Today was a pretty busy day in the technology sphere as Airtel announced affordable postpaid plans to combat Reliance Jio, Xiaomi and Motorola phones got discounts, and the Zuk Edge smartphone became official. Read these and other top news of the day in your 360 Daily tech round-up.
Airtel launches new postpaid plans to take on Reliance Jio
In a fresh bid to take on industry disruptor Reliance Jio, Airtel has launched two new postpaid data plans with unlimited calling and bundled data. The Rs. 549 Airtel myPlan Infinity postpaid plan provides unlimited local and STD calls, free incoming roaming, subscriptions to Wynk Music and Wynk Movies, 100 free local and STD SMSs per day, and 3GB of 4G data per month; 3G users get only 1GB of data under this plan. Airtel’s Rs. 799 myPlan Infinity postpaid plan comes with the same freebies but ups the bundled 4G data to 5GB; users with 3G devices get 3GB of data with this plan.
Xiaomi Mi 5, accessories on discount in Mi Christmas sale
Xiaomi is hosting the Mi Christmas sale between December 19 and December 21 on its official online store in India. As part of the Mi Christmas sale, the company is offering a Rs. 3,000 discount on the Xiaomi Mi 5, bringing its price down to Rs. 19,999. Similarly, the 20000mAh Mi Power Bank is available at Rs. 1,899 after a Rs. 600 discount, the 10000mAh Mi Power Bank at Rs. 999 after a Rs. 300 discount, and Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro Gold comes down to Rs. 1,599 after the Rs. 200 discount. Also on discount are flip cases for Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime and Redmi Note 3. The company is also offering one-year Hungama membership for free to 1 million customers.
Lenovo launches Zuk Edge smartphone with Snapdragon 821 processor
The Zuk Edge smartphone has been launched in the Chinese market by parent company Lenovo. The new Zuk Edge will be available in two variants – the model will 4GB RAM is priced at CNY 2,299 (roughly Rs. 22,500). while the 6GB RAM version costs CNY 2,499 (approximately Rs. 24,500). Zuk Edge comes with a 2.35GHz quad-core Snapdragon 821 processor, 5.5-inch full-HD screen, under-the-glass U Touch fingerprint sensor, Android 7.0 Nougat OS on-board, 64GB internal storage, 13-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel front camera, and 3100mAh battery.
Moto G4 lineup gets discounts, cashback offers on Amazon
Amazon India is offering discounts of Rs. 2,000, Rs. 1,000, and Rs. 500 on the Moto G4, Moto G4 Plus, and Moto G4 Play smartphones, respectively. With this, the prices of the three Moto smartphones have come down to Rs. 10,499, Rs. 12,499 and Rs. 8,499. Along with this, purchases made via debit cards, credit cards, and netbanking entail a Rs. 1,000 Amazon Gift Card. Amazon is also offering 10 percent cashback to Standard Chartered cardholders, while HDFC customers paying via cards with get 5 percent cashback. An exchange offer on the three smartphones is available in select regions.
Nokia Android Smartphone with Snapdragon 835 chipset, 6GB RAM leaked
Images and details of an upcoming flagship Nokia Android phone have leaked online, suggesting that the smartphone will feature the powerful Snapdragon 835 processor and 6GB of RAM. The report also says that the flagship Nokia Android phone will have screen size of either 5.2-inch or 5.5-inch and QHD resolution (1440x2560 pixels), and a 23-megapixel rear camera with Zeiss lens. Leaked images of the smartphone show that it will sport an all-metal body.
Small businesses to pay less tax on digital transactions
The Union Finance Ministry has announced that small businesses with turnover of up to Rs. 2 crores will pay less tax if they accept cashless payments. Therefore, such SMBs will now pay 6 percent tax instead of the standard 8 percent of the total turnover for payments received via digital means/ banking channels. They will pay the 8 percent rate for all transactions made in cash.
Apple may manufacture products in India
Apple is reportedly in talks with the government to manufacture products in India; the iPhone maker is said to have drafted plans for manufacturing in India and sought financial incentives. The company is said to be planning to open its own stores in India, and local manufacturing would help it meet that goal. The Indian government in June exempted foreign retailers from the requirement to locally source 30 percent of goods they sell in their store.
Facebook CEO develops ‘Jarvis’ Home AI
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that he has achieved his New Year resolution for 2016 – to make a home Artificial Intelligence (AI) system. Named Jarvis, the AI assistant is an application that can be accessed via smartphones and computers, and can control lights, temperature, appliances, security etc. at home. Zuckerberg’s Jarvis AI learns the behaviour of different people living in a household in order to execute tasks they ask it to perform appropriately. It can understands natural language and can recognise faces, the Facebook chief executive said in a note.