Archive | May, 2008

Motorola slips, LG scrapes past Sony Ericsson in global handset market share

29 May

According to research firm Gartner, LG scraped past Sony Ericsson to become the fourth largest handset vendor behind Motorola as per the units shipped in the first quarter this year. Motorola, on the other hand, lost a staggering 8.2 percent market share from 18.2 percent in Q1 2007 to just 10.2 percent in Q1 this year. The report indicates that Motorola might even lose its number three spot to LG later this year as the troubled handset vendor doesn’t have many products to introduce in the second half of this year.

Meanwhile, Nokia and Samsung maintained their positions as the top two handset vendors. Sony Ericsson lost its position to LG due to lower sales of mid and high-end devices, a segment where Sony Ericsson has a strong standing. However, Gartner indicates that the Swedish handset vendor might spring back to its number four ranking with a strong mid-tier product portfolio scheduled for the second half of this year.

Apple gets iPhone patent, shows off GPS and video conferencing modules

29 May

The US Patent and Trademark Office today revealed Apple’s patent for the iPhone. The massive patent application (running into 372 pages) with publication number us20080122796ki details every minute details of the Jesus phone. And while going through the application we found some interesting functions that we haven’t seen in the current iPhone like video conferencing and GPS modules, video recording and a blogging app. We’re still going through the patent and will keep you posted about other irregularities.

Another Moto 5 MP cam phone pops up

29 May

Even before Moto could announce the rumoured ZINE ZN5, Boy Genius has managed to flick a slider version of the Kodak co-branded 5 MP cam phone. BG says that it ain’t got auto-focus but has Wi-Fi. 100 MB of internal memory and the works. It even has a ROKR E8 like touch dial. Looks good but we can’t understand why would a 5 MP camera phone won’t have auto-focus? Anyway, head off to BGR to see the cam phone from all angles.

Tata Indicom slashes STD and roaming rates

28 May

It was about time. After the likes of Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications, Tata Indicom has announced its new STD and national roaming rates. Prepaid subscribers can buy a Special Tariff Voucher (STV) worth Rs 69 to make STD calls at Re 1 per minute. Vodafone offers a similar STV that costs Rs 31 per month. However, Tata Indicom also offers all local outgoing calls at 49 paise per minute to these subscribers.

For postpaid users, the CDMA carrier has come up with a new plan under which subscribers will have to pay a rental of Rs 349 per month that will give them talktime worth Rs 349 with STD calling at Re 1 per minute and local outgoing calls at 50 paise per minute. Like all other carriers, Tata Indicom has also slashed its local outgoing calls and all incoming calls while roaming to Re 1 per minute.

RIM ain’t compromising security, after all

27 May

Barely two days after reports of RIM chickening out and handing over access keys to the Indian government, the guys from Waterloo have come out in the open and declined doing any such thing. We have a copy of the letter sent out to BlackBerry users in India and without wasting any more time, here’s the letter.

Dear Valued BlackBerry Customer:

Research In Motion (RIM) is more excited than ever to be doing business in India and is extremely pleased by the enthusiasm of Indian customers toward the BlackBerry platform.

RIM recognizes that some customers are curious about the discussions that occurred between RIM and the Indian government regarding the use of encryption in BlackBerry products and understands that the confidential nature of these discussions has consequently enabled an opportunity for a variety of speculation and misinterpretation to arise.

RIM regrets any concern prompted by incorrect speculation or rumors and wishes to assure customers that RIM is committed to continue serving security-conscious businesses in the Indian market with highly secure and innovative products that satisfy the needs of both business and government.

RIM respects the needs of governments to balance regulatory requirements alongside the corporate security and individual privacy needs of its citizens and RIM will not disclose confidential discussions that take place with any government. However, many public facts about the BlackBerry security architecture have been well established over the years and remain unchanged. A recap of these facts, along with other general industry facts, can help customers easily debunk incorrect rumors and speculation and maintain confidence about the security of their information.

*RIM understands and respects the concerns of governments. RIM operates in over 135 countries today and provides a security architecture that has been widely scrutinized over the last nine years and has been accepted and embraced by security-conscious corporations and governments around the world.

*Governments have a wide range of resources and methodologies to satisfy national security and law enforcement needs without compromising commercial security requirements.

*The use of strong encryption in wireless technology is not unique to the BlackBerry platform. Strong encryption is a mandatory requirement for all enterprise-class wireless email services.

*The use of strong encryption in information technology is not limited to the wireless industry. Strong encryption is used pervasively on the Internet to protect the confidentiality of personal and corporate information.

*Strong encryption is a fundamental requirement for a wide variety of technology products that enable businesses to operate and compete, both domestically and internationally.

*The BlackBerry security architecture was specifically designed to provide corporate customers with the ability to transmit information wirelessly while also providing them with the necessary confidence that no one, including RIM, could access their data. 
*The BlackBerry security architecture for enterprise customers is based on a symmetric key system whereby the customer creates their own key and only the customer ever possesses a copy of their encryption key. RIM does not possess a “master key”, nor does any “back door” exist in the system that would allow RIM or any third party to gain unauthorized access to the key or corporate data.

*The BlackBerry security architecture for enterprise customers is purposefully designed to exclude the capability for RIM or any third party to read encrypted information under any circumstances. RIM would simply be unable to accommodate any request for a copy of a customer’s encryption key since at no time does RIM, or any wireless network operator, ever possess a copy of the key.

*The BlackBerry security architecture was also purposefully designed to perform as a global system independent of geography. The location of data centers and the customer’s choice of wireless network are irrelevant factors from a security perspective since end-to-end encryption is utilized and transmissions are no more decipherable or less secure based on the selection of a wireless network or the location of a data center. All data remains encrypted through all points of transfer between the customer’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server and the customer’s device (at no point in the transfer is data decrypted and re-encrypted).

*The same BlackBerry security architecture is maintained in all 135+ countries where the BlackBerry solution is commercially available and it continues to be validated through various formal and independent security certifications, including FIPS-140-2 (USA), @Stake security assessment, Common Criteria EAL 2+ (International) and CAPS (United Kingdom), as well as several other independent government approvals and customer assessments.

Once again, RIM is extremely pleased by the reaction of the Indian market to the BlackBerry platform and excited about the future in India. RIM also remains positive about the ongoing use of strong encryption in enterprise-class information technologies and believes that governmental security requirements in countries around the world, including India, will continue to be achieved in tandem with the domestic and international security needs of corporate customers.

My work and life balanced thanks to my BlackBerry smartphone.

Samsung Soul to hit India on May 29

27 May

Here you have it guys, Samsung is launching the Soul in India on May 29. The HSDPA-capable slider with a 5 MP snapper is expected to retail at upwards of Rs 25,000. Umm, we ain’t sure if we’d like to shell out that much but it certainly looks pretty. Yeah, we still talking about the model dude, the phone that is…

Arun Sarin steps down as Vodafone CEO

27 May

Vodafone today announced that Arun Sarin will step down as the group’s CEO after the Annual General Meeting on July 29. He’ll be succeeded by his deputy, Vittorio Colao. Sarin was appointed as the CEO in 2003 and has outlined the company’s strategy of expanding into emerging markets, including the high profile acquisition of Hutchison’s stake in Hutch Essar.

Gresso goes white, with diamonds of course

27 May

After showing us what they can do with African Blackwood and black diamonds, Gresso is back in the business with white diamonds. The phone, as always, is made of African Blackwood and the keys are made of gold encrusted with white diamonds. The phone comes in two variants – Royal White Diamonds with 23 white diamonds and White Diamonds with four white diamonds.

The 200 piece limited edition Royal White Diamonds will set you back by 33,000 Euros while the normal one will carry a tag of 9,000 Euros.

Bharti disconnects MTN call, Reliance dials in

26 May

Bharti Airtel called off its talks with MTN citing too many movements from the latter as the reason. The talks of a merger were called off after MTN presented a new structure late last week that would have made Bharti Airtel an MTN subsidiary, a stance unacceptable to Bharti Airtel. MTN also wanted Sunil Bharti Mittal’s and SingTel’s stake in Bharti Airtel in exchange for a controlling stake in MTN. 

Apparently, MTN was not just talking to Bharti Airtel. Reports in the media indicate that Africa’s leading carrier with 65 million subscribers in 21 countries has been in talks with Bharti Airtel’s rival Reliance Communications, as well. In fact, the two companies have been in talks since the past 45 days, which means that the two companies were indulged in talks even before MTN courted Bharti Airtel earlier this month.

Foreign telcos free to join 3G race in India

24 May

The Union Minister for Telecom & IT, A Raja revealed that foreign telecom companies will be allowed to participate in the auction of 3G spectrum in India. In recent months, India has become a sought-after telecom market as it continues to add over eight million subscribers a month. According to the Minister, “If there is common auction or open auction (of 3G spectrum), there will be no bar (to foreign players). There is up to 74 per cent FDI allowed in Indian telecoms firm, and these partnerships can also start 3G service.”

The Minister expects 3G services to roll out in the country as early as January next year as most operators are already ready with 3G infrastructure. He said that the 3G policy will be revealed next month.