Monthly Archives: April 2017

Makes Smart TV Push in Joint Venture With TCL

Tencent Holdings, China’s largest social media and gaming company, agreed on Wednesday to feature its video content on the smart TVs of China’s biggest television maker TCL to expand its content dominance from mobile phones to living rooms.

Under an agreement announced on Wednesday that followed Tencent’s capital injection into a TCL unit, Tencent will pre-load its entertainment content onto TCL’s Internet-connected, or smart TVs, which feature voice control and customised search recommendations.

On Monday, Tencent agreed to invest CNY 450 million ($66.18 million or roughly Rs. 428 crores) in TCL subsidiary Shenzhen Thunderbird Network Technology, making Tencent the second-largest shareholder with a 16.67 percent stake in the subsidiary behind TCL’s FFALCON brand Internet TVs.

This is Tencent’s second investment in smart TVs in a month. On June 6, it invested CNY 300 million for a 7.71 per cent stake in Coocaa, a smart TV subsidiary of TCL competitor Skyworth Digital Holdings.

TCL shipped 20 million LCD TV sets in 2016, half of them smart TVs. That makes it the world’s third-largest liquid crystal display TV maker behind Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, according to IHS Technology.

Tencent would work with TCL on extending its advantage in delivering online content to delivering so-called over-the-top services, said Zhao Gang, general manager of the living room products department at Tencent Video.

Zhao was referring to content services, such as movies and video, provided by internet companies beyond the media transmitted by traditional telecommunications companies like cable operators. Streaming content provided by Netflix and through Apple’s Apple TV devices are examples of over-the-top services.

Zhao was also emphatic that the TCL investment did not mean Tencent was moving into manufacturing hardware.

“We would never touch hardware production. We want to be a supporter and enabler of our partner,” said Zhao.

Tencent’s Tencent Video unit is China’s largest online video streaming website, according to the company. It has a library of entertainment and live sports content with copyright, and also makes its own productions.

Tencent Video and TCL hope the tie up will increase their membership bases and raise their revenue from user spending on content, said Tony Guo, chief executive of FFALCON Technology.

Energizer Launches Cases, Chargers, Cables, and Other Mobile Accessories in India

Avenir Telecom, a licensee of Energizer brand for smartphones and accessories, on Wednesday at an event in New Delhi announced its foray into the Indian market with the launch of a slew of Energizer accessories. The range of products includes tempered glasses, USB cables, charging solutions, Apple-certified products, and USB hub stations, among others. Energizer products will go on sale in India starting July 17 on both offline and online channels including Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, and Tata Cliq. The French company has partnered Paras Group for distribution, and the latter will be responsible for offline sales through its retail outlets spread across 15 major cities.

The company says the Energizer products launched are targeted at consumers “fed up of duplicate accessories” and are on a lookout of better substitutes. Energizer products come in three categories – classic, hi-tech, and ultimate for the products like mobile cases & covers, USB chargers, travel adapters, multi-plug chargers, car kits, and USB connectors with 1.2-metre long cables. Besides, the company also provides accessories for corporate uses such as the multi-connector power station that can charge up to six devices at a time.

As we said, the entire product range will be available for purchase on both offline and online platforms with international warranty up to two years. However, the pricing of the individual products has not been disclosed by the company with just a price segment of Rs. 399 to Rs. 2,999.

In addition, Energizer shockproof and waterproof mobile cases, which will protect iPhone high-end Samsung Galaxy models from accidental fall, dust, and water, with their IP68 rating. The company claims that the waterproof case can allow the smartphone usage underwater up to one hour and to a maximum depth of 30 metres, whereas the shockproof case will provide protection to your smartphone against accidental fall up to three metres. The company told Gadgets 360 that it will launch similar mobile cases for other smartphones including the mid-range and low-range ones in future.

The company said it is also working on stretchable USB cables and lifetime cables under the Energizer brand that will come with 5 years of international warranty, which will be a first in the battery solutions market across the globe, the company claims. Talking about the Energizer’s charging connector cables, the company is also touting a ‘power sharing cable’ that can charge any phone (both iPhone and Android) from another OTG-supported phone. The company also revealed that it will launch a Bluetooth-controlled surge protector in the second phase in India.

Speaking at the launch, Business Development Director, South Asia & South East Asia at Avenir Telecom, Manish Prasad commented “For years, Energizer has brought consumer focused products that power the essential devices which help people stay connected throughout the time providing a complete solution to fulfil daily lifestyle needs.” He further added, “Energizer is going to continue the same legacy in India providing their customers with superior quality products, eventually increasing penetration rate in Indian market for the technology sector.”

Xiaomi Redmi 4A to Be Available for Purchase via Amazon India Today

Xiaomi Redmi 4A, one of the most popular budget smartphones in the market today, will be made available to purchase in the country on Thursday, via Amazon India. The Redmi 4A flash sale starts at 12pm IST, and the smartphone will be offered in three colour variants – Gold, Dark Grey, and Rose Gold. To recall, the smartphone was first launched in India back in March at Rs. 5,999, and comes in only one configuration: 2GB RAM and 16GB storage.Since its March launch, the smartphone has been either made available to buy via weekly flash sales, or via special one-off sales.

Xiaomi Redmi 4A specifications

Featuring a polycarbonate body, the Redmi 4A (Review) bears a hybrid dual-SIM card slot, and runs MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The smartphone features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display, and is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 425 SoC coupled with the Adreno 308 GPU and 2GB of RAM.

It sports a 13-megapixel sensor with PDAF, a 5-lens system, an f/2.2 aperture, and is backed by a LED flash. There is a 5-megapixel sensor with an f/2.2 aperture on board as well. The Redmi 4A comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB).

The Redmi 4A’s connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS/ A-GPS, and Bluetooth v4.1. Sensors on board the smartphone include accelerometer, ambient light, gyroscope, infrared, and proximity. Dimensions of the new Xiaomi smartphone are 139.5×70.4×8.5mm, and it weighs in at 131.5 grams. Redmi 4A is powered by a 3120mAh battery with fast charging support.

Forms Self-Driving Car Alliance

he top Chinese Internet search firm, has formed a broad alliance to promote self-driving cars, pitting its Apollo platform against Alphabet Inc’s system, it said on Wednesday, in hopes of getting the vehicles on the road in China by 2019.

The alliance includes partnerships with automakers, suppliers, startups, universities and local governments and is built around Baidu’s Apollo self-driving platform, which was developed at itstech center in California’s Silicon Valley. Apollo is aimed at Alphabet’s Waymo self-driving package.

Among the key development partners on Apollo are Nvidia, which specializes in microprocessors and artificial intelligence, and mapping expert TomTom NV.

In mid-morning trade, Nvidia shares were up 2.6 percent to $142.94 and Baidu US shares rose 2.3 percent to $184.15. In Amsterdam, TomTom was up 3.2 percent to EUR 8.85.

Ford Motor and Daimler AG also are partners, Baidu said, as well as supplier Delphi Automotive and chipmaker Intel.

Baidu said at a briefing in Beijing it is partnering with five Chinese vehicle manufacturers, including Chery Automobile, BAIC Motor, FAW Group Corp, Chongqing Changan Automobile and Great Wall Motor. All but Great Wall are state-owned.

German suppliers Robert Bosch, Continental Automotive and ZF Friedrichshafen are also part of the alliance.

Baidu has said its goal is to get self-driving vehicles on the road in China, possibly by 2019, and eventually in other markets, including the United States.

Baidu is an investor in Nio, a Silicon Valley electric vehicle startup also backed by China’s Tencent Holdings and Lenovo. Nio hopes to put its first self-driving cars on US roads in 2020.

Two weeks ago, top officials from Baidu and Chery met in Silicon Valley to sign an agreement to collaborate on the development of intelligent, Internet-connected vehicles, according to a source familiar with the companies’ plans.

Chery has installed Baidu’s self-driving software in several prototype cars in China and they could further deepen their relationship to include manufacturing.