Renault Confirms 2015 MPV and Small Car Launch – Chases 5% Market Share

Renault Confirms 2015 MPV and Small Car Launch – Chases 5% Market ShareAs part of its ongoing efforts to ramp up its Indian market share, Renault is to launch a new small car and MPV during 2015.

Renault will launch a new small car and a Multi-Purpose Vehicle in India next year, as part of the automaker’s plan to hit a 5% market share target by the end of 2017.

“We are ready with the next car,” said Sumit Sawhney, Managing Director for Renault India.

We have products in the pipeline which will give us volume and we want to cross 5 per cent market share in two years time,”

Sawhney spoke with confidence that the brand’s 2.6% market share as it stands right now will pass the 3% milestone before the end of March next year. Kerala remains one of Renault’s most important markets of all in India, where it’s local share of the market stands at 2.8%.

Indian Government to Spend Rs 20,000 Crore Connecting 55,000 Villages

Indian Government to Spend Rs 20,000 Crore Connecting 55,000 VillagesDigital India program includes extending mobile connectivity to tens of thousands of villages still cut off from all cellular networks

The Indian government is making a sizeable push to ensure that many of the country’s remote villages are not cut off from the outside world as far as connectivity is concerned. Up to Rs 20,000 crore is to be spend on extended current networks to cover a further 55,000 villages and remote areas, which currently have no connectivity at all.

The announcement was made yesterday by telecom secretary Rakesh Garg and is expected to reach fruition before 2020.

“It is very important to provide mobile connectivity in all the villages,” he said.

“We will connect up to 55,000 villages, which do not have such a service in the next 5 years and Rs. 20,000 crore has been earmarked for this.”

His remarks also included an estimate of 42,000 to 55,000 villages across Indian not having any connectivity at all. Two years ago, a similar report estimated just over 57,000 villages being cut off from mobile services, suggesting that progress since 2012 has been limited to say the least.

“We will connect half of these villages in the next 3 years and the remaining in two years,” he added.

“For this purpose the country has been divided into 5 areas and survey of villages is being done to build towers.”

The Digital India has singled out wider network availability as one of the most important growth factors for the country as a whole going forward.

Swipe Sense Brings Fingerprint Security to India for Rs 9,999

Swipe Sense Brings Fingerprint Security to India for Rs 9,999Usually reserved for the highest-end Smartphones on the market, the new Swipe Sense features fingerprint detection technology and costs just Rs 9,999.

Swipe has launched a new Smartphone which for the first time brings fingerprint reading security to the low-end Indian market. The Swipe Sense features the same kind of print-reading technology as found on the highest-end Smartphones produced to date, but is on sale for a price of just Rs 9,999.

“Swipe Sense is our latest offering that adds an additional layer of security to the pack of rich multimedia and social media features,” said Swipe’s CEO and founder Shripal Gandhi.

“And keeping our tradition of ensuring affordability, we have priced Swipe Sense at an attractive point that makes it absolutely sensible.”

To date, the only devices to feature fingerprint technology have been the likes of the HTC One Max, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 5S.

In terms of hardware, the Swipe Sense represents generally excellent value for money inside and out. There a quad-core processor running at 1,3GHz backed by 1GB of RAM, the 5.5-inch 960 by 530 touchscreen is more than sufficient and the 2,250mAh battery is much larger than most phones in the same bracket. It’s also a dual-SIM device and runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

The primary camera is an 8-megapixel shooter and the 8-megapixels of onboard storage space can be expanded with a Micro SD card.

Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, Toyota Highlander Scoop Consumer Reports Top Prize

Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, Toyota Highlander Scoop Consumer Reports Top PrizeConsumer Reports has revealed its top picks for 2015, which include the Toyota Highlander in the mid-size SUV segment and the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel as America’s best full-size pickup.

Consumer Reports has spoken and it’s all smiles for the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel – the Chrysler Group’s proudest pickup has won top marks from the influential publication. Singled out at the top full-size pickup currently on sale in the US, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel beat out its sibling Ram 1500 V-8 and the  Chevrolet Silverado 1500 to take home the gold.

Over in the midsize SUV segment, the mighty Toyota Highlander took the top price from Consumer Reports.

What gave the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel a distinct edge over its rivals was its 27 mpg highway average and a not-too-shabby 20 mpg for city driving. In addition, the magazine praised the Ram 1500’s cabin comfort and refinement.

“The continued interior and powertrain improvements make the Ram a particularly well-rounded choice for most consumers,” said Consumer Reports.

Ford Calls In the Lincoln Lawyer As Part of $1 Billion Brand Facelift

Ford Calls In the Lincoln Lawyer As Part of $1 Billion Brand FaceliftMatthew McConaughey is to be the new face of Ford’s ailing Lincoln brand over the next two year as the automaker hopes to inject new life into its fast-failing luxury lineup.

The fate of Lincoln has been placed in the hands of The Lincoln Lawyer…sort of. Matthew McConaughey has been called up by Ford to work his magic in the automaker’s fast-ailing luxury vehicle lineup, which since 1990 has suffered a disastrous 65% plummet in sales.

Ford clearly hopes that the 44-year-old actor will inject new life into the Lincoln brand’s reputation and perhaps hit home with a younger and more influential market.

It’s been confirmed that McConaughey will star in a new ad next month for the latest Lincoln MKC – an SUV that’s been designed to hopefully shed a bit of the brand’s fast-decaying image. Describing the ad campaign…which represents part of a two year deal with McConaughey…Ford said the man himself will “invite viewers to experience the vehicle through unscripted moments,” which is of course clear as mud.

Ford is investing a cool $1 billion in giving the whole of the Lincoln brand a facelift, so chances are Mr. McConaughey did not come cheap. Generally seen as something of a higher-end taxi than a luxury vehicle for affluent driver markets, Lincoln needs to be totally reinvented if it is to stand a chance against its fast accelerating rival brands.


Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro Rumored for 2015 Launch – Slate Sales Still Slipping

Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro Rumored for 2015 Launch – Slate Sales Still Slipping New reports have come to light suggesting that Apple’s long-rumored iPad Pro with its huge 12.9-inch screen is a reality and will be released sometime next year.

Here we go again – a fresh batch of reports have emerged suggesting that Apple is indeed prepping a 12.9-inch iPad behind the scenes, which will launch in 2015 under the name of the iPad Pro. This time, sources for Bloomberg came forward with the information which suggests that rumors dating back well over a year now may in fact have been on the money all along.

Apple is facing tricky times right now with its iPad – sales of the world’s most iconic tablet PC have been steadily declining for some time. Rather than a problem with the device range itself however, analysts insist it’s simply a case of buyers still being happy with the tablets they bought a year or two ago and thus see no reason to upgrade.

The tablet PC industry may have inadvertently shot itself in the foot by making mainstream devices too good in the first place, it seems.

As for the iPad Pro, Bloomberg’s unnamed sources state that the project has been in the pipeline since last year and will come to fruition in 2015. They didn’t offer any further information as to the specs, features, price or exact release date, but it’s suspected that the Pro will be something of a hybrid device that bridges the gap between Apple’s iPad and MacBook ranges.

In the meantime, we’re expecting to see the second-generation iPad Air and the iPad Mini 3 over the coming weeks, which cold if nothing else give us a clue as to the Pro’s overall design language.

Google Images Hit By Bizarre Bug – It’s Fixed Now, But What Happened?

Google Images Hit By Bizarre Bug – It’s Fixed Now, But What Happened?During the course of the night, seemingly innocent searches using Google Images returned some rather unusual and grisly results.

Carry out a Google search for the cute and cuddly and chances are you wouldn’t expect to be presented with pictures of a hideous car crash…or a slightly less macabre NBA player, for that matter. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what happened during the course of the night when for some reason Google images decided to spit out its pacifier and throw a bit of a wobbly.

Reports flew in from the UK, Australia and all over the US, pretty much confirming it was indeed a widespread phenomenon. All manner of images searches brought back the very same images of Kevin Durand doing his thing, along with a fatal car crash from 2012.

Google has of course remained rather coy on what went on, admitting there had been a ‘technical’ hiccup but not going so far as to explain how or why it happened…or why these particular images were returned. Everything seems to be working again as of this morning, though reports are still coming in from those affected during the night.

How very odd…

Sony Xperia C3 Selfie Phone Launched in India for Rs 23,990 – Pouts on Standby!

Sony Xperia C3 Selfie Phone Launched in India for Rs 23,990 – Pouts on Standby!Sony has launched the Xperia C3 in India – the first device of its kind to feature a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with its own LED flash

Pouts at the ready – Sony has launched its selfie-focused Xperia C3 in India for a price of Rs 23,990. The Indian market has been anything but an exception to the world’s growing obsession with selfie-taking – an obsession the Xperia C3 was built specifically to cater to.

What you get for your money is more of a Phablet than a Smartphone, with a 5.5-inch screen, an 8-megapixel primary camera and a full 5-megapixel shooter to the front. It may not be the first of its kind to boast a high-end sensor to the front, but the C3 is most certainly the first Smartphone to feature a wide-angle front-facing camera that’s also equipped with a flash of its own.

Day or night, your selfies will look every bit as wonderful as you yourself do…apparently!

There’s also a ton of software baked into the device to ensure that when and where things don’t look as perfect as they might, you’re able to take control and apply some edits to them. In terms of overall performance, there’s a quad-core processor at its heart clocked at 1GB and 8GB of expandable storage space. The Rs 23,990 price applies to the black, mint and white colors alike – all of which are now up for grabs via retail and online Sony stockists.

HIV Drugs in Dangerously Short Supply at Indian Treatment Centers

HIV Drugs in Dangerously Short Supply at Indian Treatment CentersHIV patients across India are arriving at government funded treatment centers only to find that the life-saving drugs they need are either being rationed or have been wiped-out entirely.

Indian HIV patients are facing the prospect of a severe knock to their treatment regimes, following confirmation that life-saving medicine stockpile are running dangerously low or are in some cases completely depleted. Both first and second-line HIV drugs as well as those made for use with children are facing dangerous shortages at treatment centers owned and run by the government, which could impact the health and wellbeing of innumerable HIV patients.

Around 355 centers across India are currently responsible for the supplying and administering of HIV drugs, which critics argue is vastly insufficient for the country’s two million HIV patients. Most HIV treatments can be purchased privately though tend to be highly overpriced and out of reach – those administered at government-run centers are free of charge.

Some of the busiest centers of all in Delhi and Mumbai have resorted to giving out much smaller doses of their remaining HIV drugs, forcing patients to return time and time again. In other areas where the drugs have run out completely, different treatments are being applied though cannot be considered as effective.

Octa-Core iBall Andi 5S Cobalt3 Launched for Just Rs. 12,499

Octa-Core iBall Andi 5S Cobalt3 Launched for Just Rs. 12,499iBall has once again set about redefining what value for money means these days, with a new octa-core Smartphone with a delightfully mid-range price tag

Taking a shot at the mid-ranges with a package of excellent value for money, the iBall Andi 5S Cobalt3 delivers octa-core processing power for a seriously agreeable Rs 12,499 price tag. Following in the footsteps of the Andi 5T Cobalt2, the device stands every chance of hitting it big with an Indian market that’s more concerned with genuine functionality and value for money than OTT features of little to no use to anyone.

The iBall Andi 5S Cobalt3 is a dual-SIM device with a 1.7GHz octa-core processor, a 12-megapixel primary camera and Android 4.4.2 KitKat at the helm. There’s 8GB of closet space for files which can be expanded with a micro-SD, the 1GB of RAM is more than sufficient to keep the show going and the 5-inch display is on-par with mid-range market standards.

According to Mr. Sandeep Parasrampuria, director of iBall, the device and the company is keeping good its word to deliver a new range of devices with exceptional features and excellent value for money. The iBall Andi 5K Panther went down a storm with its Rs 10,499 price tag – could we be looking at a similar success story for the Cobalt3?

Chances are September will see a fair few big-hitters make their way in the Indian market, including the iPhone 6 and the Sony Xperia Z3. However, it’s becoming clearer with each new flagship device launch that all the unnecessary bells and whistles in the world cannot make up for value for money and simple everyday functionality – at least not in the hearts and minds of the consumer public.