New Year, New Sales But Same Old Problems

Flipkart Big Billion SaleJust as history repeats itself, the Flipkart and Snapdeal big sales have disappointed several online shoppers yet again. As soon as the sale started on Tuesday midnight, both Flipkart’s website and app struggled to cope with the huge traffic coming their way.

Irked customers took to Twitter to vent their feelings. While Shubham Luthra @Shubham_096 tweeted “The app is showing error after every search !!! Not showing the results !” (sic), Asad Khan @Asad96Khan tweeted, “How do you’ll expect us to shop when the app doesn’t open a single thing @Flipkart?”

Even when we tried to access the website, we got the message “503 service unavailable”. It is only after refreshing the page for quite a few times, it loaded fine.

It is to be noted that Flipkart Big Billion Day Sale 2015 is app-only. Users can browse through the site but to avail discounts, it is mandatory to download the app.

Ricky @vohrarohit tweeted, “Big billion days are back on #Flipkart! Anything you click gets out of stock! Flipkart should stop this flop show.”

Some even taunted the owners Sachin and Binny Bansal by asking them to start writing an apology email again, just like last year.

Flipkart Big Billion Sale started just after Snapdeal’s big Monday sale that had some amazing deals and the latter seemed to have handled everything just fine with just a few raised eyebrows about certain offers. However, it is noticeable that Snapdeal does seem to have a lesser inventory for their sales.

Amazon is also holding the Great Indian Festive Sale during the same time period as Flipkart i.e. from 13th October to 17th October. With another couple of days remaining, it is now to be seen who will be able to deal the deals with élan.

 

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Amazon.com Discontinues Google Chromecast, Apple TV For A Reason

Apple TV and Google Chromecast will no longer be available on Amazon.com or its partner sites as the company has decided to ban the sale of these items for an indefinite period of time.

Although the decision may appear to be quite baffling, it is actually an initiative to boost the sale of Prime Instant video streaming service. While Google Chromecast and Apple TV have been discontinued, Amazon Fire TV, PlayStation, Xbox and Roku will be available on the portal, as these are compatible with the Prime Instant video service.

Amazon.com discontinues sale of Google Chromecast and Apple TVAmazon to sale Prime Instant video service compatible players

According to the reports, Amazon has decided to restrict their services only to those media players, which are compatible with Prime Instant video so that users can buy without any confusion. Prime Video services is now considered to be an integral part of 99 annual Prime loyalty membership of Amazon. Hence, the steps adopted by the company is not very surprising. Yet, some customers were disappointed for the sudden announcement. While Amazon has cleared their stance on Thursday, Apple and Google are yet to make any comment about this decision. Amazon.com Inc. is a major online retailer and on Thursday, their shares closed with a positive note, 1.7 percent or $8.83 to $520.72.… Read the rest

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E-Commerce Industry Plans Big For Diwali

"Application for online shoppers" by DressformerWith the festive season round the corner, e-commerce giants have set out to offer a plethora of deals on an array of products. Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon have already launched their plans in one way or another.

The steepest discounts are being offered on furniture and fashion. Snapdeal offered the preview of its Diwali sale on Monday. It is the first e-commerce portal to tease a Diwali sale. Analysts suggest that most e-commerce websites are expecting a huge turnover from their sales this Diwali.

According to Financial Times, almost all the products will be on sale. It is predicted that  anything from 50% to 100% of the inventory will be available at a discount. The festive season is considered a profitable time for e-commerce portals. Snapdeal seems to be at the edge this season as it was the first one to announce the sale.

We asked a slew of people what they will buy this festive season and most of them are focusing on apparel and footwear. There are also group of people who wait all year around to buy furniture in the festive season. Pepperfry and FabFurnish have already started offering discounts and they have been asking customers not to wait for the Diwali sale. Instead, they can start shopping now to enjoy good deals.

It is expected that Amazon will have major discounts on gadgets. “I am really looking forward to buy a nice laptop this Diwali and hoping to buy to good discount,” says Manish Chahal.

“Clothes, Clothes and Clothes… Can’t wait for the Diwali Sale. Jabong and Myntra are my go to destinations during Diwali sale,” says Amina Khan.

With e-commerce industry offering such heavy discounts during the festive seasons, traditional shop owners suffer.

“Everyone wants to shop online these days. People just come here to see the product but buy it online as it comes at a cheaper price,” says shop owner Amar Singh.

The e-commerce industry is going to grow further and a host of solutions will be developed to offer more and more discounts every festive season. How long will they be able to sustain such massive discounts will decide the future of this trend.… Read the rest

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GoIbibo Launches GoStays For Budget Accommodations

Goibibo.com has launched GoStays to list non-branded budget accommodations available in India. They have identified 862 properties in 72 cities, which means about 10,000 rooms will be available everyday across the nation through GoStays.

The company fondly recollected that when it was first launched about 88 hotels were listed on the website for Bengaluru, starting from Rs. 630 to Rs. 3,300.

Standard budget rooms identified by GoStays are free breakfast, Wi-Fi, TV, AC and clean washrooms. Not only that, all bookings would come with a money-back guarantee.

GoStays, A Goibibo InitiativeUsers will be able to rate and review accommodations on the GoStays website. They can also book travel tickets via SeatSeller and redBus. These are sister concerns of Goibibo.

The company is eyeing to create a business model like the Amazon marketplace and hence it would allow other branded budget service providers to enlist themselves here.

More than 7 million people have already downloaded the Goibibo mobile app and the numbers are growing at a pace of 1 million per month. The company proclaims it is the largest hotel listing site in India with a 5x growth in the past year itself.   

A South African media conglomerate company Naspers invested $10 billion in GoIbibo and is a primary owner.

 

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#SkypeDown: Great For Other Voice Chat Apps

After facing hours of outage on Monday, Skype was finally restored for users in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Apart from frustrated users, this problem also led to many new video chatting apps raising their banners.

Video calling apps wrote some extra tweets

Skype downUsers regularly access Skype for personal and work purposes. They took to Twitter to express their concerns. Interestingly, many johnny-come-lately apps that offer voice and video chats also took to #skypedown to promote their services. Discordapp.com and rabb.it were some of the names that came up. They conveyed messages like, who needs Skype and it’s time to check out a new app.  

According to Statista, Skype had 300 million active users as of August 2015. This is the highest number of users among video calling social networks. The numbers suggest there is a vast market to explore but most competitors have not been able to make a breakthrough. Skype has become a synonym for video chats with its many subscribers ad ease of use.

After the long breakdown Skype witnessed yesterday, it remains to be seen if other video calling apps are able to make a little dent. If there’s someone determined out there, it could also be the beginning of a new phase for video calling.

Skype is not the first 

Skype is not the only big name to face such concerns recently. Last week, Twitter’s desktop client went kaput for over an hour. Over the weekend, Amazon Web Services also suffered a break down, which affected services like Buffer and Netflix as well.

What was the issue with Skype?

Microsoft, which owns Skype, said that they had “detected an issue with the status settings”. The status of many people showed “offline”, which restricted them from making calls. However, the issues was resolved about 4 hours back.

Skype had acknowledged the problem and they were constantly informing users about the status through their social media channels. In a further blog post, the company said, “We’re in the process of reconnecting our users, and focused on restoring full service.” The statement added that Skype for Business users was not affected yesterday.

Skype went down Monday morning, which caused a lot of panic among people who depend on it for various purposes.… Read the rest

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Meizu Launches m2 note At Rs. 9,999 with Android 5.0 Lollipop and Octa-Core SoC

Meizu, the Chinese smartphone brand, is all set to launch its latest model m2 note in India. This smartphone is priced at Rs. 9,999 and will be up for sale from August 10, 2015 exclusively on Amazon.in like its predecessor m1 note.

This phone has already been launched in China in June and comes with upgraded features as compared to m1 note. The m2 note has a 5.5-inch full-HD Sharp IGZO display alongwith 403ppi pixel density. It is powered with octa-core processor with 1.3GHz clock speed much like m1 note. However, the latest model has an upgraded MediaTek MT6753 processor chipset.

 On the memory front m2 comes with 2 G LPDDR3 RAM and expandable storage option of upto 128 GB through microSD card. The m2 note runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop Flyme OS. This smartphone sports a 5 MP front camera with 69-degree wide angle viewing and f/2.0 and 13 MP rear camera with dual-LED flash, Blue glass IR filter and five-element f/2.2 lens.

Meizu Launched m2 note at Rs. 9,999 with Android 5.0 Lollipop and Octa-Core SoCThe connectivity options on this device include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 4G LTE, Micro-USB, GPS/ A-GPS and Bluetooth 4.0. However, the company did not reveal any information yet on whether the smartphone would support 4G bands in this country or not.

The Meizu m2 note weights 149 grams, measures 150.9×75.2×8.7 mm and boasts of a 3100 mAh battery. This smartphone which is going to take on Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G and Lenovo K3 Note in Indian smartphone market, both available around a price range of Rs. 10,000, would be available in blue, grey, white and pink colors.

The presence of a button on the front panel of the smartphone is its main highlight since the same reminds of Samsung Galaxy smartphones.… Read the rest

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Google Search’s New Button Will Let You Buy Goods Online

Google has added a Buy On Google Button on advertisements, in a move that could jeopardize sales on e-commerce sites such as Amazon. The latest add-on will be available on all ads that are sponsored, in the next few weeks. The sponsored adverts will be available via the Search option on smartphones and can be expanded on a single click.

Google Search's New Button Will Let You Buy Stuff FasterThe Finer Details

The platform will be safe and all information related to payment will be stored with Google. The American giant will also handle all checkout related stuff as well. Sad news is the added feature will be available only across USA. Google has not given any insight into global expansion on this count yet.  For starters, Google is teaming up with a handful of retailers that will allow direct purchases via the platform. There are plans to partner with more brands later. The partner retailers for Google will handle all order fulfilment issues.

Search Items Via Google

Users can also search for items via Google that are available on retailer stores. News that Google is set to partner with eBay as well is going around. Therefore, with an ad popping up at any of the retailer sites, you can click on the same to be taken to the retailer site.

Read More: HP Spectre x360 Review: Strong Competitor In The Ultrabook Market

Dell Inspiron 13 7347 VS Apple Macbook Pro With Retina Display — Who Emerges As The Best?Read the rest

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Amazon Officially Launches Its Kindle Unlimited

Amazon has finally released Kindle Unlimited, which is the new e-book and audiobook subscription service. The service is available at a price of USD9.99 per month and is compatible across all platforms.Amazon has finally released Kindle Unlimited, which is the new e-book and audiobook subscription service. The service is available at a price of USD9.99 per month and is compatible across all platforms.

The service has been finally officially released after some early leaks. The service will enable the users to read whatever they want, as long as it’s in stock on Amazon.

Some of the content presently available includes bestsellers such as the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, as well as several other titles from William Goldman, Michael Lewis, Sara Gruen, Robert Penn Warren, Stephen Covey, Michael Chabon, Anthony Bourdain, Lois Lowry and others.

Amazon has been quoted saying that “Kindle Unlimited gives you the freedom to explore. Try new genres, discover new authors, and dive into new adventures with unlimited access to our wide and varied selection of books. From rhetoric to romance, or comedy to tragedy, you will find unlimited stories waiting to be discovered. Relive the classics you grew up with, start on that best seller you’ve been wanting to read or try one of the hundreds of thousands of books you won’t find everywhere. Find your next great read today.”

The Kindle is also equipped with several other features including Whispersync, Popular Highlights, X-Ray, customer reviews and Goodreads integration.

 The service is compatible with Kindle devices, Apple devices, Android tablets and smartphones, Windows Phone devices, BlackBerry, PC, Mac and Windows 8.… Read the rest

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In Microsoft, Amazon, and Samsung vs. Apple ads: Who Ends Up Looking Better?

Whenever Apple, Microsoft or Samsung is in news, we like to keep our readers in loop. This article focuses on the defensive mode these tech giants adopt via advertisements that wind up with comparisons. But guess who ends up looking better?

Apple’s initial ad, ‘Get a Mac’ campaign clearly pointed out why Windows was off the beam and why users should buy a Mac. However, the Cupertino Calif.-based firm stopped these popular ads soon after. Later on, all Apple ads for the iPod, iPhone or iPad, highlighted their own device and its features with no comparisons with rivals. Apple’s iPhone ad shows the smartphone’s FaceTime feature, where a son shows his father his granddaughter for the first time. These simple and short ads were effective and easy to understand. Also the advertisement for iPad came out with a clear focus, which was on iPad specific apps in the App Store.

However, considering Apple’s rivals and their ads, the need to stay ahead is so strong that the focus loses its way from their own devices, which in turn makes Apple look good. The recent comparison ads by Microsoft, Amazon, and Samsung with Apple have only made the latter look better as consumers consider all the differences.

Let’s look at the latest ads by Microsoft. The focus in these ads is on Windows 8 and Windows RT against the iPad. There’s no sight of Surface Pro and Surface RT. But there’s an Asus VivoTab Windows 8 tablet vs. an iPad in one commercial and a VivoTab Windows RT tablet vs. an iPad in another. Microsoft shows how Windows 8 and Windows RT are different from the iPad. Along with confusing users with two different Asus tablets, which look the same, the ads have only given the iPad some free publicity.

Moving on to the ad by Amazon, Apple got the advantage here too. The ad that shows Kindle Fire HD on the same screen with an iPad, focuses on the great price difference between the two. Alas, this also in turn gave the iPad free publicity, which made us as consumers question the big price difference. What these firms don’t understand is that they need to focus on their own product instead of pointing out what others got.

Samsung also claims that its smartphone is superior to the iPhone. The ad shows a lot of Apple fans, waiting in line to bag the next Apple product. Again, this puts the highlight on how so many people lineup and wait for the launch of Apple products. The ad shows off the features of Samsung smartphones while focusing on old and not-so-cool people trying to do the same thing on an iPhone.

Clearly, all these commercials do leave consumers with an impression about Apple’s products. Whereas, looking at Apple ads, the focus is only on their own products, with no mention of Microsoft, Amazon, or Samsung. These companies should take out clear and focused ads with their own devices as consumers do not need to see what others have in hand to offer. They clearly end up making Apple look better.

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Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 : The Predecessor out at Amazon for a Low $0.01!

Samsung is apparently stepping ahead in the smartphone race as we hear that the Korean manufacturer is offering the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S3 at a very low price. Few months ago, Amazon offered the Galaxy S3 for $49.99. However, with the success of S4, the story is a bit different now. Popular and stylish, the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S3 is now up for grabs at Amazon at a small price of $0.01 with a new contract of 2 years.

Certain reports indicate that Samsung is testing an Android 4.2.2 update for the S3, which will bring the device up to date with some of the best and popular features found on the Galaxy S4. Some of these features include the updated lock screen with new widgets and unlock effects with ripples and light animations. The device will also come loaded with updated S-Voice. Features like voice control will give users easy control over the workings of the smartphone using their voice.

The 4.8-inch Sprint Samsung Galaxy S3 will offer users clear screen with 306ppi 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED HD display. Packed with Android 4.2.2 and 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, the smartphone will have an internal memory of 16GB along with 2GB of RAM.

The 8-megapixel camera at the rear comes equipped with zero shutter lag and LED flash, which will let users capture clear photos. There’s also a 1.9-megapixel camera at the front. The Galaxy S3 also offers video recording mode with 1080p HD video capture at the back and 720p HD at the front camera. Other features include 4G LTE radio, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC (near field communications). There’s also a microSD slot with support for up to 64GB microSD card along with 2,100 mAh removable battery.

With all the features that a remarkable smartphone offers, the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S3 is out for grabs for almost free. So have you taken your delivery?

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