Weekly News Digest: Apple Event Highlights, Amazon Smart Plug, Redmi 9i and More [18th September]

Here are the latest updates, top news, and product launches for the week.

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Welcome to the weekly news digest! Every Friday, we bring the top news stories from the world of e-commerce. Last week, we reported on the launch of Jio's low-cost android phone which the company is developing in partnership with Google.

Here is a round-up of this week's headline from Apple ‘Time Flies’ event highlights where the tech giant introduced an impressive line up of products and services to the new methods being tested by e-commerce companies in India to provide safe and fast delivery. As always we have some interesting product launches as well. So let us take a look at the top headlines of the week. 

1. Apple Event Highlights: iPad Air, iPad 8, Watch SE & More

apple event 2020

At the Times Flies event, Apple announced iPad Air, Watch Series 6, Watch Series SE and a few services. 

The new iPad Air will be available in October. It is powered by an A14 chipset. The Wi-Fi models cost Rs. 54,900 onwards and Wi-Fi + cellular models have a starting price of Rs. 66,900. While Apple Pencil (2nd Generation) will be available for Rs. 10,900 and the Magic Keyboard is sold separately at Rs. 27,900. 

In India, the Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) costs at Rs 40,900 while the Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) is priced at Rs 49,900. Apple affordable Watch SE (GPS) is priced at Rs 29,900 and Watch SE (GPS + Cellular) at Rs 33,900. No availability dates have been announced.

India will be among the first countries to get Apple One Service. it comes bundled with offerings such as Apple Music, Apple TV +, Apple Arcade and more. The individual plan costs Rs. 195 per month While the family plan will cost Rs. 365 per month. 

Apple also launched the iPad8 at the event. It comes with slimmer bezels and a bigger 10.2-inch display. The entry-level iPad mode does not get the new A14 SoC. The new iPad (8th generation) will be available in India at a starting price of Rs 29,900 for the Wi-Fi model and Rs 41,900 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. 

Tim Cook also revealed the iOS 14 at Apple's virtual event which is now available for download. Apple's newest operating system will work with all iPhone models that are compatible with iOS 13. The iOS update brings redesigned widgets and a new interface for FaceTime, voice calls, and Siri interactions. It also brings Picture-in-Picture support for iPhone & iPod touch users.

However, we will have to wait for the iPhone 12, and we can definitely expect improved performance as it will be powered by A14 Bionic chipset. It is the first 5nm SoC in a consumer device with serious performance improvement over last year's A13 Bionic. 

2. Amazfit Neo Launch in India

amazefit neo

Huami has announced the launch date for its latest smartwatch in India. Amazfit Neo will make its debut in the Indian market on 1st October. The wearable features retro styling and an always-on display.

Additional features of Amazfit Neo include 5ATM water resistance, 28-day battery life, and heart rate sensor. The 160mAh battery can last up to 27 days. The device will be sold online via Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, and the brand's online store ( in.amazfit.com).

It will be sold in Classic Black, Grass Grey Green, and Coral Orange colours. The budget smartwatch is expected to be priced around Rs. 3,000. 

3. Amazon India Launches The Wanderlust Store

amazon wonderlust store

Are you missing the airport shopping experience? Amazon makes it possible from the comforts of your home. Amazon has launched The Wanderlust Store featuring premium brands. The store has been designed to provide the experience of a duty-free store. It showcases the exquisite collection of international fragrances, skincare ranges, luxury handbags, and watches.

Amazon is also offering discounts on luxury brands via its newly launched store. Shop your favourite premium at best prices via The Wanderlust Store. 

To shop from The Wanderlust Store on Amazon Click here

4. Mi Band 5 Launch in India 

mi band 5

Xiaomi is hosting its annual Smarter living event in India on 29th September. The company will introduce several IoT products at the event. Xiaomi is expected to launch many products including Mi Band 5, Mi Watch, a smart bulb, smart soap dispenser, and smart speaker among others. 

The company has not revealed the devices to be launched. A teaser on Amazon confirms the launch of Mi Smart Band 5. The wearable features 1 1.1-inch AMOLED colour touchscreen display with 2.5D scratch-resistant glass. The fitness band comes with 11 exercise modes and a health mode. It features a built-in microphone for voice commands and Personal Activity Intelligence Index. 

The Mi Band has already launched globally. It is expected to be priced around Rs. 3,400. 

5. Amazon Launches Smart Plug 

smart plug

Amazon has added a new product to its smart device range in India with the launch of Smart Plug. The device is designed for the Indian Market. It uses a 3-pin socket 

The device adds smart control to your existing appliances such as TV, lamp, or fan. The smart plug can be paired with Alexa devices such as Echo smart speakers for hands-free voice control. You can also set the on/off of appliances with the smart plug using the Alexa App.  

Amazon Smart Plus is priced at Rs. 1,999. It can be available on Amazon as well as select Croma and Reliance Digital Outlets. 

For more details on Amazon Smart Plug Click Here

6. Watch MI vs CSK for FREE on Jio, Airtel and Disney+ Hotstar VIP

ipl 2020

The 13th edition of IPl is all set to start. The first match of the tournament will be played between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. Cricket fans are eagerly waiting for the clash which will be played behind closed doors. 

If you are looking to stream IPL 2020 then Airtel and Jio have got you covered. Both the telecom operators have launched recharge plans to provide users free access to IPL live streaming on Disney+ Hotstar. 

MI vs CSK match starts at 7:30 pm IST on 19th September. The match will be played at Sheikh Zayed Stadium. 

7. Sachin Tendulkar is Brand Ambassador of Paytm First Games

paytm first games

Paytm First Games has signed Sachin Tendulkar as the brand ambassador ahead of the Indian Premier League 2020. The fantasy sports market in India is currently dominated by Dream11. As its brand ambassador, Sachin Tendulkar will help Paytm First Games create awareness about fantasy sports in India. 

With Paytm First games, users can play their favourite games online and redeem their earnings via Paytm wallet. Most of us have grown up watching Sachin in action. The presence of Sachin as brand ambassador will inspire gaming enthusiasts to experience fantasy sports. The genre is about tactics, planning, and knowledge of the game. 

8. Zomato and Dunzo start Drone Delivery Testing 

drone delivery

Online food delivery service providers such as Zomato and Dunzo are expected to start drone delivery trials this month. Zomato will be testing drone delivery service in Alwar in Rajasthan while Dunzo is planning to start trials in Bengaluru. Zoamto targets the trials for delivery of food and medicines. Swiggy is also expected to start the trials soon. 

Currently, both companies are going through regulatory security clearance. Delivery through drones will provide a new way for fast and secure delivery. Drone delivery is the future of online retail. Drones can be especially helpful in the delivery of time-sensitive items such as medicines. The system is expected to deliver packages in 30 minutes or less.

9. Snapdeal Conducts Contactless Delivery Trial Using Robots

snapdeal robot

Moving from delivery through drones to contactless delivery using robots. Recently, Snapdeal conducted last-mile contactless delivery using robots in Noida and Gurugram on September 15. The e-commerce platform has partnered with mobility startup Ottonomy IO to conduct the trials. Ottonomy IO has developed delivery robots which can run along sidewalks and local streets to deliver orders. 

These robots use AI algorithms and machine learning to navigate through crowded areas. The robots can also be remotely monitored and controlled. With the help of ultraviolet lighting, the package is disinfected as well. It is the first of its kind initiative in e-commerce. 

“The contactless delivery of a sanitised packet is an initiative by the firms to make e-commerce deliveries safer for its users,"

Soon you can expect your order being delivered by a robot. 

10. Redmi 9i Launch in India 

redmi 9i

Xiaomi has launched yet another affordable smartphone in India. Redmi 9i comes with a 5,000mAh battery. It features a 6.53-inch HD+ IPS LCD display with a waterdrop notch. The device is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio G25 processor. It is available in two storage variants of 4GB/64GB and 4GB/128GB. 

The storage can be expanded by up to 512GB. Redmi 9i has a single 13MP camera with LED flash on the rear. There is a 5MP front camera. The smartphone comes with a 10W in-box charger. You get to choose from three colour options - Nature Green, Sea Blue, Midnight Black. It will be available starting September 18 via Flipkart, Mi.com. Mi Homes and MI studios. 

Price - Rs. 8,299 for 4GB of RAM and 64GB and Rs. 9,299 for 4GB of RAM and 128GB. For more details on Redmi 9i Click here

Upcoming Smartphone Flash Sales in India

Mobile Phone

Price

Sale Date

Website

Redmi 9i

Rs. 8,299 Onwards

18th September at 12 Noon

Flipkart

Samsung M51

Rs. 24,999 Onwards

18th September at 12 Noon

Amazon

OnePlus Nord 5G

Rs. 24,999 Onwards

21st September 

Amazon

Realme Narzo 10A

Rs. 8,999 Onwards

18th September at 12 Noon

Flipkart

 

These were some of the latest happenings of the week from around the web. The biggest highlight of the week is the launch of new products and services by Apple. The company introduced a wide range of new products and services at the Time Flies event. 

The new automated delivery methods also remain a key highlight of the week with companies testing drones and robots for fast and secure delivery. Stay tuned for interesting articles, best deals, freebies and more.