Amazon has added celebrity voices to its digital assistant, Alexa, for a long time now. Samuel Jackson’s voice is already available as a skill and you’ll soon be able to add Amitabh Bachchan as well.
The company has announced a partnership with the 77-year-old Bollywood actor that will bring his voice to Alexa. The voice assistant can offer jokes, advice, weather updates, poetry, and more. The company has announced it’ll be launching it in 2021 as a paid experience.
Amitabh Bachchan is a prolific actor who has starred in movies since the 1970s. His movies have been a massive hit globally and played a critical role in evolving the country’s indigenous cinema. His iconic voice can be instantaneously recognized by the masses.
Having hosted thirteen seasons of the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, he has also dominated the television industry. Despite his age and medical complications, it’s impossible to find his off-screen. Fun Fact: Bachchan has also made an appearance in The Great Gatsby.
“Technology has always given me an opportunity to adapt to a new form,” Bachchan said in a release. “Be it in movies, TV shows, podcasts, and now, I am excited to create this voice experience in partnership with Amazon and Alexa. With voice technology, we are building something to engage more effectively with my audience and well-wishers.”
Amazon said that the Alexa team will work closely with Bachchan to capture his voice. Alexa comes pre-installed on all Echo devices and you can even install it via an app on Android and iOS.
The e-commerce company has been gained a massive foothold in India’s market. Affordable Echo devices have proven to be a hit and the brand is gradually improving its local experience in the country.
Thanks to direct integration, Amazon is also able to push forward its Prime subscription, ensuring the development of an eco-system that contains hardware, software, as well as content.
India imposes a ban on imported laptops, tablets, and PCs
Personal orders are still allowed
There’s no doubt that India is a major market for technology. While the country has its own brand preferences outside of the world’s usual, everyone still wants to get a piece of the market. To the dismay of global companies, the country is realizing the potential of its own market. Effective immediately, India has started restricting imports for new laptops, tablets, and PCs.
Recently, India made some headlines in the smartphone industry. A few companies, including Apple, have poured funds into building factories in India. Locally produced devices will allow these companies to attract the Indian market better. With the new regulations out today, it looks like these brands are going to enjoy a head start over others who aren’t in the country yet.
The Indian government introduced a new restriction (via Reuters) against the importation of “laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers, and ultra-small form factor computers and servers” made from other countries. Customers, however, will get an exemption. Airline passengers can still bring in these devices in their luggage. Additionally, a single imported device is allowable when bought through e-commerce platforms. Companies can import their products only by applying for a special license.
In a nutshell, bulk orders without a license are out. The government is instead encouraging users to buy locally produced products as part of its “Make in India” program. At the very least, it’s not a total ban on foreign brands. For example, Dell, HP, and Lenovo are exempt from the regulations since they already have production facilities built in the country.
Samsung overtakes Xiaomi as top phone brand in India
As of Q4 2022
Attacking a huge smartphone market is difficult. With preferences constantly evolving, it can get tricky to figure out the best lineup to capture most of a market. Samsung, however, has just done it. In the last quarter of 2022, Samsung has taken the crown from Xiaomi as the bestselling smartphone brand in India.
India is an important market for most smartphone brands. It’s one of the largest markets in the world. However, despite its size, the biggest players are often those who offer more affordable devices for consumers. Budget is the name of the game if a brand wants to make it big in the country.
Things are changing, though. According to new market data (via Reuters), Samsung has nabbed the throne from the former leader, Xiaomi. In the last quarter of 2022, the Korean brand grabbed 20 percent of the market, while the latter only got 18 percent.
In a trend dubbed as premiumization, Indian consumers are reportedly enjoying more disposable income, resulting in more willingness to buy pricier products. Additionally, the report hints that consumers have started equating lower prices with inferior quality.
With the market trending towards more premium products, Samsung took the lead with a lineup that consists more of midrange to premium devices. It will also be interesting to see if Apple, an even more premium brand, can also make a dent in the Indian market.
SEE ALSO: Buyer’s Guide: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Apple is preparing to open its first stores in India
Based on new job listings
For one of the largest smartphone markets in the world, India is one of the rarer countries where Apple does not outright dominate. Undoubtedly, the company is trying to change that. Ongoing job listings in India are suggesting that Apple is ready to open its first brick-and-mortar store in the country.
First reported by Financial Times, Apple has posted job openings in India for several retail roles including for the iconic Genius Bar. Another clue even indicates that some spots have already been filled ahead of time. A few employees in the country have reportedly posted about their new jobs on LinkedIn.
Unfortunately, none of the job listings show how many stores are planned and where they will be. Narrowing things down by a bit, a few of the confirmed employees are from Mumbai and New Delhi. The report also does not indicate when the stores will open. However, since a few have already been hired, a grand opening might be coming soon.
Apple has a lot to gain by strengthening its foothold in India. The country is an important stronghold for smartphone companies. However, the company might find things harder as time goes by. The country recently dictated that brands must switch to USB-C if they want to sell their devices in India. All over the world, Apple remains the last stalwart against adopting the more universal standard.
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