Flipkart 2018 Mobile Bonanza Sale, Apple Apologises for Slowing Down iPhones, Airtel Rs. 93 Recharge to Beat Jio, and More: Your 360 Daily

Flipkart has announced the dates of its first sale of 2018 – January 3 to January 5. As the name 2018 Mobiles Bonanza suggests, this Flipkart sale will exclusively offer deals on smartphones, such as flat discounts, buyback guarantees at Rs. 149, exchange discounts and no-cost EMIs, and more. Among the deals announced so far, the notable ones include Google Pixel 2 at Rs. 39,999 (MRP Rs. 61,000), Moto G5 Plus at Rs. 9,999 (MRP Rs. 16,000), Samsung Galaxy S7 at Rs. 26,999 (MRP Rs. 46,000), Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 4GB RAM at Rs. 10,999 (MRP Rs. 12,999) and Xiaomi Mi A1 at Rs. 12,999 (MRP Rs. 13,999). Apart from these, the Swipe Elite Star and Lava A52 4G VoLTE smartphones will be available at Rs. 2,018 in the sale.


Apple apologises for slowing down older iPhones, offers discount on battery replacements
Apple has issued an apology in a message posted on its website for the way it handled the battery issue, and said it would make changes to «regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intention.» As part of the changes, it will offer battery replacement on out-of-warranty iPhone 6 and later models at Rs. 2,000 (excluding taxes), instead of Rs. 6,500 (including taxes) in India. The same price has been reduced from $79 to $29 in other markets. It will also introduce software that will show users the battery health of their iPhones.

Airtel offers unlimited calls, free roaming, 1GB data at Rs. 93
To take on the Jio Rs. 98 plan, Airtel has launched a new Rs. 93 prepaid pack with 10-day validity. Buyers will get unlimited calls, free outgoing calls on roaming, 1GB of data, and 100 SMSes per day for the validity period with this recharge pack. The corresponding Jio plan on the other hand provides users with free calls (including roaming), 2.1GB data (at 150MB per day), 140 SMSes, and access to Jio apps for 14 days. This new pack hints at Airtel’s efforts to retain subscribers who prefer low-value recharges with more calling benefits than data consumption.

Moto G5S Plus, Oppo F3, Vivo V7 get price cuts for the holiday season
As 2018 beckons, Chinese smartphone brands have given price cuts to some of their popular smartphones to keep sales high in the holiday season. The Moto G5S Plus has received a Rs. 1,000 price cut, and will now be available at Rs. 14,999 at Amazon.in and Moto Hub offline stores. Similarly, the Oppo F3 price has dropped by Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 16,990. While the new price is not reflected in online stores, Oppo F3 can be purchased at the new price offline. The Vivo V7 price in India has been slashed by Rs. 2,000 as well, bringing it down to Rs. 16,990 on both online and offline stores.

WhatsApp accidentally activates Reply Privately feature on Windows Phone beta
WhatsApp reportedly enabled the rumoured Reply Privately feature by mistake on Windows Phone beta v2.17.342, before disabling it in 2.17.344 version. It was again turned in v2.17.348 beta for Windows Phone users. The upcoming WhatsApp feature is said to allow users to reply to messages privately in group chats. Apparently, the build turned on the first time was buggy and showed the Reply Privately feature even in personal chats, not just groups. Other WhatsApp features on recent Windows Phone beta builds include new UI for calls, Quick Switch to video calls, and advanced group settings.

Nokia 2 to go straight to Android 8.1 Oreo, Nokia 3310 4G variant spotted
HMD Global Chief Product Officer Juho Sarvikas said today that Nokia 2 will skip the Android 8.0 build and go straight to Android 8.1 Oreo. It is on Android 7.1.1 build currently. In his tweet, Sarvikas said, “1GB RAM devices will be supported on 8.1 release where many of the Android Go memory management improvements will be integrated.” The Nokia 2 is priced in India at Rs. 6,999 and has a 5-inch HD display, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, 8-megapixel rear camera, and 4100mAh battery.

Also today, the Nokia 3310 4G variant was spotted in a listing on Chinese certification website TENAA. Unlike its 2G and 3G siblings, the Nokia 3310 4G feature phone will run on Android-based YunOS and support TD-LTE, TD-SCDMA, and GSM networks. While no other new features of the upcoming model have been leaked so far, it is expected to debut at Mobile World Congress in late February, where the 2G variant was also unveiled last year.

Government likens cryptocurrencies to Ponzi schemes, cautions investors
The Finance Ministry today compared digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Litecoin to Ponzi schemes, but did not go so far as to put a ban on them. It cautioned citizens against investing in cryptocurrencies, saying such an investment is «entirely at their risk and should best avoid participating therein.” Bitcoin and other online currencies are not legal tenders and have no regulatory permission in India, the Ministry said, adding they were likely being used for «terror-funding, smuggling, drug trafficking and other money laundering acts.”

Jio 4G download speed was 21.8Mbps in November, says TRAI data
According to TRAI’s MySpeed app, Reliance Jio delivered 4G download speeds of 21.8Mbps, a hair shy of the 21.9Mbps it recorded the previous month. It was more than double of the 9.9Mbps delivered by second-placed Vodafone. Following the two were Airtel and Idea at 9.3Mbps and 8.1Mbps, respectively. In 4G upload speeds, Idea recorded 7.1Mbps to take the pole position. It was followed by Vodafone 6.2Mbps, Jio (4.9Mbps) and Airtel (3.9Mbps), respectively.

Xiaomi acknowledges contact merging bug
Xiaomi has acknowledged a bug that incorrectly merges contacts on its handsets, attributing the issue to some third-party apps. As a temporary fix, the company has provided a link to an app that needs to be sideloaded on the affected handsets. Once installed, it will check and fix the wrongly merged contacts. There is also a method for TrueCaller and WhatsApp users to fix it. Xiaomi says, however, this issue is not limited to its own devices but also affects other vendors.

Sony slashes prices of PS4-exclusive games in India
As a holiday surprise for PlayStation 4 users in India, Sony has cut the prices of select exclusive titles. Several retailers have confirmed to Gadgets 360 that these discounts are permanent, and will be marketed with ‘PlayStation Hits’ branding. For Rs. 1,499, fans can get their hands on the likes of Bloodborne Game of the Year Edition, God of War 3 Remastered, Gravity Rush 2, Infamous: Second Son, and The Last Guardian, among others. Similarly, Horizon Zero Dawn and Nioh will be available at Rs. 2,499.