button’s built-in security features. That’s a sensible explanation. But it still means that users have to go to Apple with their repair problems, and possibly get their phone replaced, thanks to the complications of the home button. This only stands to get worse if the rumors are true.

There are some general advantages, however, to ditching buttons, apart from aesthetics. One is that it leaves fewer places where outside debris such as sand, dirt, dust or water could get in and wreak havoc with your device. There’s been a lot of pressure on Apple, for example, to make the iPhone more water-resistant. Fewer outside seams theoretically helps with that.

And software buttons aren’t all bad, either. We have seen Android manufacturers go further than what Apple is rumored to be doing with the next iPhone and using software-only buttons with no physical spot on the phone to make screens bigger and free up screen space. The home, back and options buttons are on a bar that hides at the bottom of the screen when not in use.

Apple has shown that it can design for software buttons with its pressure-sensitive Force Touch on the new MacBook and the iPhone’s 3D Touch. That technology means Apple can offer more than one dimension of function even with a flat screen. In fact, the options with those technologies go far beyond what a single button could ever do. If it’s executed well and doesn’t react every time something brushes against it – I’m looking at you, Xbox One power button – it’s unlikely to detract much from the experience.

In fact, I only ever remember that my MacBook trackpad doesn’t click when my computer’s off. (Or, you know, when I’m writing an entire column about buttons.)

We all seemed to get used to losing the physical “call” and “end” buttons, or the physical snap of hanging up a flip phone. Given what’s rumored from Apple, this will be a far smaller compromise of physical sensation than that. But we may miss the button in other ways.

© 2016 The Washington Post

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Tags: Apple, Force Touch, Mobiles, iPhone 7, iPhones

 

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Intel’s Strategy for the Post-PC World Begins to Take Real Shape

Intel's Strategy for the Post-PC World Begins to Take Real Shape

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Intel made a number of strategy and product announcements at IDF 2016
  • The amount of data each person creates each day is expected to explode
  • PCs aren’t dead, but many other devices will become intertwined with our lives

After a less-than-stellar year in which it announced 12,000 layoffs, a major deviation from its CPU roadmap, and a complete withdrawal from the smartphone SoC race, Intel’s vision for a connected, compute-intensive post-PC future is finally beginning to take shape. At the company’annual developer conference in San Francisco this week, attention was diverted away from conventional devices such as PCs and laptops, and lavished on other perceived areas of growth.

Intel will spend the next year trying to build strong foundations for emerging categories such as virtual reality, drones, autonomous vehicles, and domestic robots as well as custom “smart” devices for increasingly specific niches, which it hopes will become part of the fabric of our everyday lives. Simultaneously, it wants to cement its position in the data centre where it expects to see the massive growth as sensor-laden devices generating massive amounts of data, to be interpreted and made use of. That involves not only processing all that data, but moving it from endpoint devices to the cloud and back to the user quickly enough to be useful.

One of the biggest things to come into focus for Intel this year was its RealSense 3D camera initiative. First promoted as a “perceptual computing” enhancement for PCs, tablets and laptops, RealSense seemed like a gimmick without many useful real-world applications. It was compared to Microsoft’s Kinect – amusing in specific scenarios, but largely unnecessary. Intel suggested that it could replace traditional input devices, making computers more human, but there weren’t a lot of device manufacturers who tried to make that happen. Over the past year, this initiative has pivoted away from the paradigm of manipulating a UI and has really come into its own, powering security enhancements such as Windows Hello, enabling drones to understand their environments and avoid collisions, and powering all kinds of interactive robots.

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Of course there was the big news about Project Alloy, an ecosystem designed to enable “mixed reality” experiences, which Intel defines as similar to virtual reality but incorporating elements of the real world rather than trying to replace them. Motion tracking is handled by RealSense – the headset is opaque and all real-world objects are captured and fed into the virtual environment, unlike augmented reality which is overlaid against what you see through your own eyes. Then there was Joule, a tiny new development platform designed specifically for RealSense applications; Euclid, a ready-made PC of sorts with RealSense integrated into its candybar-sized body.

intel_joule.jpg

In the near future, a new, thinner RealSense module with increased range and sensitivity will become available. It will be easier to integrate into consumer products, and has a real chance of going mainstream. Demos on the show floor included a robotic companion for diabetic children, safety goggles which can detect if engineers use the wrong parts when working on sensitive equipment, a projector that can turn any tabletop into an interactive game, a heads-up display that bikers can wear with their helmets, and an educational modular robot-building kit.

While some of these projects are frivolous and some might never make it out of the proof-of-concept stage, the common thread was that no matter how small the niche, if there’s a need, Intel wants to fill it. A small number of these projects might wind up resonating with people, or at least planting the seed of an idea in the minds of other attendees.

No matter what, we are going to have more devices in our lives, or at least devices that do more things. That’s in addition to the appliances and environmental controls around us, our clothes, our cars, the tools we use at work, smart city infrastructure that we walk past, and more. All of them will be generating data, and a lot of that data will be parsed using artificial intelligence of some sort. Intel wants to be in that space as well, not just processing it all with a new generation of Xeon Phis but slinging it across the world using incredibly high-speed, low-latency silicon photonics between servers and 5G to the endpoints where it’s needed.

intel_project_alloy.jpg

We seem to finally be at a point where IoT ceases to be a buzzword and becomes tangible and relatable. It all comes together – RealSense can be used for object and pattern recognition, but that only works when there are massive data sets to learn from. Data is generated by the cameras, sent to a huge data centre, processed by artificial intelligence, and sent back in a useful form. Some applications don’t need that to happen quickly, but when we get to things like autonomous vehicles, medical robots or even public utilities, even milliseconds matter. Intel wants us to know that it’s working on the entire chain.

Whereas last year’s IDF was flashy but somewhat lacking in direction, attendees of this year’s show were able to come away with a sense of the company’s direction – and it isn’t about PCs. While not quite in the rear-view mirror, we can expect PC hardware to decline in overall importance as a much, much bigger picture of connected devices and services emerges around us.

Disclosure: The correspondent’s flights and hotel for IDF were sponsored by Intel.

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Tags: IDF, Intel, Intel 2016

 

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Android Is Getting Better, Nexus Is Getting Worse

Android Is Getting Better, Nexus Is Getting Worse

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Google Nexus range of smartphones is losing lustre
  • Its positioning seems to change with each generation
  • Cheaper, better phones from the competition make it a tough sell

Another year, another update to Android. While Google has gotten better at delivering a compelling experience on its mobile OS, it’s hard to say the same about its attempts at rolling out flagship phones.

As someone who has owned every single Nexus from the Galaxy Nexus all the way up to the Nexus 5X, it’s sad to see the company lose its way. The Nexus logo emblazoned on a smartphone used to imply cutting edge hardware at a reasonable price, along with the first OS updates for the best Android has to offer. Not any more.

For starters, let’s talk about the company’s choice of manufacturers. Since the inception of Android and the Nexus line, we’ve seen HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola, and Huawei all take a stab at what Google envisages to be the paragon of the Android smartphone experience. It’s as if Google executives draw names out of a hat annually.

Without a single hardware maker working on and iterating on the Nexus line year on year, it’s tough to maintain a sense of consistency, and next to impossible to communicate a concrete road map of what to expect.

Imagine Samsung announcing a new Note phablet but then showing off something the size of aniPhone 4 instead – that’s what Google’s hardware strategy feels like at times. Android itself has been growing steadily with a slew of sweet features but the hardware from its makers suffers an identity crisis.

Take 2012 and 2013 for example: we were treated to LG’s Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 respectively, both fantastic devices for their time. In 2014, we got the Nexus 6 by Motorola, which at the time was owned by Google.

The phone was not a particularly good successor to the two devices it followed up on. In one fell swoop, Google undid all the hard work of the past years in creating a uniform hardware design language. This year HTC is reportedly taking the reigns from LG and Huawei. Do we really want two more phones based on the HTC 10? All of this will simply confuse customers on what to pick up, assuming they gravitate towards Google’s offerings at all. This will be particularly bad in India, where retailers call anything that runs Android a Google phone, no matter what brand’s phone they’re actually trying to sell. Of course things are likely to get even more complicated this year, when we might see the rumoured Nexus phones debut as actual Google phones.

If this isn’t enough, the price has been a sticking point. The Nexus range was perceived as being affordable while packing high performance components, even though this hasn’t actually been the case in the recent past.

When it launched, the Nexus 6 was available from Rs. 44,000 while the Nexus 6P was available at Rs. 39,999 onwards. The Nexus 5X – dubbed as the successor to the decently priced and specced Nexus 5 sported a Rs. 31,900 price tag.

In an age where flagship class phones such as the Xiaomi Mi 5 and OnePlus Three are available for considerably less, HTC’s penchant for a premium price won’t do it any favours either. It’s as if Google hasn’t learned from its past mistakes one bit.

Aside from this, by the time the ‘Nexii’ are out, we’ll be seeing a price cut on a slew of flagships. In the case of Xiaomi, it’s already happened and it’s just a matter of time before others follow suit.

Meanwhile the competition has upped the ante on the software front. In the past, to get the most out of Android, you needed a Nexus device. That’s no longer the case. Oxygen OS from OnePlus is close to stock, MIUI from Xiaomi improves on it by adding some useful features, though it’s obviously far from stock Android. Even Samsung with crusty old Touchwiz is making an attempt to deliver a painless user interface, albeit with mixed results.

Sundar Pichai says that Google will be more opinionated with Nexus phones – or Google phones as they are now likely to be called – adding more features going forward. It’s an admirable notion, but if its execution is anything like what we’ve seen with the brand of late, it just might be Google trying to figure out for itself what Nexus means. Until it does, you may be better off with another smartphone. I know I am.

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Tags: Nexus, Android, Google, Android 7.0, Android N, Android Nougat, Nougat, HTC, Google Phones, Marlin, Sailfish

 

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Snapdeal Gold Takes on Amazon Prime and Flipkart First

Snapdeal Gold Takes on Amazon Prime and Flipkart First

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Snapdeal Gold promises next day free delivery and more
  • You don’t need to sign up or pay for this
  • Snapdeal Gold is only for 100 percent prepaid products

Snapdeal has launched a new feature called Snapdeal Gold, which promises free next day delivery, free shipping, and extended purchase protection. This follows Amazon Prime and Flipkart First, both of which offer similar features to customers.

The Snapdeal Gold Service is a little different from the aforementioned services though, as you don’t need to sign up for a service to use this. It’s automatic – if any order is found to match Snapdeal Gold requirements, it will get upgraded. As long as it’s being fulfilled by Snapdeal, and you’re paying upfront – by card, netbanking, using Freecharge, or gift cards. Cash on Delivery offers will not get the benefit. Snapdeal also allows people to use a combination of Freecharge cash and Cash on Delivery payments, but only 100 percent prepaid orders will be upgraded to Snapdeal Gold.

Where available, you’ll get free next day delivery, otherwise you’ll always get free standard delivery with Snapdeal Gold. Also, instead of the normal seven day timeframe in which you can return a product, with Snapdeal Gold, you’ll have 14 days to return the product you bought.

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One of the nice features is that everything takes place automatically – for example, you don’t choose Gold as an option, just pick an online payment method. If next day delivery is available, your delivery is automatically scheduled for it. What this means is that there’s practically no barrier to entry to getting the benefits from Snapdeal Gold, provided you have an online payment solution. The automatic upgrade is where there’s also a slight catch though – not all items that are fulfilled by Snapdeal or meet the above requirements are eligible for Snapdeal Gold. All in all, Snapdeal Gold looks more like a way to move people away from cash on delivery than anything else.

In contrast, both Flipkart First and Amazon Prime require you to sign up beforehand, and charge money, which is not something everyone will be willing to do. However, it offers less by way of benefits too. For example, Flipkart First gets you priority customer support, and Amazon Prime gives you early access to deals on the site, and once Amazon launches its video service in India, you’ll have access to that as well, which could be a real game changer.

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Tags: Snapdeal, ECommerce, Snapdeal Gold, Flipkart, Amazon, Flipkart First, Amazon Prime

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Indian IT Spending to Reach $72.3 Billion in 2016: Gartner

Indian IT Spending to Reach $72.3 Billion in 2016: Gartner

India’s IT spending is expected to rise by 7.2 percent in 2016 to reach $72.3 billion (roughly Rs. 4,73,886 crores), said leading market research player Gartner on Tuesday.

“India will continue to be the fastest growing IT market for the second year in succession and will continue growing to total $87.67 billion (roughly Rs. 5,74,696 crores) by the end of 2019,” said Aman Munglani, research director, Gartner in a statement.

India, currently the third largest IT market in Asia Pacific, will become the second largest by 2019 following China, he said.

Mobile phones, personal computers and tablets falling under the category of devices are expected to account for almost 33 percent of the overall IT spend in India, growing at 9.4 percent in 2016, Gartner said.

Gartner India’s research head Partha Iyengar said that in five years, one million new devices will come online every hour, and “these interconnections are creating billions of new relationships. These relationships are not driven solely by data, but algorithms”.

Highlighting the crucial nature of algorithms, Iyengar added, “Data is inherently dumb. It doesn’t actually do anything unless you know how to use it; how to act with it. Algorithms are where the real value lies. Algorithms define action. Dynamic algorithms are the core of new customer interactions.”

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The next great leap in machine to machine evolution in the Internet of Things (IoT) will be powered by the algorithmic economy, said Gartner in the statement.

“Organizations will be valued, not just on their big data, but the algorithms that turn that data into actions, and ultimately impact customers,” it added.

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Tags: IT, India, Information Technology, Internet of Things, IoT

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Samsung Joins Apple in Warning of Gloomy 2016 for Technology

Samsung Joins Apple in Warning of Gloomy 2016 for Technology

Samsung Electronics warned of slowing demand and economic turbulence after its quarterly earnings missed analysts’ estimates, joining Apple in foretelling a downbeat 2016 for the technology sector.

The Korean conglomerate, whose quarterly profit fell short of expectations by almost 40 percent, said the deteriorating global economy was eroding demand for computers and smartphones and depressing component prices. Samsung will invest in new screen and semiconductor technologies such as foldable displays to try and boost profit, executives said on a conference call.

Samsung’s warning came days after Apple its biggest customer according to data compiled by Bloomberg predicted its first sales decline in a decade. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the company was seeing “extreme conditions” unlike anything the world’s largest technology company had ever encountered, with economic growth in China at its weakest pace in 25 years.

“All technology companies around the world will face a very tough industry ahead. Until the overall demand picks up, it’s a matter of how well they can hold out instead of how well they can battle out,” said Yoo Eui-hyung, an analyst at Dongbu Securities Co. “For 2016, since no demand growth is expected, it largely depends on how well the supply of chips and displays can be managed.”

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Shares of Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of phones, displays and memory chips, finished 2.6 percent lower in Seoul. The stock has fallen more than 9 percent this year, compared with a 2.8 percent decline in the benchmark Kospi index.

The cautionary tones adopted by Apple and Samsung sent ripples through an industry whose fortunes are entwined with the market’s two leading players. Mobile component suppliers TDK Corp., Murata Manufacturing Co. and LG Display Co. slid on Thursday after Apple shares tumbled 6.6 percent.

Alps Electric Co., which Bloomberg-compiled data shows is most closely co-related with Apple, led losers with a decline of 17.4 percent.

Samsung reported net income excluding minority interests fell 39 percent to KRW 3.24 trillion ($2.7 billion) in the December quarter, lagging the KRW 5.4 trillion average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That result includes a KRW 2.5 trillion non-operating loss due to impairment charges, the impact of a stronger Korean won and anemic growth in its key smartphone and chip units.

On Thursday, it said will buy back KRW 2.99 trillion of stock in the second phase of its buyback program.

Global smartphone shipments rose just 6 percent in the final quarter of 2015 the slowest pace of growth on record, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

Samsung said it shipped 97 million handsets including low-end feature phones and 9 million tablets in the holiday quarter. Strategy Analytics estimates Samsung’s smartphone shipments grew a mere 0.8 percent in 2015 due to tougher competition from Apple in the high-end segment and China’s XiaomiCorp. and Huawei Technologies Co. in the budget category.

“The overall smartphone market will remain difficult throughout this year but we still see growth in the lower-end segment, although competition will be tougher,” Lee Kyeong-tae, vice president of the mobile communications business, said on the call. “We will continue to add more follow-up models of the A and J series this year to strengthen our competitiveness in the lower-end space.”

To fire up consumers, Samsung will introduce two new versions of its top-tier Galaxy S models at theMobile World Congress in Barcelona next month, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The S7 phone will have a 5.1-inch front screen and the S7 Edge will have a 5.5-inch screen stretching down the sides, one of the people said.

Cost controls helped enhance margins even as mobile division sales fell. Operating profit at the unit rose 14 percent to KRW 2.23 trillion from KRW 1.96 trillion a year earlier.

Operating income at the chip unit rose just 3.7 percent to KRW 2.8 trillion. Prices for DDR3 4-gigabyte dynamic random access memory chips averaged $1.93 in the quarter, compared with $3.77 a year earlier, according to data from inSpectrum Inc.

Samsung said this month that its foundry business received orders from Qualcomm to make Snapdragon 820 chips. It’s decided to use Qualcomm’s chips for about half of its upcoming S7 devices only a year after turning away from the U.S. company, people with direct knowledge of the matter have said.

Operating income from displays fell 36 percent to KRW 300 billion while profit at the consumer electronics division, which comprises TVs and home appliances, rose more than fourfold to KRW 820 billion in the quarter, benefiting from falling panel prices and strong U.S. holiday-quarter demand for 4K televisions.

© 2016 The Washington Post

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Tags: Apple, Mobiles, Samsung, Smartphones, iPhone

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Digital Agriculture Market Platform to Launch in April, Says PM Modi

Digital Agriculture Market Platform to Launch in April, Says PM Modi

A digital platform for enabling farmers to sell their produce at a better rate anywhere in the country will be launched on April 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in Sehore on Thursday as he resolved to ensure doubling of the farmers’ income by 2022.

PM Modi, who unveiled guidelines for the recently-launched Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme at a rally in Sehore, said this was one of the various initiatives of his government aimed at ensuring the welfare of the farmers who have been in distress due to vagaries of weather.

Besides the Crop Insurance Scheme, the Prime Minister spoke about Soil Health Card scheme, PM’s Irrigation Scheme, organic farming, ensuring adequate availability of urea and ethanol-blending programme to help the sugarcane farmers and also pitched for ‘Startup’ initiatives in agriculture sector.

The Prime Minister pushed for more and more use of modern technology and equipment along with traditional wisdom of farming to boost the agriculture sector, not only to meet the domestic needs but also cater to the demands from abroad.

“We want to integrate technology in the agriculture sector. There should be a mix of progressive farming and age-old wisdom,” the Prime Minister said.

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Noting that the farmers do not get adequate price for his produce despite working hard as he has no choice but to sell in the nearby mandis, Prime Minister Modi said the government has decided to address this by adopting a digital mechanism.

“We are setting up a National Agriculture Market, a virtual and digital platform, in the coming days… On April 14, the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar, we will launch the online platform,” PM Modi said at the rally which was attended by union ministers Sushma Swaraj, Radha Mohan Singh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan besides others.

The Prime Minister said this platform will enable the farmers, using a mobile phone, to sell their produce anywhere in the country, wherever they can get a better price.

At the rally, the Prime Minister said all states as well as agriculture community should take a pledge to double the farmers’ income by 2022, the 75th year of the country’s Independence. “We will do whatever is required achieve this.”

Under the e-agri platform, the government is working towards integrating all the 585 wholesale mandis of the country by 2018 in a phased manner, for which Rs. 200 crores have been earmarked as of now.

In the first phase, 200 mandis will be integrated by this March-end while another 200 will be connected to the online platform in 2017 and the rest by 2018.

The Centre has received proposals from states like Karnataka, Gujarat, Telangana, and Maharashtra for developing necessary infrastructure in wholesale markets. A strategic partner for implementing the national agri e-market has also been identified.

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Tags: Digital India, India, Internet, Narendra Modi

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SecureWorks Raises $112 Million in Year’s First Technology IPO

SecureWorks Raises $112 Million in Year's First Technology IPO

Dell Inc’s cyber-security unit SecureWorks Corp raised $112 million in the first US initial public offering of a technology company in 2016, less than it had hoped for, amid investor skepticism over its profit margins and prospects.

Market jitters and fluctuations in technology stocks have kept investors skittish about the sector. This time last year, six technology companies had already priced their IPOs, raising a total of $1.6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

SecureWorks priced 8 million shares on Thursday at $14, missing its previously indicated $15.50-$17.50 range, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company was originally aiming to price 9 million shares.

The source asked not to be identified ahead of an official announcement. SecureWorks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Technology investors are hoping SecureWorks will open the door for other IPOs in the sector. Technology companies such as storage provider Nutanix Inc have kept their IPO plans on hold, waiting for a more favourable market environment.

In November, payment provider Square Inc completed an IPO that valued it at $2.9 billion, nearly half of the $6 billion valuation that private investors had previously assigned to it.

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Indian IT Infrastructure Market to Reach $1.93 Billion in 2016: Gartner

Indian IT Infrastructure Market to Reach $1.93 Billion in 2016: Gartner

The Indian IT infrastructure market will increase marginally to $1.93 billion (roughly Rs. 12,807 crores) this year whereas by 2020, it is likely to grow to $2.13 billion (roughly Rs. 14,137 crores), Gartner said Tuesday.

The IT infrastructure market includes server, storage and enterprise networking equipment.

In 2015, the market stood at $1.90 billion (roughly Rs. 12,611 crores). “The Indian IT infrastructure market will total $1.9 billion in 2016, a 1 percent increase from 2015,” Gartner said.

Indian enterprises will continue to focus on optimising their infrastructure and operations budgets in 2016, it added.

“Optimisation is primarily driven with an objective to create next generation data center architecture that can support the ever increasing challenges of digital business. With the emergence of bimodal IT, there are a lot of investments made in Mode 1, and there is an increasing focus on building Mode 2 infrastructure,” Naveen Mishra, research director at Gartner said.

Gartner said Mode 1 workloads are witnessing investments in areas such as cloud, software defined storage and network coupled with integrated systems.

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“Public cloud is increasingly becoming relevant for data center managers and IT leaders in India,” it added.

Enterprise networking is the biggest segment within the Indian IT infrastructure market with revenue expected to total $848 million (roughly Rs. 5,628 crores) in 2016.

“This is an area where enterprises are focusing heavily in terms of their optimisation efforts and evaluating software driven networking, as this is becoming a barrier to a seamless digital experience,” Gartner said.

Mishra said with a revenue projection of $253 million (roughly Rs. 1,679 crores) in 2016, storage investment will witness a decline from last year primarily due to improved performance.

“Enterprises are increasingly investing in software defined storage, evaluating alternate, cheaper devices, such as flash storage, which is helping them to contain the ever increasing storage costs,” he added.

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[“Source-Gadgets”]