ELCINA Electronic Industries Association of India (Formerly Electronic Component Industries Association) was established in 1967 when India's Electronic industry was still in its infancy. ELCINA has always remained committed to the promotion of electronics manufacturing culture in the country focusing on components-the building blocks of electronics industry.
- More signs of slowing growth in China: After weathering the global financial crisis better than any other large economy, China is now showing signs of slackening growth despite heavy lending from state-owned banks and extensive government investment programs.
Industrial production fell last month to its lowest growth rate since September, data released over this weekend showed. Imports, mainly materials needed by factories, and fixed-asset investment both fell in May to their weakest growth since August, when the economy was still mired in a sharp but deep summer slowdown.
Producer prices, typically measured at the factory gate, have declined y-o-y every month for 15 months in a row and have accelerated down ward through March, April and May.
- Information Technology
- Lenovo Horizon: A 27-inch tablet that can double as a desktop, or vice versa: Ever since the big break through Apple’s rivals have churned out iPad clones in different sizes. Ten inches diagonal? How about 11? How about nine? Or seven? Or five? In Samsung’s line alone, you can buy a tablet that matches almost any shoe size.
But the size variations don’t do much more than nudge the needle along the convenience spectrum. A little bigger means a greater screen area; a little smaller means better portability.
The Lenovo Horizon ($1,500 from Best Buy later in June 2013), however, doesn’t just nudge the needle – it snaps off the needle and teleports it. This tablet’s screen measures 27 inches diagonally. Now at this point, Lenovo’s rivals probably have cartoon steam exploding from their ears. “Twenty seven inches? That’s not a tablet – that’s an all-in-one PC!”
And it is true that the Horizon is, if you look at it one way, a one-piece computer like the iMac. A stand on the back props it up at any angle. It comes with a cordless mouse and keyboard. It runs Windows 8 – the real version, the one that runs any of the four million standard Windows programs.
The Lenovo Horizon’s screen measuring 27 inches diagonally, allows for several people to make use of it simultaneously to watch movies or even play games.
- Smaller Windows tablets to power up sales: Top gadget makers will soon roll out smaller tablets running on Miccrosoft’s Windows 8 operating system, hoping that the cheaper devices will appeal to buyers who have so far not shown much interest in the larger, expensive 10-inch versions.
The 7-inch segment, which accounts for a bulk of tablet sales in the country, is currently dominated by devices that run on Google’s Android. Companies such as Acer, Asus, Dell and HP are expected to launch their versions of the 7-inch Windows tablets in India over the next few weeks. The key question is whether Microsoft can convince large organizations to take a look at these tablets.
In May Microsoft’s Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner said his company was working on a new range of devices at lower price points, IDC analyst Manasi Yadav said Microsoft may seek new partnerships with Karbonn and Micromax – who price tablets more competitively.” So far, Windows s8 tablets are priced above Rs.30,000, which is a negative in a India, where the starting price of tablets is about Rs.5,000.”
- Entrepreneurial spirit alive and kicking in India, at least in the IT sector: Even as the world grapples with an economic slowdown the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking in India, at least in the IT sector. Bearing testimony to this fact are 4,000 applicants who have applied for funds with Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies) to make use of it’s programme that promises to finance start-up business ventures in the tech arena.
“We have close to 14,000 entrepreneurs from over 80 cities registering with our programme who have submitted about 4,000 applications. We will now select about 20 to 25 start-ups for angel funding and incubation,” said Som Mittal, President, Nasscom. Mittal added that Nasscom would select another 150 start-ups for mentoring by its members.
- Govt’s hardware suppliers face slow processing speed: Computer-hardware makers powering laptop and tablet give-aways of various state governments are in a Catch-22 situation. While such huge government contracts amount to nearly 20% of their annual sales, the governments are taking up to two years to pay them against the industry norm of three to six months, upsetting cash flows and squeezing profit margins of vendors.
This bitter-sweet state of affairs has seen at least one hardware vendor, Zenith Computers; throw up its hands on government contracts. “We stopped doing government projects about a year back due to unrealistic conditions and payment delays,” says Raj Saraf, Chairman of Zenith.
But most others vendors, faced with low or negative growth in other markets, are seeing it as a cost of doing business and soldiering on. “The government is the biggest buyer of IT products and services,” says Rothin Bhattacharya, head for strategy, marketing and M&A of HCL Infosystems. “We can’t ignore this market.”
Besides HCL, HP and Lenovo are the other computer-hardware makers to have bagged big government contracts.
So far, seven state governments and the human resource development ministry have announced plans distribute a total of seven million laptops and tablets, either for free or at a massive subsidy. Last month, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav distributed 8,000 free laptops to 12th standard students in the state.
As general elections are due in 2014, “we expect more bulk orders for computers as they replace cycles and TVs as a populist giveaway,” says the marketing head of a multinational computer major.
According to Manufacturers Association of Information Technology (MAIT), it takes about three months form the tendering process to payments in private contracts. “In government contracts, it can take up to two years, and in some cases, five years.” Confirms Bhattachayra of HCL: “As far as payments are concerned, government contracts have been challenging.”
- Apple’s overhaul for mobile and the Mac: Apple has introduced a major redesign of iOS, its mobile software system, as well as upgrades for some of its Mac computers. It also unveiled a new online music service for its music player, iTunes. The company, under intense pressure from investors, introduced the new software and Macs on the first day of its annual conference for software developers.
The new mobile software system is the first made under the company’s lead hardware designer, Jony Ive. He was put in charge of software interface design after the company fired Scott Forstall, the former head of mobile software development, during a flurry of negative news reports surrounding Apple’s new mapping software.
The design in iOS 7 introduces thin typography, similar to Microsoft’s Windows Phone Software, and a new color palette.
- Telecom Dept. rejects Defence demand on ‘efficient’ airwaves: The Department of Telecom (DoT) has dismissed an armed forces demand for pan-India allocation of airwaves in the efficient 900-MHz band, since the spectrum is already allotted to state-run telecom operator MTNL and Railways.
The Defence Ministry had sought a pan-India allocation of 2.4 units or MHz in the 900-MHz frequency band and another 1.2 units in Delhi for the Army’s requirements.
The Defence Ministry was already given 15 MHz in the 700-800 band, 20 MHz in 2,300-2,400 band and 150 MHz in 1,700-2,000 band. However, since the 900 MHz band by definition is commercial frequency the world over, the Defence was asked to submit justification for its use.
In its response, DoT’s Wireless Planning Cell (WPC) has pointed out that ‘pan-India allocation in the 900 MHz GSM band cannot be considered for the Army due to existing assignments to MTNL and Railway.