Samsung announced four new devices — the Galaxy J6, J8, A6, and A6+ — at an event in Mumbai, India today. The J series duo is intended for the lower-midrange market while the A series is intended for the higher midrange.
The Infinity Display is their one common feature, meaning they have smaller bezels and chins just like Samsung’s flagship, the S9. The physical home and back keys are gone while the fingerprint scanner has been shifted to the back. All of them also feature a soft LED flash on the front, as well as Samsung Mall and other Samsung-exclusive apps.
The budget Samsung Galaxy J6 has been launched in two variants: 4GB RAM and 64GB storage or 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. It has a 5.6-inch HD+ (720p) display with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. It’s powered by an octa-core Exynos processor backed by a 3000mAh battery. On the rear is a 13-megapixel camera while the front sports an 8-megapixel sensor. The first variant is priced at INR 13,990 (US$ 205) followed by the second one at INR 16,490 (US$ 241). It will be available from Flipkart and Paytm starting May 22. Launch offers include cash back on ICICI Bank Credit and Debit cards, and Paytm.
The Samsung Galaxy J8 features a 6-inch HD+ AMOLED display and is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 450 processor. It has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage along with a 3500mAh battery. It owns a dual-camera setup on the rear consisting of a 16- and 5-megapixel setup along with a 16-megapixel front camera. It’s priced at INR 18,990 (US$ 278) and will go on sale from July.
The Samsung Galaxy A6 has a 5.6-inch HD+ AMOLED display and is backed by an octa-core Exynos processor. On the optics front, it ships with a 16-megapixel camera on the rear with an f/1.7 aperture, and a 16-megapixel front camera with an f/1.9 aperture. It has 4GB of RAM and storage options of 32GB or 64GB. It sports a 3000mAh battery and metal unibody construction. It’s priced at INR 21,990 (US$ 322) for the 32GB variant and INR 22,990 (US$ 337) for the 64GB variant. It will be available on Amazon.in and offline retailers starting May 22.
The Samsung Galaxy A6+ has a 6-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display and runs on a Snapdragon 450 octa-core processor paired with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a 35000mAh battery. It has a dual rear camera setup consisting of 16-megapixel main and 5-megapixel secondary sensors, along with a 24-megapixel front camera. It has been priced at INR 25,990 (US$ 381) and is available from Amazon.in starting May 22 along with the A6.
All the phones run on Android Oreo out of the box and are assembled under the Make in India campaign.
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.
India to enforce USB-C on all phones by 2024
Smartphones and wearables affected
Last year, the European Union made a lot of waves by announcing the impending enforcement of USB-C across all devices sold in the region. Other countries, such as Brazil, joined in by pondering its own version of the same policy. Then, as 2022 wound to a definitive close, India, skipping a more deliberative phase, has announced a sweeping enforcement of USB-C coming in 2025.
In approximately two years’ time, most devices sold within India must use USB-C ports (via Business Standard). More specifically, Indian lawmakers have included smartphones and wearables as part of the new policy. Like policies in other countries, India’s policy revolves around the drive to reduce e-waste from devices.
Naturally, as is the case in other countries, Apple is the brand most affected by the ruling. While most Android-based smartphones already use USB-C across the board, Apple’s device still rely on the proprietary Lightning cable, severing a significant chunk of the populating from the more universal standard.
The country is nothing to shrug off, either. India is one of the largest smartphone markets in the world. Though Android is much more prevalent than Apple, India’s new policy is certainly a significant speed bump for the iPhone maker.
Though Apple has publicly protested against the new policies, the company has also confirmed that it will comply with the new rules. While it has a slightly lengthier timeframe in India, the brand has to comply in the European Union by the end of 2024.
India might force Apple to adopt USB-C soon
Exploratory talks have started
It’s the world versus Apple. After years and years of proprietary hardware, Apple is finally facing a deluge of pressure to abandon the Lightning cable. The entire European Union have already decided to force device markers, particularly Apple, to adopt the universal standard, USB-C. Now, another country is joining in: India.
As reported by Mint, the Indian government has started holding exploratory talks with manufacturers to discuss the possibility of a common charging standard. While the talks aren’t decisive yet, it’s the first step towards legislation moving in favor of a standard.
Though the wording remains vague, a lot of pressure is on Apple. The iPhone maker is still one of the biggest opponents against adopting USB-C worldwide. Amid the company’s growing gallery of USB-C devices, the Lightning cable is still alive and well. A lot of other manufacturers have already moved on to the standard for its their ports.
Soon, the company might not have a choice. If a decisive law is passed, India will join the European Union and Brazil in potentially forcing Apple into the standard. It’s not an insignificant ally for the pro-USB-C camp, either. India is one of the biggest smartphone markets in the world.
Apple is unlikely to launch a USB-C iPhone series this year. The company is already expected to launch the next series in a few weeks’ time. If such a phone is coming, it might debut as soon as next year.
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