Intel to Make ‘Significant Portion’ of the iPhone 7’s LTE Modems: Report

Intel to Make 'Significant Portion' of the iPhone 7's LTE Modems: Report

Apple’s next flagship smartphone, expected to be named the iPhone 7, will reportedly have some of its innards made by Intel. According to an analyst at CLSA Securities, Intel has secured orders for a “significant portion” of the cellular modems on Apple’s next-generation iPhone. The analyst adds that Apple isn’t looking to completely cut its reliance on Qualcomm.

CLSA analyst Srini Pajjuri citing “Asian supply chain checks,” claims that the chipmaker will supply about 30 to 40 percent of the iPhone’s cellular modems. The move will understandably have a negative impact on Qualcomm, which currently manufactures modems for iPhone models.

Pajjuri believes that Apple’s partnership with Intel for modems will have a 4 percent negative impact to its Qualcomm’s revenue, and 2 percent on earnings. Intel, on the other hand, will see a 1.5 to 2 percent increase in its revenue and earnings.

While Apple is looking to cut some reliance on Qualcomm, the company doesn’t plan to completely turn away from the chipmaker. On the contrary, the analyst believes that the company will “share shift back” to Qualcomm in 2017.

The analyst’s claims follows a report from VentureBeat from last year, which claimed that Intel had an “army of more than a thousand employees” working on chips for the iPhone. The report claimed that Apple was considering utilising Intel’s XMM 7360 LTE modem on the iPhone. The supposed partnership would have opened doors for Intel to fabricate the Ax series SoC for Apple as well.

The Intel XMM 7360 chip supports LTE category 10, which offers download speeds of 450Mbps and uplink speeds of 100Mbps. To recall, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus sport Qualcomm MDM9635 modem, which offers download speeds of 300Mbps and uplink speeds of 50Mbps. Though, the more appropriate counterpart for the Intel XMM 7360 LTE modem will be Qualcomm MDM9645 chip which supports 600Mbps download speeds and 150Mbps upload speeds.

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Tags: Apple, Intel, iPhone, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, Mobiles, Modem, Qualcomm

Make in India brand campaigners launch Motherland Joint Ventures

In a natural extension of its main brand, Motherland will also be involved in culture-related projects such as publishing, film, art and music. Photo: PTI

In a natural extension of its main brand, Motherland will also be involved in culture-related projects such as publishing, film, art and music. Photo: PTI

Mumbai: V. Sunil and Mohit Dhar Jayal, the men behind the fabulous campaigns for brands such as Make in India, Incredible India! Indigo and Royal Enfield have called it a day at Wieden + Kennedy, the American advertising agency they helped set up in India nine years ago. The duo, along with Rahul Bhatia, the promoter for InterGlobe Aviation Ltd (Indigo Airlines), have launched Motherland Joint Ventures Pvt. Ltd.

Motherland, an initiative which started out as a beautifully produced magazine covering Indian pop culture during the duo’s stint at W+K India, will now broaden its scope to operate in lifestyle-related product categories, including consumer products and urban regeneration projects, the first of which is already underway in Jodhpur.

Under this, the company is looking to restore some old havelis to make them into boutique hotels and retail spaces, as well as restore public spaces such as the step well. “The idea is to create spaces, and promote tourism, culture and shopping for people to enjoy. Unfortunately, like everything else in our country nothing is packaged well. So our endeavor will be to package, design and present to the world, what India has to offer,” said Sunil, director, Motherland.

In a natural extension of its main brand, Motherland will also be involved in culture-related projects such as publishing, film, art and music. The product line, which is also an integral part of this initiative, is currently in the development phase. “So, it could be anything from a toy plane to an actual plane, to even cities. Our job is to bring best in class practices from all over the world to participate and help execute projects,” said Sunil.

Between them, Motherland’s founders represent a good mix of business acumen and branding expertise: Sunil and Jayal, the former executive creative director and managing director, respectively, at W+K India, helped build India’s most successful global brands, we travel and hospitality industry such as InterGlobe Enterprises. The team will be joined by Bejul Somaia, managing director of Lightspeed India Partners, who will come on board as an advisor.

Motherland’s mission is to create globally competitive brands of Indian origin by collaborating with like-minded organisations and individuals in the pursuit of profit and social progress.


Hardware start-ups warm up to Make in India

Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorted entrepreneurs to make in India in his 2014 Independence Day speech, it was touted as a watershed moment for the manufacturing sector, which accounted for 17.3% of the country’s gross domestic product in 2013-14. The corresponding number for China stood at 36%, according to the World Bank.

The announcement was met with cheers across the country which, until 2013-14, had 48.85 million small and medium enterprises supporting 111.43 million jobs. A fillip to the manufacturing sector, experts reasoned, would translate into more jobs. Although the campaign was directed at boosting small and medium enterprises and encouraging large enterprises to manufacture in India, hardware-led technology start-ups that barely considered manufacturing in India, are also warming up to the initiative, though with caution.

“In some sense, it encouraged a lot of people to consider manufacturing here. Before the campaign, nobody was even considering it. Everybody would say we have to do the prototyping and go to China or Taiwan,” said Nihal Kashinath, founder of IoTBLR, an association which promotes Internet of things through events and workshops.

One of the most well-capitalized hardware start-ups, Grey Orange, which develops robots for warehouse automation, manufactures them in India. It has so far raised $30 million from venture capital firms Blume Ventures and Tiger Global.

According to Tracxn, a start-up tracker, at least 122 hardware-led tech start-ups were founded in 2014 and 85 last year. Out of them, 16 got funded in 2014 and 28 attracted investors in 2015. Total funding in hardware-led start-ups in the last two years added up to about $140 million, according to Tracxn data. Make in India has a host of initiatives such as allowing full or partial foreign direct investment in 25 sectors including automobiles, aviation, biotechnology, defence manufacturing and electronic systems. But the three important announcements that were relevant to start-ups were manufacturing incentives, focus on skilling labour and a simplified intellectual property regime.

However, stakeholders believe it is a little too early to celebrate the initiative as tangible benefits will only start showing in the next three to four years. There are infrastructural challenges to be met around connectivity and supply of skilled manpower.

“You need to give it two to three years to see the kind of traction that you are looking at. If you look at the likes of Micromax, Karbonn and Lava, if these big players are coming in a big way, the entire ecosystem will get a major fillip. Make in India covers both venture capital-funded start-ups and small and medium enterprises. It also covers large enterprises. Start-ups can join hands with a partner and such a move will help in branding as well,” said M.N. Vidyashankar, president, India Electronics and Semiconductor Association. A major fillip came in August last year when Foxconn Technology Co. Ltd, the world’s largest contract electronics maker, announced a $5 billion investment to set up manufacturing units in Maharashtra over the next five years.

A re-entry into India by the Taiwanese company has spurred other electronics makers to set up shop here and start the process of building a comprehensive, ground-up electronics supply chain that is essential for the Make in India push.

Over the last year, several international businesses and home-grown phone makers, who otherwise sourced from China, have set up shop in India.

China’s Lenovo Group Ltd started assembling smartphones in its 40,000 sq. ft facility in Chennai run by Singapore-based contract manufacturer Flextronics International Ltd. The same month, China’s Meizu Technology Co. Ltd, in which e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is a minority stakeholder, entered the Indian market and said it plans to make handsets in the country. The company is in talks with Foxconn. Karbonn Mobile India Pvt. Ltd set up a 150,000 sq. ft plant with an investment of Rs.50 crore in Noida in partnership with mobile phone designer, manufacturer and supplier Water World Technology Co. Smartphone brands Xiaomi Corp., InFocus and Oneplus have also partnered with Foxconn to manufacture devices in the country.

Chinese smartphone vendor Gionee said it has tied up with Foxconn and Dixon Technologies (India) Pvt. Ltd to start manufacturing mobile devices in India, and said it planned to invest $50 million in India over the next three years.

Micromax, which sources devices from China with Foxconn’s help, has now started making phones in India at its plant in Rudrapur. Rising labour costs in China, which dominates manufacturing, and an eagerness to reduce dependence on that country are pushing manufacturers to new destinations. One such place could be India, which last February raised customs duty on imported phones and handed out larger benefits for domestic producers of these phones and tablets to encourage local manufacturing.

“In a country of 1.2 billion, I see manufacturing not as a choice, but as a compulsion. From addressing the supply side of products to catering the needs of consumers to creating employment to adding to India’s GDP, I see a great viability. And as far as electronics manufacturing is concerned, it is a big opportunity. After China, we are the second largest consumer country today. So as far as viability (goes), I see tremendous opportunity here,” said Rajesh Agarwal, co-founder of Micromax Informatics Ltd.

“We are very strong on the software side, and simultaneously, we are also getting stronger on the hardware side also. Other thing is easy availability of labour. After China, we see the highest availability of labour in India and at much cheaper price than China,” he added. Indian start-ups such as CREO (Motiveprime Consumer Electronics Pvt. Ltd), which makes an Android-based smartphone brand that is currently designed in India but assembled in China, hopes to make use of the spillover benefits from phone makers assembling here.

“In terms of hardware, the most important thing that is currently not there is skilled labour. But with companies like Foxconn coming in, that will automatically change. When I heard of Make in India what I was expecting is that in three-four years we will have a skilled workforce. The second thing which I expected was some kind of benefits which I think the Startup India programme has announced in terms of taxation and in terms of simplification,” said Sai Srinivas, chief executive officer of CREO.

It is not just phone makers, but also start-ups in the defence sector who claim to have benefited.

For ideaForge which counts the armed forces and multiple state enforcement agencies as its clients, two announcements—shifting the FDI limit in the defence sector from 24% to 49% and considering non-repatriable investments by non-resident Indians and persons of Indian origin on par with Indian investment—proved to be key.

“These are very enabling moves for start-ups because a lot of investments in the high technology space and hardware category is likely to come only from people outside the country because a lot of Indian investors do not yet appreciate hardware technology based start-ups,” said Ankit Mehta, CEO at ideaForge.

Mehta said he is hoping more will be done.

“There are a lot of other issues as well, and I’m yet to see any action on them. Make in India is yet to carve out a niche for Indian designed and developed technologies. There should be some additional incentives for our start-ups and they should be given an advantage in terms of procurement,” he said.

However, experts said the Make in India initiative is directed more at small and medium enterprises than venture capital-backed start-ups.

“I would agree that Make in India is more inclined towards small and medium enterprises though it talks about innovation and products,” said Savan Godiawala, senior director, Deloitte.

Godiawala pointed out that despite the favourable technological climate, issues around connectivity and infrastructure need to be sorted out before people fully buy into the campaign. Last month, the government announced measures to boost start-ups including a Rs.2,500 crore annual fund for the next four years, exemption from capital gains tax on investments via this fund, self-assessment for three years and faster patent applications, initiatives which are likely to encourage entrepreneurship in India.


Delhi’s Odd-Even Rule: 5 Apps to Make Your Life Easier

Delhi's Odd-Even Rule: 5 Apps to Make Your Life Easier

There are a lot of different apps that claim they will be able to help you manage your commute while the odd-even scheme is being trialled in Delhi from January 1. From autorickshaw aggregators to carpooling, many websites and apps have come up, but not all are helpful – some are just hastily put together solutions that crash at all the wrong moments. Here are some apps that will actually help you to commute without difficulty once the odd-even rules go into force from Friday.

1) Odd Even Ride
This free Android app lets you find people nearby you can carpool with. You just have to enter your car and phone number, and then you get a list of all the other people who are on a similar route, with similar timings. You can contact them with the press of a button, either by SMS, or via a call, and one your details are saved, you don’t need to enter them again if you want to see who is free to commute with you.

odd_even_ride.jpg2) Ola CarPool/ Ryde/ BlaBlaCar
If you’re not keen to agree to a fixed carpool with someone – maybe your timings are variable, or your destination location isn’t always fixed – then you could look at carpooling through services like Ola CarPool (iOS | Android), BlaBlaCar (iOS | Android), or Ryde (iOS | Android). You can register your car with these services, and once you do, you can tell the company that you’re driving, and set the origin and destination.

ola_carpool.jpgOther people can now log into these services, and see if they want to carpool with you – carpooling is free on Ola, but allows you to “gift” money to the person you took a ride with via Ola Money. BlaBlaCar and Ryde have a straightforward payment system which is handled within the app.

3) UberPool/ Ola Share/ Meru
You’re probably already familiar with Uber (iOS | Android), Ola (iOS | Android), and Meru (iOS |Android). All these platforms now allow you to “share your ride” – tap a button on the screen to let the app know you’re willing to share, and it will allow other people who are headed in the same direction to take the cab too. It’s voluntary, but also cheaper than riding alone. Save money and the environment too.

uber_pool_twitter.jpg4) Zoomcar
Don’t want to hire a cab, and aren’t comfortable with carpooling? You could try one of the self-drive car rental apps, such as Zoomcar (iOS | Android). You’ll get a car with the right numberplate when you need it. It’s pretty easy and takes just a few taps on your phone, delivered and picked up from your home. It’s not the most cost effective solution though – booking a car from Sunday night to Friday night will cost you at least Rs. 3,000 – around Rs. 600 per day. This includes not just the price of booking the car, but also fuel.

Not an app, but a useful website anyway, Odd-Even is a simple website that can help you find a commute partner to carpool with. Just enter your details – location, whether your car is odd/ even, and then search for a commute partner. You can also specify age and gender preferences if you want.

odd_even_dotcom.jpgOther than these apps, you could consider using apps like Grofers and Peppertap to take care of your day to day needs, but if it’s close enough, walk to the market instead – you’ll get a little extra exercise in the process as well.