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Nokia’s newest feature phones come with Snake

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HMD Global is keen on keeping the Nokia name popular among developing markets. While we wait for the release of Nokia’s newest flagship phone, its parent company has announced two feature phones that look more basic than the new 3310.

First off, we have the Nokia 105. The model name is borrowed from its 2015 predecessor, but it now has a more playful-looking body. There isn’t anything new aside from its bigger 1.8-inch color display. It’s only a 2G phone with no camera, but it has an FM Radio to keep you entertained on the road. Battery capacity is still at 800mAh which has a promised 15 hours of talk time and one-month stand by time. You won’t be looking for your charger often with this one.

The single-SIM model will cost US$ 14.50 or INR 999 while the dual-SIM is at US$ 15 or INR 1,149. Blue, white, and black color options will be available.

Then there’s the new Nokia 130. It’s another 2017 version of a former dumb phone that covers only the essentials. It has the same 1.8-inch display, but has 8MB of storage. Don’t panic as it has a microSD card slot that supports up to 32GB. You should put in a microSD card to take more pictures with its camera and store music for its MP3 player. The battery capacity is beefier at 1020mAh.

The Nokia 130 will cost US$ 21.50 and will be available in red, gray, and black color options.

Both phones share a number of features: They run Nokia S30+ platform, come in single- and dual-SIM variants, have LED torchlight, and have Snake Xenzia pre-installed.

SEE MORE: 5 favorite phones from Nokia’s golden age

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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.

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India

POCO is now officially an independent brand

No longer affiliated with Xiaomi

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Xiaomi has announced it’s spinning off POCO as an independent brand. This means the brand will now operate on its own. POCO started in 2018 as a sub-brand of Xiaomi and the parent company has decided to bring in structural changes.

POCO branding is active in India while all other markets get Pocophone. The brand is famous for its POCO F1, an affordable phone that packs a flagship-grade processor. The phone’s arrival created a completely new category of smartphones that are built to be inexpensive, yet offer unmatchable speed.

However, POCO took the backseat in 2019 while Xiaomi rained the markets with Redmi branded phones. Fans have been asking about POCO F1’s successor ever since and the parent company consistently stayed silent about the sub-brand’s future.

Rival brand Realme was also formed as an independent company but is able to leverage OPPO’s infrastructure as “partners”. Having complete independence, the company can operate on its own and decide its own strategy. This structural divide let Realme form a new identity and within no time, it reckoned with Xiaomi as India’s leading mobile vendor.

There were reports in the second half of 2019 that suggested Xiaomi might ditch the POCO brand completely. It’s safe to say that isn’t happening anymore. POCO’s social media handles have been actively announcing discounts and deals on the POCO F1, suggesting a new product could be on the way soon.

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News

Hisense partners with NBA icon Dwyane Wade

It’s a multi-year deal

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Image: Dario | GadgetMatch

Hisense has been one of the fast rising brands especially in the television department. The company is now partnering with three-time NBA Champion Dwyane Wade to attract the sports-consuming market.

Wade will serve the as the company’s US Ambassador and will be prominently featured in premium product launches, in-person event appearances, and other upcoming marketing campaigns. He will be joining Hisense’s list of sports partners that include NASCAR, FIFA (2018) and UEFA (2016 and 2020).

The retired NBA star says he sees the company’s dedication to producing quality products and he’s excited for the partnership.

Hisense offers several value-for-money products especially with televisions. In CES 2020, the company launched the L5 laser TV and XD9G — the first dual-cell technology TV on the market. They also offer various other products like home appliances including refrigerators, wine coolers, portable air conditioners, and more

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