The iPhone line is rumoured to undergo a major overhaul when the next Apple flagship, the iPhone 8, is launched this fall. The latest iPhone 8 rumour suggests that the smartphone will have a “revolutionary” front camera with an Infrared module that can sense 3D objects captured in the lens. With this, the iPhone 8 camera will be able to combine 2D imagery and depth information, which may have applications in gaming, augmented reality, facial recognition, and iris scanning. KGI Securities Analyst Ming Chi Kuo in a note said that Apple is years ahead of Android in 3D algorithms, which will give the iPhone 8 a definite edge in the industry.
Let’s check out the other important tech stories of the day.
Skype Lite app for low-end smartphones launched, comes with Aadhaar integration
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at the Future Decoded event in Mumbai launched the Skype Lite app, a lighter version of Skype that has been developed for low-end smartphones. The new app has been made in India and is being released only in this market for now. It has all the key features of Skype, such as video and voice calling, messaging and Skype bots, and can use compression to alter audio quality when the Internet connectivity degrades. Skype Lite also allows users to verify callers via Aadhaar integration, which can be used by government agencies, Nadella said.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Matte Black launching in India on March 1
Delivering on its promise, Xiaomi has announced that it will launch the Matte Black version of the Redmi Note 4 smartphone in India on March 1. The new variant will be available to purchase from Flipkart and Mi.com from 12pm on March 1. The smartphone is currently available in Gold, Grey, and Silver colour options and comes in three configurations – 32GB storage + 2GB RAM, 32GB storage + 3GB RAM, and 64GB storage + 4GB RAM.
Snapdeal to fire 600, co-founders to take 100 percent salary cut
Snapdeal is letting go of 600 employees in a bid to become profitable in the next two years, with co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal confirming they will take 100 percent salary cuts in the aftermath of the layoffs. The 600 employees will from the e-commerce (Snapdeal), logisitics (Vulcan), and payments (FreeCharge) divisions, and the exercise will continue for the next few days.
Amid this turmoil in the company, FreeCharge CEO Govind Rajan has quit. He had joined the company two years ago as Chief Operating Officer, and was promoted to chief executive in May last year.
Leaked Samsung Galaxy S8 image, Galaxy Tab S3 render surface online
A new Samsung Galaxy S8 leaked image shows the front panel of the upcoming flagship smartphone with redesigned on-screen keys and bezel-less design. Also noticeable are the Galaxy S8’s iris scanner and front camera. The Galaxy S8 leaked image also shows that the smartphone will come preloaded with apps such as Amazon Kindle, Samsung Gear, My Knox, My Galaxy, and the Microsoft apps suite.
Leaked render said to be of Samsung Galaxy Tab S3's has also surfaced online, showing the upcoming tablet with a keyboard accessory that looks a lot like the Microsoft Surface Type Cover and Apple’s Smart Keyboard for iPad Pro. Also visible in the Galaxy Tab S3 render is the Samsung Notes app, which suggests that the device may support stylus input.
LG K10 (2017) budget smartphone launched in India
LG has launched the 2017 edition of the K10 smartphone with VoLTE (Voice over LTE) and ViLTE (Video over LTE) support in India at Rs. 13,990. The new LG K10 (2017) also comes with a panic button and support for nine regional languages. The Android Nougat smartphone has a 5.3-inch HD screen, 1.5GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6750 SoC, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of in-built storage, up to 2TB microSD card support, 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera, and 2800mAh battery.
Telcos relieved as Reliance Jio set to start charging customers
With Reliance Jio finally set to charge customers for its data and other services starting April 1, rival telecom operators have breathed a sigh of relief. The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General Rajan S Mathews said that the price points are “aggressive, but not bad.”
Flipkart said to be in talks to raise $1.5 billion
Flipkart is reportedly in talks to raise $1.5 billion (around Rs. 10,038 crores) at a $10-12 billion (approximately Rs. 66,921-80,305 crores) valuation from investors such as eBay, Microsoft, PayPal, Tencent. The e-commerce player is also said to be in conversation with Google Capital for funding, while other investors have also expressed interest in the investment round. The Flipkart funding talks are expected to be completed in the next three months. However, the talks can fall through if investors do not agree with Flipkart’s valuation, the report adds.
Honor V9, Honor 8 Lite smartphones launched in China
Huawei-owned brand Honor launched the Honor V9 and Honor 8 Lite smartphones in the Chinese market; registrations for both handsets have started. The new Honor V9 sports a 5.7-inch QHD screen, runs Android 7.0 Nougat, and is powered by the octa-core Kirin 960 processor. The smartphone has 6GB of RAM, 12-megapixel dual rear cameras, 8-megapixel front camera, and microSD support up to 128GB. The Honor V9 64GB variant costs CNY 2,999 (roughly Rs. 30,000), while the price of the 128GB has not been announced yet.
The Honor 8 Lite, priced at CNY 2,599 (approximately Rs. 26,000) features a 5.2-inch full-HD screen, octa-core Kirin 655 processor, 3GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage, 12-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel selfie camera, 3000mAh battery, and Android 7.0 Nougat software. The smartphone has been launched as Huawei nova lite in Japan.