New Delhi, Jan 26, 2017: The US-based iPhone maker Apple will on Wednesday meet Commerce and other ministries’ officials to seek tax concessions for setting up stores in India.
Apple officials on Tuesday met Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to discuss “the issues”.
“They (Apple) are putting their demands and the government has to consider. It has to take 360 degree view, as others (foreign companies) are already here. They want some tax concessions and all,” sources in the Commerce Ministry told IANS.
“In this case maybe they are asking for more and let’s see how it goes.”
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“They (Apple) met the minister (Sitharaman) yesterday (Tuesday). Both the parties discussed the issues. Today (Wednesday) they are meeting all the other ministry officials. Nothing is being talked about. They have a list of demands that will be shared,” the source added.
However, the ministry officials believe the process is rudimentary as of now as there are still several stages to go and a consensus needs to be reached from all ministries involved.
“It is very rudimentary as of now. There are several stages to go. They will meet the officials, make a presentation, tell what they want. The government has to decide what has to be given what is not to be given. These are simple meetings going on,” sources told IANS.
San Francisco, September 13, 2017 : Living up to the hype it generated on the 10th anniversary of iPhone, Apple on Tuesday unveiled iPhone ‘X’ with facial recognition system, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, new Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV 4K.
The device can be pre-ordered from October 27 will be available from November 3 for Rs 89,000 in India.
Hosting the event for the first time at the opulent Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, the tech giant introduced iPhone ‘X’ – an ultra-premium model.
iPhone ‘X’ sports a unique “FaceID” facial recognition system to unlock the device. Just look at your phone to unlock it. The feature is enabled by a ‘True Depth’ camera system in the A11 neural engine.
Wearing a hat, glasses or new hairstyle will not fool the FaceID system that also works with Apple Pay.
The device with 2046 X 1125 resolution supports HDR in Dolby Vision, HDR10 and True Tone and comes in Space Grey and Silver colours with ‘Super Retina’ display.
Users can tap on the screen to wake up iPhone X that has 12MP dual-camera system with deeper pixels and dual optical image stablisation at the rear. iPhone ‘X’ does wireless charging via Qi technology.
The iPhone 8 features a new 6-core A11 Bionic processor which is 70 per cent faster than the previous A10.
Apple also introduced Animoji where users can animate an emoji and share it on social media.
Apple also showcased a charging mat called ‘AirPower’ that charges iPhone, Watch and AirPods. The mat would be available from next year.
The tech giant also introduced iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (in Silver, Space Grey and Rose Gold colours) that house wireless charging technology with an improved retina displays.
iPhone 8 64GB price costs Rs 64,000 while 256GB variant will be available for Rs 77,000.
iPhone 8 Plus starts at Rs 73,000 for 64GB. The 256GB variant will cost Indian users Rs 86,000. People can pre-order the devices from September 15 and the phones will be available from September 29.
The iPhone 8 features a new 6-core A11 Bionic processor which is 70 per cent faster than the previous A10.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus – both still have home button intact — feature new sensors. The lenses feature f1.8 and f2.8 apertures (which is brighter than the 7 Plus telephoto) in the iPhone 8 Plus.
According to Philip W. Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, the iPhone 8 cameras and the A11 Bionic chip have been calibrated for Augmented Reality (AR).
Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, unveiled Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular connectivity built in.
Apple Watch Series 3 will cost Rs 29,900 with cellular connectivity. Series 1 is now priced at 21,900.
“You can keep the same number as your iPhone to make and receive calls. Maps will work on Series 3. Location will switch over to your watch automatically,” Williams told the gathering.
Apple Music will come to Apple Watch, allowing you to stream directly 40 million songs. Ask Siri to find your favourite track.
“With 50 per cent year-on-year growth, Apple Watch is the number one watch brand in the world, eclipsing Rolex, with 97 per cent customer satisfaction,” CEO Tim Cook announced.
Cook also introduced the new Apple TV 4K, designed to deliver a stunning cinematic experience at home.
With support for both 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR), Apple TV 4K features unbelievably sharp, crisp images.
With Apple TV 4K, viewers can enjoy a growing selection of 4K HDR movies on iTunes.
“Bring the magic of the cinema straight to your living room with the new Apple TV 4K,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services.
Netflix and Amazon Prime 4K videos are coming to Apple TV as well.
Apple TV 4K starts Rs 15,900 for 32GB or Rs 17,900 for 64GB, joining Apple TV (4th generation) 32GB at Rs 12,900, available through select Apple Authorised Resellers.
Customers will be able to order both Apple TV 4K models beginning September 15, with availability beginning September 22 in the US and 21 additional countries and regions, and worldwide soon after.
Earlier, dedicating the theatre to Jobs “because we loved him and because he loved days like this,” Cook said: “Jobs’ vision and passion lives here on Apple Park and everywhere around us”. (IANS)
Dobsina, Slovakia, September 10, 2017: As new smartphones hit the market month in month out, one Slovak technology buff is offering visitors to his vintage phone museum a trip down memory lane – to when cell phones weighed more than today’s computers and most people couldn’t afford them.
Twenty-six-year-old online marketing specialist Stefan Polgari from Slovakia began his collection more than two years ago when he bought a stock of old cell phones online. Today, his collection at the vintage phone museum boasts some 1,500 models, or 3,500 pieces when counting duplicates.
The vintage phone museum, which takes up two rooms in his house in the small eastern town of Dobsina, opened last year and is accessible by appointment.
The collection includes the Nokia 3310, which recently got a facelift and re-release, as well as a fully functional, 20-year old, brick-like Siemens S4 model, which cost a whopping 23,000 Slovak koruna – more than twice the average monthly wage in Slovakia when it came out.
“These are design and technology masterpieces that did not steal your time. There are no phones younger than the first touchscreen models, definitely no smartphones,” said Mr. Polgari.
“It’s hard to say which phone is most valuable to me, perhaps the Nokia 350i Star Wars edition,” said Mr. Polgari – who uses an iPhone in his daily life. (VOA)
Netflix beat Apple to the punch with its groundbreaking video streaming service
Follow-on rivals of Netflix- and Hulu also boast of popular video streaming services
Apple has periodically upgraded its Apple TV, which isn’t a television, just a video streaming player that connects to TVs
San Francisco, USA, September 9, 2017: Television is one of the few screens that has Apple hasn’t conquered, but that may soon change. The world’s richest company appears ready to aim for its own Emmy-worthy programming along the lines of HBO’s Game of Thrones and Netflix’s Stranger Things.
Apple lured longtime TV executives Jaime Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg away from Sony Corp. in June and has given them $1 billion to spend on original shows during the next year, according to a Wall Street Journal report quoting unnamed people.
The programming would be available only on a subscription channel, most likely bundled with the company’s existing Apple Music streaming service. Apple declined to comment.
While $1 billion is a lot of money, it’s a drop in the bucket for Apple and its $262 billion cash hoard. But it’s still enough to vault Apple into the top tier of tech-industry outsiders producing their own slates of television shows.
iTunes came first
Hollywood has long shuddered at the thought of Apple training its sights on TV the way it once did on the music business.
Almost 15 years ago, Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs convinced record labels to let the company sell digital music on its iTunes store for 99 cents a single, a deal the music industry was happy to take in the face of growing music piracy enabled by Napster. Over time, though, Apple’s dominance in digital music chafed music executives, who saw the company siphoning off a chunk of their profits.
Movies and television have proven much harder for Apple to crack. The company’s interest in transforming television has been an open secret for years, but Hollywood has so far spurned Apple’s efforts to make itself an indispensable digital middle man for video.
In a way, Netflix beat Apple to the punch with its groundbreaking video streaming service. Launched in 2007, that service pioneered “binge watching” of entire TV seasons on any device with an internet connection. That gave new life to existing shows such as Breaking Bad, whose creator credits Netflix with its survival, and spawned the creation of other series tailor-made for bingeing.
Netflix also helped unleash a crescendo of creativity in Hollywood. Follow-on rivals Amazon and Hulu also boast popular video streaming services, and mainstream broadcasters such as CBS and Walt Disney Co. — the owner of ABC and ESPN, among other networks — are also jumping in.
Pressure to act
All of that has increased the pressure on Apple to step up its game in TV — not least because the increasing popularity of streaming is hurting its business of renting and selling video from iTunes.
Apple “doesn’t want to be left behind,” said Debby Ruth, senior vice president of consumer research firm Magid. “This is a way for them to put a stake in the ground.”
This year, the company released its first two original series, Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke, on its Apple Music service, which has 27 million subscribers. But neither show has generated much buzz or critical acclaim.
The recent hiring of Erlicht and Van Amburg signaled Apple’s intent to make a bigger splash. The executives have helped orchestrate several TV hits, including AMC’s Breaking Bad, and more recently branched out into video streaming with The Crown, which landed on Netflix last year and is up for 13 Emmy nominations in this Sunday’s ceremony.
Apple also has a not-so-secret weapon: hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads already in the hands of faithful fans. It could easily transform those into a marketing platform to lure users to its TV service.
But the company has a steep hill to climb.
Netflix has more than 100 million worldwide subscribers and a video library that will add 1,000 hours of original programming this year alone. And HBO has become the Emmys’ pacesetter since branching into original programming 20 years ago.
Both companies vastly outspend Apple’s reported $1 billion production budget. HBO spends about $2 billion annually on its programming, which garnered 111 nominations in this year’s Emmy Awards, more than any other network. Netflix, which boasts the second most Emmy nominations with 91, expects to spend $6 billion on programming this year.
Apple is still experimenting in TV, said Gene Munster, a longtime Apple watcher and managing partner with the research and venture capital firm Loup Ventures.
“In five years, I bet Apple will either be investing $10 billion a year in content or zero,” said Munster. “It’s going to be one or the other.”
Jobs discussed his ambitions to shake up TV with his biographer, Walter Isaacson, shortly before his death in 2011.
“He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: Make them simple and elegant,” Isaacson wrote.
But no Apple television ever materialized. Instead, Apple has periodically upgraded its Apple TV, which isn’t a television, just a video streaming player that connects to TVs. That device has been losing market share to other streaming players made by Roku, Amazon, and Google, according to the research firm Park Associates.
Building a successful programming lineup could give Apple more leverage to license shows from other Hollywood production houses. It might even embolden the company to finally release its own streaming TV set.
Apple will presumably also want to emulate Netflix’s ability to exploit usage data to determine what it thinks audiences want to watch. Netflix’s data analysis has helped it attract 25.5 million more subscribers in the U.S. alone since the February 2013 debut of its first original series, House of Cards.
But if Apple decides it needs a little more help in video streaming, Munster thinks there’s a 1-in-3 chance that it will buy Netflix to instantly gain the cachet and expertise in TV programming that it craves. (VOA)