HTC might return to India, but not in the way you’d expect

Even though HTC ceased smartphone operations in India, that doesn’t mean the company still won’t have a presence in the country. Citing three senior industry executives, The Economic Times reported that HTC might license its brand out to smartphone makers in India.

According to the report, HTC wants to license its brand out for smartphones, tablets, and mobile accessories. To make that happen, HTC is reportedly in advanced talks with Micromax, Lava, and Karbonn. One of the senior industry executives alleged that Lava and Karbonn will team up to offer a joint bid for HTC’s brand license.

By licensing its brand, HTC would get a royalty from whichever Indian smartphone maker wins the bid. We don’t know if HTC would get a large royalty sum at the outset or a royalty every time a device and accessory are sold in India.

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Regardless of how HTC would get its royalty, licensing its brand is not a surefire way to regain relevance in India. Currently, the Indian smartphone market is dominated by the likes of Xiaomi, Samsung, Oppo, and Vivo.

According to Counterpoint, the four aforementioned companies accounted for 64 percent of the Indian smartphone market. That’s compared to just five percent market share for Micromax, with Lava and Karbonn thrown in the “Others” category that accounted for 31 percent.

When reached for a statement, HTC told The Economic Times that it’s looking for strategic options for India and “will have more to announce at a later date.” Android Authority reached out to HTC for a comment on the report and will update this article if we get a response.

In the middle of its legal battle, Spotify quietly launches in India

  • Spotify is officially available in India.
  • Unfortunately, the Premium membership options are only available to existing Spotify users.
  • The launch comes as Spotify is in a legal battle with Warner Media Group.

India residents clamoring for Spotify to be available in the country, rejoice — earlier today, the popular music streaming service quietly launched in India. The strange thing about the launch is that it happened as Spotify is contending with a legal challenge from Warner Music Group.

India residents can buy a Spotify membership in one-day, one-week, one-month, three-month, six-month, or one-year increments. Here are the prices:

  • One day: 13 rupees (~$0.18)
  • One week: 39 rupees (~$0.55)
  • One month: 129 rupees (~$1.81)
  • Three months: 389 rupees (~$5.48)
  • Six months: 719 rupees (~$10.13)
  • One year, 1,189 rupees (~$16.76)

If you’re a student, you can get a one-year membership for 59 rupees (~$0.83) a month. If students want to just try it for 30 days without committing to Spotify, they can pay 66 rupees (~$0.93) for 30 days. Everyone else gets a 30-day free trial, after which they pay 119 rupees (~$1.68) each month.

Curiously, Business Insider India reported that a Premium subscription is only available to existing Spotify users. New users can still sign up for the free tier, but they’ll have to wait if they want a Premium subscription.

Also, the only way to pay for a subscription is with Visa or Mastercard. Prepaid plans also have Paytm and UPI payment options, in addition to Visa and Mastercard.

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As nice as it is for India residents to officially get Spotify, the launch comes at a curious time for the music streaming service. Yesterday, Warner sued Spotify to stop the latter’s use of the former’s catalog. The issue is Spotify tried to gain the rights to Warner’s catalog through an amendment to India’s Copyright Act of 1957. The amendment lets broadcasters obtain licenses without consent from the copyright owner, but it’s unknown whether Spotify can be classified as a broadcaster.

Until a decision is made on the matter, Bombay’s high court allowed Spotify’s India launch to proceed. However, Spotify launched in India without Warner’s catalog. Warner/Chappell is Warner’s publishing arm and hosts artists like Katy Perry, Kendrick Lamar, Fat Joe, and many others.

The Realme C1 (2019) might be the entry-level phone of your entry-level dreams

If you’re looking for a long-lasting phone that won’t break the bank, your search might be over — Realme announced the Realme C1 (2019), the company’s latest entry-level smartphone.

On the outside, the Realme C1 (2019) features a 6.2-inch display with HD+ (1,520 x 720) resolution and a 19:9 aspect ratio. There’s no fingerprint sensor, but the front-facing 5-megapixel camera supports facial recognition. The software identifies 128 facial points to unlock the phone in 0.3 seconds.

Around back are dual 13 and 2MP cameras that support beauty and portrait modes.

Under the hood, the Realme C1 (2019) features Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 450 processor, either 2 or 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of expandable storage. The phone runs ColorOS 5.1, which is based on Android 8.1 Oreo.

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The real head-turner is with the huge 4,230mAh battery. Thanks to the large battery, low-end processor, and undemanding specs, the Realme C1 (2019) lets you make calls for 44 hours, listen to music for 18 hours, and browse websites for 18 hours.

The software further extends the battery life by restricting apps in the background and cutting off apps randomly waking up in the background. With the features enabled, the phone saves anywhere between five and 11 percent of power.

The Realme C1 (2019) will be available starting February 5 in India. Residents can pick up the phone in either Navy Blue or Mirror Black through Flipkart. The 2GB/32GB variant will sell for 7,499 rupees (~$106), while the 3GB/32GB version will sell for 8,499 rupees (~$120).

Oppo quietly launches the R15 Pro with a Snapdragon 660 and 6GB of RAM

Oppo

Established as one of the top smartphone manufacturers in India, Oppo announced the R15 Pro earlier today. The phone is not to be confused with its higher-end cousin, the R17 Pro.

Starting on the outside, the R15 Pro features dual rear 16- and 20-megapixel cameras and a 20MP selfie shooter. As with a growing number of smartphones, the R15 Pro supports AI scene recognition. The phone can identify 120 scenes and automatically tweak the camera settings to hopefully take sharp pictures.


Meanwhile, the front camera supports several portrait modes and Oppo’s AI beauty mode. We actually tolerated the beauty mode on the R17 Pro, so the same might be said of the mode on the R15 Pro.

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The R15 Pro also sports a headphone jack and USB Type-C port at the bottom, a fingerprint sensor around back, and a 6.28-inch AMOLED display with a 2,280 x 1,080 resolution up front.

Under the hood, the R15 Pro features Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 660 processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable storage, and a 3,430mAh battery that supports Oppo’s fast VOOC charging. Unfortunately, the phone runs the older Android 8.1 Oreo instead of the newer Android 9 Pie.

Indian residents can pick up the R15 Pro from Amazon India for 25,990 rupees (~$368). The phone is available in Cosmic Purple and Ruby Red.

The devolution of this key feature of WhatsApp will prevent mob-lynching in India

There are plenty of reports surface almost every day here in India about mob-lynching. The disastrous event does not entirely thrive on social media like WhatsApp, other catalysts occasionally play a critical role. In the wake of these chaotic events, both the Indian Government and WhatsApp have taken some steps to lessen the activities which…

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Update: Nokia 3.1 available to buy in India now. Price, Offers & other details inside

Update: Nokia 3.1 is in fact now available to buy in India from official Nokia shop one day in advance. Buy link After becoming available or going on pre-order in many other markets globally, Nokia 3.1 now has a date for Indian market too. It will go on sale in India starting July 21 and…

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