RIM launches new BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360/9370

In an effort to regain its lost glory, Research in Motion (RIM) has delivered the last blow up its stride, releasing a new BB Curve model following the launch of the new Bold, Torch and Storm variants. So, what is the new Curve all about? Is it worth purchasing? Gauge past the break for our in-depth analysis. Continue reading “RIM launches new BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360/9370”

Apple outs iTunes 10.1.2; Update necessary for Verizon (CDMA) iPhone 4

Apple have released an update to their iTunes software, updating it to which version 10.1.2. The update is a required one if you plan to use a CDMA iPhone in future, either with Verizon or with any other carrier who gets the iPhone (Apple specifically mentions “CDMA iPhone 4” so more carriers apart from Verizon getting an iPhone cannot be ruled out).

Apart from the CDMA compatibility, the update also brings many important stability and performance improvements.

You can download the updated version from the iTunes download page or via the Mac/PC software update application.

Apple prepping up CDMA+GSM iPhone?

Here’s another rumor for you to ponder over: Apple is said to be working on a CDMA iPhone which has a sim-card slot, suggesting use of any carrier of users’ choice for their iPhone.

This new ‘dual sim’ iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 3,2 (three comma two) is currently in “field test stage” and would mean more use of the iPhone in out-of-country travelling as users can just buy a new local sim card of the country they are visiting (although a US purchased iPhone would still need to be unlocked).

Conclusion

Adding this rumor to the already spreading-like-forest-fire rumors of a CDMA iPhone with Verizon launching early 2011, the only fear in our minds is if this doesn’t take shape as expected, will these frequent Apple rumors stop? Or as ever, when you think Apple you’ll think another rumor to start fire?

Tata DoCoMo getting 3G to India this November

Tata DoCoMo is all set to become the first private carrier to get 3G services in India after state owned MTNL and BSNL started the trend. This comes as a very good news for all Indians, and is the right step forward technologically for India.

The Economic Times reported that Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (West), Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh will be getting the 3G service by Diwali (November). And today, Tata has given us a date: November 5, 2010.

“Japan’s NTTDoCoMo has provided technical inputs to make our 3G network world-class. Progressively, NTT will bring various 3G products and services that it offers in Japan, such as i-modeTM, location based services and mobile payment and give our customers a flavor of tomorrow,” said Deepak Gulati, Tata DoCoMo executive president, mobility business division.

The coming of 3G service via Tata DoCoMo will bring in lots of advantages in India. Few of the benefits are: faster internet browsing, unlimited downloads, live TV, video-conferencing, video calling, etc.

3G services are being promised by many more carriers by the ending of 2010 but the arrival of 3G by Tata, who also specialize in CDMA handsets, could be a secret sign that Apple is indeed going for a CDMA iPhone in India. We just hope its true!

Reliance, Tata join hands to bring CDMA iPhone 4 in India (?)

With the rumors of Apple contracting Verizon Wireless (a CDMA service provider in the USA) for a CDMA iPhone 4 hotting up, it is now time for the Indians to shine. Rumors are coming in that Apple is at last considering exploring the world’s largest telecom market (in India), and Reliance Communications Ltd. and Tata Teleservices Ltd. have already jumped up to the Cupertino Giant’s aide.

People close to the matter have informed: “Tata has been in talks with them [Apple] for four to five months now. This [talks] has been going on as India is a big market for CDMA. It [any launch] should benefit both parties.”

This was welcomed by a silent Anand Baskaran, an Apple spokesperson in India, who chose not to comment.

Both Reliance and Tata are big game players in the Indian Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) market, ruling the entire CDMA connections without any competition. (Though it must be mentioned that the competition between these two itself is pretty fierce and is working to the advantage of the consumers.)

Competition

Everything apart, one thing that is guaranteed is the stiff competition one gets in today’s world. No matter which field you talk about, you’ll find competition. And the mobile phone industry is no different.

The Indian telecom industry is largely dominated by Nokia Corp, who have claimed approximately 71% of the market, shipping 1.8 million smartphones in India in the first half of this year itself. What’s more, out of 670 million wireless users in India, approximately only 20% of them are inclined towards using a CDMA handset. And if this didn’t bother Apple at all, then what i say now will hit them smack on their face: Currently the Apple iPhone 3GS (the only iPhone in India), launched in India by telecom operators Bharti AirTel Ltd. and Vodafone Essar Ltd., costs around US Dollars 650. With taxes and other (non-sense) duties greeting the iPhone at the airport, the price doesn’t appear to be coming down, which in turn doesn’t attract any takers for USA’s best smartphone in India.

And while Apple are having a tough time stamping their authority in India, exactly opposite is the case with their arch rivals Google. Off late, there has been a flurry of cheap smartphones from small (somewhat unknown) brands entering the Indian market, running on Google’s Android Operating System (OS). It is nice, fast, user friendly, and more importantly it is cheap – the perfect recipe to serve in India. This, i think, perfectly sums up Apple’s India woes:

“While the possibility of a CDMA iPhone through Reliance Communications or Tata would help Apple, it is unlikely to generate significant volumes in India,” said Daryl Chiam, a senior analyst at research firm Canalys.

Change the plan, Apple!

Given that almost 80% of the users in India use GSM, we at Firstain feel it would be apt for Apple to come out with a GSM iPhone in India rather than a CDMA one. Though it may not be a success immediately due to the high price and competition from Android (running on cheap smartphones), it can surely be more rewarding comparatively. But again, everything has its pros and cons and by going for a GSM handset, Apple are exposed to more competition from established firms like Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, HTC, and of course RIM.

Firstain’s Verdict

After spending hours researching on the matter and  writing what i wrote above, we still do not know the legibility of the rumors. It might be totally possible that Apple would still like to stay away from the quickly growing telecom market in India. They indeed spur things up royally.

BUT, if the rumor mill have got it right, then a GSM iPhone would be a better bet for Apple. Not only will they cater to a larger target audience (80% GSM users), they will also do away with some minor problems faced by CDMA users like inability to use data connection during a voice call, etc. So the stage is set for Apple to arrive. But will they claim it? Only time will tell.

Please let us know through your comments: What, according to you, should be Apple’s modus operandi? A CDMA iPhone or a GSM iPhone?

Via WSJ

Few articles related to this entry:

Airtel launches Micro Sim Cards in India

Use Apple iPhone 4 in India

Vodafone Essar to get iPhone 4 in India by September 2010

Nokia N8 review. The best nokia 3G phone at the moment.

Coming Soon: Samsung Galaxy i899

If you are in India and use Reliance CDMA phones, then there’s some good news for you: Reliance Mobile is set to launch the first Android-powered CDMA device in India – the Samsung Galaxy i899.

Being India’s 1st CDMA Phone on Android Platform, and having 4GB internal memory (expandable to 32GB), there’s more than one reason why this cool i899 will make your friends jealous.

Key Features

  • India’s 1st CDMA Phone on Android Platform
  • Rich Mobile Internet experience
  • Apps Supported-Orkut,Facebook,Gmail,Googletalk,GoogleMap
  • 3.2 Megapixel Camera, LED Flash & Auto focus
  • Expandable Memory Upto 32GB
  • Push & Pull mail service
  • Music & Video Player supports DivX Video Playback
  • 3.2″,AMOLED screen,320×480,16millions color display
  • Mobile Safari Web browser supported
  • High Capacity Battery (1440mAh)
  • Reliance Netconnect
  • Bluetooth (HSP/A2DP), Wi-Fi support
  • Phone book (depends internal memory 230MB)

Apart from the above features, the phone supports Video and Voice Recording, Hindi SMS, 3-way call conferencing, Airplane mode and a “bar type design”. It also has dedicated media keys and full Hindi Interface (optional of course).

Weighing just 126.4 g and running on Operating Frequency of CDMA 800 MHz, this stylish light-weight phone has a touch a class written all over it.

The 1440 mAh Lithium Ion battery supports upto 6.7 hours of talk time and upto 588 hours of standby time.

Availability: Coming Soon
Price: Undisclosed (around Rs.12,000 – Rs.15,000 as the rumors go)