India

Apple to start making iPhone 12 in India

The demand for iPhones is very high

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Apple has confirmed it’ll start making iPhone 12 in India soon. The phone maker currently has multiple assembly lines in the country, but they’re yet to churn out the latest iPhone for the local market. Currently, it relies completely on imports.

According to a report in Mint, Apple will start making only the iPhone 12 model in the country while the Pro variants shall continue to be imported from China. Experts suggest that this move will be beneficial for both Apple and the Indian government.

The American phone maker will bypass import duty, giving it an edge in terms of pricing. Secondly, the Indian government wants to encourage local sourcing amid a call to reduce dependence on China-made or Chinese products. Under the government’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, Apple has partnered with Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron.

In recent times, Apple has managed to gain a lot of traction in the Indian market due to competitive pricing and local sourcing. It also started its online store after years of wait and intended to open Apple Stores that are not operated by authorized resellers. The Mint report also noted that Apple’s market share in India was 4 percent in the October-December quarter of 2020, a 2 percent rise year-over-year.

However, we don’t expect Apple to officially mark down the price of the iPhone 12 when local production starts. Many older models are already being made in India, and they haven’t seen any significant price change. Though, Apple does double down during the festive season and comes up with extremely lucrative offers that make the phones sell like hotcakes.

The announcements are proof that Apple is finally taking the Indian market seriously. It also has an edge over the others since it can command a much higher premium without affecting sales. For the affordable range, iPhone SE continues to be a hot pick.

India

Redmi Note 10S launches with Helio G95, 64MP camera

Comes with an upgraded camera

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Just after two months of launching the Redmi Note 10 series, Xiaomi has returned with a successor. The affordable segment plays a crucial part for the company, and the lineup has proven to be a marvel. What’s new in the Redmi Note 10S?

The design is extremely similar to the predecessor, and it’ll be hard to differentiate between the two. Xiaomi calls it EVOL design, and it’s also a part of the Redmi Note 10 Pro series.

On the front, it has a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution with a standard 60Hz refresh rate. Powering the phone is a Mediatek Helio G95 processor, coupled with Mali-G76 MC4 GPU. It supports expandable storage via a dedicated microSD card slot.

The rear sports a quad-camera setup consisting of a 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The front gets a 13-megapixel selfie shooter, which is embedded in a punch-hole cut-out.

Backing these internals is a 5000mAh battery with support for 33W fast charging. Xiaomi claims the Redmi Note 10S can go zero to a hundred percent in around 78 minutes. The fingerprint sensor is located on the side and doubles up as the power button.

Redmi Note 10S is priced at INR 14,999 (US$ 203) for the 6GB+64GB variant and INR 15,999 (US$ 217) for the 6GB+128GB option. It’ll be available in three colors — Deep Sea Blue, Frost White, and Shadow Black. Sales start from May 18 via Amazon India, Mi.com, Mi Home stores, and retail stores.

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India

POCO extends smartphone warranty for all users by two months

Check whether you’re eligible

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POCO has announced it will extend the warranty of smartphones in India by two months. If your phones warranty is expiring in May or June, it’ll be extended up to July or August. The extension is free for all users in the country amid a raging second wave of Coronavirus.

India is going through its second wave of the fatal virus, and things are far from cooling down. Almost 350,000 new cases were detected on May 11, and its peak was just a week ago.

POCO also announced that no launches would be organized in May. “We are pausing our new launches as we hope for the situation to improve,” a statement read. Brands took a similar decision in 2020 since all service centres were inaccessible due to lockdowns.

To curb the spread, most states have announced a partial or strict lockdown. Restrictions on movement are high, and companies have been asked to go remote completely. Northern parts of the country are still coping with the oxygen shortage, and beds are hard to find in hospitals.

Amid the chaos, many brands like Lenovo and realme have suspended their launches. “India is going through a very challenging time, and our heart goes out to all in time of this crisis. We know the media has been awaiting the new ROG Flow X13 and Zephyrus line-up. However, keeping in view the current situation, Asus India has decided to cancel all upcoming PC and ROG launches,” Asus India Business Head Arnold Su said in a press statement.

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Gaming

PUBG Mobile is making a comeback as Battlegrounds Mobile India

Will be exclusive to India

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Battlegrounds Mobile

After an excruciating wait, it’s official — PUBG Mobile is coming back to India. But this time, it’ll have a new name: Battlegrounds Mobile India with some added features, and an India-centric focus.

Krafton, the game’s developer, has announced it’ll be launching the Battlegrounds Mobile India soon. The game will bring an AAA-rated multiplayer experience alongside exclusive in-game events, tournaments, and leagues. While a launch date isn’t available, Krafton did confirm that pre-registration will be opened up soon.

The game will be free-to-play and incorporate the same battle royale concept that made it popular. Although, little detail is available about maps, guns, vehicles, and the plot (if there is any) of the game.

Furthermore, the game’s developer said that it would comply with all local laws and compliances. This includes data localization — storage of data within Indian borders. The announcement has cheered millions of players in the country who’ve been waiting for an alternative ever since the primary game was barred.

Why PUBG had to go

In mid-2020, India and China were involved in a fatal border skirmish that left many casualties on both sides. Following the conflict, India took a stringent anti-China stance and banned a host of apps that were developed or backed by Chinese companies. TikTok, owned by ByteDance, was among the first to come under the hammer.

PUBG Mobile was also included in the ban because Chinese giant Tencent was a distribution partner of the game. Following the ban, Krafton quickly removed Tencent from the agreement and announced plans to launch a new game independent of any Chinese influence.

Indian developers rode the hype wave, and many TikTok clones were touted as the next big thing. On the same lines, nCore Studios tried to bridge the gap by launching FAU-G, but it was a colossal failure. In fact, it still doesn’t have a battle royale mode, so it’s safe to assume Call of Duty: Mobile is the only practical alternative left for users right now.

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