Some Thoughts On iPhone 5s Pricing in India

iPhone 5s pricing india

Apple had earlier announced that the new iPhones – iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c – will be available in India starting November 1. This is probably the first time Apple has made an official announcement on the launch date of the iPhone in India well over a month in advance. Last couple of years we’d just know about it from speculations and then around a couple of days before the local launch event.

There has been quite a lot of chatter around the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c pricing (more about the former than the latter) in India. So from what I can make out there are two schools of thought here: the first one claims Apple has increased prices way too high for anyone to buy iPhone 5s and that no one would buy it while the second believes that the pricing of the iPhone 5s and 5c is justified and that it’s the usual Apple business thing.

I’m somewhat bent on the second school of thought.

When the first iPhone was launched in India, it set a benchmark of its own. Not only was it a revolutionary device in the market (whoa!), it was also the most expensive one in the market. Back then Samsung and the likes were only in their conference halls, sketching mockups of smartphones that resembled the iPhone. The initial thought was that the iPhone is the BMW/Mercedes of the mobile phone industry. A point that I still think is pretty much applicable.

A phone priced above Rs. 40,000 was sure to raise many eyebrows. But did the customers feel cheated once they bought one? Did they love their iPhone? No to the first and a big yes to the second.

Anyone buying an iPhone understands that they are investing into the user experience. That user experience is built to work right out of the box. On most top of the line Android devices you buy today, you really need to tweak a lot, customize the device according to your requirements to a larger scale than the iPhone to make things work for you. That unless you’re comfortable with ass-backwards TouchWiz interface and its cousins.

Coming back to the real point – the iPhone 5s prices are just right. Apple is not taking a bigger cut here. The thing is simple: Dollar/Rupee fluctuations have finally settled to a lot of extent and the conversion doesn’t work in the customer’s favor. Not this time at least. The last time when iPhone 5 came out the Rupee was like 55 to a dollar and now it’s around 62. That’s quite a jump.

That is probably the only key factor for the rise in the new iPhone prices this year. Will things be harder for Apple? You bet. Convincing the mindset is one thing in a country full of retards (sorry if that hurt). On top of that the Reserve Bank of India is putting a ban on zero EMI schemes, that were so popular especially for high-priced smartphones, this year around. Expect a workaround from finance companies but the deals just won’t look delicious this time.

Image credits: Moridin/Flickr

Why I Might Buy A Samsung Galaxy S 4?

samsung galaxy s4

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.

What Would You Do With A 128GB iPad?

128gb ipad

The 128GB iPad rumors didn’t stay in the air for very long. Apple just launched the 128GB iPad 4th generation with Retina Display even before pundits could pen down long blog posts on how it could be a good or a bad idea. Apple already sells 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants of the iPad. With a massive 128GB storage option, there’s a new era of opportunities to how you can use an iPad.

Most of my friends and some people I’ve talked to are now on the golden question – what exactly can you do with a 128GB iPad? That’s almost like asking Uncle Scrooge what he’d do with another billion dollars. Another question, a more specific one, that pops up is why would you need a 128GB iPad? I say, why not?

Apple understands the value of a 128GB iPad for professional users. The official press release states all kinds of amazing stuff those guys can do with more storage. Heck, with 128GB the iPad 4th generation now takes on the base model of the MacBook Air which includes just 128GB worth of storage on a SSD. The world will soon shift to iPad or a MacBook Air set of questions.

Personally, I think the 128GB iPad makes an amazing portable media machine. It’s not enough to hold your entire media library but it’s not very tiny either. It could just about hold enough entertainment, reading material and professional information that you need on a trip abroad or even for sync-once-and-forget at home use-case scenarios. The possibilities(excuse me for the cliche), are endless. The only thing worth considering, especially in emerging markets, would be the price tag.

So what will you do with a 128GB iPad?

New Macbook Pro With Retina Display Is Mother Of All Notebooks

Macbook Pro Retina Display

Summary: Apple just announced a brand new Macbook Pro notebook. It comes with the amazing high resolution Retina Display and is thinner and lighter than the Macbook Pro family. Here’s a take on what makes it so insanely awesome!

As I type this, a whole bunch of non-Apple notebook computers are weeping inside their plastic covering and wondering if they’ll ever be able to match the awesomeness of Apple’s brand new Macbook Pro notebook with Retina Display.
Continue reading “New Macbook Pro With Retina Display Is Mother Of All Notebooks”

100,000 Apps on Windows Phone Marketplace

windows phone

More than 100,000 apps have now been published in the Windows Phone Marketplace and new content is currently being added at the rate of 313 apps per day. At the time of writing, 100,145 apps have been published. Of these, 26,493 were added in the last three months and 9,391 were added in the last month. These apps come from just over 23,825 different publishers.

Some very interesting insights on the Windows Phone marketplace here. It’s a no brainer that the more apps you have, the more your ecosystem would prosper. Microsoft might just be on it’s way to give a tougher fight to the exploding Android phone market. Why do I call it that and not the smartphone market? Well, the smartphone market is pretty huge. Surely Apple leads the way here but then the Android phone segment makes up it’s own little world. A world filled with people..err phones of all sizes and shapes and variable capabilities. I’m guessing this is where Microsoft wants to strike first rather than poking at Apple fanboys directly.

Of course, something is better than nothing.

Zune is dead. Officially.

microsoft zune

[quote_left]“Zune is a big investment for us,” Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman, said at the time, adding, “It’s a vision that will carry us forward for years.”[/quote_left]Microsoft Zune is officially dead. Not that anyone still cares but it was once supposed to take on Apple’s iPod to conquer the portable music player industry. And I’m not making this shit up.

I’ve tried using Zune once and it felt like a brick in my hand. It was heavy and almost felt like a weird and obese version of the iPod classic. Microsoft couldn’t build the iTunes-like ecosystem to back it up and Zune failed to make it into consumers’ pockets. The device failed and so did the whole ecosystem built around it. Microsoft is going to call it’s new music service Xbox Music.

Some devices die and some live forever. There’s nothing much we can really do about it. As for Zune, may it rest in peace.

The Facebook Smartphone Experience

facebook smartphone

Some rumors die. Some come back to haunt us. This one has already died twice and is now back the third time. Only this time it looks more solid. Nick Bilton from The New York Times reported that Facebook could be making its own smartphone for real this time. Apparently Facebook has been hiring engineers who have previously worked on the iPhone and iPad at Apple. This would be Facebook’s third attempt (read noob attempt) at making a smartphone. As per the report, Facebook may launch its smartphone in the market as early as next year. That’s of course if they’re able to pull off something amazing.

Let’s take a look at what the Facebook smartphone could look like, both in therms of software and hardware:

Software

Facebook is a software company. For their smartphone to really stand out, they would need to focus on the software. Now if you take a look around – the iOS is already an industry leader in the smartphone market, Android has found love amongst several manufacturers, Microsoft is still working hard on making sure their next edition of Windows Phone OS is an absolute killer and RIM, well, they’re doing stuff too.

Facebook could gamble and work on its own OS from scratch. That, I think, would be a dick move. Reinventing the wheel isn’t going to win any battle of thrones err..smartphones I mean. The safest bet for Facebook could be to buy an existing smartphone operating system or go with Google’s open source mobile operating system – Android. Seems highly unlikely that Facebook will shake hands with those who must not be evil.

Seriously thinking, the Facebook operating system might be as simple as an app. Yes, it could be one big Facebook mobile application that further allows you to control and operate your smartphone.

facebook phone software

Just like Google pitched its Chrome OS as a browser – Facebook’s smartphone OS might just be based on a smartphone running an enhanced version of the Facebook mobile application.

Come to think of it and Facebook already has everything it needs. An app for messaging and chatting, an app for social networking (duh!), a Camera app and even another photos app worth billions, Instagram. All this along with the existing app store it launched recently, which can be further enhanced to support a smartphone experience. They just need to stich everything together and present it in a way that makes it appealing to users. Personally, I just hope the OS doesn’t suck like their native mobile applications.

The Facebook smartphone ecosystem could be driven by content partners as well as applications developers who have been successful at making apps for Facebook earlier. Facebook Credits might play a significant role in the smartphone experience. Imagine being able to buy apps at retail stores via Facebook Credits. I can’t help but feel sorry for myself when I think of it – my friends playing idiotic games on Facebook to earn some Credits so they could use them.

The social experience of a Facebook smartphone may be dull, ugly and even boring at times, much like the Facebook web experience as of now. But you’ll still find yourself addicted to it because of the very same reason – all your friends are on Facebook.

Facebook phone hardware

Hardware

This is the part where Facebook might run into a trouble. It has zero hardware experience and it just doesn’t have the juice to compete with major manufacturers, given its current situation. It has a lot of money in the bank, agreed, but will it spend all of it setting up a hardware unit? Or may be even buying one? Looks unpromising as a proposal.

Instead, Facebook could partner with a hardware company. Rumors had it that they had attempted one with HTC the last time around but it didn’t quite materialize. This time around things are much different.

Facebook is looking for alternate sources of revenue and mobile phone manufacturers are ready to do anything for more market share. Heck, RIM would strip naked for just a partnership.

So how would a Facebook phone look like? Well, pretty much how all smartphones look like – the iPhone. Ideally it could be a full touchscreen device. It could include a dedicated button like the home screen on most phones to launch the main menu along with other essential buttons such as a volume rockers and a power on/off button.

Camera optics can be easily outsourced. A decent 8MP camera would be great if it comes with almost zero shutter lag. Facebook doesn’t need to pull off a Nokia 404 here. Other hardware specifications could be – a dual core processor (pretty much a standard now) as I don’t think Facebook-ers need quad core madness, decent amount of RAM – considering Facebook’s current state I’d say a minimum of a gigabyte should be sufficient.

The display could be quite a challenge here. Facebook would attempt to keep it at par with Apple’s Retina Display on the iPhone. It’s a challenge because Facebook would also be looking at keeping the price of their phone slightly lower (pure gut feeling) as opposed to the iPhone. I’m not saying it’ll be a deal-maker but for many, this is one primary reason for buying an Android or a sub-standard smartphone – it is much cheaper and almost does the same things.

Conclusion

I’m no pundit, so before you post nasty comments below please keep this in mind. The Facebook smartphone may still be far far away from reality but it clearly shows how focused Mark is about more revenue streams. Facebook clearly doesn’t want to get left behind especially when Google is getting into hardware with their recent purchase of Motorola mobility.

The Facebook smartphone would ideally offer the same social experience it offers to all its users currently – simple and open. Also, privacy is something they’ll be looking out for!

Is Your Wife iPhone 5 Thin?

iphone 5

[quote_left]Women may have invented size-zero for glamour but Apple’s next generation iPhone is all set to change the rules of the game.[/quote_left]The sixth generation iPhone 5 might give it’s predecessor a run for its money. While you can expect the iPhone 4 to go all am-I-getting-too-fat-honey in the third quarter this year, when the iPhone 5 launches, you might wanna train those fingers of yours to hold on to a hair-thin smartphone.

With an all new design that will almost melt in your hands (no cheese), the next generation iPhone will may be so amazing that we may be left with our mouths open. Before you head to the comments section to call me a big-assed Apple fanboy, let me make my case clear.

Rumors are in that Apple may be going ahead with a liquid metal design for the iPhone 5. Just like you, even I don’t know what that means. What I know is that it sounds delicious. Liquid metal? Reminds me of Terminator 2. Will the iPhone 5 melt and then regain its shape and become a phone all over again? We’ll leave that to our little fantasy world.

What is certain here is that a redesign would never mean adding more meat to the phone. So a thinner, lighter phone means a more good looking device to show off. Yes, that’s what we all do with our smartphones especially if it’s an iPhone. From ‘if you don’t have an iPhone, blah blah’ line to ‘if your wife is thinner than this phone, blah blah’. Expect cheesy lines in the third quarter.

eg. Is your wife iPhone 5 thin?