Good Monday Evening. Hope you had a great weekend! Big week ahead with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before the US Congress for the first time tomorrow. He is expected to be grilled on multiple topics including data privacy and the inability of the platform to limit spread of misinformation. Reports indicate Zuckerberg is being trained to maintain a cool head especially when he sits on a hot seat tomorrow. More details on this tomorrow.
Getting back to what happened today, Apple refreshed iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus with new color and it is red. This is the first proper red color iPhone with matching design on the front as well as rear panel. Apple’s main rival Samsung tried to play spoilsport by launching Galaxy S8 in Burgundy Red with attractive cashback offer. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi doubled down on its ‘Make In India’ plans with a local PCB assembly unit. OnePlus 6 continues to leak in the form of renders while Bharti Airtel added new data plans that would attract those streaming IPL matches on their mobile devices. Here is a rundown of all the major new tech stories from the day:
Apple announces Product Red iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus now come in red color as well. The company silently launched (PRODUCT) RED iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which joins the existing color choice of space grey, silver and gold. This is the first proper iPhone in red color that has a matching black bezels up front. Last year’s (PRODUCT) RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus came with white front bezels and Apple seems to have heard from its customers. Apple says part of the proceeds from sales of the (PRODUCT) RED iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will go directly to the charity.
Apple is calling it Special Edition, which hints at the fact that these red iPhones will only be available for a limited period of time. The red iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be available for pre-order from tomorrow in the US and will ship starting April 13. In India, Apple will start selling (PRODUCT) RED iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in May. Apple is pricing them starting at Rs 67,940 and will also sell (PRODUCT) RED iPhone X Leather Folio case for Rs 7,900. This is one of the easiest ways to experience Apple products and yet contribute to a nobel cause.
Xiaomi will start local assembly of PCB
Xiaomi, the leading smartphone maker in the country, announced expansion of its local manufacturing effort at its first-ever Xiaomi Supplier Investment Summit. The Chinese smartphone maker is adding three new smartphone manufacturing plans in addition to first unit for local manufacturing of printed circuit boards.
Xiaomi now boasts of six manufacturing plants in India and announced a dedicated SMT (Surface Mount Technology) plant in Chennai for manufacturing PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly) units. The move comes after government of India imposed 10 percent duty on PCBs and other components going into the manufacturing of smartphones. The duty on mobile components is seen by the industry as a shift from local assembly to local manufacturing.
Airtel announces new Rs 499 prepaid plan
With IPL 2018 having started, telecom operators want to cash in on data consumption trend with new data plans that offer more data than usual. Airtel has launched a new Rs 499 prepaid plan that offers 164GB 4G data after Reliance Jio and BSNL launched similar offers.
Under this plan, Bharti Airtel users will get daily high-speed data of 2GB along with unlimited local and national calls and 100 free local and national SMS per day. The plan comes with a validity of 82 days and it comes with truly unlimited calling benefits.
OnePlus 6 leaked renders reveal more details
OnePlus 6 launch is right around the corner and the hype around its seems to be gaining momentum with every passing day. The smartphone has now leaked in the form of renders revealing the iPhone X-style notch and new color options. The flagship smartphone is now expected to launch in three color choices of black, blue and white. One of the major highlight will be the red alert slider, which will have dual functionality to also adjust the focus when in the camera app.
The renders also reveal key specifications including minimal bezels and an edge-to-edge display design, vertically stacked dual camera system and a rear fingerprint sensor. The OnePlus 6 is expected to pack a 6-inch full screen display and will use Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 845 SoC. It will be available with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. Expect it to cost more than its predecessor.
Airtel announces 300Mbps Broadband Plan
Airtel has introduced a new broadband plan with data speeds up to 300Mbps as part of its new Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) plan. Priced at Rs 2,199, it comes with 1,200GB of data and additional benefits like unlimited STD and local calling benefits.
The plan also offers access to Airtel’s OTT apps like Wynk Music and Airtel TV. There is also additional benefit of Amazon Prime subscription for a year. There’s also bonus data of 1TB which is valid until October 31, 2018 when you subscribe to the plan online.
Samsung Galaxy S8 now available in Burgundy Red
It is not clear whether Samsung wanted to crash into Apple’s party but it has launched a Burgundy Red color version of its Galaxy S8 smartphone in India. The new limited-edition Burgundy Red Galaxy S8 is priced at Rs 49,990 and will be available starting April 13.
Those interested in the Burgundy Red color can also take advantage of Rs 10,000 Paytm cashback offer at leading retail stores, which brings the effective cost down to Rs 39,990. The smartphone is also available with attractive EMI offers on select credit cards. The Galaxy S8 features a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display, Exynos 8890 SoC, 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage. It sports a 12-megapixel main camera and an 8-megapixel front camera. The IP68 certified smartphone is backed by a 3,000mAh battery.
Thanks for reading. Updates all day on BGR.in