Companies & Sectors
Google 'Lollipop' is the new Android 5.0; Nexus 6 makes debut

Google also launched next version of its Nexus 6 smartphone, an aluminium frame device that has a six-inch high resolution screen and a 13-megapixel camera

 

Google has ramped up its mobile arsenal, upgrading its Nexus line with a new tablet and smartphone, and unveiling its revamped Android software, to be dubbed "Lollipop" or Android 5.0.

 

The US tech giant also announced the launch of a streaming media player for music, movies and videos, which can also allow users to play games via the Android TV device.

 

"Lollipop" or Android 5.0, the upgraded operating system for mobile, "is designed to be flexible, to work on all your devices and to be customised for you the way you see fit," said Google vice president Sundar Pichai, who heads the Android operations.

 

With the new operating system, according to the Android Website, "The songs, photos, apps, and even recent searches from one of your Android devices can be immediately enjoyed across all of your Android devices."

 

The new devices give Google and its Android partners a broader portfolio to compete against Apple, which launched two upgraded large-screen iPhones last month and is expected to unveil new iPads on Thursday.

 

The Nexus 6 smartphone becomes the newest and largest of the Google-branded handsets, and is produced by Motorola, which Google bought in 2012 and is in the process of selling to China's Lenovo.

 

This aluminium frame device has a six-inch high resolution screen and a 13-megapixel camera.

 

Nexus 6 prices start at $649 without a wireless contract commitment. That's $300 more than the previous generation, a Nexus 5 with a roughly 5-inch screen.

 

"The large screen is complemented by dual front-facing stereo speakers that deliver high-fidelity sound, making it as great for movies and gaming as it is for doing work," Google said in a statement.

 

"It also comes with a Turbo Charger, so you can get up to six hours of use with only 15 minutes of charge."

 

On the tablet front, Google partnered with Taiwan-based HTC for the 8.9-inch Nexus 9.

 

Nexus 9 will start at $399, 74% more than its predecessor. However, that's still $100 less than the starting price for the current iPad Air, which has a nearly 10-inch screen.

 

The brushed-metal tablet "is small enough to easily carry around in one hand, yet big enough to work on," Google said.

 

"And since more and more people want to have the same simple experience they have on their tablets when they have to do real work, we designed a keyboard folio that magnetically attaches to the Nexus 9, folds into two different angles and rests securely on your lap like a laptop."

 

The media player will deliver video apps to a television screen for consumers looking to supplement or go without cable or satellite.

 

Some of the apps included on the player are Netflix, Hulu Plus, the Food Network, Pandora and The Huffington Post.

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September car sales flat; commercial vehicles on upswing

While two-wheelers maintained their growth in September, domestic car sales remain muted owing to the 15-days shraddha period after Ganesh visarjan

 

September 2014 turned out to be a good month, especially for commercial vehicle sales and three-wheelers. While two-wheelers maintained their growth, domestic car sales remain muted owing to the 15-days shraddha period between Ganapati visarjan and Navratri.

 

According to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic passenger car sales declined 1.03% to 1.55 lakh units in September from 1.56 lakh units in the year-ago month. Motorcycle sales rose 19.34% to 10.57 lakh units from 8.85 lakh in September 2013.

 

Goods carrier from both medium and heavy commercial vehicle (MHCV) segment as well as three wheelers witnessed strong sales in September. While sales for goods carrier in MHCV rose 28% to 16,512 units, the same in three wheeler category was up 13% to 8,919 units compared with a year ago period.

 

Sales of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) rose 8.59% to 56,140 units in September, SIAM said. The total two-wheeler sales in September rose 23.81% to 15.67 lakh units.

 

Vehicle sales across categories registered an increase of 20.44% to 19.04 lakh units from 15.81 lakh units in September 2013, the industry body said.

 

 

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Biyani's Future Group partners with Amazon for selling goods online

The partnership will initially focus on Future Group’s 40 fashion brands and will subsequently cover all other categories

 

Kishore Biyani-led Future Group and retail giant Amazon on Monday entered into a partnership to build on synergies of experience in online and offline businesses.

 

This comes days after Biyani complained of e-commerce companies, particularly Flipkart, of under-cutting the market and selling products at even below the cost price.

 

The alliance will leverage strong product knowledge, extensive brand portfolio and sourcing base of Future Group, and the e-commerce platform, customer base and reach of Amazon.in.

 

The partnership will initially focus on Future Group’s fashion brands and will subsequently cover all other categories, Future Group said in a statement.

 

Future Group’s current portfolio of over 40 brands will be retailed exclusively online through Amazon.in platform.

 

“The bottomline in each of our retail success stories is “know your customer”. Insights into the soul of Indian consumers — how they operate, think, dream and live — helps us innovate and create functionally differentiating products and experiences.

 

“Partnership with Amazon, which obsesses to be earth’s most customer-centric company, will enable us to leverage their strengths, investments and innovations in technology to reach out to wider set of consumers across India,” it said.

 

Commenting on the tie-up, Biyani said: “Partnership with Amazon, which obsesses to be earth’s most customer-centric company, will enable us to leverage their strengths, investments and innovations in technology to reach out to a wider set of consumers across India.”

 

“We are excited to collaborate, leverage each other’s unique strengths and serve customers across India. The product portfolio of Future Group, their innate understanding of the Indian consumer mindset and our ability to serve and deliver a convenient, easy, trusted and reliable delivery experience to a nationwide set of customers is a win-win for all,” said Amit Agarwal, Vice-President and Country Manager, Amazon India.

 

Amazon.in will also partner Future Group brands in promoting the existing and new brands in markets, explore co-branding opportunities and accelerate new product development in categories which are currently not served by retailers, the company said.

 

The two companies will also explore synergies in areas such as distribution network, customer acquisition and cross-promotions.

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