Thursday, March 28, 2013

Aircel offers free Nimbuzz plan for Jammu and Kashmir prepaid users


Even as Facebook partnered with the local telecom operators Airtel and Reliance Communications to promote Facebook Messenger, rival free instant messaging firm Nimbuzz has tied up with Aircel to launch special Nimbuzz plans.

To begin with, Aircel users in Jammu and Kashmir are offered free Nimbuzz messaging (up to 40MB of data ) for a period of 30 days. To use this service a user has to download the Nimbuzz app from a URL sent by Aircel. The offer is only available for Aircel prepaid users.

"Jammu and Kashmir is highly regulated market, where SMS services are unavailable; so our focus is on data. In the last 15 days, after the launch of Nimbuzz, data usage from our users in J&K went up by 25%." He said over 5,000 users have downloaded Nimbuzz in just 15 days, says Sandeep Talwar, Aircel's operator head for J&K.

Speaking on the partnership with Aircel, CEO of Nimbuzz Vikas Saxena says: "We are thankful to Aircel for making an effort towards taking mobile communication to masses with its newly launched Airtel-Nimbuzz data plan. We look forward to their continued support and we are confident that such initiatives will boost internet penetration in the country and bring an aggressive revenue stream for the mobile operators".

Mahindra XUV500 launched in Nepal at 33 lakh rupees


The official distributor of Mahindra products in Nepal, Agni Incorporated, has introduced the Mahindra XUV500, and celebrated the memorable occasion by inaugurating a new dealer showroom and workshop.

Mahindra launched the XUV500 in South Africa the day following its local launch in late 2011. Soon after the price announcement for the Indian market, Mahindra officials said overseas markets were being eyed starting with the neighbouring countries. However the excess demand for the vehicle in the domestic market left Mahindra with no choice but to put off export plans.

For the Nepali market, the XUV500 W6 2WD, W8 2WD and W8 AWD  trim levels. The distributors believe that the XUV500 will create a new category in the premium SUV segment.

As the car is imported from India, there's no difference to the specifications. It is powered by a 2.2 litre mHawk Diesel engine which makes 140bhp of peak power and 330Nm of peak torque, paired to a 6-speed manual transmission. The ARAI fuel economy rating is 15.1 kpl.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

British teen sells mobile news app to Yahoo for GBP 18 million


A 17-year-old London school boy has made big news, after he sold his news app company to Yahoo, for an estimated 18 million. Nick D'Aloisio hails from Wimbledon in South London, had created the app called Summly - which provides crisp summaries of news content from various sites. The total transaction value is understood to be 18 million pounds, assumed to be 90 percent in cash and 10 percent in shares at Yahoo. However, some reports suggested that the total could go up to as much as 40 million pounds.

D'Aloisio, who learnt how to write code for apps when he was 12 years old, developed the app at the age of 15. The app was made for the iPhone, and till the time it was pulled from the Apple app store after the announcement of the Yahoo deal, has cloaked 1 million downloads. The application had content deals with 250 news sources globally, including the Rupert Murdoch owned News Corp.  and was managed by a team of 10 employees based in London. Over a period of time, D'Aloisio got monetary backing from Horizons Ventures, the venture capital arm of Hongkong billionaire Li Ka-Shing as well as Zynga Inc.'s Mark Pincus and actor Ashton Kutcher.

"We will be removing Summly from the App Store today but expect our summarisation technology will soon return to multiple Yahoo products - see this as a 'power nap' so to speak". Nick says in a post on his website.

This could be a big acquisition for Yahoo, as it aims to refresh and rebuild its offerings, after having lost relevance significantly, at least in the smartphone ecosystem.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Maruti sells over one lakh Altos 800s in less than five months


Maruti Suzuki has managed to sell over one lakh units of the Alto 800 in less than five months. The A-segment car was launched as a successor to the base model Alto on October 16, 2012 and since then has been selling in great numbers.

The Alto 800 will be sold in many smaller markets like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Egypt and Algeria where the demand for small inexpensive cars is quite high.The Alto 800 competes with the Tata Nano and Hyundai Eon which is priced slightly higher but is sold with a few more features and a more modern design.

If the Maruti 800 and the regular Alto's sales are anything to go by, then we know that the Alto 800 will breach the two lakh mark by the time it has been on sale for a year.

Royal Enfield to launch 250 cc motorbike to take on Bajaj and Honda


Royal Enfield, maker of the iconic Bullet Motorcycle, is learned to be contemplating a 250-cc motorbike for the Indian market.

The bike, which sources say is  in the early stages of development, may go on sale some time next year.

This would be a step-down of sorts for the Eicher Motors group company, whose products Bullet, Classic and Thunderbird are all in the 350-cc plus displacement range. The new bike would compete against Bajaj Auto's Pulsar 220cc and Honda's CBR 250R.

The company refused the confirm the development. "Royal Enfield is a dominant player in the premium 350 cc and above motorcycle segment in India and will continue with its focus on this segment. Currently, Royal Enfield is not planning any motorcycle below 350cc. In the second half of 2013, Royal Enfield will be launching the much awaited Cafe RAcer that will also be in the premium category," a spokesperson said.

Sources said Royal Enfield has secured a patent for twin spark engines between the 250 cc and 1,250 cc engine capacities, which would indicate that the company has significant long term plans for new products.

Micromax Canvas A116 HD price increased to Rs. 14,900

Micromax Canvas 2 A110 took the world by storm due to its chunk of its hardware and an impressive price tag. The company behind the widely popular handset recently unveiled the successor to the Canvas 2 - the A116 Canvas HD smartphone.

The Canvas HD was unveiled with much fanfare in February and was expected to be available in the market soon. But before it could hit the shelves it went out of stock.

According to sources, the smartphone has been delayed due certain procedural issues.

To add insult to injury, the price of the upcoming phone has been increased from Rs. 13,999 to Rs. 14,999. Retail partner has stated in its statement that the increase in cost is the result of the changes in custom duty.

The company, however, indicated that before the end of March 2013 customers who have pre-booked the handset will get it for the original price which was Rs. 13,999.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sony unveils Xperia SP, L smartphones


Sony today unveiled its two new smartphones running on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) operating system. Both the smartphones are from Xperia platform - Xperia SP and Xperia L.

These phones are available in Red, White and Black colors and will hit the retail market by the second quarter of this year.

The all new Xperia SP has a 4.6-inch TFT screen with Bravia Engine 2 Technology and supports 7.2p videos. This smartphone packs a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor and has 8GB internal storage with microSD card support up to 32GB. This smartphone has an 8 megapixel camera and LED flash on the back with a VGA snapper in the front. Connectivity features of this smartphone include 2G, 3G, 4G, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and micro USB. This device has a 2,370 mAh battery and has a casing made of plastic and co-moulded aluminium.

Whereas Sony Xperia L features 4.3-inch TFT display with a scratch resistant cover and is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor. This device also comes with 8GB onboard and 32GB via microSD. On the back is an 8MP camera with flash, along with a front facing VGA shooter that can be used for video calls. This phone's connectivity suite consists of 2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, micro USB 2.0.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cheaper iPhone 5 coming soon


A plastic iPhone that would cost roughly half the price of the standard Apple smartphone will be launched soon to target young, middle class consumers in countries like China and India.

According to Japanese website, Macotakara, the budget version of Apple's latest iPhone will cost roughly $330.

In January it was reported that the planned new phone will resemble the iPhone 5 from the front, but Apple will replace that handset's aluminium body with a cheaper plastic casing, the Telegraph reports.

Jeremy Horwitz, of iLounge, claimed that "reliable sources" told him the new device will have a "retina" display and feature Apple's new lighting connector for charging and syncing.

Horwitz wrote that according to a source, Apple's iPhone remain too high for most mainland Chinese customers, the iPhone 5 hardware alone starts at $849 there, versus the iPhone 4 at $500, in a country where the average annual salary is around $3,000 per person.

ZTE unveils Grand Memo Phablet


The Phablet seems to be getting hotter. ZTE's latest launch Grand Memo seems fit for the category with its 5.7-inch size. The Phablet category blurs the line between smartphone and tablet and places Grand Memo in competition with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Samsung Galaxy Grand, LG Optimus Pro, Micromax Canvas HD etc.

ZTE Memo features a 5.7-inch high definition, 720 x 1280 display and packs a Qualcomm 800 processor with Quad-Core Krait CPUs and 2GB of RAM. It comes with a 13 MP rear-facing camera, 1 MP front facing camera and 1080 HD video playback. This device also boosts a 3,200 mAh battery.

The Grand Memo features voice-response technology which allows users to answer calls while driving, and a GPS and car mode navigation system for mapping and directions. It comes with a HD version of ZTE's Z cloud service for the security and access anywhere.

Asus launches MeMo Pad ME 172V in India, priced at Rs. 9999


Earlier this week Asus officially launched its new MeMo Pad ME 172V in the Indian market and this is an affordable Android based tablet now available in the market.

Priced at Rs. 9,999 the MeMO Pad Me172V is an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean based tablet which has quite a few similar design features to that of the Google Nexus 7 however with slightly downsized hardware.

It sports a 7-inch display which has a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels, a 1GHz single core processor, 1GB of RAM, 1 MP front facing camera, 8GB of built-in storage capacity and 4,325 mAh battery.. It also includes expandable storage as Asus has provided an microSD card slot on the device.

The company also bundles 5GB of cloud storage space and it is available in three different colors - Pink, White and Grey.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Victory motorcycles coming to India by the end of 2013


India's burgeoning motorcycle market has in recent times attracted some of the most well-known names in the business, be it Ducati, BMW Motorrad, Aprilla or even all-American muscle cruiser brand Harley-Davidson.

Second to none other than the aforementioned, Victory motorcycles is also now targeting Indian shores and having already unveiled its stylish range of luxury cruiser motorcycles in the last year, the Polaris owned motorcycle manufacturer will make its official entry at the end of 2013.

Powered by trademark large American Vee Twin Engines, these motorcycles will initially be directly imported as CBUs from USA. For starters the company plans to launch the Victory Vision and the Victory cross country tour in India, which are priced in the range of Rs. 11.40 lakh and Rs. 12.21 lakh in overseas markets. But high import tariffs could very well result in the prices being doubled once launched in India.

Sony Xperia Z coming to India on March 6


The Sony Xperia Z will be arriving in India on March 6. After what seemed like eternity, the company has put up a cover picture on its Facebook page citing that 'Everything is about to change.' It sure is vague in this matter, though a glimpse of the smartphone in the background is enough evidence for us to infer that the handset is question is indeed the upcoming device.

Well this isn't the whole story, seeing as the company did render a link to a microsite dominated by a countdown to the date mentioned above, along with what appears to be a picture of the Xperia Z. What caught our attention is that the shadowy figure of the smartphone on the cover picture very vaguely shows off  a lens, however, the one slapped on the countdown site does not.

This sure confirms that the handset will be not entering our realm alone; instead, it will be accompanied by the ZL. On the other hand, it is still unclear if they both will be crossing the threshold together or whether the Japanese conglomerate has readied different set of launch dates for each.

Google launches e-Book service for Android users in India


Users using Android devices like an Android mobile phone, tablet can now access books from Google Play store from anywhere. The Google Play store now has books for users in India.

With this it has challenged the popular Amazon Kindle devices, which offers e-books to its users via Amazon Kindle devices. Google India posted the message on its blog page saying "today we are adding books to Google Play for Indian users. Books on Google Play now offers thousand of Indian titles, from new releases to classics."

The store has a list of free and paid books which you can directly access via your Android device easily. All you need to do is to log on to the Google Play account and freely download or buy your favorite book.