Even if you've not followed the tech news of the week, you must have heard about Apple launching the iPhone 7. It's the highlight of the week, and has been dominating the headlines not just here but across general news as well. Apart from the launch of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, we also saw Reliance Jio in the news again, as the SIM cards became available to everyone, and it did run into some problems on the ground. Here's everything you need to know about these, and other stories of the week.
The week started with the big news from Reliance Jio on Monday. The network officially launched in that anyone can now buy a Reliance Jio SIM, and that spurred other telcos to respond with price cuts. BSNL announced a Rs. 249 unlimited broadband data plan, while Jio itself is now testing 1Gbps fibre to home broadband. Reliance Jio is also calling for better MNP support and stated that it will report operator-wise call-drop data.
However, things are not going quite as well for Reliance Jio on the ground. It's facing major issues with the network, and Trai met with telcos to discuss interconnect issues. For customers, the ground reality seems to be that Jio is overextended.
Reliance Jio SIM cards are next to impossible to get, and according to sources, this is because Jio is working overtime just to activate the SIM cards that have already been issued. Whether this is a case of the demand being much greater than anticipated, or Reliance Jio planning to build user numbers slowly, is not known at present. However, on the ground, it looks like a mess as customers have repeatedly been turned away at Reliance Digital stores, been asked to "come back tomorrow" only to hear the same message all over again.
The launch of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus brought some expected announcements - the new iPhones are faster, with a force sensitive home button, major camera improvements, and much more. One of the surprise announcements at the Apple launch was that Nintendo is bringing Mario to the iPhone, though it later confirmed that the game will also come to Android in 2017.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be coming to India on October 7, starting at Rs. 60,000 for the 32GB base iPhone 7. The details for the other models have not been announced yet.
One of the controversial moves by Apple has been to drop the 3.5mm audio jack from the new iPhones, which executives claim brings benefits such as the better camera, and improved battery life. There are pros and cons to this decision, and while it can be argued that Apple made the right decision, the frequent use of the word 'courage' at the launch announcing this decision led to it being heavily mocked on social media.
Apple also launched a Lightning dock that will allow the use of a 3.5mm cable while charging, and announced that replacement Lightning-to-3.5mm adapters (you get one in the box with the phone) will cost $9, or Rs. 900 in India. Belkin has already launched an adapter that will allow you to listen to music and charge your phone at the same time.
At the launch, Apple also unveiled it's new wireless earphones, the Airpods, along with new wireless Beats headphones, making it clear that it is betting on a wireless future.
(Also see: iPhone 7 Price in India and Other Regions: Which Country Has the Cheapest iPhone?)
However, one advantage of the new phones can not be denied - Apple says that the new iPhones have the best battery life of any iPhone, which is a big plus indeed.
Meanwhile, the iPad lineup also gets a storage bump to match the new iPhone storage sizes, as are the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Apple is discontinuing the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, though they will continue to be available until stocks last, likely at lower prices.
Even if you're not getting a new iPhone, you'll be happy to know that the release date for iOS 10 (and macOS Sierra) has been announced - iOS 10 will be available from September 13. Apple says that iOS 10 is the biggest update to it's mobile operating system till date, with major changes to Maps, iMessages, and redesigned notifications and control center.
Apple also warned customers that the new Jet Black variant can be easily scratched, and a look at the warrantly also showed that although the new iPhones are water resistant, water damage is not covered under the terms and conditions.
Sony also had a big week last week as it held the PlayStation Meeting where it rolled out not the long awaited PlayStation Neo, which is now officially the PS4 Pro. The new console is significantly more powerful and will enable 4K and VR gaming, and best of all, Sony also announced a release date and price - the PS4 Pro will be out from November 10, and is priced at $399.
Sony also announced a second PlayStation 4, the PS4 Slim, which is smaller, cheaper, and will be availble from September 15.
Aside from these big events, we also saw continuing developments in the exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 saga. American regulators banned the phone on flights, Japan followed suit, and now so has India.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has reportedly been involved in a series of fire-related incidents across the world, thanks to its exploding battery problem that has been acknowledged by the company. The latest reported incidents involved a jeep and a house allegedly set on fire after Note 7 units exploded.
These were the highlights of the news last week - was there any big development from the week we missed? Let us know via the comments.