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Airtel loses 46.1 lakh mobile subscribers in May, Jio adds 35.5 lakh users: Trai data

NEW DELHI, July 29: The Indian telecom market presented a picture of sharp contrast in May with Bharti Airtel losing a staggering 46.13 lakh wireless subscribers even as rival Reliance Jio added 35.54 lakh mobile users, according to data from telecom regulator Trai.

Overall, the Indian mobile market shed 62.7 lakh users in May.

Jio added 35.54 lakh mobile users during the month, raising its subscriber base to 43.12 crore.

Both Airtel and Vodafone Idea suffered massive subscriber losses in May.

Airtel's lost 46.13 lakh mobile users and ended the month with subscriber base of 34.8 crore, according to the data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) for the month of May.

Troubled Vodafone Idea's mobile subscriber base shrunk by 42.8 lakh users in May, to 27.7 crore users.

India's overall mobile subscriber numbers fell by 62.7 lakh, dragging the total user base down to 117.6 crore in May amid the second severe wave of COVID-19.

Apple beats Samsung to take second spot in Indian tablet market

NEW DELHI, April 24: Riding on the surge in demand for tablets created by the extended work-from-home conditions in India, Apple dethroned Samsung to grab the second spot in the Indian tablet market. The company grabbed 29% of the market share in the first quarter of 2021.

According to a report by CMR Research, Samsung, which held the second spot in the Indian tablet market in the past quarter, on the other hand, was displaced to the third spot.

It is reported that Apple iPads witnessed an exceptional 140% year-on-year growth in the January-March quarter of the year. During the same period, iPad 9 captured 17% of the market share, while iPad Air 2020 captured 9% of the market share in India.

The research organisation estimates that Apple’s growth was driven by several factors, which includes work-from-home trend, aspirational appeal among consumers and its performance in the ed-tech sector.

Lenovo continued to lead the market in the first quarter of the year as well. This is primarily due to the fact that the company continues to offer low-budget tablets in the market, which makes them appealing and accessible to the masses.

As per a separate report by the research organisation, Lenovo led the Indian tablet market in the year 2020 capturing 39% of the market share. Samsung stood second with a 30% market share, while Apple stood third with a 17% market share in 2020.

NASA's Mars helicopter soars higher, longer on 2nd flight

April 23: NASA's little Mars helicopter aced its second test flight Thursday, soaring even higher and longer than before.

The 4-pound (1.8-kilogram) chopper, named Ingenuity, hovered longer and also flew side to side this time, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California. It achieved the intended altitude of 16 feet (5 meters) and even accelerated sideways 7 feet (2 meters).

This hop lasted 52 seconds, 13 seconds longer than the first one.

"Go big or go home!" JPL tweeted in announcing the Earth Day news.

The success came just three days after Ingenuity made the first powered flight by an aircraft on another planet. The helicopter carried a bit of wing fabric from the Wright Flyer that made similar history at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903.

Flight controllers had to wait four hours before learning Thursday's outcome. Like it did during Monday's 10-foot-high (3-meter-high) hop, the helicopter sent back a black and white photo showing its shadow against the dusty, rock-strewn surface now known as Wright Brothers Field.

"It sounds simple, but there are many unknowns regarding how to fly a helicopter on Mars," Ingenuity's chief pilot, Havard Grip, said from JPL in a statement. "That's why we're here to make these unknowns known."

One of the challenges is the planet's extremely thin atmosphere – one percent that of Earth's.

NASA plans up to three more test flights in the next one and half weeks, venturing higher each time with more complicated acrobatics. Ingenuity hitched a ride to Mars on the rover Perseverance, which photographed the proceedings from more than 200 feet (64 meters) away. The rover team allotted one month for the $85 million tech demo; The clock started ticking when Ingenuity was released from Perseverance's belly on April 3.

"We have two flights of Mars under our belts, which means that there is still a lot to learn during this month of Ingenuity," chief engineer Bob Balaram said in a statement.

Perseverance and Ingenuity arrived at Mars in mid-February, landing in an ancient river delta following a flight of six and half months.

Once Ingenuity's flights are complete, Perseverance will set off on its journey to find any signs of past microscopic life. A robotic geologist, the rover will collect core samples of the most enticing rocks and set them aside for pickup by a future spacecraft a decade from now.

In another first, an experiment on the rover successfully converted Mars' carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere into pure oxygen this week. Five grams of oxygen was produced, according to NASA, the equivalent of 10 minutes of breathing for an astronaut. Large-scale production at Mars could yield oxygen not only for air, but also rocket fuel. More tests are planned over the next two years.

Apple debuts iPad Pro with high-powered M1 chip, high-end display

CUPERTINO, April 20: Apple unveiled its newest line of iPad Pros during a special virtual event held at its Cupertino, California, headquarters on Tuesday. The new iPads, which come in the same 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes as their predecessors, are the first to be powered by Apple's custom M1 chips, the same found in its Mac line of laptops and desktops.

Both are available for pre-order April 30 with the 11-inch model starting at $799 and the 12.9-inch version priced at $1,099.

Apple says the new processors make the iPad Pro 50% more powerful than the last generation iPad Pro, and 75 times faster than the first iPad. The company says the iPad's storage has also been upgraded to be two times faster than last year's model.

Also on Tuesday, Apple unveiled an incredibly thin iMac and an AirTag device that makes it easier to track lost items like keys.

The larger iPad Pro also gets a new kind of display technology called Liquid Retina XDR with a bonkers 1 million to 1 contrast ratio, meaning it is capable of incredibly vibrant colors and deep blacks. To power the new panel, Apple uses an array of mini LEDs that are 120x smaller in volume than previous LED designs used in the iPad Pro. The company says each iPad Pro 12.9 inch now has 10,000 mini-LEDs, compared with the 72 LEDs found in last year's iPad Pro.

The tablet also gets its own display dimming zones to let the LEDs function independently in different areas of the screen and prevent light bleed, creating a far better viewing experience. This is the kind of technology you'll find on big-screen 4K TVs.

Apple has also added Thunderbolt compatibility to the Pro's USB-C port, which means you'll be able to connect a secondary display to the iPad with resolutions as high as 6K, as long as you have the right cable. Regular USB C cables will still work to power the tablet, but to get those high-end transfer speeds you'll need a Thunderbolt cable.

As far as connectivity, Apple has added 5G cellular connectivity to the iPad Pro in both ultra-high speed millimeter wave 5G and mid-range 5G variants.

The latest iPad Pros also get a new 12-megapixel front-facing camera with a 128-degree field of view. The camera also enables a new feature called Center Stage that allows the camera to follow you as you move around your room.

The iPad line has benefited from the work-from-home and remote learning trends started by the pandemic. For its full year 2020 sales, Apple's iPad line generated $23.7 billion of the company's $274 billion in revenue. That's up from $21.2 billion on $260 billion of revenue in 2019. For Q1 2021, the company reported $8.4 billion in iPad revenue, up from $5.9 billion in Q1 2020.

No new Galaxy Note this year, confirms Samsung CEO

SEOUL, March 17: In January, Samsung announced the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra flagship phones. The S21 Ultra became the company’s first S-series to arrive with S Pen stylus support. The Galaxy Note 21 arriving in H2 could have been the second S Pen-driven smartphone of the year. Fresh information reveals that Samsung may not launch a new Note series phone this year. The company is not canceling the Note series but rather plans to launch it next year.

At the recently held 52nd annual shareholders meeting in South Korea, Samsung Electronics CEO Dong-jin Koh said, “Note series is positioned as a high-end model in our business portfolio. It could be a burden to unveil two flagship models in a year so it might be difficult to release Note model in 2H.” He further stated, “The timing of Note model launch can be changed but we seek to release a Note model next year.”

Prior to S21 Ultra’s launch, the S Pen remained exclusive to the Note line. Several reports that have appeared in recent months have claimed that the forthcoming Galaxy Z Fold 3 and some of the upper mid-range smartphones may arrive with stylus support. Hence, the rumor mill started speculating that Samsung may discontinue the Galaxy Note line completely.

Koh also said that there is a ‘serious imbalance’ in the demand and supply of semiconductors across the world. The global chip shortage is likely to affect its business in the next quarter. However, it is not clear whether the decision not to launch a Note series phone this year is related to the ongoing semiconductor turmoil. Skipping the Note 21 this year appears to be Samsung’s strategy towards streamlining its lineup, according to Bloomberg.

SpaceX Successfully Deploys 60 Starlink Satellites Into Orbit; Falcon 9 Lands Back Safely

March 13: SpaceX confirmed on their Twitter that the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch today was successful and deployed 60 Starlink internet satellites into orbit.

According to the Starlink website, the company has started delivering initial beta services in the United States and select parts of the world and they will slowly continue deploying satellites till they can cover the majority of the world's population by 2021.

As of now, the service is in closed beta and customers can register on the Starlink website to get a chance for access in the beta. Starlink have said users during the beta trials can expect to see speeds from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s and a ping of 20ms to 40ms in most of the Starlink locations.

Starlink also says that as they improve their network with more satellites and optimises their services, their speeds and latency will improve a lot.




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