Apple may be working on a dual-SIM iPhone, cab surge pricing gets official stamp, and HTC teases its next big launch. Check out the 360 Daily tech round-up for these and other major tech stories of the day.
Apple may be working on a dual-SIM iPhone
Apple has filed patent applications for a dual-SIM iPhone in the US and China, suggesting that such a device may be part of the company’s future plans. The patent filings show that the inventor of the dual-SIM technology is Li Su, who is listed on LinkedIn as Principal Architect for cellular software at Apple. In regions like the US and Europe, where carrier plans are dominant, a dual-SIM iPhone may put Apple’s relations with telecom operators at risk, but it can be a hit in countries such as India and China, where such smartphones are already popular.
Surge pricing officially supported under new taxi permit guidelines
A Ministry of Road Transport and Highways committee has in its report supported dynamic, or surge, pricing for taxi operators. This committee’s finding includes a cap on the surge prices and has been supported by app-based cab operators such as Ola, Uber, and Meru. The committee has also said that private vehicles should be allowed to operate under a commercial permit. To decongest Indian roads, the committee has recommended a national policy for shared mobility
LeEco lays off employees in India, other regions
LeEco on Wednesday confirmed that it is laying off employees in several markets, including India, as part of a “right-sizing” exercise. This move is part of LeEco’s revised business strategy for the coming year and implies that several changes are afoot for the company; India is among LeEco’s three biggest markets. The downsizing operation in India is not “led by performance or competence parameters but entirely guided by business imperatives,” the company said. It added that it is "open to offering outplacement services to affected employees who specifically seek assistance."
Airtel V-Fiber service with up to 100Mbps speeds launched in Mumbai
Airtel has launched its V-Fiber home broadband service with speeds up to 100Mbps in Mumbai; the service is already available in Chennai, Bengaluru, and Delhi-NCR. Existing broadband users will not pay any additional charges on their monthly rental plans for the service; however, you may need to spend extra on a compatible modem. Plans for Airtel V-Fiber start at 899 per month for new users; the cost of the modem will be refunded if the user is not satisfied with the service, the company said.
Reliance Lyf smartphone now available on official website
Reliance Digital’s Lyf smartphones as well as JioFi 4G Hotspot are now available on the company’s official website Jio.com. At present, three smartphones – namely Lyf Water 11, Lyf Water 8, and Lyf Earth 1 – are listed on the website; all three are available on Jio.com at a discount compared to their launch price. The company has promised delivery of the phones within 5 days and is offering replacements for damaged or defective products within 7 days.
HTC’s next big announcement on January 12
HTC has sent out media invites for an event on January 12 where the company will make its “next big announcement.” The invite has only the teaser saying “for U” but no other details. If rumours are to be believed, the company is likely to launch the HTC X10 smartphone, a mid-range smartphone that was leaked recently, at the event.
Super Mario Run downloads have crossed 40 million in 4 days, says Nintendo
Nintendo has announced that Super Mario Run, available only on the Apple App Store, has been downloaded 40 million times within 4 days. However, the company has not announced any revenue figures for the mobile game yet; while the game is free to download, accessing all of its features requires payment of $9.99. The company on Wednesday also launched a new Friendly Run mode for Super Mario Run.
Acer launches world’s thinnest laptop in India at Rs. 1,09,000
Acer has launched the Spin 7 convertible laptop, which it claims is the thinnest 2-in-1 notebook in the world, in the Indian market at Rs. 1,09,000. The new Acer Spin 7 laptop has an all-metal unibody design, 14-inch full-HD display, Intel Core i7-7Y75 processor, 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM, a 256GB SATA III SSD, and two USB Type-C (USB v3.1) ports. It also has a memory card reader, up to 8 hours of battery life, and Dolby Audio Premium sound enhancements.
Facebook now lets you sign into Android apps using your mobile number
Facebook will let Android app developers allow users to sign into their apps using the company’s new Account Kit authentication system. The user can sign into apps using the phone number they have registered with their Facebook profile without any further verification. For this to work, the user must be logged into the Facebook app on their device.