Xiaomi Amazfit Smartwatch With Heart Rate Sensor Launched

Xiaomi Amazfit Smartwatch With Heart Rate Sensor Launched

  • The smartwatch has been priced at CNY 799
  • It will go on sale in China from Wednesday
  • It bears a 1.34-inch circular display

Xiaomi on Tuesday launched its latest wearable in China, the much-anticipated first smartwatch from the company. Made in collaboration with partner Huami, the Xiaomi Amazfit smartwatch has been priced at CNY 799 (roughly Rs. 8,100) and will be available to purchase in the country from Wednesday.

The Xiaomi Amazfit is claimed by the company to be the world’s first smartwatch with a 28nm GPS sensor. The smartwatch is also dust and water resistant with IP67 certification. It sports a ceramic bezel, which is said to be scratch resistant, while the smartwatch comes with a 22nm band that is user replaceable.

The Amazfit bears a 1.34-inch circular display with a 300×300 pixel resolution. It is powered by a 1.2GHz processor that’s coupled with 512MB of RAM. Coming with 4GB of storage, the smartwatch also features a heart rate sensor on the rear panel with continuous tracking. The company has also partnered with Alibaba to offer mobile payment support for the AliPay service.

Xiaomi says the Amazfit will work with any Android device that supports the MiFit app and has it installed.

 The Chinese company announced the Amazfit is powered by a 200mAh battery that’s rated to deliver up to 5 days of battery life. With GPS enabled, this figure drops to 30 hours, and while using just the pedometer function, the battery is said to last 11.6 days.

Tuesday’s China launch of the Xiaomi Amazfit smartwatch was first reported by PhoneRadar.

While we’ve mentioned above the Xiaomi Amazfit is the company’s first smartwatch, that’s not technically correct – the company launched a kid-focused smartwatch back in May.


Microsoft Says Surface Pro 3’s Battery Issue Fixed With Latest Update

Microsoft Says Surface Pro 3's Battery Issue Fixed With Latest Update

  • Microsoft starts rolling out battery fix update for Surface Pro 3
  • Microsoft says the devices were not able to gauge their battery capacity
  • The company claimed earlier this month that it was close to finding fix

Earlier this month, Microsoft claimed that the company was close to solving the battery issues some users were experiencing with the Surface Pro 3. Now, the Redmond-based company has finally rolled out an update and says that it fixes the issue battery life issue on some Surface Pro 3 models.

Microsoft has said in a note that on certain affected devices, the battery was being misreported to the operating system and device firmware and as a result, the device was not being able to charge up to its full capacity.

Comparing the issue with fuel in a car’s tank, the company said, “Think of this like a fuel gauge in a car, where the car looks to the fuel gauge to determine how much to fill the tank. In this case, if the fuel gauge isn’t working right, the car would also not be able to fill the tank-even though the tank is fine.”

The update essentially corrects the logic in the firmware component that acts as the “fuel gauge” for the Surface Pro 3 battery, so that the actual battery capacity on devices with this particular part is accurately reported, Microsoft explains in its post. The company says that post-update, the device’s battery capacity will self-correct over the next several charge and discharge cycles.

In order to get the update on Windows 10, you need to head to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update and then choose ‘Check for Updates’ option. After installing the update your Surface will boot back into Windows and then you are required to restart the device again for the battery fix to take effect, the company says.


Uber Said to Lose at Least $1.2 Billion in First Half of 2016

Uber Said to Lose at Least $1.2 Billion in First Half of 2016

The ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies is not a public company, but every three months, dozens of shareholders get on a conference call to hear the latest details on its business performance from its head of finance, Gautam Gupta.

On Friday, Gupta told investors that Uber’s losses mounted in the second quarter. Even in the U.S., where Uber had turned a profit during its first quarter, the company was once again losing money.

In the first quarter of this year, Uber lost about $520 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, according to people familiar with the matter. In the second quarter the losses significantly exceeded $750 million, including a roughly $100 million shortfall in the U.S., those people said. That means Uber’s losses in the first half of 2016 totalled at least $1.27 billion.

Subsidies for Uber’s drivers are responsible for the majority of the company’s losses globally, Gupta told investors, according to people familiar with the matter. An Uber spokesman declined to comment.

“You won’t find too many technology companies that could lose this much money, this quickly,” said Aswath Damodaran, a business professor at New York University who has written sceptically of Uber’s astronomical valuation on his blog. “For a private business to raise as much capital as Uber has been able to is unprecedented.”

 Bookings grew tremendously from the first quarter of this year to the second, from above $3.8 billion to more than $5 billion. Net revenue, under generally accepted accounting principles, grew about 18 percent, from about $960 million in the first quarter to about $1.1 billion in the second.

Uber also told investors during the call that it was changing how it calculates UberPool’s contribution to revenue in the second quarter, which had the effect of increasing revenue.

Uber’s losses and revenue have generally grown in lockstep as the company’s global ambitions have expanded. Uber has lost money quarter after quarter. In 2015, Uber lost at least $2 billion before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Uber, which is seven years old, has lost at least $4 billion in the history of the company.

It’s hard to find much of a precedent for Uber’s losses. Webvan and Kozmo.com-two now-defunct phantoms of the original dot-com boom-lost just over $1 billion combined in their short lifetimes. Amazon.com Inc. is famous for losing money while increasing its market value, but its biggest loss ever totaled $1.4 billion in 2000. Uber exceeded that number in 2015 and is on pace to do it again this year.

“It’s hardly rare for companies to lose large sums of money as they try to build significant markets and battle for market share,” said Joe Grundfest, professor of law and business at Stanford. “The interesting challenge is for them to turn the corner to become profitable, cash-flow-positive entities.”

The second quarter of 2016, which ended in June, could represent a nadir for Uber. The company’s losses will likely fall. In July, it cut a deal with its largest global competitor, Chinese ride-hailing behemoth Didi Chuxing, washing its hands of its massive losses in that country. Didi gave Uber a 17.5 percent stake in its business and a $1 billion investment in exchange for Uber’s retreat. Uber lost at least $2 billion in two years in China, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in July. Uber won’t see any losses from China on its balance sheet after August, the company said on Friday’s investor call.

Uber’s backers range from venture capital firms like Benchmark Capital to the investment bank Goldman Sachs. Altogether, Uber has raised more than $16 billion in cash and debt. Its latest valuation is a whopping $69 billion. The company has effectively redistributed at least $1 billion to the Chinese working class in the form of heavy subsidies to drivers there. “Uber and Didi Chuxing are investing billions of dollars in China and both companies have yet to turn a profit there,” Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick wrote in a letter announcing the company’s departure from China.

Uber has been engaged in a fierce price war with Lyft this year, and that has also contributed to the enormous losses. Uber told investors on Friday’s call that it’s willing to spend to maintain its market share in the U.S. The company told investors that it believes Uber has between 84 percent and 87 percent of the market in the U.S., according to a person familiar with the matter.

Lyft said its market share in major U.S. cities is more than 20 percent and has grown substantially since last year. “Uber’s alleged market share is a misleading and skewed statistic given that they offer service in more markets than Lyft,” a spokeswoman for Lyft wrote in an e-mail.

One Uber investor said that he was expecting the company to continue losing money in the U.S. for the next quarter or two. But Lyft, a much smaller company by trip volume, looks to be losing more money than Uber in the U.S. Lyft has told investors that it will keep its losses under $50 million a month, Bloomberg reported in April. That would be about $150 million in a quarter. Uber’s U.S. losses totaled about $100 million in the second quarter of this year. In July, Uber delivered 62 million rides to Lyft’s 13.9 million. Uber’s subsidies were spread over more rides.

Uber has about $8 billion in the bank and will soon receive $1 billion in cash from Didi, according to a person familiar with the matter. Uber also has access to a $2 billion credit line and a $1.2 billion loan.

“I think what Uber is trying to do is, ‘Hey, look, we’re going to take the losses up front in order to get to disproportionate scale,'” said Robert Siegel, lecturer in management at Stanford’s business school. “The question is when they can get to profitability.” This fall, Bloomberg’s global technology team is launching a newsletter. Click here to be the first to get it.


Reliance Jio SIM in Demand as Thousands Queue Up Across the Country

Reliance Jio SIM in Demand as Thousands Queue Up Across the Country

  • Thousands for queuing up to get a Reliance Jio SIM
  • SIM comes with 3 months of free usage
  • This includes unlimited mobile data

There was been a lot of demand for the Reliance Jio SIM in the virtual world, as has been evident by the number of queries we’ve got on the subject in the last few weeks. This week saw the demand make its presence felt in the real world, with people queuing up in droves at Reliance Digital, Digital Xpress, Digital Xpress Mini stores, and other select retail outlets in the hope of getting their hands on a Reliance Jio SIM.

While calling tariffs in India are among the lowest in the world, mobile data continues to cost a premium, with just 1GB of 3G/ 4G data per month costing over Rs. 250 in most circles on popular operators like Airtel and Vodafone. This makes the demand for a Reliance Jio SIM – which is now available for all 4G phones at select outlets, but only for owners of smartphones by 13 manufacturers at others – understandable, as each Jio SIM comes with 3 months of unlimited calling, SMS, and most importantly, unlimited mobile Internet usage.

The SIM is available free of cost as Reliance Jio is still testing its network, a move that has upset the incumbent telecom operators, but users need to submit their KYC documents. Each Reliance Jio SIM also comes with access to Jio services like JioOnDemand and JioBeats.

 So while no one knows what Reliance Jio will charge for 1GB of data post its commercial launch – which is still a “few months” away – people are only more than happy to enjoy free data for 3 months. This explains the mad rush for these SIMs, as evident by these pictures:

 Reliance Jio – which is currently testing its network – is expected to do a commercial launch of its network in the ‘coming months’, according to Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries Limited Chairman. Ambani is said to have recently met Telecom Secretary JS Deepak to discuss rollout plans for Reliance Jio, which has accused incumbent players of not releasing sufficient interconnection ports during its test run of services.