India

Amazon to invest $1 billion in India’s small businesses

Jeff Bezos is convinced it’s time to double down

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Jeff Bezos is visiting India and Amazon has organized a conference to announce their plans and goals for the regional market. Dubbed “Smbhav”, it’s a collaborative event for small and medium businesses and will see the participation of senior industry executives.

Bezos said the global online retailer will invest US$ 1 billion in digitising India’s small and medium businesses. He also said the company is eyeing scaling locally produced products from India — in line with the Make in India program — to be of US$ 10 billion size on Amazon platform by 2025.

“We are doing this now because it is working. And when something works you should double down on it,” Bezos said.

The news comes just after the Competition Commission of India (CCI), started an investigation into anti-competitive practices of Amazon and its Walmart-owned rival Flipkart earlier this week.

An Amazon executive said the company has amassed over 500,000 sellers in India and thousands of merchants in the country who are selling on 12 Amazon marketplaces around the world.

India is a lucrative market for internet companies because of extremely cheap data rates and easy availability of affordable smartphones. With a population of 1.3 billion people, the potential is unmatchable. Especially because China’s markets are closed by an internal firewall and the developed markets are highly saturated.

The country is Amazon’s largest bet outside its home market and currently at the cutting edge of digital payments. In India, Amazon is able to set up a highly scaled operations unit, ensuring lower costs and better reach.

Apps

Indian telco launches a Zoom rip-off and it’s free

Definitely worth giving it a shot!

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Jio, India’s leading telecom operator has recently been in the news for a lot of reasons. The company has more than 30 percent of the telecom market in India and it intends to pivot, unlike any other telco we’ve ever seen.

The company has launched a Zoom alternative called JioMeet. The video conferencing app is expected to get a lot of traction amid calls to increase self-dependence and reduce the consumption of foreign products. However, it seems like the Jio team took too much inspiration from Zoom and thought of just directly mimicking it.

The app looks almost identical to Zoom’s offering, except for the minor color change here and there. The app is one of many in Jio’s portfolio.

However, the app offers a lot of high-end features like unlimited free calls in HD and supports for 100 participants in one go. Additionally, JioMeet does not impose a short time limit on a call’s duration.

On Zoom, you’d require a premium account to disable the 40-minute restriction on calls. Thankfully, the app is available on the Play Store and App Store for download directly, and no coupons or invite links are needed.

For security and privacy reasons, all its meetings are password protected. The host has the control to send the uninvited guests to the “Waiting Room” to ensure no gatecrashing. Obviously, standard features like screen sharing have also been included.

For desktop usage, the service can also be accessed through Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers. On its official website, JioMeet claims all the meetings are “encrypted”.

In the last two months, the telecom operator has raised billion in funding from global investors like Facebook. The company also owns JioSaavn music streaming service and has its own entertainment unit that offers movies, shows, as well as live TV.

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India

POCO M2 Pro launching soon, specs listed on Geekbench

Launching on July 7

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File photo: POCO X2

POCO India has started teasing the launch of its next phone and it’s scheduled for July 7. However, even this phone — the POCO M2 Pro — couldn’t hide through the internet and its specs have popped up on the benchmarking tool, Geekbench.

Company teasers have already shown-off a quad-camera setup but we’re yet to know the nitty-gritty. The model listed on Geekbench is powered by a Snapdragon 720 SoC alongside 6GB of RAM. The phone shall ship with Android 10 out-of-the-box. The company has already confirmed it’ll support 33W fast charging.

According to the rumor mill, the POCO M2 Pro shall have a quad-camera setup on the rear. It’ll consist of a 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor, a 5-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.

This will be the first phone in the M-series and will play an essential role in framing the brand’s presence in the Indian market. So far, POCO has launched only two phones in India since its debut. However, at the beginning of this year, POCO parted ways from Xiaomi to operate as an independent brand.

Xiaomi already leads the market while OPPO and vivo have an extremely strong on0-ground presence. Samsung too has a considerable chunk due to its revered brand perception. Realme has consistently shown radical growth and it’s going after Xiaomi with all its might.

With an increasingly competitive market like this, POCO has a lot to accomplish. Currently, the brand only has the POCO X2 on sale.

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India

OnePlus launches U and Y-series smart TVs

Much-needed affordable options

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OnePlus entered the smart TV market last year but targeted the premium segment. Unlike its phones, the division is yet to take-0ff. The brand is taking a step forward and announced two new TV lineups — the U and Y-series in its portfolio.

The OnePlus Y-series is available in two sizes — 32-inches with HD resolution and 43-inches with Full HD resolution. While the U-lineup has one variant coming in at 55-inches with Ultra HD resolution.

Despite the different sizes, all the TVs have a lot of things in common. The brand intends to offer the same high-end user experience across all the TVs in its bag. The three offer DCI-P3 93 percent color gamut Cinematic Display and support for OnePlus’ Gamma Engine for a smoother and clearer experience.

Furthermore, the OnePlus TV U1 brings support for Dolby Vision for cinema-quality HDR processing. The Y-series is left behind here due to lower resolution. However, all the TVs have Dolby Audio compatibility.

Other features include Oxygen Play, OnePlus Connect, and a seamless easy-to-use remote with dedicated keys for streaming sites. All the TVs ship with Android TV 9 Pie out-of-the-box.

The 55-inch U1 is priced at INR 49,999 (US$ 668). In the Y-series, the 32-inch option comes for INR 19,999 (US$ 267) while the 43-inch variant costs INR 29,999 (US$ 400). They shall be available on Amazon.in from July 5. Additionally, you can grab them at OnePlus online store as well as retail partners.

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