CES 2017 is now officially over, and we can return to our normal pace of consuming tech news. Monday was a very momentous day because of important milestones for Apple and Nokia (no, not the one you knew, the new one). Read below to know the day’s top stories.
Nokia 6 launched, available only in China
As we mentioned above, HMD Global, the company that’s taken control of the famous brand name from yesteryears, has launched the Nokia 6. Well, technically the launch happened on Sunday, but it's big enough that we wanted to make sure you don't miss the development.
The Nokia 6 will be sold only in China at approximately Rs. 17,000 (when converted). It is a mid-range Android phone built out of premium materials and a typical feature set. We think it’s going to have a hard time competing with more value-for-money Android phones, but clearly there's more to a phone than just specifications so let's see how things pan out. In related news, a ‘Nokia E1’, which looking at the rumoured specs appears to be positioned lower than the Nokia 6, was seen in rough sketches and leaked images.
iPhone celebrates 10th anniversary
On 9th January 2007, ten years ago, Steve Jobs showed the world the first iPhone. It changed the smartphone industry massively - stylus-bound screens were replaced with finger-friendly, intuitive user interfaces. The need to buy a separate digital camera lessened as smartphones doubled up as our point-and-shoots. The concept of app stores made app discovery easy, and created many new business in the process. The ‘10th anniversary iPhone’ is supposedly going to be special, if you go by rumours or even what Tim Cook hinted today. Let’s hope it’s worth the wait.
Samsung Gear wearables will now work with an iPhone
In 2013, the original Samsung Gear smartwatch restricted to work only with Samsung phones. Subsequent Gear wearables added support to Android phones made by other manufacturers. Now, the Tizen operating system-based Gear S3, Gear S2, and Gear Fit2 will also work with an iPhone. The Gear S app already available on the iOS app store will enable this. Google’s Android Wear platform have been working with iOS devices since 2015. Whereas the Apple Watch, expectedly, only works with the iPhone.
Lenovo phone with 5100mAh battery to be launched on Wednesday
The Lenovo P2 is slated to launch on Wednesday exclusively on e-commerce platform Flipkart. First seen at IFA 2016, this phone promises a good battery life thanks to a massive 5100mAh battery pack. Other specifications include Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, 3 or 4GB RAM and 32 or 64GB of internal storage. Check out more details.
Xiaomi’s Mi Bunny is a voice assistant for kids
Other than the razor-thin Mi TV 4 and the white edition of the Mi Mix, Xiaomi also announced a voice assistant in the form of a kid’s toy - the Mi Bunny. It comes with the Chinese company’s in-house voice assistant service, that can send and receive messages on WeChat, a popular instant messenger in China. It’s also priced reasonably at just $29 (roughly Rs. 2,000).
Nokia’s virtual assistant may be called ‘Viki’
In a bid to compete with Google Assistant, Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa and Samsung Bixby, Nokia has registered the name ‘Viki’ as a trademark in the European Union with the following description - "software for the creation and monitoring of mobile and Web digital assistants working with knowledge and combining all data sources into a single chat and voice based interface”. Sounds pretty much like a digital assistant to us.
We had spoken of how Google’s Pixel phones are going to cause more software fragmentation in Android, and it is very apparent now. Here’s hoping the newly-launched Nokia 6 and other Android phones can get this feature via a software update, whenever HMD intends to launch it.
HTC’s U series phones to be revealed on January 12
HTC has decided to let the CES 2017 buzz settle down, as it’s hosting the ‘For U’ event on 12th January, where it is expected to launch multiple smartphones. The HTC U Ultra, U Play, and X10 are rumoured to be the handsets launched at this event, as well as a HTC Vive branded smartphone, which was seen in a leaked promotional video. The flagship U Ultra is said to be a thin device with a metal body and rounded edges, and will come with record-breaking camera performance. HTC is also the equipment manufacturer for Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones, which also have been praised for their camera quality.
Three iPads could come Q2 2017, but no iPad mini refresh?
Information from the supply chain suggests Apple could be launching three new iPad models in the second quarter of 2017. It is said that along with an updated 12.9 inch iPad Pro, Apple will be bringing out new iPad Pro models with screen sizes between 10 and 10.5 inches. The company will keep a 9.7 inch iPad as the entry level option, potentially suggesting the end of the road for the iPad mini.
In other Apple news pertaining to India, the company is said to be meeting top officials from the IT and finance ministries in January, to discuss demands for setting up a manufacturing unit in the country.
Nintendo Switch may cost $250
A report from Japan’s financial newspaper Nikkei suggests that the much-anticipated portable and home gaming console, Nintendo Switch, may end up costing $250 (roughly Rs. 17,000) for buyers, when it is officially unveiled on January 12. The price may have been decided owing to the same price point of previous Nintendo consoles. In related news, pricing of compatible accessories has leaked too.