Company News

Google to release Android 5.1 update in early 2015: Report

Android-5.1-LollipopWashington, Dec 18 : Google is likely to release its first update to Android 5.0 Lollipop by next year, a report has revealed.

According to CNET, Android 5.1 is due in the early months of 2015.

Moreover, it also plans on making improvements for notifications, connections and overall stability apart from issuing bug fixes and introducing minor tweaks.

The report said that the most noticeable detail in the alleged change log is the return of silent mode that is missing in Android 5.0. (ANI)

Microsoft's Bing has already predicted top winners of 2015

Microsoft's BingWashington, Dec 18 : Microsoft's search engine Bing has predicted which people, products and trends will win in 2015.

The search engine has predicted 2015 Grammy winners, which movies will win the Golden Globes, food and fashion trends, and which team will win the Super Bowl, PC World reported.

Microsoft compiled its predictions across eight categories that includes awards, designers, fashion, food, football, technology, travel, and wearables and in each, Bing picked the top ten winners, some of which varied by geographical region.

Alibaba's founder becomes 2014's biggest winner with 18.5 billion dollar profit

Jack MaWashington, Dec 17 : According to a list of 2014's biggest winners and losers, from the research firm Wealth-X, Alibaba's founder Jack Ma has made more money than anyone else with a profit of 18.5 billion dollars this year.

According to CNN, Ma has increased his wealth by 173 percent. The former English teacher who started his Chinese online market place with 60,000 dollars is now worth a total of 29.2 billion dollars.

Ma's banner year is tied to Alibaba's IPO in September this year which was the biggest ever.

Samsung planning to launch new app to compete with Apple Pay, Google wallet

SamsungWashington, Dec 17 : Samsung is planning to launch an application that would allow users to make purchases right through their phones giving a competition to Apple Pay and Google wallet, said reports.

According to the Verge, getting into the mobile payment game is crucial for Samsung as it makes its own software to compete with whatever Google and Apple may have.

Users of Samsung's Android phones would have another mobile payments option to choose from, with Google Wallet and others like Softcard, which is forced on Samsung devices by carriers.

SoftBank invests 90M dollars in India's

SoftbankiWashington, Dec 17 - Locon Solutions, the company that runs India's Housing. com property portal, is set to receive a 90 million round from SoftBank.

According to Tech Crunch, the Japanese telecom giant led the round in the property search company, with additional participation from Falcon Edge and other undisclosed investors.

This would be SoftBanks' fourth investment in India this year.

Housing. com has raised up to 121 million dollars in investor money over the past two years.

SoftBank announced that it was now the company's largest shareholder, but refrained from revealing the size of its investment/stake or Housing. com's post-money valuation, the report said. (ANI)

Xiaomi earned net profits worth 56million dollars in 2013

XiaomiWashington, Dec 16 : Chinese phone maker Xiaomi reportedly earned 56 million dollars in net profit in 2013.

According to a disclosure made to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Xiaomi made 347.5 million renminbi (56 million dollars) in net profit on 26.6 billion renminbi in revenue (4.3 billion dollars) last year, CNET reported.

That gives Xiaomi an operating profit margin of just 1.8 percent.

Xiaomi has been focusing on attaining growth in emerging markets like China, Indonesia and India .

The company's expansion has made its larger, more established rivals to sit up and take notice. (ANI)

Jury to decide fate of Apple in billion-dollar iPod anti-trust lawsuit

Apple iPod antitrust lawsuitWashington, Dec 16 : The decision on the 1 billion dollar Apple iPod anti-trust lawsuit now rests with a jury of eight, who will decide whether the company should pay more than a billion dollars for changes it made to its iTunes and iPod software some 10 years ago.

The Verge reported that both sides presented closing arguments in an Oakland, California courthouse today after two full weeks of trial, painting vastly different pictures of what was happening at both Apple and within the digital music business a decade back.

Apple is likely to face a stiff penalty in case the jury's decision turns out to be in the favour of the plaintiffs.

Samsung fast losing as biggest player in smartphone market

SamsungWashington, Dec 16 : Samsung still rules the smartphone market but a closer look at the statistics in the third quarter revealed that its market share has dropped considerably in comparison to the last year.

Samsung sold 73.2 million smartphones worldwide in the third quarter, giving the company 24.4 percent market share. However, the tech giant sold 80.4 million smartphones during the same period in 2013 and grabbed 32.1 percent market share, reported CNET.

The report said that the dip in Samsung's market share cannot be attributed to a troubled smartphone market as the entire market saw a sales jump from 250.3 million in 2013 to 301 million in 2014.

TCS shares tank 4% on revenue growth concerns

Mumbai - Shares of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) fell by 4 percent Monday on worries that growth may be muted after the company said it expects revenue in December 2014 quarter to be 'in-line with seasonal trends'.

TCS's scrip tumbled 4 percent to Rs 2,356.45 at the BSE.

On the NSE, it was down 3.9 percent to Rs 2,355.10.

The bellwether stock was the worst performer among the 30-Sensex constituents.

The third quarter of the fiscal is traditionally weaker for IT firms as business is impacted by low volume growth amid Christmas and New Year holidays and furloughs in the US and Europe.

Anil Ambani's Reliance Group sells multiplex biz to Carnival

New Delhi - Anil Ambani led Reliance Group has sold its multiplex business to South-India based Carnival Group in the largest ever deal in this space.

The transaction will reduce Reliance Capital's overall debt by Rs 700 crore and is part of Reliance Capital's strategy to exit minority investments.

The deal will make Carnival the third largest multiplex operator with nationwide presence and over 300 screens, a statement said Monday.

The firms did not disclose the exact value of the deal.

The deal struck between Carnival Cinemas and Reliance MediaWorks, will exclude IMAX Wadala (Mumbai) and some other properties worth Rs 200 crore, the statement added.

Yahoo starts prompting Internet Explorer, Opera users to switch to Firefox

YahooWashington, Dec 14 : Yahoo has reportedly started prompting its users to upgrade to the new Firefox by displaying a link in the top right corner of the browser window.

The prompt appears on Internet Explorer, Opera and even the new Yandex browser, reported Tech Crunch.

The move doesn't come as a surprise as Firefox now uses Yahoo as its default search engine and wants as many people as possible to switch to the Mozilla browser. (ANI)

Chinese internet giant Baidu to invest 600M dollars in 'under fire' Uber

Baidu to invest 600M dollars in UberWashington, Dec 13: Chinese internet giant Baidu is reportedly planning to invest up to 600 million dollars into Uber in a deal with the US firm.

According to Tech Crunch, a Baidu spokesperson confirmed that the company has arranged a press conference for next week when it will announce "an investment in and strategic cooperation deal with a prominent US-based startup."

The report said that a deal was expected to be announced next Wednesday, sealing the partnership between the two firms.

Baidu has focused on emerging markets, including Southeast Asia, Egypt and Brazil, where it recently acquired e-commerce site Peixe Urbano.

Audi launches A3 Cabriolet in India

A3 CabrioletNew Delhi, Dec 11 : German Luxury car manufacturer Audi India on Thursday launched its compact luxury convertible, the A3 Cabriolet, priced at Rs. 44.75 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

The A3 Cabriolet is a 4-seater two door car with a soft top fabric hood which opens and closes in less than 18 seconds, up to a speed of 50km/h.

"The launch of the Audi A3 Cabriolet, the first compact luxury convertible in India, is yet another example of our Customer-Centric approach. Skillfully blended with a unique body style and distinct design cues, the Audi A3 Cabriolet makes a perfect lifestyle statement," Joe King, Head, Audi India said at the launch.

Xiaomi willing to open patent talks with Ericsson post facing temporary ban in India

XiaomiWashington, Dec 11 : Chinese phone company Xiaomi has expressed willingness to open talks over patents with Ericsson after the New Delhi High Court imposed a temporary ban on its smartphones that prevented the company from importing and selling some of its smartphones in the country.

The high court had granted an 'ex parte' injunction against Xiaomi after Ericsson filed a patent complaint. Officials from the Chinese company have been asked to visit Xiaomi's India office to ensure that it does not sell, advertise, manufacture or import devices that infringe the patents in question, reported Tech Crunch.

Google launches Chromecast in India

Google ChromecastWashington, Dec 10 : Google has launched its Chromecast streaming device in India, in a move seen as an attempt by the internet giant to tap into the growing consumer market in the country.

The device which resembles a USB flash drive and allows users to stream videos from the internet to a television from a laptop, phone or tablet is currently available in ten countries, including the United States, Germany and Denmark.

According to CNET, the expansion to India is only Google's latest effort to gain traction in the country, an important region as tech giants in the United States aim to extend their reach to emerging markets.

Apple's first generation iPods selling like hot cakes on eBay, Amazon

ipods classicLondon, Dec 9 : It turns out that Apple's first generation iPods are still in demand as buyers are thronging eBay and Amazon to buy the music player.

According to The Independent, some versions of the iPod, which retailed for 229 pounds when Apple sold it, are selling for 670 pounds on Amazon.

eBay has sold more than 3,000 of the models since it stopped selling in stores from October.

Cheaper versions of the music player are also available on the websites.

It is reported that 80GB models are still selling under 100 pounds on eBay, with the latest 160GB models going for less than 200 pounds.

Google's battle to establish 'right to be above British law' on alleged secret monitoring resumed in court

GoogleLondon, Dec 09 : Google's battle in its landmark case to establish that the company is above the British law has been resumed in the court which would decide whether it can be held accountable by its users for allegedly using clandestine tracking to monitor British users of the Safari web browser.

Google earlier argued that the High Court did not have jurisdictions to try the claims, reported the Independent.

The tech giant's lawyers said that the users should have launched its claim in the U. S. where the company is based rather than England.

SAT to hear DLF plea against Sebi order tomorrow

Mumbai - With Securities Appellate Tribunal set to hear DLF and its senior executives' plea against Sebi ruling on Wednesday, the focus is likely to be on the accounting practices that were followed by the realty major.

The tribunal, last month, clubbed the petition from DLF's promoters with the company's main plea against Sebi ruling.

In October, the market watchdog had banned DLF, its chairman K P Singh and five other senior officials from the securities market for three years with regard to alleged non-disclosure of three of its hundreds of subsidiaries in the 2007 IPO filing.

Mercedes-Benz opens second R&D facility

Bengaluru - Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI) on Tuesday inaugurated its second dedicated facility at Whitefield here.

Spread across an area of 266,000 sq ft with a capacity of over 2,400 people, it is located close to the head office of MBRDI, the company said in a statement.

"MBRDI plays an important role within our global research and development organisation and this new facility is another milestone in the growth story of Mercedes-Benz R&D in India," said Thomas Merker, Vice-President (Body, Safety, Telematics) Mercedes-Benz Cars Development and acting Chairman, MBRDI.

General Motors to hike prices by up to Rs 20,000 from Jan 2015

New Delhi - General Motors India on Monday said it will hike prices of its entire product portfolio by up to Rs 20,000 from next month, in order to partially offset rising input costs.

All the eight models of the company's current product portfolio in the country, including entry level compact car Spark, will become costlier due to price hike.

"We have decided to increase the price of all car models to the tune of 1 per cent with effect from January 1 due to input cost pressure. The quantum ranges between Rs 5,000 to 20,000 depending upon the models and variants," General Motors India, Vice President P Balendran told PTI.

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