You May Die Thanks to Your Smartphone

phone call

If a popular TV Ad by a Telecom Network brand is to go by, you are born with a smartphone in your hand. You obviously live with one and if you are not careful you are perhaps going to die with a smartphone in your hand too. Alarmed? No, we are not alluding to topics like radiations from the phones can be harmful or how you should not text while driving, each of them being covered in a lot of depth in the past. Obviously, they are two factors you must keep in mind when you use smartphones. However, beyond these two well-covered topics, there are still use cases where smartphones can be potentially very hazardous. And we thought it would only be right to warn you of them, cause hey, we love you and you are awesome. And we want you around.

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Things You Probably Did Not Know About iOS 10

 

iOS 10 head

Apple introduced iOS 10 at WWDC 2016 last month. They called it the “biggest update” to iOS since the first iPhone came out, but we get a feeling we’ve heard this “biggest update” bit too often by now. Unlike iOS 7 that three years ago changed the way iOS looked top-to-bottom, iOS 10 doesn’t depart too much from the visual theme, while making some interesting modifications to design and function. It is no doubt a major update, mainly for those who are on iPhone 6s or the 6s Plus. While devices as old as the iPhone 5 and upwards will receive the update with the redesigned Lockscreen, Control Center as well as Apple applications like Music and News, you only begin to notice big behavioural changes when you are on iPhone 6s, as the update seemingly focuses on 3D Touch heavily. So here are things that we feel may have escaped your eye or just generally our observations about iOS 10 beyond what Apple talked about at the event.

Disclaimer: We used iOS 10 for a good five days on the first Developer Preview version on our iPhone 6s Plus. There is a possibility that post the feedback, Apple will change some of the things we talk about. Also, we are refraining from complaining about any apparent bugs simply because, they are expected in the Developer Preview.

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When Adobe & Microsoft Came Calling For An Anti-Piracy Audit

piracy check india

Yes I am aware of the unsaid rule. Nobody talks about it. Push it under the carpet and thank god for no harm was done. Well, that seems to be the protocol for anyone who has gone through an anti-piracy check by leading software vendors. Except that, they end up harassing a lot of genuine users too. So here is something that I noticed as a trend and hence, sharing our experience in public. Hope it helps a lot of other folks in similar situation.

Recently we got a request each from Adobe and Microsoft for checking the compliance status of their softwares used by us. These emails are meant to get a declaration from us stating how many softwares from these companies are we using and subsequently allow their teams or appointed auditors to conduct an inspection at our premise. The email on behalf of Microsoft was from PwC. Folks emailing us for Adobe had weird email IDs without any name in it, the only thing resembling that the person is an Adobe employee was their signature. This rang a bell and made me suspect that these are outsourced sales agencies.

Surprisingly, the emails which we received from Adobe and Microsoft misspelled names of my colleagues and even the letter that PwC, received from Microsoft (addressed to us) had the same spelling error. It immediately struck me that these are poorly created sales attempts by junior folks who want to threaten people for selling few licenses. Yes, and of course it also reminds me of this. Also since it is hard to find our entity name in public records, Microsoft’s letter referred to us as “Price Baba” and email subjects misspelled our entity name. The representative said that they got the data from Microsoft, which I believe is a lie, they took it from public records. Probably by doing a Google search for funded startups.

I am told by an industry insider that these firms who work on behalf of Adobe/Microsoft get as much as 60% of the money (commission) they extract out of companies who end up buying licenses from them. Of course a lot of times the companies who are pushed for such a ‘voluntary audit’ have to buy a license because they are at a fault. But these firms acting as software vendors are known to force companies and oversell more licenses than they need, just because they plant a fear of dire consequences. Sadly for them, we are a software company that doesn’t pirate stuff. With most of our operations being on the cloud or Ubuntu, I could give it right back to them.

The person speaking to me on behalf of Adobe claimed on the phone that they have ‘proof’ against us. But failed to Read more →

‘Consumer sentiments were the basic inspiration behind the creation of LG G5’ – Amit Gujral on the LG5 and lots more in Pricebaba Talk

Amit-Gujral-compressed

In the past three years or so LG has become a household name when it comes to Android device manufacturer. We have seen devices like LG G2, the Nexus 5 and the LG G5, each of which has brought something super unique to the Android ecosystem. In fact, one could argue that LG has probably been the manufacturer to push the envelope forward, as far as hardware innovations go. Be it the volume rockers at the back, modular smartphones or coming up with a Nexus phone that the average customer really loved, LG has done some really cool work.

Therefore, it was only obvious that we were super interested in speaking to somebody at LG who would give us a perspective of what is going on. And who better to speak about it than Mr Amit Gujral, the Head-Marketing, Mobile Communication Division at LG, the face, we all have seen on the stage at virtually all LG smartphone launch events here in India.  Read more →

‘Gionee Aims to Sell 40 million Units Globally This Year’- Arvind Vohra Reveals it in Pricebaba Talk

Gionee-New-Logo

Gionee India is at the forefront of the Chinese revolution that seems to have captured them mobile market in India. Known for their glamorous launches and slick products with a lot of focus on offline retail, Gionee has become a household brand name and enjoyed a ton of success in states like Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh especially thanks to its diverse catalog. Recently, we saw Gionee sponsor the Kolkata Knight Riders at IPL 2016 and on the occasion of the same, we sat down with the Country Head & CEO, Gionee India, Mr Arvind Vohra and put him under the spotlight. Read more →

Today’s Mid-Range Phone, or Last Year’s High-End, Which one to buy?

Mid-range vs High End

Smartphones have gotten out of hand to be honest, we at Pricebaba add over a thousand mobile phones to our database every year. The sheer number of phones is also the reason we exist, to help our users pick the best phone for their needs at the right price. We are bombarded will all sorts of questions on which phone to buy at a certain price. You’ll find a couple dozen phones at every price slab, and it is occupied by newcomers as well as the old guard that has descended into this price slab from the heavens. So the question, should you buy a new mid-range smartphone or a flagship device from last year? Read more →

Why Does Pricebaba have Ads?

PB product page

Before you say it, we will put it out there, we know ads are annoying. We know it takes away the experience from our core product and if we had unlimited deep pockets we would never have anything that divides the attention of the user.

PB product page

Sadly, we do not live in a perfect world. In an attempt to keep Pricebaba a free service for you and to survive in an extremely competitive environment, we have to serve ads which help us bring in a good part of our revenues. It adds up as a revenue stream alternative to our affiliate income and it is always good to not be dependent on one stream only. We hope someday that we get the magic pot and a genie which gives us all the cash in the world bank, but until that glorious time, we sadly have to feed our tummies ourselves. We have reinvested all the money that we have made back in the product for giving you a greater experience and several team members are working under massive pay cuts, just to realise their dream of making that perfect research engine for you. Therefore, all streams of revenue are extremely critical for us, going forward. Read more →

Let’s Set The Record Straight On Refurbished / Pre-Owned iPhones in India

Apple has made a request to the Indian government seeking permission to sell Certified Pre-Owned iPhones in the country. However there seems to be some confusion and debate on what that means & if that is a good or bad thing. Some questions are unanswered & I have had no interaction with Apple on this, but let’s look at what we know from public domain and other reports.

The debate for me started when I saw that there is some attempt to portray a pre-owned iPhone as better than a refurbished one by claiming it has a “New IMEI”, with the statement in this Indian Express article saying “Apple certified pre-owned phones have new IMEI numbers, not refurbished phones which are essentially repaired second hand phones.” My twitter exchanges with the author is here (somewhat going in circles there).

Indian Express on Pre-Owned iPhones In India

So are pre-owned iPhones better than refurbished? Because refurbished are repaired and second hand? Wait, Isn’t pre-owned = second hand? Honestly, it seems like Apple PR’s job to me. Trying to get some good press for certified pre-owned iPhones planned to be sold in India.  Read more →

Why the Pricebaba offline model failed, Our learnings and journey

Pricebaba branding on retail stores

As I sit down to write this blog entry on why our offline model failed, a realisation sets in. All the hundreds of conversations with mentors, friends, colleagues and investors across the globe over the last three years discussing this business is now seeing a closure. Yes, at Pricebaba our identity has been connecting local retailers to consumers on the web and after INR 2 crore invested, over 2400 retailers in 15 cities on-boarded, INR 300+ crore worth of inquiries and 86+ million visits on Pricebaba.com, we failed to make a business around this.

Some of you probably already see where this is going. Let me put it upfront. We are very motivated by a challenge of solving a real problem, not copy a proven western model and paste it in India with our PR folks cooking up a story around our journey later on. What I am doing with this post is sharing a lot of details about how we did what we did, what we were thinking and decisions we took. Thus, we do not want to be just another name written off the race with a face saving acqui-hire or shut down with vague wordings on our homepage.

Also, before we begin, let’s be clear. Pricebaba.com is a 25-member strong team and I am incredibly proud of what we have done so far and what we continue to work on. Yes, we aren’t dead. I would have said ‘we aren’t dead yet’. It isn’t uncommon for every startup to pitch their venture with such vigour — that their idea will happen and not may happen, no matter how uncertain the outcome. However in the below post, I will keep the pitching hat aside. We are a very powerful team working on a tough problem that accommodates our learnings from running Pricebaba all along. Survived by our user traction and revenues (yay), we are just getting started in our journey to create an impact.

So here is the Pricebaba offline model dissected. Read more →

5 Women That Rule Our Tech World

There have been numerous debates and plenty of noise on why the percentage population of women in the domain of technology, be it on the media side of things or setting up businesses related to technology, continues to remain thin. While that debate can go on, we at Pricebaba definitely believe in woman power. On May 8th, the International Women’s Day, we want to list out and pay tribute to five women from the world of tech that have rocked our world.

These are ladies, among many, that we look up to, draw inspiration from and try and learn as much as possible. So, let’s reveal the names now, shall we?

Gwynne Shotwell

Gwynne

Gwynne Shotwell is a very well known name in the world of Space travel. She currently serves as the President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX, an Aerospace manufacturing company founded by Elon Musk. While the spotlight stays pretty much constantly on Elon for his exploits, it is Gwynne who quitely goes about her business in ensuring that you and I can finally fulfill our fantasy of space travel very soon. Joining as a Vice President of Business Development, back in 2002, Gwynne has been a constant fix at the SpaceX and a major name behind the success stories. Read more →