Apple, Epson Face French Legal Complaints Over Allegedly Shortening Life of Products

Apple, Epson Face French Legal Complaints Over Allegedly Shortening Life of Products

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A French consumer association filed preliminary, legal complaints
  • Apple is already facing lawsuits in the US
  • Planned obsolescence is illegal in France

Smartphone maker Apple and Japanese printer company Epson are facing legal complaints in France over allegedly speeding up the ageing process of their products to stimulate demand.

A French consumer association called “HOP” – standing for “Stop Planned Obsolescence” – filed preliminary, legal complaints in court against the two groups over the charges.

HOP said it filed its complaint against Apple in Paris on Wednesday. A prosecutor opened an investigation into Epson last month, a judicial source said on Thursday, following a complaint filed in September by HOP in a court in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.

Laetitia Vasseur, co-founder of HOP, told Reuters the aim of both complaints was to apply the French consumer law, which was modified in 2015 to include the notion of planned obsolescence.

Apple is already facing lawsuits in the United States over accusations of having defrauded iPhone users by slowing down devices without warning to compensate for poor battery performance.

These lawsuits came after Apple said last week that operating system updates released since “last year” for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 included a feature “to smooth out” power supply from batteries that are cold, old or low on charge.

Phones without the adjustment would shut down abruptly because of a precaution designed to prevent components from getting fried, Apple said.

Under French law, companies risk fines of up to 5 percent of their annual sales for deliberately shortening the life of their products to spur demand to replace them.

A spokeswoman for Epson France said Epson denied the charges made against it by the HOP association. She added that Epson was working with authorities on the matter and that the quality of its products was of the utmost importance for the company.

Officials for Apple France could not be immediately reached for comment.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Behind Seattle’s history of creative prowess

A city of misfits, with its own way of doing things, Seattle is attracting creative minds from around the world.

A few years ago, Fast Company ranked Seattle as the most creative city in the world. Seattle is also a city of brands that have greatly impacted consumers and, to the marketing industry, are foundations of the city with names like Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon, Nordstrom, REI and Boeing coming out of here.

This mix makes for a lethal combination. Though Wieden + Kennedy is the most well-known agency in the area there are other names to reckon with too – Cole & Weber (in the 1980s and 90s) and now, Wongdoody, Possible, Wexley School for Girls, DNA Seattle and others. But what makes Seattle the creative powerhouse it is?

The fundamental reason is a sense of innovation and being different. Technology too has been part of the transition and is one of the main drivers of the region. But what else makes the creative community here tick?

[“Source-afaqs”]

Airtel Partners Intex, Offers Aqua Lions N1 at an Effective Price of Rs. 1,649

Airtel Partners Intex, Offers Aqua Lions N1 at an Effective Price of Rs. 1,649

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Intex Aqua Lions N1 was unveiled on Wednesday alongside the offer
  • Two older Intex smartphones were also brought under Airtel’s offer
  • Airtel previously partnered with Karbonn and Celkon

Airtel has partnered Intex to bring three of the domestic brand’s smartphones under its Mera Pehla Smartphone initiative, which offers cashback to sweeten the purchase and lock customers onto the operator’s network. Thus far, Airtel has partnered with Karbonn and Celkon, with Intex becoming the third manufacturer to join the telco’s initiative. With the announcement on Wednesday, Intex has also launched a new smartphone – Intex Aqua Lions N1- while bringing its previously launched Intex Aqua S3 and Intex Aqua A4 under the offer’s umbrella.

Let’s start with the offer, before coming to the specifications of the newly launched Intex Aqua Lions N1. As before, Airtel subscribers with an eligible Mera Pehla Smartphone will need to make recharges of any denominations but worth Rs. 3,000 in the first 18 months to receive a cashback of Rs. 500, and recharges worth another Rs. 3,000 in the second 18 month period to claim a cashback of Rs. 1,000 – bringing the total cashback to Rs. 1,500. Users can choose to avail the bundled Rs. 169 pack, which for eligible handsets has a 28-day validity, and offers unlimited calling (subject to fair usage policy) apart from 0.5GB high-speed data a day. The refunds will be credited to the user’s Airtel Payments Bank account.

Getting to the ‘effective prices’ of the Intex handsets under the Airtel Mera Pehla Smartphone offer, the telco says the Intex Aqua Lions N1 has an MRP of Rs. 3,799 but will be available at an MOP (something that Airtel is calling a down payment) of Rs. 3,149. When the Rs. 1,500 cashback is subtracted, the Aqua Lions N1’s effective price is said to be Rs. 1,649. In a similar fashion, the Intex Aqua A4 has an MRP of Rs. 4,999, but will be available at an MOP of Rs. 3,499, bring its effective price after cashback to Rs. 1,999. Finally, the Intex Aqua S3 is said to have an MRP of Rs. 6,649, an MOP of Rs. 5,879, and an effective price of Rs. 4,379 after cashbacks.

Getting to the specifications, the Intex A qua A4 was launched back in May, and you can check out its details in our previous coverage. Likewise, the Aqua S3 was launched in June.

As we mentioned, the Intex Aqua Lions N1 is a brand new smartphone running Android 7.0 Nougat, and it supports dual-SIM cards. It sports a 4-inch WVGA (480×800 pixels) display, and is powered by a 1.1GHz MediaTek processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. The smartphone bears a 2-megapixel rear camera and a 0.3-megapixel (VGA) front facing camera. It offers 8GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB) with its own dedicated slot. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, 3.5mm headphone jack, and Micro-USB.

A little background on the Airtel Mera Pehla smartphone initiative – the telecom operator launched the programme back in October in response to the Jio Phone that was marketed with a similar ‘effective price’ strategy. The launch was with the Karbonn A40 Indian, and the telco partnered the domestic brand again in November with the Karbonn A1 Indian and Karbonn A41 Power. In between, it also partnered Celkon for its Smart 4G smartphone.

Other telcos to follow the Jio Phone’s effective price model include Vodafone India with the Micromax Bharat-2 Ultra, and BSNL with the Micromax Bharat 1 feature phone. Vodafone late last month unveiled similar offers for the Micromax Bharat 2 Plus, Micromax Bharat 3, Micromax Bharat 4, and the Micromax Canvas 1.

Speaking on the launch, Ajai Puri, Chief Operating Officer (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel said, “We are really pleased to see the continued positive response to our ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ initiative from customers as well as smartphone manufacturers. We are delighted to have Intex on board as a partner and their brand familiarity plus distribution reach will add to our affordable smartphone proposition and offer more choice to our customers. We look forward to working with them towards empowering every Indian with a 4G smartphone.”

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Intex Aqua Lions N1

Intex Aqua Lions N1

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

4.00-inch

Processor

1.1GHz

Front Camera

0.3-megapixel

Resolution

480×800 pixels

RAM

1GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

8GB

Rear Camera

2-megapixel

Battery Capacity

1400mAh

Also See
  • Intex Aqua Lions 3G (Grey, 8GB) – OFFER
    Rs.4,210
  • Intex Aqua Lions 3G (Grey, 8GB)
    Rs.4,220
  • Intex Aqua Lions 4G (Black Grey, 8GB) – OFFER
    Rs.4,295

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Vodafone Launches Itel A20 Smartphone at an ‘Effective Price’ of Rs. 1,590

Vodafone Launches Itel A20 Smartphone at an 'Effective Price' of Rs. 1,590

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Itel A20 will come with a cashback offer worth Rs. 2,100
  • Customers need to stick to the handset for 36 months
  • The cashback will be available through M-Pesa

Vodafone India on Tuesday announced its partnership with China’s Transsion Group-owned Itel Mobile to launch the Itel A20 in the country with an effective price of as low as Rs. 1,590 – actually priced at Rs. 3,690. The subscriber opting the new launch will need to adhere to Vodafone network and the same handset for a period of three years. Previously, Vodafone India tied up with Micromax to offer a cashback worth Rs. 2,200 on its select Bharat and Canvas series 4G smartphones.

Similar to the terms for a customer opting for a 4G Micromax smartphone under the previous cashback offer, buyers picking up the Itel A20 will need to recharge their Vodafone accounts with at least Rs. 150 per month for 36 months. The recharge can be done either cumulatively or as a one-time recharge. At the end of the 18-month span, the customers will receive a cashback of Rs. 900. After another 18 months, Vodafone will offer the rest Rs. 1,200 in the form of a cashback. The cashbacks will be generated through the M-Pesa wallet and can be used to recharge, pay bills, transfer money, or withdraw cash. Eventually, Vodafone will get a chance to retain its subscriber base as well as push its subscribers to continue to use M-Pesa wallet for the next 36 months after purchasing the Itel A20.

The bundled offer for the Itel A20 will be available for Vodafone India subscribers until March 31, 2018.

The Android 7.0 Nougat-based Itel A20 runs Android 7.0 Nougat, and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, coupled with 1GB RAM. It sports a 4-inch WVGA (480×800 pixels) display. The 4G VoLTE-enabled smartphone supports dual-SIM cards (Normal+Micro), packs a 1700mAh battery, and has 8GB of onboard storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB). It bears a 2-megapixel rear camera with flash, and a 0.3-megapixel (VGA) front camera. Sensors on board include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and proximity sensor. It will be available in Champagne Gold, Dark Blue, and Silver colour variants.

“We are delighted to partner with Itel to hand hold customers as they transition from feature phone to smartphone and provide a rich experience with Vodafone SuperNet 4G. We firmly believe, that affordable handsets along with pocket-friendly data prices will accelerate data adoption. The exciting cashback offers will make this digital journey a more affordable and enriching one for our customers,” said Avneesh Khosla, Associate Director – Consumer Business, Vodafone India, in a press statement.

Vodafone isn’t alone in the race of bringing smartphone bundling offers in India. Earlier this month, Bharti Airtel partnered with Intex to launch the Intex Aqua Lions N1 for an effective price of Rs. 1,649 under its Mera Pehla Smartphone initiative. BSNL also brought the Micromax Bharat 1 as a rival against Rs. 999 Jio Phone back in October. Further, Vodafone even partnered with Micromax last month to offer Rs. 2,200 cashback on the Micromax Bharat 2 Plus, Micromax Bharat 3, Micromax Bharat 4, and the Micromax Canvas 1.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Itel A20

Itel A20

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

4.00-inch

Processor

1.3GHz quad-core

Front Camera

0.3-megapixel

Resolution

480×800 pixels

RAM

1GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

8GB

Rear Camera

2-megapixel

Battery Capacity

1700mAh

Also See
  • Itel it5231(Blue) – OFFER
    Rs.1,420
  • Itel IT5231 (Champagne Gold) – OFFER
    Rs.1,490
  • Itel iT5233 (Grey) – OFFER
    Rs.1,785

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]