Tag: india

Judges scrap Indian Facebook law

India_flagThe Supreme Court in Delhi has decided that a law which could have people sent to jail for making pretty harmless comments on Twitter and Facebook is unconstitutional.

The judges say section 66A of the Information Technology Act breached the Indian constitution and struck it from the statute book.

The order was made after it was successfully argued that this section of the law violated the principles of freedom of speech and expression.

The law allowed people to be sent to prison for three years for sending emails or other electronic communications that upset or annoyed other people.

Several people have been arrested for posting comments about politicians on Facebook, and for sending tweets that annoyed people.

 

Samsung kicked in India

India_flagSamsung is being pushed out of its key Indian market by a local budget smartphone maker Micromax.

Micromax has become the leading supplier in India’s booming smartphone market for the first time in the fourth quarter.

According to beancounters at research firm Canalys, New Delhi based Micromax accounted for 22 percent of smartphone sales in India in the October-December quarter, ahead of Samsung’s 20 percent. In total, 21.6 million smartphones were sold in India in the period, a 90 percent surge from a year earlier.

India, which has the world’s second-highest number of mobile phone accounts after China, is the third-biggest market by number of smartphones sold. Low-priced smartphones are the top sellers in a country where many buyers are upgrading from feature phones.

Micromax’s performance was partly due to its “continuing appeal to mobile phone users upgrading to smartphones,” Canalys said.

It estimated nearly a quarter of smartphones sold in India in the fourth quarter were devices priced under $100, while 41 percent of devices sold were in the $100-$200 range.

Micromax and Samsung were followed by two other Indian budget smartphone brands, Karbonn and Lava, by number of handsets sold in fourth quarter. Japan’s Sony Corp said its net annual loss will likely be smaller than previously forecast after cost cuts and higher-than-expected sales of its image sensors and PlayStation video game consoles helped its third-quarter profit beat estimates.

 

India bans sex determination tests

India_flagThe Supreme Court of India today ordered Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo not to carry adverts for products that will predict the gender of a child.
The court made the ruling because female infanticide and abortion of female children is relatively common in India.
The Supreme Court said that such factors were causing an imbalance of genders in India..
A few days ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the country’s sex ratio was deteriorating.
The practice of determining a future child’s sex is illegal in India. Modi is currently promoting a campaign in India stressing gender equality. The decision is an interim decision, according to India Today, and will be reviewed again in early February.

Indian cloud services worth close to a billion

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeA report from Gartner said cloud services in the subcontinent will be worth $838 by the end of this year.
That figure will be up by almost a third – revenues last year totalled $632 million.
The revenues are being generated by cloud infrastructure as a service (Iaa), management and security, and infrastructure platform as a service (PaaS).
The market will be worth $1.9 billion by 2018, Gartner predicts.
Ed Anderson, a research VP at the market analysis firm, said Indian organisations looking to outsource their IT are turning to public cloud services.
“Cloud services are not only being used for low value or transient workloads, but also increasingly for production workloads, including some mission critical initiatives,” he said.
While business process as a service (BPaas) was worth $130 million in 2014, it will be with $351 million in 2018, while SaaS will grow from $246 million last year to $707 million in 2018.

 

India invented the airplane 7,000 years ago

India_flagThe Indian Science conference has hit the interwebs for the number of bizarre presentations being made.

If you believe the government-backed presentations, the world’s first plane was invented by the Hindu sage Maharishi Bharadwaj. Indian mathematicians also discovered the Pythagorean Theorem but the Greeks got the credit and elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesha got his head because of the superiority of ancient Indian plastic surgeons.

All this is part of a cunning plan by the more nationalist Indian government to push its country’s achievements the only problem is that they appear to have lost their marbles.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the conference on Saturday and urged the nation’s scientists to “explore the mysteries of science.” Modi was the one that said the elephant-trunked, pot-bellied Hindu god Ganesha got his head because of the presence of plastic surgeons in ancient India.

Anand Bodas, the retired principal of a pilot training facility claimed that the Indians invented the airplane because the ancient Vedas say so.

“The ancient planes had 40 small engines.” Also, he said, a flexible exhaust system that modern aviation can’t even approach – probably because they have to obey things like the laws of physics.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who was present at the session, said ancient Indian science was based on “experience and logic” and “that wisdom must be recognised”.

India’s science and technology minister, Harsh Vardhan, made another startling claim at the conference, saying that ancient Indian mathematicians also discovered the Pythagorean Theorem but that the Greeks got the credit.

Needless to say, Indian boffins are jolly cross about their conference being hi-jacked by pseudo-science nationalists. More than 200 scientists signed an online petition opposing Sunday’s scheduled lecture, called “’Ancient Indian Aviation Technology,” saying it amounted to “giving a scientific platform for a pseudo-science talk”.

“If we scientists remain passive, we are betraying not only the science, but also our children,” the petition said.

India bans OnePlus smartphone

flaggOnePlus is about to see its products banned in India after a ruling by the Delhi High Court that has prohibited the company from importing, marketing and selling its flagship device.

Local manufacturer Micromax that says OnePlus is infringing on the former’s exclusive deal with Cyanogen to make the Yu series of smartphones running on CyanogenMod, with the first device slated to launch tomorrow.

OnePlus ships the One with CyanogenMod on-board, so the Delhi High Court banned the company from importing and marketing any phones with CyanogenMod’s logo on the back.

OnePlus said it was working on its own ROM to power the One but it will take until February to get it ready. Cyanogen had confirmed that it would not be offering updates to the Indian variant of the One, so OnePlus will have its work cut out getting itself ready.

The OnePlus was popular and has already gone out of stock from Amazon India, which is the only retailer for the device.

The Delhi High Court has said that OnePlus can sue Cyanogen as per Californian laws for breaching its contract. It looks like the case will run and run, but it does mean that the product will be locked out of the lucrative Indian market.

Xiaomi banned in India

India_flagXiaomi has said it is ready to open talks with Ericsson after a patent row resulted in a temporary ban on its Indian business.

In New Delhi, the city’s high court issued an ‘ex parte’ injunction that prevents Xiaomi from importing and selling some of its smartphones in the country.

Officials have been ordered to visit Xiaomi India’s office to ensure it does not sell, advertise, manufacture or import devices that infringe the patents in question.

Xiaomi sells its Mi3, Redmi and Redmi Note phablet in India, but it is not clear which models are affected by this ruling.

Ericsson described Xiaomi’s use of its Standard, Essential Patents (SEPs) as “unfair.” It said its action is “a last resort” after Xiaomi ignored its letters for more than three years.

“Ericsson’s commitment to the global support of technology and innovation is undisputed. It is unfair for Xiaomi to benefit from our substantial R&D investment without paying a reasonable licensee fee for our technology,” a spokesEricsson said.

He said  Ericsson was looking forward to working with Xiaomi to reach a mutually fair and reasonable conclusion, just as we do with all of our licensees.

Xiaomi said that it had not received any note from the high court yet but claimed that it was willing to discuss the issue with Ericsson:

“India is a very important market for Xiaomi and we will respond promptly as needed and in full compliance with India laws. Moreover, we are open to working with Ericsson to resolve this matter amicably,” Xiaomi said.

Ericsson is said to be negotiating compensation for patents with a number of Indian smartphone makers, and it could be that its dispute with Xiaomi goes the same way.

Infosys founders sell $1 billion of shares

Infosys office in Mangalore - Wikimedia CommonsShares in Indian software services company Infosys fell on the Mumbai bourse today after four co-founders of the company sold the equivalent of $1 billion in shares.

They took advantage of an increased share price this year but the move meant the price of the stock fell by nearly five percent.

Co0founders NR Narayana Murthy, K. Denish, Nandan M.Nilekani and the wife of SD Shibulal claimed the sale was to fund “various philanthropic activities”, a statement from the co-founders said.

In a statement, the founders said they had spent mover three decades “nurturing the company”.

Infosys has over 160,000 employees and has fingers in almost every pie, including financial services, aerospace and defence, automative, enery and retail.

The seven co-founders of the company no longer have executive roles on the board, but control nearly 16 percent of the shares.

OnePlus loses Cyanogen in India

Kazimierz_Nowak_in_jungle_2Mobile phone operating system Cyanogen was supposed to be making its first foray into India under the bonnet of the OnePlus phone.

In the US OnePlus’ One smartphone has used Cyanogen, which is an operating system built atop Google’s Android, but it looks like that will not be happening in India.

Cyanogen has instead chosen to go with Micromax, an OEM more familiar to the Indian market. Cyanogen and Micromax also have an exclusive deal.

The deal makes sense. Cyanogen Micromax is perhaps the largest player in the Indian smartphone market. Cyanogen likely struck a deal to make inroads in the emerging market, shunning OnePlus in the process.

One Plus is a little cross saying that Cyanogen, put countless hours of work into making this launch a success. Just last month, on October 7, Cyanogen released the 38R OTA update which included SAR values inside phone settings to comply with Indian regulations.

“ It was surprising and disappointing to hear from Cyanogen on November 26 that they had granted exclusive rights in India over the Cyanogen system to another company. Prior to this, OnePlus and Cyanogen have successfully cooperated to release the OnePlus One or carry out commercial operations in 17 countries and regions (including India). It is truly unfortunate that a commitment we both made to our Indian users will now not be upheld, OnePlus.

Cyanogen has unequivocally committed to continuing this global support and we look forward to working with them for another year on continuously improving our device.

It said that its concern was its Indian users “who may feel disappointed or deceived.”

“We can’t explain Cyanogen’s decision because we don’t fully understand it ourselves. But we can explain exactly how we’ll continue offering our fans in India an amazing user experience and support for this device,” the company said.

One Plus says it will have its own OS built on Android Lollipop for India. Once ready, One Plus will set up shops in India to help users port their devices to the new OS, and offer online instructions for doing so. Cyanogen will continue to support One Plus devices elsewhere in the world.

 

Dell finds itself patronised

screen_image_398032_w620Computer maker Dell is planning to expand its manufacturing facility in India.

Top officials of Dell have apparently had words with the Telecom and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and expressed keen interest in expanding its Chennai plant. We assume that they were tapping Prasad for some sort of sweetener for the deal.

Judging by what he told the media, Prasad did not really seem to know what Dell is. Prasad said, “Dell is very interested in electronic manufacturing” which he was clearly surprised about. “Dell has a facility here which they want to expand and have expressed need to have complete ecosystem of components suppliers as well.”

“They told me that Dell employed 27,000 people in the country. They are very positive under (Narendra) Modiji led new government and with growing interest of investors in the country,” Prasad said.

Who would have thunk it? Dell wants to start manufacturing computers and already hires a lot of staff in India, we would have thought that Prasad might have heard of them

Dell has actually invested $30 million in a manufacturing facility at Sriperumbudur, near Chennai in Tamil Nadu.

India’s proximity with the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe make it superior location for export compared to other parts of Asia, Dell officials said.

“They also want to work on Digital India programme which is now a buzz word across the world. They have said that the programme should also be linked to e-commerce expansion in the country,” Prasad said.

 

Android open source project falters

Android building, WikimediaWhile Android Open Source Project (AOSP)  smartphone growth was  a staggering 211 percent in 2013, things are slowing right down, and a projection is growth will fall to 18 percent in 2015.

ABI Research said the previous growth figures were driven by the rise of Indian and Chinese handset vendors targeted at the domestic market, growth in the Chinese market is slowing.

And Google’s Android One move is attracting Indian manufacturers to become members of the certified Android camp, said Nick Spencer, an analyst of mobile devices at ABI.

He said that Google had engaged with chipset vendors such as Qualcomm and Mediatek to put together an Android One low cost reference design, the search corporation is worried about its market becoming too fragmented.

Android One is set to push Google’s attempt to commoditise the smartphone market, but AOSP is a threat to its own mobile strategy, showing that you can sometimes create too many initiatives and confuse your customers.

ABI has provided a table showing smartphone unit shipments by operating system:
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IT vendors expect cash bonanza from India

Narendra Modi, India's PM - picture Wikimedia CommonsNext year the Indian government is likely to spend a staggering $7.2 billion on information technology, promising rich pickings for vendors that can surf the wave.

According to market research firm Gartner, that figure will be a five percent increase over this year and the $7.2 billion cake includes plums that cover hardware, software, IT services and telecomms.

Anurag Gupta, a research director on the subcontinent for Gartner, reckons IT services will be worth $1.8 billion in 2015, and the business process outsourcing segment will grow by 22 percent during this year.

Government spending on software is likely to be worth $910 million in 2015 – much of that being on vertical software.

Gupta said the new government’s aims are only able to be achieved by using technology and digital government, in particular broadband penetration, cloud initiatives, and public private partnership.

There’s a little light at the end of the PC tunnel

IndiashareA report from IDC said that despite overall doom and gloom, there’s some pockets of the world where PC things are not that bad.

India, said IDC, showed a year on year growth of 4.8 percent for 2013, with 11.5 million units shipping.

Of course India has a population of over one billion people but it has never adopted the PC platform wholeheartedly.

The growth, said IDC, was largely due to state governments buying as part of a scheme to distribute free laptops to students.

And the enterprise segment managed 6.7 million units in 2013 – up 15.8 percent.

There are negative factors impacting the market, said IDC. Those include weak growth, slowdown in hiring people, the devaluation of the rupee and layoffs in the enterprise market.

And if you split out the consumer part of the market, that showed a year on uear decline of 7.4 percent.  The teapot in the broom cupboard are sales of smartphones and tablets.

Avnet partners with IBM SmartCloud

avnettsAvnet has chosen IBM SmartCloud as its platform for its Cloud Solutions programme in India.

The move is said to allow Avnet to offer small and medium business in India a selection of services in the cloud sector including storage capabilities in a utility model and customised services such as disaster recovery and managed services.

Avnet has a strong presence in India and it hopes that the cloud offerings will allow it to make more railroads into sectors such as retail, logistics, manufacturing, banking and financial services, public sector and education.

Its partnership with IBM SmartCloud will also mean that its partners benefit offering customers   access to enterprise-level IT at affordable price points without additional investment in infrastructure, security, back-up, upgrades and maintenance.

Avnet said the partnership would help those customers garner benefits by adopting a robust cloud architecture and service model, leapfrogging the traditional investment in enterprise IT and allowing them to focus on specific needs.

Say Tata to broke Indian outsourcers

Workers are pictured beneath clocks displaying time zones in various parts of the world at an outsourcing centre in BangaloreReports from India suggest that the country’s  IT outsourcing business is turning a corner after being in a slump for a while.

This means that the UK companies can expect to find tougher competition from Indian based software companies, outsources and contract service outfits in the near future.

Analysts predict an improvement in India’s outsourcing industry, which has been gutted for many quarters by shrinking IT budgets and a slowdown in decision making by customers in the traditional markets like US and Europe.

Research firm Offshore Insights predicts that the offshore market for outsourced services is will grow by 12 percent to 15 percent this year, as more customers are expected to increase IT spending.

India’s $100 billion IT services sector seems to be recovering thanks to the acceleration in IT spending by existing customers although there have been a few new sign ups.

This week, Nielsen Holding increased the size of its contract with India’s top software services exporter, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, to $2.5 billion from $1 billion.

India’s $100 billion IT services sector has been in the doldrums for a while but it seems to be recovering thanks to the acceleration in IT spending by existing customers.

TCS has major clients including General Electric, British Airways and Sony and competes with rival Indian software providers Infosys and Wipro as well as multinational firms such as IBM and Accenture Plc for outsourcing deals.

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) also forecasts that India’s exports of software and services will be between $84 billion to $87 billion in the Indian fiscal year from April 2013 to March 2014.

One of the problems that some business watchers believe that the Indian outsourcers will have to tackle is the fact that they are dependent on a revenue model that is largely dependent on the number of people working on a project.

This worked well when IT labour was cheap. While labour is still comparatively cheap in India, it is getting more expensive meaning that outsourcers have to woo new business with promises based on owning some natty technology and replicable processes.

They will have to shift more of their operations closer to their key markets in the US and Europe.