Amazon Fire Phone Discontinued

Amazon has finally discontinued sales of the Fire Phone, the firm’s first smartphone that was launchedin June last year. The news does not come as a surprise, as the online retail giant has been struggling to gain traction with offering ever since launch.

At the Fire Phone launch, critic reviews were not very favourable, with most taking the stance that Amazon smartphone featured gimmicks such as 3D effects ‘Dynamic Perspective’ and the object scanner ‘Firefly’ were not enough to entice users, especially at the $649 ($199 with a contract) price point that has several very popular offerings from giants like Apple and Samsung.

Despite numerous price cuts since then, the Amazon Fire Phone did not gain traction.

An Amazon executive last year had provided the possible reasons for the smartphone not doing well. David Limp, Senior Vice President of Devices, told Fortune, “We didn’t get the price right, […] I think people come to expect a great value, and we sort of mismatched expectations. We thought we had it right. But we’re also willing to say, ‘we missed.’ And so we corrected.”

News of Amazon’s discontinuation of the Fire Phone came after listings for the smartphone were spotted saying “currently unavailable” alongside the note, “We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.” In a statement to Geekwire, an Amazon spokeswoman confirmed the move, saying the firm had sold out its inventory of Fire Phone units in the US and globally by the end of August.

Amazon Fire Phone

Amazon Fire Phone

Display

4.70-inch

Processor

2.2GHz

Front Camera

2.1-megapixel

Resolution

720×1280 pixels

RAM

2GB

OS

Fire OS 3.5.0

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

13-megapixel

Battery capacity

2400mAh

Gionee to Begin Production in India With Foxconn and Dixon

gionee_f103_screen.jpg

Chinese handset company Gionee on Friday announced it will begin handset production in India in association with Dixon Technologies (India) Private Limited and the Foxconn Technology Group. Gionee claims it will be investing $50 million (approximately Rs. 330 crore) in the country over the next three years to facilitate its ‘Make in India’ plans.

Foxconn and Dixon will begin manufacturing Gionee smartphones in India from next month at their facilities in Sri City (Andhra Pradesh) and Noida respectively. While Foxconn has been given the responsibility of making Gionee’s F Series and P series of smartphones, Dixon will be making the other smartphones as well as feature phones. The two companies have a capacity of “more than 1.2 million handsets per month,” Gionee said via a prepared statement.

“Make in India as an initiative gives an opportunity to not only take Gionee as brand ahead but also to be actively able to participate in the growth of our economy through various touch points,” said Arvind Vohra, Country CEO & MD, Gionee India. “We are happy to have partnered with the best in business including Foxconn and Dixon and sure that this step will prove to be instrumental in the brands future.”

William Lu, President Gionee, added “India market is second home market to Gionee after China and the investment in India manufacturing is just another step in a line up of much more to come for the Indian market and customers.”

Gionee said it will also increase the investment in R&D team in India which will work on improving the overall software experience. This team will work on the Gionee’s custom UI Amigo to make it more suited for the needs of Indian consumers, the company added.

iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus Tipped to Sport 2GB of RAM

Apple’s new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus were unveiled at an event on Wednesday in San Francisco. The company revealed details about the innards alongside prices; though as usual skipped finer details like battery capacity and RAM.

Now, a Reddit post claims that the new iPhone models feature 2GB of RAM, in line with several rumours. The post says, “The 6s has 2GB RAM,” referring to the iPhone 6s and citing access to internal Apple documents. While the iPhone 6s Plus was not mentioned, both come with an almost identical set of innards.

(Also see: iPhone 6s vs. iPhone 6)

Similar to previous years, we will have to wait for the handset’s teardown to confirm the RAM value.Repair and teardown specialists iFixit had last year claimed that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus packed just 1GB of RAM.

A new Apple promo video on YouTube on Thursday hinted that the new iPhone 6s included a 1715mAh built-in lithium-ion battery. To recall, iPhone 6 came with an 1810mAh battery, a fact revealed only after a teardown of the smartphone. While the real world difference is just 95mAh; the company’s on its product page capacity claims both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s offer identical battery backup.

According to Apple, the iPhone 6s offers a talk time of up to 14 hours on 3G and up to 240 hours of standby time. Furthermore, the handset is listed to deliver an Internet usage time of up to 10 hours on 3G and up to 11 hours on Wi-Fi. The iPhone 6s can offer HD video playback time of up to 11 hours and audio playback of up to 50 hours. All the above claimed figures are same as the iPhone 6.

Separately on Thursday, Adobe in a blog post detailed its latest products for mobile devices including the name of the Project Rigel app – Photoshop Fix. In the post, the company had noted that the iPad Pro comes with 4GB RAM; though it soon pulled it down.

The price for the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus remain unchanged compared to their predecessors at launch. The iPhone 6s 16GB will be available at $649 (approximately Rs. 43,000); $749 (approximately Rs. 50,000) for the 64GB, and $849 (approximately Rs. 56,500) for 128GB model. The iPhone 6s Plus will be available at a starting price of $749 for the 16GB model, $849 for the 32GB model, and $949 (approximately Rs. 63,000)for the 128GB iPhone 6s Plus (all US prices).

Apple iPhone 6s

Apple iPhone 6s

Display

4.70-inch

Processor

A9

Front Camera

5-megapixel

Resolution

750×1334 pixels

RAM

OS

iOS 9

Storage

16GB

Rear Camera

12-megapixel

Battery capacity

See full Apple iPhone 6s specifications
Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

A9

Front Camera

5-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

OS

iOS 9

Storage

16GB

Rear Camera

12-megapixel

Battery capacity

iOS 9.1 Public Beta Brings Middle Finger Emoji and More

Apple has dropped a bunch of new emoji characters in the iOS 9.1 public beta it released on Thursday, following its announcement of a September 16 release date for iOS 9.

The iOS 9.1 public beta comes with a number of features including APIs for 3D Touch, and Live Photos, allowing developers to make apps and integration supporting these features. However, for the end user, the biggest attraction is the inclusion of several new emoji characters, including one that shows the middle finger.

middle_finger_emoji_emojipedia.jpgThe other operating systems that support the middle finger emoji include Windows 10, Android, and Windows Phone. The said emoji comes part of the Unicode Version 8.0 specifications, which includes a range of other new emoji characters including several faces, food, animals, and vehicles characters as well.

(Also see: Microsoft Will Include the ‘Middle Finger’ Emoji in Windows 10)

Apple will roll out iOS 9 to a range of its devices on September 16. While everyone else will have to wait for the iOS 9.1 update to arrive on their iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models, users signed up for Apple’s Beta Software Program can already start making use of the new features.

Those who can’t wait to flip the bird to their friends can sign up for the Beta Software Program on the company’s website. iOS 9.1 is expected to offer optimised versions of features like split-screen apps, and picture-in picture video playback, two of the three multitasking features for the iPad Pro, company’s 12.9-inch tablet.