India

Xiaomi launches the more affordable Redmi 5 in India

Sequel to one of India’s best-selling smartphones

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Xiaomi has just announced a new smartphone in India, the Redmi 5. This phone was originally introduced in China back in December, and that very same handset is now making its way to India.

The Redmi 5 starts at INR 7,999 (US$ 123) for 2GB RAM with 16GB storage, INR 8,999 (US$ 139) for 3GB RAM with 32GB storage, and INR 10,999 (US$ 170) for 4GB RAM with 64GB storage. The smartphone will be seen competing against Honor’s recently released 9 Lite, the Moto G5s, and the Samsung Galaxy J7 Nxt. The device will be exclusively available on Amazon India, along with Xiaomi’s own online and offline stores in a weekly sale starting March 20.

Its predecessor was estimated to be the second best-selling phone in India last year, just after Xiaomi’s own Redmi Note 4. The Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro are already on sale in India, but this new device is cheaper with a less powerful chipset.

It comes with a 5.7-inch 18:9 display with a Full HD+ resolution and rounded corners. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 450 chipset and is backed by a 3300mAh battery. It runs the latest MIUI 9 on top of Android 7.1.2 Nougat.

In terms of optics, the Redmi 5 sports a 12-megapixel primary camera with an f/2.2 aperture, phase-detection autofocus, HDR, and LED flash. At the front, there is a 5-megapixel shooter with an LED selfie light, and Beautify 3.0.

Additionally, Xiaomi has added a few India-specific features like a dual-pyrolytic sheet to protect it from high temperature, a power adapter built to withstand 480 volts, and the phone also supports dual WhatsApp accounts.

As for the launch offers, Reliance Jio will be offering INR 2,200 instant cashback and 100GB of additional data in a bundled offer with the device. State Bank of India credit card holders can avail a five percent cashback upon the purchase of the smartphone. Finally, Redmi 5 buyers will be receiving a 90 percent off on Kindle ebooks.

Enterprise

Apple is preparing to open its first stores in India

Based on new job listings

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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.

SEE ALSO: Google throws more RCS-flavored shade at Apple

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India

India to enforce USB-C on all phones by 2024

Smartphones and wearables affected

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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.

SEE ALSO: Apple will limit faster USB-C to iPhone 15 Pro duo

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India might force Apple to adopt USB-C soon

Exploratory talks have started

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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.

SEE ALSO: Another country wants to force Apple to go USB-C

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