Tag Archive: gadgets


Despite my critical ascertainment with Apple’s persuasive legal course as a hindrance to innovation in the Smartphone arena, there’s no denying the fact that the latest avatar of the iPhone has been a runaway success. With Apple alongside its various carriers receiving close to 2 million pre-orders within the opening 24 hours and analysts expecting the sales to reach the 10 million mark within the week, the hype and curiosity surrounding the iPhone 5 is greater than ever.

And the way Smartphone markets work in US is what makes for an interesting reading for an average Indian mobile user. All the major mobile carriers namely AT&T, Verizon and Sprint have collaborated with Apple to sell their newest offering on no-commitment as well as 2-year contract plans. A no-commitment plan is similar to purchasing a new iPhone without any network services for 649$ (34,663 INR) while a 2-year contract means that the customer ends up paying just close to 200$ (10,682 INR) with a monthly data and call usage plans of between 85$-100$ (4540-5340 INR). Yes, the first part of a contract agreement is enticing enough to get your budget restraints wagging but it’s the premium monthly charge which translates to the analyzed fact that every iPhone 5 user will be able to actually take full benefit of his device after a good 9 months after purchase without burning a hole in his pocket.

From a consumer’s perspective, it is a good enough deal as they are getting the latest gadget for a knockdown price and willing to part with a substantial monthly amount for it. And you can’t blame them considering the phenomena an iPhone is considered in US. Some experts have even quoted iPhone 5 as the “new cash milking cow for the mobile carriers”. The contract system is a camouflaged and nifty business practice which allows mobile carriers to give products like the iPhone at subsidized prices and recover the costs and make handsome profits via the contracts. And with most of the phones in these contracts not being unlocked, change of carriers becomes increasingly hassle some once the contract period expires. But hey, Apple might just launch a new iPhone till then to keep the cycle running!

What I have always wondered is why mobile carriers have not been able to tap in on and successfully replicate this business model in India. And the latest advancements in the local Smartphone arena showed me exactly why. One, we are spoilt for choices both expensive and cheap when it comes to selecting a handset so this ideally leaves the companies at risk when it comes to subsidizing the handset costs due to numerous handset launches and upgrades. Secondly, Indians are not the splurging kind and are very particular about their cell phone plans; be it Prepaid or Postpaid. “Call per second” is a good example of that. And most importantly, the shelf life of a Smartphone being used by an average mobile user is 12 months at maximum which leaves the contracts proposition less profitable. Reliance and Tata Indicom have already tried this with low-end CDMA offerings which ultimately failed to excite. And even though Nokia is providing a few handsets with such contracts, it is not preferable for majority of the mobile users.

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Living in a big city comes with its own set of challenges. Survival of the fittest is the motto – one will do well to learn it. By fittest, I do not mean that the strongest or the most powerful will survive. Instead, it means that those who are the best prepared and those who are willing to adapt to the change will eventually prevail.

I flit between two of the largest and toughest cities in India – Delhi and Mumbai. And over the years, I have learned what it takes to go ahead and face the day, and come out winners every time. I must confess though, it wouldn’t have been possible without some of my most trusted partners – my collection of gadgets.

LG Optimus 3D SmartphoneTop of the list is, of course, my Smartphone. I started with a Blackberry, but it proved to be too one-dimensional for my taste and needs. So, an iPhone soon replaced it. But over the years, I found it a bit of bother to keep up with the updates, and my phone soon became outdated. Whatever be the new upcoming iPhone version, I am not bothered about it. My latest acquisition is the new 3G enabled LG Optimus 3D Max – P725.

Most of my colleagues weren’t even aware that LG makes such cool Smartphone, but know they know better – ha! This is one feature laden phone – good for both work and play. Equipped with a Dual Core processor, it is my go-to source when I am not close to my laptop. It helps me capture 3D/2D images, and beautifully complements my LG 3D TV. And being DLNA compliant and Wi-Fi equipped only makes it easier to connect it to my TV – using the Smart Share feature.

LG 47LM7600 3D Smart TVTalking of the TV, it is my second life line in my defense against the big city blues. My current TV is a LG 3D Smart TV – LG LM7600 with a 42 inch screen and occupies the pride of place in my home theater system.  Most evenings, I surrender myself to its pleasures – often with an old classical movie, accompanied by a huge bowl of popcorns and my favorite beverage (its coffee!). Sometimes, just for the heck of it, I turn on the 2D to 3D conversion feature when watching old classics, and I must say that it is a completely different experience. Another of my favorite movie genres is animation – and I have loads of DVDs and BDs now in my collection. I am eagerly awaiting the BD release of Ice Age: Continental Drift, even though I have already watched in theater over the last weekend.

These are just a few of the gadgets that help me survive the travails of living in a big city and living to tell the tale another day. In my future posts, I will let you peek into some other cool toys that help to make my life easier. Till then, take care. Bye!

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