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Over the past five years, Samsung’s Galaxy Note phablets have been the company’s mainstays in the second half of the year, while the Galaxy S series smartphones have done duty in the first half. However, this arrangement may be about to change and the company completely scrapping a flagship for the second half of the year.

Still dealing with the fallouts of the disaster that is the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung has reportedly decided to launch only one flagship smartphone a year. This information comes courtesy reports by reputed South Korean publications Sammobile and Korea Herald, both citing the news outlet Newsis.

Samsung has apparently decided to stick to only one flagship model for the year so that it can ensure that product quality is not compromised. The Galaxy Note 7 explosions have been attributed to faulty batteries, though it said that the company is still looking for a reason for the sudden fires.

Not only does this plan affect the fate of the future Galaxy Note devices, which reportedly has already been killed off, but it also means bad tidings for the company’s plans for a foldable smartphone. Samsung has long been rumoured to be working on a flagship smartphone with a foldable Oled screen; unlike devices with curved screens, this handset is said to be sport the clamshell form factor, but can be turned into a standard phone when needed.
If Samsung indeed plans to scrap a second flagship series starting 2017, this may also mean at least a delay in the launch of the foldable smartphone.

However, all hope is not lost. The Newsis report says that the company has not notified its suppliers of any change in schedule. This is a significant factor as scrapping a flagship model has a direct impact on the suppliers.

Samsung’s plans for the Galaxy S8, on the other hand, are still said to be on track. The smartphone is rumoured to be launched on February 26 next year, just ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It is said to have a 16- or 18-megapixel dual-camera setup on the back; rumours point to the end of Home button on Samsung phones with the launch of Galaxy S8.

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It’s no secret that Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world today, especially for this gang of robbers who decided to steal a bunch of iPhones and make a little profit. On Tuesday, a group of seven unidentified individuals robbed a busy store in Natick, Massachusetts and made away with 19 iPhones worth $13,000 (roughly Rs. 8,69,000), according to a report.

iPhones Worth $13,000 Stolen From Apple Store by Teens

The The MetroWest Daily reports that the group was caught on the store’s security camera. The footage shows seven individuals in hoodies, believed to be in their teens, entering the mall and making their way to the Apple Store. After gathering around the display tables where the iPhones are placed, the group managed to grab 19 iPhones before scrambling out. The whole incident was over in less than a minute, which suggests that the robbery was well planned out.

The Natick police are investigating the incident and believe the group might be connected to a similar event which occurred a few weeks ago in Hingham. In fact, there have been a string of such iPhone-related incidents over the past few weeks. Earlier in 2016, a total of 59 iPhones were stolen from New York Apple Stores by individuals disguised as employees. In September, two people were arrested for robbing a truck carrying over 1,000 iPhone 5s mobile phones worth Rs. 2.25 crores in Delhi, India.

Apple recently decided to remove tethers from its iPhones in various stores across the US. The company wanted the display units to feel more personal for potential buyers, and getting rid of the attached cable was one way of doing that. Invisible alarms are enabled on all these devices to prevent theft. The iPhones displayed at the Natick store, however, were tethered and the group cut the security cords for each before exiting the store.

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Facebook on Friday said that it will begin allowing more graphic or potentially disturbing newsworthy posts to be shared at the leading online social network.

“We’re going to begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy, significant, or important to public interest – even if they might otherwise violate our standards,” Facebook vice presidents Joel Kaplan and Justin Osofsky said in a blog post.

They explained that they were working with the social network’s community and partners on how exactly to recalibrate standards regarding which posts are deemed too offensive to allow.

“Our intent is to allow more images and stories without posing safety risks or showing graphic images to minors and others who do not want to see them,” Kaplan and Osofsky said.

Facebook has become a major platform for sharing news stories, and that has come with criticism for censoring some content despite it having historical or editorial value.

The California-based social network on Friday apologised for taking down a breast cancer awareness video because the images were flagged as offensive, saying the move was “an error”.

Swedish cancer charity Cancerfonden had put out word that its video explaining to women how to check for suspicious lumps, featuring animated figures of women with circle-shaped breasts, had been removed from Facebook.

“We find it incomprehensible and strange how one can perceive medical information as offensive,” Cancerfonden communications director Lena Biornstad told AFP.
Facebook faced outrage in September for repeatedly deleting a historic Vietnam War photo included in a post by Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

It said the iconic photo of a naked Vietnamese girl fleeing a napalm bombing violated its rules, but it later backtracked on the decision.

Facebook has a ban on posts that contain nudity, with some exceptions, such as images of works of art and women breastfeeding, or educational content. The social network also bans posts inciting violence or hate.

The Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that some Facebook employees lobbied at the social network to have some posts by US presidential candidate Donald Trump – such as those calling for a ban on Muslim immigration – branded hate speech and removed.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg rejected the request on the grounds it would amount to censoring a political candidate, according to the Journal.

Facebook boasts having some 1.7 billion users around the world.


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After being listed online ahead of its launch, the Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro smartphone has officially been unveiled in the Chinese market. Packing a humongous 6GB of RAM, the Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro is a mid-range smartphone, which will be available via Samsung’s China store starting November 11, with the pre-orders having already started. The Galaxy C9 Pro is priced at CNY 3,199 (roughly Rs. 31,700).

The specifications of the Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro are similar to what surfaced on Friday. The dual SIM (Nano+Nano) 4G-enabled Galaxy C9 Pro runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box. It is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 SoC, with four cores clocked at 1.95GHz and the rest at 1.4GHz. In a first for the company, Samsung has equipped the device with 6GB of RAM. The smartphone has a 6-inch full HD (1080×1920) AMOLED display.

For photography, the Galaxy C9 Pro packs a 16-megapixel camera on both front and rear. The rear 16-megapixel camera comes with an aperture of f/1.9 and a dual-LED flash. The selfie camera too has the same aperture sans the flash module. The smartphone packs inbuilt storage of 64GB that is expandable via a microSD card (up to 256GB).
The Galaxy C9 Pro has a fingerprint scanner mounted on its physical home button. The smartphone packs a 4000mAh battery with fast charging support. Apart from 4G LTE, the connectivity options on the Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro include Bluetooth v4.2, Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n), GPS, Glonass, Beidou, NFC, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm audio jack.


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Panasonic India on Thursday launched a new smartphone – the Panasonic P77. The budget smartphone comes with 4G and VoLTE support and is available at all Panasonic outlets across the country at Rs. 6,990 in Grey and White colour variants.

The Android 6.0.1 Lollipop-based Panasonic P77 is a dual-SIM smartphone that supports 4G only on SIM card slot at a time. It features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display, and is powered by a 1GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM.

The Panasonic P77 sports an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a 2-megapixel front camera. It bears 8GB inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB). The smartphone is powered by a 2000mAh battery.

Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and A-GPS. The Panasonic P77 measures 143x72x7.6mm.

Commenting on the launch, Pankaj Rana, Business Head – Mobility Division, Panasonic India, said, “We continue to focus on all the segments of mobile phones with different price points and value proposition. We are pleased to offer the new P77 with 4G VoLTE technology to our Indian customers at an affordable price of Rs. 6990. With this device, we reassure our commitment to offer better design & quality products to our valued customers.”

Panasonic also said it expects a 200 percent growth over the same period last year. “The company expects Rs. 600 crore sales this festive season. by aggressively expanding distribution network and launching more phone models,” Rana added.


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Xiaomi has been subtly teasing the launch of its upcoming Mi 5s. The Chinese smartphone maker on Monday released a teaser with a big ‘S’, hinting that the company is ready to unveil the Mi 5s on September 27. The phone has now been subjected to AnTuTu’s benchmark test, scoring a mighty impressive 164,119. Xiaomi is of course proud of the score, using it as a new teaser for the smartphone.

The teaser was posted soon after a leaked AnTuTu benchmark score of 164,002 for the Xiaomi Mi 5s hit the Web. Interestingly, the official Mi 5s AnTuTu score was released by Xiaomi soon after LeEco launched the Le Pro 3 on Wednesday. LeEco revealed the Le Pro 3’s AnTuTu score to be 163,544, which puts Xiaomi’s Mi 5s ahead. It remains to be seen, however, if Xiaomi will price the Mi 5s competitively seeing as how the Le Pro 3 comes with mighty specifications at a mid-range price starting CNY 1,799 (roughly Rs. 18,100).

Taking all the past leaks into consideration, the Mi 5s is expected expected to sport a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels). The Mi 5s is also expected to be powered by a 64-bit Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor with Adreno 530 GPU paired with 6GB of RAM. The storage option is expected to be at 256GB and the device is pegged to run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with MIUI 8 on top.
On the camera front, the Mi 5s is tipped to sport a 16-megapixel rear camera and a 4-megapixel front camera. The Xiaomi Mi 5s may support a fingerprint scanner, and is expected to sport an iPhone 7-like tactile home button.

A fresh rumour doing the rounds of the Internet suggests that Xiaomi could also be unveiling a smaller 4-inch variant of the Mi 5s. An alleged image of the smaller variant was spotted on Weibo. Specifications related to the 4-inch variant are very speculative at the moment. The device is expected to come with a 4.3-inch 720p display with a Snapdragon 820 processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB inbuilt storage.
With the 4-inch variant being rumoured, this puts the total list of phones Xiaomi is expected to unveil to four – the remaining devices being the bigger Mi 5s Plus and Mi Note 2. We’ll have to wait for September 27 event to see just how many new devices Xiaomi is planning to pull out of the bag.



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Uber on Thursday announced the availability of a new feature in India. Called Schedule a Ride, it allows users the convenience of booking an UberX or UberGo ride from 15 minutes to up to 30 days in advance.

In an emailed statement, the ride-hailing app said the Schedule a Ride feature is now available across over 20 cities in India. Uber added that the feature was one of the top-requested services across the world.
Amit Jain, President, Uber India, in a statement explained the rationale of bringing the Schedule a Ride feature to the country, “Uber’s objective to offer accessible and reliable rides goes a notch further with the introduction of ‘Schedule a Ride’ feature. Riders can use this feature to book a ride from 15 mins to 30 days in advance. For our driver-partners, it minimises idle time and for riders it is an additional comfort of knowing your Uber will be there when it’s time to head out.”
Talking about how the feature relates to the Uber for Business (U4B) ride management platform, the company in its statement added, “With the launch of ‘schedule a ride’ our Uber for Business customers now have the choice to plan every aspect of their business travel well in advance.”
To use the feature on the Uber app, select either UberGo or UberX, then tap Schedule a Ride. You will then be presented with the option to set a pickup date, time, location, and destination. Once you cross check these details are correct, then press the Schedule UberX or Schedule UberGo button.
From this point, you can choose to cancel the ride at any point before the ride is on its way to you. Uber specifies its standard cancellation policy applies to Scheduled Rides as well. Uber says it will send you reminders both 24 hours and 30 minutes in advance of your pickup. You’ll also be notified after your ride is on the way, as well as whether dynamic pricing applies.
Uber recently gained attention in the country when it introduced two new India-specific features – Request a Ride for Others, and Dial an Uber.


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Lava has launched a new X-series smartphone in India, the X28. Priced at Rs. 7,349, the handset is now available to buy via retailers across the country.

The Lava X28 features a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display, with a pixel density of 267ppi. The smartphone sports a screen-to-body ratio of 67 percent. The dual-SIM X28 smartphone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box and supports 4G, but only on one SIM card at a time. The Lava X28 supports 4G LTE bands in India – FDD-LTE Band 3 (1800MHz), Band 5, and TDD-LTE Band 40 (2300MHz). The smartphone also supports VoLTE (voice over LTE) with HD voice call compatibility, a highlight of the handset.

It sports an 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED flash, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera with LED flash. It is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor paired with 1GB of RAM. The Lava X28 packs 8GB of built-in storage and supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 32GB).

Backed by a 2600mAh battery, the handset offers up to 14 hours of talk-time on 3G and up to 16 hours of talk time on 2G. Connectivity options on the Lava X28 include GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with hotspot functionality, Bluetooth, FM radio, Micro-USB, and GPS.

The smartphone will be available in Gold and Silver colours. It measures 155x78x8.9mm and weighs 175 grams.

The domestic handset maker earlier this month ahead of the festive season announced a one-time screen-replacement offer valid for a duration of 365 days. The offer was announced for Lava mobiles purchased between September 15 and November 15 (both days inclusive) and was applicable to both smartphones and feature phones.

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Comcast plans to launch a cellphone service roughly in the middle of next year, although it would be limited to areas of the country where it’s a cable provider.

That could potentially offer real competition to carriers like Verizon and AT&T for a subset of the country. Comcast has just over 28 million customers.

The cable giant plans to create a service that would run on its 15 million Wi-Fi hotspots and use Verizon’s wireless network, which it has a deal to resell.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts confirmed the company’s plans at an investment conference Tuesday in New York.

He suggested that Comcast was looking at the mobile service as an add-on to customer bundles, and combining wireless service with Comcast cable or internet would likely make customers stick with Comcast longer.

The company has long looked at mobile service as another potential way to grow its business. Consumers are increasingly watching video on their phones.

Adding wireless service on to a cable bill could also mean some savings for Comcast customers.

“If Comcast is to make this a compelling offer, especially given their lack of history in wireless, they’re going to have to offer some steep discounts in their bundles,” telecom analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research said in an email.

Comcast spokeswoman Jenn Khoury declined to answer questions about the mobile service’s pricing and whether people who didn’t subscribe to Comcast cable or internet could sign up for it.

Several attempts by big cable companies to offer wireless service have foundered, like the Wi-Fi-only phone launched by New York-area cable company Cablevision in early 2015 (Cablevision is now owned by European telecom Altice). Cox Communications, one of the biggest cable companies, pulled the plug on its short-lived mobile phone service in 2011, saying it didn’t have the heft necessary to compete, including the ability to sell certain popular smartphones.

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In today’s weird news, a Chinese billionaire’s son purchased eight iPhone 7 smartphones. But that’s not the weird part. The iPhone 7 smartphones were purchased for the son’s dog. You may need a moment to digest what you just read, but the story is fantastically true.

Wang Sicong is the son of Wang Jialin, a Chinese businessman whose net worth is over $30 billion. The son bought his dog Coco eight iPhone 7s, according to a post on the dog’s account on Weibo. Yes, the dog has his own Weibo account too – and, it’s verified. The iPhone 7 in China is priced between CNY 6,388 and 7,988 (roughly Rs. 64,210 to Rs. 80,000), which means Sicong spent upwards of CNY 51,071 (roughly Rs. 5,13,000). For the son of a businessman worth $30 billion, that price would not pinch too much.
While Apple fans in China started lining up outside the Apple Store on Friday, Sicong easily managed to get eight of the latest devices from Apple only to give it to his beloved dog. The dog, of course, is seen happily posing with his new collection.

This isn’t the first time Wang Sicong’s dog has received such spotlight. In May 2015, Sicong purchased two Apple Watch Editions for his dog (named Wang Ke Chi Bi), which the dog flaunted on his two front paws. In fact, the Apple Watch Edition models were a lot pricier compared to the iPhone 7, costing somewhere between $10,000 (roughly Rs. 6,40,000) and $17,000 (roughly Rs. 11,00,000) each.
By the looks of it, Sicong’s dog is an all out Apple fan and one can expect him to sport the latest Apple Watch Series 2 in the near future.


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