Read about Facebook's second attempt at offering Internet access in India, MobiKwik's new plan to promote mobile payments among unorganised retailers in areas with poor internet connectivity, and more top tech news of the day in your 360 Daily.
Facebook Express Wifi India test details emerge
Facebook has confirmed that it is testing the Express Wifi service in 125 locations in rural areas of India to begin with. The service, which first came to light in August, Facebook’s second attempt to solve India’s Internet connectivity problem after Free Basics, is unlikely to be free. Instead, Facebook's Express Wifi will be a sustainable model, though the company did not share the pricing plans. It is also expected to provide access to the full Internet, not a list of curated websites.
MobiKwik launches app for 2G connections
MobiKwik has launched a new app, called MobiKwik Lite, aimed at promoting mobile wallet payments among unorganised retailers using smartphones with slower 2G (EDGE) connections. The app, weighing less than 1MB, does not require an email ID for registration; instead, users can give a missed call to 8097180971 from any Android smartphone to download the app, or sign up using their mobile number.
The MobiKwik Lite app supports Hindi and English user interfaces, and allows users to receive payments, make bank and P2P transfers, pay bills, and buy recharges. MobiKwik Lite users will have to pay no bank transfer fee till March 31, 2017. An offline version of MobiKwik Lite is also under development.
Samsung Galaxy S8 may have 6GB RAM, 256GB storage
According to a report, Samsung Galaxy S8 will have 6GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, making it a major upgrade over its predecessors in terms of memory and storage. The Galaxy S8 smartphone is also expected to offer storage expansion via microSD cards. Other rumoured features of the smartphone include pressure-sensitive, bezel-less display panel with 4K resolution (2160x3840 pixels), Exynos 8895 processor, and an AI-powered virtual assistant. Samsung is likely to unveil Galaxy S8 at the Mobile World Congress 2017 in late February.
PMO conducts workshop on mobile banking
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Indians to start using mobile banking and electronic banking, the Prime Minister’s Office conducted a mobile banking workshop for its staff. The workshop aimed to train and initiate the staff in the process of mobile banking and conducting daily transactions through mobile applications such as UPI, e-wallets etc., an official release said.
Google Pixel grabs 10 percent share of India’s premium smartphone market
Within a month of launch, Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones have captured 10 percent of the premium smartphone segment of the Indian market, according to data by Counterpoint Research. However, Apple continues to lead the segment with 66 percent market share, followed by Samsung at 23 percent. Considering the advertisement spend by the company for its smartphones, Pixel will be able to maintain its market share, if not extend it in future, the research firm added.
Xiaomi Q3 smartphone sales cross 2 million in India, says company
Xiaomi claims to have sold more than 2 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2016. In a tweet, the company also said that it has achieved 150 percent year on year growth in the past quarter. Earlier, the company had said that it sold 1 million smartphones in 18 days since October 1, when many e-commerce companies held their online sales.
Demonetised notes should be allowed for buying phones, says ICA
The Indian Cellular Association (ICA) has urged the government to let the citizens buy mobile phones using the demonetised Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes against a valid ID proof such as Aadhar or election card for a period of 30 days. In a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the ICA has said that the sales of mobile phones in brick and mortar stores have “crashed” and the daily collection of the trade and industry is down by 50 percent.