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Apple Acquires AI Startup Silk Labs

According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, global smart speaker shipments reached 9.2 million units in the first quarter of 2018

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Apple, Iphone XR, Apple Watch
Try these fitness apps on Apple Watch Series 4 for marathon season. Flickr Commons

Apple has acquired a Startup called Silk Labs that works on Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based personal assistant technology for smartphones and smart home devices.

According to a report in The Registrar, the quietly-done acquisition for an undisclosed sum is aimed at strengthening Apple’s AI capabilities towards smart home devices.

Silk Labs had about a dozen employees and raised approximately $4 million in funding, said the report.

According to TechCrunch, Silk Labs is the brainchild of Andreas Gal, the former CTO of Mozilla, who had also created the mobile platform Firefox OS and Michael Vines from Qualcomm.

Apple
An Apple store in Woodbridge, Virginia. (VOA)

Apple is working hard towards improving its AI-enabled products, including HomePod smart speaker which is behind Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

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Amazon and Google accounted for 70 per cent share of the global smart speaker shipments in the first quarter of 2018, with Apple selling 600,000 HomePods in the period.

According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, global smart speaker shipments reached 9.2 million units in the first quarter of 2018. (IANS)

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Apple Begins Production of its Highly Successful iPhone XR in India

The iPhone XR demand further saw an uplift after the price drop and aided by heavy promotional activities in the ongoing festive season

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Apple, iPhone XR, India
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), in the premium ($500 or Rs 35,000 and above) segment, Apple bettered Samsung for the leadership position with an overall share of 41.2 per cent in 2Q19. Pixabay

In a big impetus for its India manufacturing dream, Apple has started production of its highly successful iPhone XR in the country.

Multiple sources confirmed to IANS on Monday that the production of iPhone XR, that was launched last year but is still flying off the shelves, is up and running at Apple supplier Foxconn’s facility in Sriperumbudur, Chennai.

Riding on heavy promotional offers on iPhone XR, Apple regained top position in the premium smartphone segment in India in the second quarter (Q2) this year.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), in the premium ($500 or Rs 35,000 and above) segment, Apple bettered Samsung for the leadership position with an overall share of 41.2 per cent in 2Q19.

Apple, iPhone XR, India
Multiple sources confirmed to IANS on Monday that the production of iPhone XR, that was launched last year but is still flying off the shelves, is up and running at Apple supplier Foxconn’s facility in Sriperumbudur, Chennai. Pixabay

The iPhone XR demand further saw an uplift after the price drop and aided by heavy promotional activities in the ongoing festive season.

In a clear signal that India is Apple’s next growth market, Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer Foxconn’s Chairman Terry Gou recently said the company would begin mass production of iPhones in India this year.

Gou said the move “will get Foxconn more deeply involved in the development of the country’s smartphone industry” which currently has over 450 million smartphone users.

Foxconn is already expanding its manufacturing operations in India.

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“To start with, it makes sense for Apple to localise assembling of models that have the potential to scale up and then slowly expand it to entire portfolio,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research, told IANS recently.

The iPhone XR is available for Rs 44,900 online, with some great buy back and cash back offers.

Apple iPhone shipments grew 19 percent (YoY) in India in its last reported quarter.

Apple, iPhone XR, India
Riding on heavy promotional offers on iPhone XR, Apple regained top position in the premium smartphone segment in India in the second quarter (Q2) this year. Pixabay

Apple in August said it looks forward to welcoming customers at its first branded retail store in India soon.

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“We love our customers in India and we’re eager to serve them online and in-store with the same experience and care that Apple customers around the world enjoy,” Apple said. (IANS)