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Apple Special Event – September 12, 2017

Ramya GovindRaj

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Global technology giant Apple held their annual product keynote in the Steve Jobs Theatre at the new Apple Park Campus in Cupertino, Calif, yesterday. The event was started with an homage to the Apple founder and icon Steve Jobs using an old voice recorded message from the founder.

Chief Executive Officer, Tim Cook then took the stage to begin the event at the company’s new head office. Speaking about the tribute he said, “It’s taken some time, but we can now reflect on him with joy, rather than sadness.” The head office was designed by Jobs before his demise six years ago. Cook also spoke about Apple’s efforts in helping Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey victims in Florida and Texas respectively. The new headquarters Apple Park was built using sustainable materials and will be the first campus to use 100% renewable energy with a solar paneled roof to generate power.

The special event was the launchpad for multiple new products the company has been designing including their rebranded retail stores, now called the Apple Town Houses. The Apple Town Houses will also hold a new program called ‘Today At Apple’ where people can come together to learn different art forms such as coding, designing and photography. The new Watch Series 3 was also launched, which for the first time will allow users access to Apple Music to stream its 40 million songs, podcasts or Beats 1 radio shows. Priced at $399, the new upgraded watch comes with built in cellular connectivity that can be used to make phone calls as well. The Apple watch will be available in stores from 22 September.

The Apple TV was also unveiled at the event and offers a 4K resolution to the users along with standard HDR. Apple’s latest streaming device will be partnering with Netflix and Amazon to offer their programming in super high resolution. The high end TV will also be available from 22 September and will be more tightly integrated with Apple Music in its new iteration.

The real stars of the event were the three new iPhone models. The first iPhone that created ripples in the smartphone industry had up to 16 GB storage space, 1400 mAh battery, 3.5 inch screen and a 2.0 MP camera. The newly launched devices, according to Tim Cook, are far more intelligent, far more capable and far more personal than ever before. The three new models are named iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X, which is pronounced as iPhone ‘ten.’ Along with the color, the camera and software of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have been upgraded while iPhone X packs a whole new arena of features.

The future of the smartphone is here.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will be priced at $699 and $799 for the 64 GB versions respectively, while the iPhone X will cost a whopping $999. Both the iPhone 8’s will be available from 22 September where as the iPhone X will begin shipping from 3 November.

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SoftBank To Sell Off Entire Stake In Flipkart

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SoftBank Group Corp., a Japanese multinational conglomerate, is in talks to sell off its entire stake in Flipkart. In a recent announcement, SoftBank confirmed that it will sell its stake of 23.6 % in the e tailer giant Flipkart, post the Walmart acquisition.

SoftBank spokesperson stated, SoftBank confirms the sale of its entire stake in Flipkart to Walmart.

The CEO Masayoshi Son, said its investment in the Indian e commerce Flipkart, was worth around $ 4 billion. The SoftBank Vision Fund also invested $ 30 billion in startups, last year. At a recent press conference held in Tokyo, Masayoshi disclosed that SoftBank’s $ 2.5 billion stake in Flipkart which was picked up last year, would be now worth $ 4 billion if it chooses to exit the firm. As the SoftBank’s fund is registered in Jersey, USA, there is no Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) as a buffer. However, SoftBank has now decided to sell the stake and work out the tax issues. SoftBank was earlier in discussions as well in order to stay invested in Flipkart and delay the sale due to tax issues related to short term capital gains.

 

According to a source, Walmart’s price implies Flipkart’s operating losses over the 18 months starting in August would be close to $ 2 billion. The overall hit to Walmart’s earnings from the Flipkart deal, including Flipkart’s losses, will be between $ 2.5 billion and $ 2.7 billion.

In the next coming years, Walmart’s approach toward Flipkart’s financial activities is likely to be determined by its investors in the United States. However, Walmart’s stock fell by 4% on the day it announced the Flipkart acquisition.

The buzz is SoftBank is also looking forward to exploring other avenues since it is not willing to miss out on Indian e commerce industry. Walmart also claims that SoftBank’s decision of selling its stake in Flipkart, will not make a major difference to its future plans for Flipkart.

 

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Netherlands To Setup ‘Startup Link’ In Collaboration With India

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The Prime Minister of Netherlands, Mark Rutte is all set to visit Bengaluru on 25 May.

The Country wants to strengthen  the innovation ecosystem with India efficiently. This comprises the setting up of Startup Link in India. Startup Link is an umbrella initiative in order to help Dutch startups explore the Indian market. This trip for Mark Rutte plays a vital role in pertaining to Netherland’s focus toward India.

It could also be understood by the fact  with a 120 member business trade delegation, with two ministers and the mayor of the Hague to Bengaluru, the Netherlands-India delegate is the country’s largest delegate to any foreign country!

Even larger than that of Netherland’s recent visit to China.

The Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, is expected to launch the Indo-Dutch Startup Link Digital Hub, on 25 May.

According to a source, Consul General Jaap Werner stated,

The delegates will be visiting Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, signing a number of MoUs to promote technology and Innovations at all levels universities to SMEs and corporates. In Bengaluru alone, we are expecting to sign 15-20 MoUs. The Bengaluru visit will focus to strengthen the bilateral trades and relationships in the areas of healthcare, smart cities, life sciences, waste management and cybersecurity.

Recently, Netherlands also upgraded its Bengaluru, South India office to a fully operational Consulate General. It also amalgamated various ministerial departments under one roof.

The Senior Deputy Representative Consulate General Of Netherlands, Bengaluru, Meenakshi P.R., stated that the Consulate General would also help Dutch startups soft launch in Indian territory, specifically in Bengaluru.

She also added,  IoT, 3D Printing, cybersecurity and blockchain are some of the areas where the startups under startup link can collaborate.

Apart from that, the events on 25 May also include an ‘Innovation power lunch’ where the Dutch PM will meet 30 top Indian CEOs.

However, there are over 200 Netherlands companies operating in India. While India is the fourth largest investor in the Netherlands, the latter stands fifth in India.

There are plenty of opportunities and challenges to do business in the Indian market. India has been abuzz with Startup culture now!

 

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Google Launches YouTube Music Service

Startup Admin

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With more than 1 billion people visiting YouTube on a daily basis, it comes as no surprise that music is the most listened to service on the online streaming platform. With Netflix and Spotify gearing up to compete with YouTube, the new YouTube Music service comes as a refreshing change of pace.

To put it in simple words, YouTube Music is a service which lets you stream and play music, with discovery being a major part of the service. While Google Play lets you do the same, there are quite a few differences between the two services provided by Google. Unlike Google Play, YouTube Music lets you do more than stream music. The service gives you the remixes, covers, live versions and parodies YouTube hosts too, as well as music from people who do not have record or albums.

Furthermore, Google’s YouTube Music gives you music even with extremely vague key words. Not just that, it creates very specific playlists. For example, if you are at the airport, the app creates a relaxing and refreshing playlist perfect for traveling. With discovery playing such a major role in this new service, get ready to explore and experience music like never before!

“To preserve this incredible opportunity the music business has, we need competition in distribution,” said Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s head of music. “It’s not like it was 30 years ago, when some guy could rent a warehouse, buy a bunch of records and put a sign called Tower Records in front. Now you have to have a ton of engineers, a global footprint and a ton of money.” Scheduled to launch on 22 May, 2018, Google plans on integrating artificial intelligence into the music app! When it comes to the price, YouTube Music comes at $ 10 for a month. However, Google has not mentioned if there is going to be a family plan package (a service which both Netflix and Spotify offer.)

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