Apple Sued in India. Comes Under CCI Scanner.

Apple comes under the CCI scanner in India when a customer filed a complaint against Apple under The Competition Act 2002 (amended in 2007) stating that Apple is restricting customers from buying apple products (iPhone) by making its availability for only a selected few carriers (Airtel and Aircel). The section 4 specifically deals with Abuse of dominant position.

Apple had announced the iPhone 4 for Airtel and Aircel customers last month, while the iPad is sold through Apple store only.

The complainant has also alleged that a user can only download software from the i-store and the others are not recognised by the device,a senior CCI official said.

Apple iPhone 4

The complaint also stated that the phone could be serviced in Apple centers only, which charge high rates for servicing. The Commission will look into the matter for consideration by the end of this week, sources said.

There are a few things the CCI must consider –

First of all, Airtel and Aircel are selling “unlocked” iPhones with optional offer i.e. you’re free to use it with any service provider you choose. Second, Apple products are sold not just by Apple Stores, but by various distributors – Croma, Imagine Stores and several others.

Finally, every manufacturer voids the products warranty if the device is serviced at unauthorized centers. Apple has 3rd party centers in India which operate with Apple to help with major issues.

Well, laws can get tricky. It all depends on the interpretation of the law. Apple will sure argue and explain how they operate in India, however they will definitely have a tough time fighting the case.

Bharti AIrtel Introduces High Speed Broadband Plans

Bharti Airtel has introduced high speed broadband internet plans for tier-1 and tier-2 cities in India. The best part about these new plans is that they cost less, have high data download limits and have minimum data speeds of 2mbps in Tier-1 and 1mbps in Tier-2 cities. The cities where this minimum 2mbps broadband plan will be available include Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune.

Here is the detailed tariff structure:

Top 10 Cities

All the plans listed below will have a minimum download speed of 2mbps

Alpha Plan: 3GB data @ Rs. 649

Alpha Plan: 6GB data @ Rs. 799

Max Plan: 10GB data @ Rs. 999

Max Plan: 30GB data @ Rs. 1299

Max Plan: 75GB data @ Rs. 1599

Max Plan: 150GB data @ Rs. 1999

Rest of India

All the plans listed below will have a minimum download speed of 1mbps

Ace Plan: 3GB data @ Rs. 549

Ace Plan: 6GB data @ Rs. 699

Mega Plan: 10GB data @ Rs. 899

Mega Plan: 30GB data @ Rs. 1499

Mega Plan: 75GB data @ Rs. 1999

Airtel’s Chief Marketing Officer – Girish Mehta said while unveiling the plans that raising the broadband internet speed threshold with the new broadband plans will help enhance uptake of the array of content and rich media experience on Airtel broadband.

Airtel Finally Launches The iPhone 4 In India

Last month, Aircel and Airtel announced that, the much awaited iPhone 4 will be launched soon in India. Finally after waiting for a month, Aircel launched the iPhone 4 in India. And now, Airtel joined the bandwagon and finally announced the launch of iPhone 4. Aircel’s postpaid plans offers a great discount, but the Airtel’s postpaid plan offers a monthly discount of Rs.1000 for 24 months. So, the Airtel’s postpaid plan helps you to save up to Rs.24,000 in a span of 2 years.

airtel iphone 4

Announcing the launch, Mr. Atul Bindal, President, Mobile Services, Bharti Airtel said, As 3G services drive the next wave of growth in the country’s telecom industry, iPhone 4 on Airtel’s exceptional high-speed network will provide customers with a truly mobile 3G experience at affordable service offerings”.

iPhone 4 comes with 3.5 inch touchscreen display with 640 x 960 pixels resolution, Apple’s A4 chip, iOS 4, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, HD (720p) video recording and more. iPhone 4 allows you to access more than 500,000 apps from the App Store. The 16 GB variant of iPhone 4 comes with a price tag of Rs.34,500, while the 32 GB variant comes with a price tag of Rs.40,900.

Airtel’s postpaid plan for iPhone starts from Rs.600 and goes up to Rs.2000 per month. The Rs.600 monthly plan offers a discount of Rs.300 while the Rs.1000 plan offers a discount of Rs.1000 per month. On the other hand, the prepaid plan offers a maximum discount of Rs.907 per month. To learn more, head over to this page.

Samsung will soon release its powerful “superphone”, the Galaxy S II in India. Which handset you are planning to buy? Samsung Galaxy S II or iPhone 4? Let us know your views in the comments section below.

Access Facebook On Mobile Without Internet

U2opia Mobile, a Singapore-based software applications developer has developed a new application for mobile phones that will allow users to access Facebook without paying for a data connection and works well on all handsets.

Airtel & Facebook

Mr Sumesh Menon, said,

It is like SMS and hence, the load on the network is negligible. We have built some commands through which a user can receive alerts on activity happening on his wall as well post an update.

The company has developed this application using USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) technology. USSD is a protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the service provider’s computers. It is mainly used for sending alerts to users that give information about balance or for sending missed call alerts.

U2opia launched this application with Indian telecom major Bharti Airtel.

Airtel users can dial *325#  (*fbk# for non-qwerty phones) to access Facebook without subscribing to data plans.

Shireesh Joshi, Bharti Airtel Director – Marketing, Mobile Services, said in a statement

In the Indian market scenario, where the penetration of smart phones is relatively low and the use of Internet on mobiles is primarily limited to key cities, many users are excluded from accessing their Facebook accounts via mobile phones

Via EconomicTimes

Airtel Reports 5 Lakh 3G Subscribers Within One Month

Airtel recently joined the ranks of the 3G service providers in India after it started rolling out it’s 3G services across seven cities in India which include Chennai and Bangalore and very recently, Airtel launched it’s 3G services in Delhi too! All work done, the good news has already started pouring in for Airtel. Within just one month of it’s launch Airtel has more than 5 lakh registered  3G subscribers!

By the end of March, Airtel will launch it’s 3G services in 13 circles. Currently Airtel is in talks with other operators for a roaming arrangement for the 3G spectrum for areas in which it has not been able to launch 3G yet. Airtel has a wide range of 3G tariffs starting with Rs 11 a day (10 MB download) to a 2GB plan at Rs 750 a month.

Airtel has set up 4,500 sites across the seven cities and 1,800 sites in Delhi to provide a good 3G experience to it’s consumers. According to Mr Atul Bindal of Bharti Airtel, the service provider (Airtel) is driving a mobile data revolution in India and Airtel would soon bring this 3G experience to pan-India level very soon.

via Hindu Business Line, Image Courtesy

Airtel’s Speech Recognition Based Service To Cost Rs. 2 Per Minute

Bharti Airtel has launched a new speech recognition-based service that gives it’s users access to a host of voice based services like hello tunes, news, scores all through just one number instead of calling different numbers for different services (which happens to be the current scenario).

Titled “One Number, One Voice”, this speech recognition based service can be used by subscribers by dialing 54321 from their Airtel mobile phones. Users can then all their favorite voice based services without having to remember multiple numbers. The service can distinguish between regular callers and first—time callers, thus offer them with a customised caller experience. Languages currently supported include English, Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam.

This “One Number, One Voice” service has been launched by Airtel in association with Nuance Communications and has been priced at Rs. 2 per minute. Currently, it is available to Airtel customers across Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Kerala, Chandigarh and Uttar Pradesh.

via The Hindu

Bharti To Get $5M Grant From Google For Upgrading Schools

As a part of it’s global philanthropic program, Google has announced that it will giving a grant of US$ 5 Million to Bharti Foundation in order to set up elementary education schools in India. Bharti Foundation happens to be the philanthropic unit of Bharti Enterprises Ltd which is the parent company of Bharti Airtel – One of India’s largest telecom companies.

Bharti Foundation will set up new schools and upgrade the existing schools in Northern part of India in the states: Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The schools will be named Satya Elemantary Schools. Bharti Foundation also plans to use these funds for setting up middle schools and upgrade the existing primary schools to support elementary level education.

Currently Bharti Foundation facilitates provision of basic education to poor children, especially girls, with the help of its 236 primary schools in villages and one senior secondary school. Starting from June, the foundation has plans of building 15 more primary schools and four senior secondary schools.

3G Update: Airtel Launching 3G In 1 Week, Karnataka Gets 3G From Tata Docomo

The 3G rollout to various parts of India has gradually begun and users all over India can now finally start experiencing fast mobile Internet speeds via 3G. Airtel has announced it’s plans of launching 3G service for it’s users in less than a week and Tata DOCOMO, after jumping onto the 3G Bandwagon quite early, has now unveiled it’s 3G services in yet another Indian state – Karnataka.

Bharti Airtel ‘s CEO Sanjay Kapoor told PTI that Airtel   will make the announcement for the commercial launch of our 3G service in next six to seven days. However he did not reveal so as to in what all circles is Airtel planning to launch this service initially. Bharti won the 3G spectrum for 13 telecom circles in India and has given contracts to Ericsson India , Nokia Siemens and Huawei to set up the necessary 3G infrastructure.

In other news, Tata Docomo increased it’s 3G presence all over India by launching it’s 3G service in three areas of Northern Karnataka, namely – Hubli, Dharwad & Belgaum. Tata Docomo’s 3G Network currently supports internet access with high speeds of 21.1 Mbps and the company plans to introduce more products and services with support of NTT DOCOMO.

HTC HD7 Launched In India For Rs.29990

htc hd7

HTC and Airtel today unveiled India’s first Microsoft Windows Phone 7 smartphone – the HTC HD7. It comes with a large 4.3 inch LCD display, 5 megapixel camera, 16 GB internal memory and so on. This handset is already available at Flipkart from last week, but today, HTC officially launched it in India.

Windows Phone 7 is an entirely fresh mobile experience, on which HTC is excited to be going big. We see tremendous customer opportunities with the integration of Microsoft’s most popular services,said Ajay Sharma, Country Head, HTC India. The value Microsoft is bringing to mobile customers around the world sets a new benchmark for the industry and HTC is proud to be the first in bringing in the brand new Windows Phone 7 experience to India in partnership with Bharti airtel.

On the launch Mr. Shireesh Joshi, CMO-Mobile Services, Bharti airtel said, We are delighted with the opportunity to bring the eagerly-awaited HTC HD7 Smartphone in India. Combining the strength of the airtel brand and network with the innovation and design of HTC and the great user-interface of Windows Phone 7, we are happy to bring another first for our customers that will take mobile communications to a whole new level.

This handset features a 4.3 inch LCD display with 800 x 480 pixels resolution, 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, Windows Phone 7 OS, 16GB of internal memory, 576 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM, 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus and dual-LED flash, HD (720p) video recording, HTC Hub, 1230 mAh battery and so on.

HTC HD7 comes with a price tag of Rs.29,990. You can purchase this handset from any authorized HTC resellers across the country. Alternately, you can purchase this handset from Flipkart for just Rs.28,999. Airtel customers will get an exclusive data pack to download 2GB data per month for 6 months at a special price of just Rs 300.

Airtel Releases Mobitude 2010 – The Verdict Of Indian Masses

airtel logo

Airtel recently released the Airtel Mobitude 2010, a unique survey that collects the mobile phone usage trends across the counrty. Airtel captured the preferences of over 150 million mobile phone users in India. The Airtel Mobitude 2010 includes annual analysis of music, images, video downloads and data traffic. Check out the findings of this unique survey below.

Categories Of Airtel Mobitude 2010:

A) Most Celebrated occasions
1. Diwali
2. Dusshera
3. Friendship Day
4. Holi
5. Valentine’s Day
6. New Years

B) Top 5 songs
1. Munni Badnaam Hui
2. Tere Mast Mast Do Nain
3. Pee Loon Hoton Ki Sargam
4. Zor Ka Jhatka
5. Gal Mithi

C) Top images downloads: Bollywood divas
1. Katrina Kaif
2. Kareena Kapoor
3. Deepika Padukone
4. Priyanka Chopra
5. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

D) Top images downloads: Bollywood actors
1. Salman Khan
2. Shahrukh Khan
3. Ranbir Kapoor
4. Akshay Kumar
5. Shahid Kapoor
6. Hrithik Roshan

E) Top images downloads: Sports stars (Male)
1. Sachin Tendulkar
2. M S Dhoni
3. Rafael Nadal
4. Roger Federer
5. Harbhajan Singh
6. Sourav Ganguly

F) Top images downloads: Sports stars (Female)
1. Sania Mirza
2. Maria Sharapova
3. Serena Williams
4. Ana Ivanovic
5. Svetlana Kuznetsova

Mr Atul Bindal, President Mobile Services, Bharti airtel said, “Today, people across India are increasingly relying on the mobile platform as their source of entertainment and information from songs, videos, wallpapers to applications. The findings of airtel Mobitude 2010 are a true manifestation of what appeals to the Indian masses. As the country’s largest mobile services provider we are proud to be a leading an industry connecting millions, bringing alive airtel’s brand proposition of ‘closer to what you love’ for our customers”