The days are finally here. Flipkart has finally started showing multiple vendors for products on its site. This brings Flipkart from being a simple online retailer to a huge marketplace with a massive customer base. The company has been ironing out a few legal kinks recently, as I’ve been told, and this is also a part of the company’s “expansion” strategy.
For the consumer it means that you’ll be able to choose from multiple vendors for a single product. Now this is where it gets tricky. Each vendor can offer their own price for any particular product. Also, every vendor has their own feedback (registered by customers) just like the ones you see on eBay, replacement policy (very different from the usual Flipkart policy), shipping times and terms of service.
So the next time you buy a product on Flipkart and wonder why it sucked or didn’t ever arrive on time – blame it on these vendors. Flipkart has set very high standards for online retailers and these vendors are going to screw things up. No matter how hard Flipkart pulls their ears with service contracts and guidelines, things are about to turn sour.
You have been warned.
Picture this – good guy Google quietly launches the Nexus 7 tablet on its Google Play Store in India. Geeks like me went nuts, just imagining the possibility of Google selling all its Nexus devices directly in the future. While that may or may not happen, Google’s plans on selling the Nexus 7 officially in the country seem awkward to say the least.
Why, you ask. Let me a answer that step by step. First, Google kicks off Nexus 7 sales on its Play Store in India with a 16GB version. Next up, Asus announces that it will start selling the Nexus 7 32GB Wi-Fi and Nexus 7 32GB 3G starting in April this year. But those would be sold via the company’s retail channel and not on the Indian Play Store. Alright, that’s fine. But here’s when things get tricky – Reuters reports that an updated Nexus 7 tablet is coming as early as July.
Now I understand how the calender works. July is still a good three months away but why would Asus and Google announce the launch of a device they’re already looking to “discontinue” by July? If not that, they would most probably discount the price tag on the Nexus 7 when a new, and obviously much better, version is out in July. Well, isn’t it obvious? They have a good amount of unsold inventory and where else could they sell it in large numbers based on just marketing gimmicks and a sweet price tag? Welcome to India!
The new Nexus 7 tablet is expected to launch with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, slightly thinner bezel and a higher resolution, according to Reuters. The updated Nexus 7 tablet will also ship with the next edition of Android (Android 5.0). You might want to take the July announcement part with a grain of salt because if the Google I/O 2013 is scheduled for May this year, I don’t see Google holding another event to announce the new Nexus 7 tablet in July. Unless of course they have something magical baked in to it.
If you buy a Nexus 7 right now, you must be really really hungry. Three months down the line there might be a better version of the tablet at almost the same price. There’s still no word on how Google might price the next Nexus 7 tablet but given its track record on pricing Nexus devices, the company is more likely to keep it same. I am not sure what it would do with the older version of the tablet, except of course discontinue them to eliminate confusion amongst buyers.
Or even better, ship them to India? Oh wait a sec…
Photo credits: Hickydoo
Electronic Arts has revealed a gameplay video of its forthcoming FPS, Battlefield 4. The seventeen minute video shows a preview of the single player campaign. It looks good and makes you want more of it. The single player campaign hasn’t really been a stronghold of the battlefield franchise, but seems like DICE have been working hard since Battlefield 3 to change that and appeal to gamers that crave for long and intriguing campaigns. The in-game footage reveals some gunfight and vehicle combat. The environment looks brilliant as always and I bet the the developers are working enthusiastically over the storyline. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a more dramatic storyline and of course a better than before campaign.
Battlefield 4 is up pre-orders on the battlefield’s official site and will be available in the last quarter of 2013 for the Xbox 360, PS3 and the PC.
Google has officially started selling the Nexus 7 tablet in India. Finally! Technology enthusiasts in India have been getting the Nexus 7 in India using various different channels – begging relatives in US, indirect e-commerce channels and even paying a premium on eBay. But no more, Google will now sell the Nexus 7 on the Google Play Store.
Nexus 7 is the first device Google is selling on its Play Store in India. Google had recently introduced e-books on the Google Play Store in India. Nexus 7 is listed at Rs. 15,999 for the 16GB version on Google’s online store. That’s the only variant currently available. My guess is they’re just dumping unsold inventory here. Nexus 7 might just receive significant updates (both software and hardware) at Google I/O 2013.
I’m a Punjabi and I love my food. That’s a fancy way of saying I love greasy food that might clog my arteries one day. Enjoying food laced with butter and desi ghee makes it harder to use a smartphone. I always have to run to clean my hands (paper towels just won’t do it) so that I can check that all important e-mail, a mention to my tweet or what my relative abroad thinks about my photo on Facebook. It’s hard being a Punjabi.
Samsung’s recently launched Galaxy S 4 lets users perform certain actions by just hovering over the screen. So that way once doesn’t need to get the screen all dirty and can still use the device. That’s like the perfect thing for us, Punjabis. Now I can enjoy paranthas as well as my smartphone at the same time. This is probably the only reason I might buy myself a Galaxy S 4.
Reminds me of this funny video these guys did, a parody on the iPhone – iPhone 22G.
Google loves to launch new products every day, as much as it loves to shut them down. The search giant just announced a note-taking app called Google Keep. It comes with a tagline, “save what’s on your mind”. May be they would add, “until we kill the app” in the near future. Keep is still pretty much a kid. The app is available on web as well as the Google Play store on Android devices.
The question is – will users give it a chance? When it comes to a note-taking app, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Average users don’t really appreciate how useful it can be. But there’s a larger audience that really needs something like that. Evernote, in my opinion, has been catering to that kind of users and it’s been doing a pretty good job so far.
The problem with Google and its products, something even more relevant now, is that people are now worried how long will they survive. If I commit to Google Keep right now and share all my notes on it – will Google pinky promise not to remove them in the future?
Of course if they shut down the app they will allow me some way to download all my data but that’s not enough. That’s like a tsunami promising you’ll have your stuff safe, even while its destroying my house. With just the data in my hands, I’d feel homeless after a tsunami.
Notes are mostly personal. And they’re really important and close to me. If I have to give a free service like Google Keep a chance, it really needs a lot of sugar to attract me towards the service. The free tag is just not going to work anymore. Promise you won’t kill it, Google. Promise?
I’m not sure what Samsung wanted to accomplish last week – launch a new smartphone or piss off the tech press. That too, the media it had invited and brought together from around the world. Samsung reportedly spent $400 million just to hold a launch event for the Galaxy S4. They say a lot of money can cloud your thinking process. Seems like it is happening with this company.
All Samsung really wanted to do was – announce the phone, throw a few jokes here and there, show a few “use-cases” so that the Galaxy S4 looks like a good enough device to the tech press – and that’s it. Well at least that’s what they tried to do. Samsung unpacked a series of bullets aimed at the audience.
I can’t imagine any other company holding a formal press event to experiment with something like this. Samsung tried to pull a musical at the Galaxy S4 launch event. I’d imagine if Apple had to go this low at a launch event, wait, I can’t even imagine that happening.
The Galaxy S4 is Samsung’s iPhone 4S. Yes, I shamelessly picked up this line from somewhere on the web. But it’s the one line that sums up what the Galaxy S4 looks like. You can poke all the fingers you’ve got at Apple that they went on the “defensive” 24 hours prior to the launch but you cannot deny Samsung’s stupidity.
I was watching the webcast myself and I couldn’t find a reason why I stayed up all night for a Samsung event. But this was Galaxy S4, can you imagine how s5′s launch would look like? Don’t! It’ll be like blowing up your own brain. I guess I should have taken the hint when they said, “we have a great show lined up for you today”.
In a country where people were just getting used to getting their credit and debit cards swiped without breaking a sweat, it’s going to get slightly harder to use plastic money. RBI (Reserve Bank of India) has unleashes another set of rules and regulations for credit/debit cards issued in India. These new rules are primarily aimed at resolving security concerns amongst unauthorized credit/debit card usage internationally.
The new rules are, for the lack of a better word, dumb. They render your credit and debit cards useless abroad. At least initially. One will need to manually get their cards signed up for international usage. So prepare to make some calls, sign on a few pieces of dead trees and plants and make that occasional trip to the local branch of the bank.
Sony just launched the Xperia Z in India. At a price of Rs. 38,990, it’s not really a bad deal for a high-end smartphone. The “dustproof, waterproof” keywords would be selling points amongst Indian buyers. What they need to realize is how crazy Sony gets when it comes to pushing updates. If the next Android release was scheduled for tomorrow, Sony Xperia Z will get updates when the smartphone has been dumped by its owner for a newer one. Yes, it’s that bad.
While I have to give it to Sony for keeping the price right, I still feel the recent move to increase the excise duty will hurt consumers. In what could have ideally been a happy-35k priced phone, it’s probably gone up to almost 39k because of the increased duty. Well that was my two second rant on the union budget this year.
More smartphones are headed our way this summer. The HTC One should arrive in India by April, Samsung Galaxy S4 is coming up, iPhone 5S rumors have begun and I’m still on the lookout for the next Nexus device. Stay tuned!
Sony just announced the new PlayStation 4 last night. Thankfully I didn’t wait till 4:30 in the morning to catch the event, it seems Sony didn’t even display the console during the launch event. PlayStation 4 looks good on paper though – “supercharged PC architecture” powered by an 8-core X86 based processor, 8GB GDDR5 RAM, new DualShock 4 controller. But Sony didn’t announce anything you’d normally expect at a launch event – pricing and wide availability. Alright, they later on did say they’re pushing for a holiday season market availability.
That shouldn’t let you down. There are plenty of new enhancements in the PlayStation 4 for fans. The console now comes embedded with a 3D camera that tracks each controller connected to it. The processor is, well for a lack of a better word, quite powerful. PlayStation 4 will come with a second processor just to handle uploads and downloads in the background. Being an Xbox 360 user myself, I’d love to see that on the Xbox too. PlayStation 4 also locks in several new “social” features, as you’d expect from a next-gen console.
Microsoft is also expected to announce its revised Xbox console sometime later this year. I’m keeping an eye out for that one!