Giztop Lists OnePlus 7 With Specifications

The Chinese smartphone maker, OnePlus 7 is working determinantly to launch the next flagship device, OnePlus 7. In the recent few weeks, several specification and design leaks had been surfaced. 

Today, a full-fledged listing has appeared on the website of Chinese retailer, Giztop flaunting its front side in an image along with its specifications. The image is matching the recently leaked 360 degree 3D render prototype of the OnePlus 7, irrespective its buttons placement.

Along with the full-view display, the device hosts a power button on the right side, and volume rockers sit on the left. It’s significantly large speaker grill is visible on the display top. Even though, the alert slider is missing from the frame. Further, it’s quite difficult to verify the pop-up camera module as nothing is visible beside its front side. The image seems quite practical, and it is possible that OnePlus should have eliminated the alert slider.

OnePlus 7 rumored specifications

Furthermore, Giztop has also listed the specifications of the device. As per the specs sheet, OnePlus 7 will carry  6.5 inch AMOLED display carrying “world’s fastest screen unlock” in-screen fingerprint sensor. OnePlus has dubbed to carry waterdrop display having a screen-to-body ratio of 91.5 percent. One of the major attractions of the smartphone is its in-display fingerprint reader. Further, OnePlus 7 will make debut with Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC which supports maximum clocking speeds of upto 2.84 GHz coupled with Adreno 640 GPU. On the camera end, its triple camera sensor module with 48MP+20MP+5MP will take place on the rear side of the device. On the front, there will be another 16MP pop-up camera sensor for selfies and video calling.

OnePlus will make it available in two different variants featuring 8GB RAM +128 GB storage and 12 GB RAM with 256 GB internal Storage. It is listed to host 4000 mAh of a huge battery which will be compatible with 44W super fast Dash charging technology. The device will run on Oxygen OS 9 aka Android 9.0 Pie. It will be compatible with almost every network carrier across the Globe.

Additionally, OnePlus founder Pete Lau has confirmed that the OnePlus 7 won’t feature wireless charging option. Already, various renders carrying punch hole display, some slipping notch have appeared in the past. We suggest you wait for the official confirmation, as the launch is not so long away.

Microsoft Announces Windows 10 To Be Running On 800 Million Devices

Windows 10 of the Micorsoft company is now running on 800 million devices. It added about 100 million more subscribers in the last six months.

At the Build conference 2017, the company said Windows 10 was running on 500 million devices, which after six months was running on 600 million devices. 

With 800 million devices, Windows 10 is now among the largest operating systems in the world. But Microsoft had to really toil to reach the milestone.

It may be recalled Microsoft had initially aimed at 1 billion devices with Windows 10 by the end of 2018. Later, Microsoft acknowledged that the target was too ambitious. In fact, it took about four years to overtake its decade- old Windows 7 software. 

Windows 10 was announced in July, 2015. Touted as the biggest-ever update to Microsoft’s PC software, Windows 10 came with new features and new UI. Microsoft also said it will no longer launch Android-like iterations of Windows each year and it will simply roll out two major updates each year to the Windows 10.

Windows has been Microsoft’s flagship product for decades. Over the last couple of years, the company is shifting its focus on newer categories such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing. At its last year’s Build developer conference, Microsoft extensively talked about integrating AI into all of its key services including the Azure platform.

As far as Windows goes, it’s now being developed as a service rather than a product. Microsoft is also making a number of its core Windows apps available on Android and iOS as part of its cross-platform approach.

Microsoft is currently making efforts to push users on older-generation Windows versions to the latest one. Just recently Microsoft said it would end providing Windows 7 support early if users didn’t install its March update that would bring SHA-2 encryption algorithms.

India- US Trade Surplus Shrinks, Trump Administration’s Action Unfortunate

The Trump administration had said that the absence of ‘equitable and reasonable’ market access from New Delhi as the reason to withdraw the duty benefits on annual exports worth $5.6 billion under the so-called Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) by May, but latest data shows India’s goods trade surplus with the US actually went down for a second straight year through 2018.

According to the US government data, New Delhi’s trade surplus with Washington eased to $21.3 billion in 2018 from $22.9 billion in 2017. In contrast, China’s trade surplus with the US widened further to a record $419.2 billion last year from $375.6 billion in 2017, despite the tariff war between the world’s top two economies. The drop in India’s trade surplus is important, given that the US’ overall goods trade deficit zoomed further in 2018 to $878.7 billion from $795.7 billion a year before.

India’s surplus with the world’s largest economy stood at $24.4 billion in 2016. In fact, India is among the very few countries whose trade surplus with the US has been falling — something that the Trump administration has been wanting to ensure.

Similarly, the American goods exports to India jumped almost 29% to $33.12 billion in 2018 from $25.7 billion in the previous year.

“The massive rise in its exports suggests that India has been more than fair in granting market access to the US. In fact, under a trade package that was being negotiated until recently, India had gone more than half the distance to address the American concerns,” said a senior government official. Given the backdrop, the GSP withdrawal is only ‘unfortunate’, said the official.

The government, however, won’t resort to any ‘knee-jerk’ reaction but will take an informed decision after taking a holistic view of the matter.

India will remain the world’s fastest-growing large economy in the coming years, generating opportunities for US businesses in sectors ranging from defence and retail to oil. The commerce ministry has said India is a thriving market for US services and e-commerce companies like Amazon, Uber, Google and Facebook with billions of dollars of revenue. In fact, despite the price control, American companies like Abbott and Boston Scientific dominate the medical equipment market in India, while Amazon and Uber remain the top players in their segments.

Under the GSP, 1,784 products — ranging from certain engineering goods and organic chemicals to textiles — are exported from India to the US at zero duty. However, these products typically attract low duties there (for instance, the engineering goods and textiles covered under the GSP typically attract less than 3%). Nevertheless, some leather products, processed food items and handlooms could see some impact, which will impact small companies and individuals that produce them.

Stressing that India responded to the US requests on sticky issues positively, the commerce ministry said on Tuesday that New Delhi had proposed to replace the current price cap policy for coronary stents with a ‘suitable trade margin regime’ to address American concerns. As for the US demand to scrap/cut tariff on ICT products, including mobile phones costing over Rs 10,000, New Delhi had conveyed to the US that any such across-the-board cut would help only third parties (like China and Korea) and was willing to lower duties on those products where it would benefit the US. India had also offered to simplify certain certification procedures for dairy imports from the US.

“Acceptability of US market access requests related to products like alfalfa hay, cherries and pork was conveyed…On telecom testing, India was willing to consider discussions for a Mutual Recognition Agreement, ” the commerce ministry said.

Private Companies To Pay ₹20 For Each Aadhar – Based Verfication, 50 Paise For ID Authentication

Private companies will have to pay ₹20 for using Aadhaar services for customer verification and 50 paise for authentication of the unique ID. 

However, government entities and the Department of Post are exempted from these authentication charges.

“Aadhaar authentication services shall be charged at the rate of Rs 20 (including taxes) for each eKYC transaction and Rs 0.50 (including taxes) for each Yes and No authentication transaction from requesting entities,” the UIDAI said in its gazette notification named ‘Pricing of Aadhaar Authentication Services’.

According to the notification, private companies have to pay this fee within 15 days of raising an invoice by the authority. Delays in payment will attract interest and could lead to discontinuation of authentication and eKYC services, the ET report mentioned.

Last week (February 28), the government promulgated an ordinance to approve amendments to the Aadhar Act that allows voluntary use of the Aadhaar number for both offline and online authentication, besides using the number for authentication for KYC purposes. The ordinance was necessitated as the bill was stuck in Rajya Sabha despite being cleared by the Lok Sabha in January.

The notification also said that if a company does not wish to pay the authentication charges, it shall discontinue the use of Aadhaar authentication services and intimate its decision to the UIDAI immediately and surrender its access to the authentication facilities.

Inflation Likely Accelerated In February, But Went Down Below RBI Target: Poll

Indian inflation which had likely gone up in 

February but remained quite below the target of Central bank, said economists in a Reuters poll, as only modest rises in food and fuel prices failed to drive a bigger lift from January’s 19-month low.

The poll of 37 economists, conducted March 5-7, showed consumer price inflation, due to be released at 1200 GMT on March 12, is expected to have picked up to 2.43 per cent last month from January’s 2.05 per cent.

An overwhelming majority of economists polled predicted inflation would average below 3 per cent, with forecasts ranging from 2.15 per cent to 3.20 per cent. If inflation comes in as expected, it would be below the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target of 4 per cent for the seventh month in a row and closer to the lower end of its 2-6 per cent buffer range for a fourth month.

“Headline CPI inflation will have remained low in February even if, as we suspect, it rose a touch due to higher food inflation,” noted Shilan Shah, senior India economist at Capital Economics.

Another low inflation reading would support the RBI’s surprisingly dovish turn early last month, when it cut interest rates and shifted its policy stance to “neutral” from “calibrated tightening”.

A Reuters poll of economists taken immediately after that decision showed another RBI rate cut expected before May’s general election.

But core inflation is expected to remain elevated with a separate Reuters polls showing oil prices rising and a potential trade conflict with the U.S. weakening the Indian rupee, which would both be inflationary.

“Inflation is going to creep upward as we already see fuel prices pumping up following a lead from global oil prices which are going higher,” said Prakash Sakpal, Asia economist at ING.

“Plus, we have a weaker rupee – although INR has consolidated a bit since February – it is not totally out of the woods yet.”

Jet Airways Goes Through Fleet Crisis, Airlines Asked To Minimise Inconvenience To Passengers

Around 40 per cent of Jet Airways’ flights of 123 is grounded due to non-payment of lease rentals and lack of spares, said a senior official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Thursday. 

BS Bhullar, the director general DGCA said the aviation’s schedule is being monitored per month as its fleet count has been reduced to 70. 

 “Jet’s financial situation is well known. We are in constant touch with the airlines. We have told them to inform passengers about cancellations well in advance so that inconvenience is minimised,” Bhullar told reporters. He added that forward sales would not be banned as it can create a panic in the industry.

Cash-strapped Jet Airways had a fleet of 123 aircraft, including Airbus A330s and Boeing 737-800s, at the end of December 2018.

Jet Airways was forced to ground three more aircraft on Thursday due to non-payment of lease rentals, the airline said in an exchange filing. This has taken the total number of aircraft grounded on account of rental defaults to 28 including newly-introduced Boeing 737 Max. Other 25 aircraft are reportedly parked at different airports for want of service and spare as the full-service carrier faces its worst financial crisis.

According to DGCA sources, the airline has been compelled to cancel nearly 200 domestic flights every day, approximately a third of the daily schedule of 600 flights.

The beleaguered airline, which is looking for an investor to bail it out, is negotiating with lessors, the management said.

After announcing the grounding of four of its planes on February 7 for non-payment to lessors, the airline took another two aircraft out of operations due to similar reasons on February 23. On February 27 and 28, Jet Airways grounded seven and six aircraft, respectively, due to the non-payment of lease rentals. Later, two aircraft were grounded on March 1 and as many on March 2 and March 4.

According to sources, Jet’s equity partner Etihad Airways may be unwilling to infuse any funds in the interim in the cash-strapped carrier. The Abu Dhabi-based airline, which has a 24% stake in Jet, is believed to have decided to infuse funds only after the bank-led resolution plan (BLRP), which is being piloted by State Bank of India, is finalised and approved.

Meanwhile, Jet founder Naresh Goyal may be willing to step down as the chairman of the airline’s board. Since the BLRP’s finalisation and approval from all the stakeholders concerned will take time, the airline needs funds in the interim to pay its pilots, vendors and aircraft leasing firms.

As is known, the bank-led resolution plan includes infusion of funds, restructuring of debt and monetisation of assets. The BLRP has estimated a funding gap of around Rs 8,500 crore (including proposed repayment of aircraft debt of around Rs 1,700 crore) which will be met by an appropriate mix of equity infusion, debt restructuring, sale/sale and leaseback/refinancing of aircraft, among other things.

Once approved by all the required sections, lenders, led by SBI, will become the largest stakeholders in the airline. The stake of Goyal would come down to around 20-22% from the current 51%.

According to the monthly passenger data, Jet’s domestic passenger count was down 9% year-on-year during January while its market share fell to 11.9% – the lowest in at least five years – behind national carrier Air India’s 12.2%. 

Indian Businesspersons Suffer A New Worry, Shadow Lenders Keep Them Off Financing Channel

The important business persons are facing a worrying new development since a few weeks. Shadow lenders have been cutting them off from a main financing channel.

Company founders have long fueled dreams to expand their business empires with loans they get by pledging stakes in their firms. But recent scares have prompted at least two major shadow banks to turn off the faucet in the past month, the longest dry spell in six years, people familiar with the matter say.

Observers say the amount of such share-pledged loans, currently at about 1 trillion rupees ($14 billion), will shrink further, raising risks of a broader fallout. Business chiefs around the world including Elon Musk at Tesla Inc. and Larry Ellison at Oracle Corp. have used their shares to access cash for personal ventures. In China, the practice has led to margin call-induced stock routs and lenders fighting in courts to reclaim funds in the case of defaults.

The twist in India is that founders have relied on such funds to bankroll risky attempts to build business groups into bigger conglomerates, often with forays into real estate. They may be forced to refinance through more expensive channels if the pledged-share loan market keeps contracting. Such strains would hurt India’s credit market, still jittery after shock defaults by the IL&FS group last year.

What Spooked Indian Lenders ? 

The matter came to a head last month with these cases: Lenders sold shares in tycoon Anil Ambani’s companies after the value of collateral plummeted. The billionaire’s conglomerate called the sales “illegal, motivated and wholly unjustified,” and filed a suit against one of the lenders. Media tycoon Subhash Chandra’s Essel Group signed a pact with its lenders last month that prevents them from selling shares of the group’s listed firms until Sept. 30. Lenders won’t classify the group’s borrowings secured by shares as bad debts even if the stock prices fall, according to the pact. Offering stock as collateral for loans can be an easy way to obtain cash in good times when stock prices are rising. But when shares fall, and lenders seek additional collateral to cover the declines, owners who have most of their wealth tied up in their companies may not be able to meet those calls.

How Bad is the Situation ? 

Two lenders who frequently extended loans to founders backed by pledged shares haven’t done any for at least the last month, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. The last time they went so long without doing such loans was in 2013, they said. The total outstanding amount of such share-pledged loans has dropped 20 percent from a year ago to 1 trillion rupees, according to Edelweiss Financial Services. It’s set to shrink another 30-40 percent in the coming year, said Ajay Manglunia, head of fixed-income at the firm. Brickwork Ratings India, which rates more such debt than any other local firm, has also seen requests for such credit reviews dry up over the last month.

If the funding channel keeps drying up, one silver lining could be less damage from margin calls. There’s currently still a lot at stake. Founders at 820 companies have pledged 2.3 trillion rupees of shares as collateral against their borrowings, according to the latest data.

“I hope founders of Indian firms learn a lesson from this and only look to this mode of raising funds as a last resort as it has implicit risk,” said Manish Sonthalia, chief investment officer of portfolio management services at Motilal Oswal Asset Management Co. in Mumbai.

Hyundai Motor Likely To Invest $250 Million In Ola, Will Take Up 4% Stake

Hyundai Motor is likely to invest $250 million (about ₹1,752 crore) in the domestic ride-hailing company Ola. The company is take up 4 per cent stake in Ola. 

The Bhavish Aggarwal-led company has been on a capital-raising over the past few months for a valuation of around USD 6 billion. The daily mentioned that the transaction is expected to close in the next few weeks. Also, the funding will come as part of the ongoing financing round at Ola, which is eyeing to raise over USD 400-500 million.

Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal and Hong Kong-based hedge fund Steadview Capital have already pledged fund as part of this round. Besides, Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund is also in discussion to participate in this round by investing USD 30-40 million, the report said.

It may be noted that this could be Hyundai’s second investment in an Indian startup company if the deal materialises. In August 2018, Gurugram-based car sharing company Revv had raised Rs 100 crore in series B funding led by Hyundai.

“The finer details and investment size are still being finalised,” one of the sources mentioned earlier told the daily.

The daily quoted a Hyundai Motors India spokesperson as saying, “Hyundai Motor is open to cooperation with various potential partners, but it is our policy not to comment on market speculation and rumours.” The development was first reported by online portal Entrackr.

Worth mention here is that auto major Mahindra and Mahindra and Ford have financed Zoomcar — the self-driving car rental company — over multiple rounds through their various investment arms.

SC Orders Mediation In Ayodhya Case On Friday

The Supreme Court ordered mediation in the Ramjanmabhoomi- Babri Masjid case on Friday. The order was passed by a five- judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi. 

Mediation will start within a week at Faizabad and state of UP has to make arrangements, the Supreme Court ruled. Mediation panel has to give its report within four weeks.

The mediation will be done by a three-member panel, which the Supreme Court said, will be at liberty to induct more mediators or seek legal assistance. Justice FM Khalifulah, the retired Supreme Court judge is the chairman of the panel.

Art of Living head Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu are the other mediators on the panel. Panchu is a trained mediator.

The top court directed both parties to maintain utmost confidentiality during the process of mediation, which will be held in-camera. There ought not to be any reporting in print or electronic of the mediation process, the court said.

The mediation panel will revert to the Supreme Court registry if there are any hurdles in the process of mediation, the five-judge bench ruled. The other judges on the bench are justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order after hearing both sides on the proposal to try out mediation as an alternative to litigation to settle the decades-old dispute.

The suggestion was opposed by the Uttar Pradesh government and the Hindu parties, except the Nirmohi Akhara, a religious denomination that is one of the main parties to the civil suit, but was welcomed by the Muslim side.

The court is hearing petitions challenging a 2010 Allahabad high court order that trifurcated the 2.77-acre-site between the Nirmohi Akhara, the Sunni Central Waqf Board, and Ram Lalla (the child deity).

The court is also considering a petition by the Centre, which wants to release 67.7 acres of land acquired in 1993 around the site — except for .303 acres on which the actual disputed structure stood — to its original owners.

The court mentioned mediation as a possibility to resolve the contentious dispute in a hearing on February 26. The judges suggested an amicable resolution while telling the parties that they were seriously “giving a chance for mediation” in an attempt to “heal relationships”.

The verdict may assume political signifiance because it comes just weeks ahead of the general elections this summer. With the dispute having been referred to mediation, the outcome is likely be known only after the polls.

Many of the Hindu parties opposed mediation saying it would only delay the case, and that previous attempts to mediate the dispute had failed.

In its last hearing on Wednesday, the judges urged lawyers on both sides to exercise restraint and not argue on history.

“Don’t tell us history. We have also read history. Do not tell us what we already know. We have no control over what happened in the past…we have no control over the past. We can only undo the present, which is the dispute before us,” Justice Bodbe said.

Justice Chandrachud, however, aired his doubts over the binding nature of mediation and whether it would work in a dispute that has taken the nature of a representative suit.

“It’s no longer a dispute between just two parties but a wider dispute between two communities. Even if we go through mediation how would it be binding on all?” he asked.