Samsung to Hire 1,000 R&D Engineers in India This Year

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In line with its commitment to hire 2,500 engineers for R&D in India in the next three years, Samsung on Wednesday said the company will hire 1,000 engineers from top engineering colleges including IITs, NITs and IIITs this year.

With a thrust on New-Age domains like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML), biometrics, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Augmented Reality (AR) and networks including 5G, Samsung will hire 300 students from IITs this year.

The company will hire 35 students from IIT-Bombay, 32 from IIT-Delhi, 22 from IIT-Madras, 45 from IIT-Guwahati and 29 students from IIT-Kharagpur, among others.

Samsung India has three R&D centres — in Bengaluru, Noida and Delhi.

“Samsung is extremely bullish on R&D in India and this focus on R&D has helped us cement our Number 1 position in the Indian market. The three R&D centres in India work on several cutting-edge technologies,” Dipesh Shah, Managing Director, Samsung R&D Institute India, Bengaluru and Global Senior Vice President, Samsung, said in a statement.

Apart from IITs and NITs, Samsung is also hiring quality talent from other premier institutes such as the Delhi College of Engineering, BITS Pilani, Manipal Institute of Technology and IIITs, among others.

Last year, Samsung hired 800 engineers for its R&D facilities, out of which 300 were from IITs.

Apart from the traditional domain of computer science, students were hired from streams such as electrical engineering, mathematics and computing, applied mechanics and statistics, among others.

Samsung has a total of 32 R&D centres across the world and the Bengaluru one is Samsung’s largest R&D centre outside South Korea.

“As part of our ‘Make for India’ initiative, R&D centres in India also work on developing innovations that are centred on the needs of Indian consumers and also contribute to innovations for global products,” Shah said.

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Fujifilm to Take Over Xerox in $6.1 Billion Deal, Create Joint Venture

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Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings is set to take over Xerox Corp in a $6.1 billion (roughly Rs. 38,775 crores) deal, combining the US company into their existing joint venture to gain scale and cut costs amid declining demand for office printing.

The acquisition announced on Wednesday comes as Xerox has been under pressure to find new sources of growth as it struggles to reinvent its legacy business amid waning demand for office printing. Fujifilm is also trying to streamline its copier business with a larger focus on document solutions services.

Consolidation of R&D, procurement and other operations would enable Fuji Xerox to deliver at least $1.7 billion (roughly Rs. 10,807 crores) in total cost savings by 2022, the two companies said.

Fujifilm now owns 75 percent of Fuji Xerox, the joint venture going back more than 50 years ago which sells photocopying products and services in the Asia-Pacific region.

The two companies said that Fuji Xerox will buy back that stake from Fujifilm for around $6.1 billion, using bank debt. Fujifilm will use those proceeds to purchase 50.1 percent of new Xerox shares. Plans were for the deal to be completed around July-August, they added.

The combined company will keep the Fuji Xerox name and become a subsidiary of Fujifilm, with dual headquarters in the United States and Japan, and listed in New York. It will be led by Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson, while Fujifilm CEO Shigetaka Komori will serve as chairman.

The joint venture accounts for nearly half of Fujifilm’s sales and operating profit.

Both companies have struggled with slow sales of photocopy products, as businesses increasingly go paperless. Fujifilm on Wednesday reported a 29.4 percent drop in operating profit at its document solutions operations, which includes Fuji Xerox, for the third quarter, underperforming its imaging and information segments. Overall, the company reported a 3.4 percent increase in operating profit for the quarter.

Xerox reported a net loss from continuing operations of $196 million (roughly Rs. 1,245 crores) in the fourth quarter, mainly due to a one-off $400 million (Rs. 2,542 crores) charge as it sought to take advantage of changes to US tax law but also reflecting the steady decline in office printing.

“This has been a speedy decision, but I believe it’s a creative one,” Fujifilm CEO Komori told reporters at a briefing. “The new structure will leverage the strengths of our three companies.”

As part of its own restructuring, Fujifilm said it was cutting 10,000 jobs at Fuji Xerox, more than a fifth of its workforce at the joint venture, in the Asia Pacific region.

Sluggish performance at Xerox had prompted investors to call on the US company, which had owned 25 percent of the joint venture, to explore strategic options.

Xerox has been targeted by activist investor Carl Icahn and shareholder Darwin Deason, who joined forces last week to push Xerox to explore strategic options, oust its “old guard”, including its CEO, and negotiate better terms for its decades-long deal with Fujifilm. Icahn is Xerox’s biggest shareholder, with a 9.72 percent stake.

Xerox’s CEO said the combined company would gain an increased edge in new technologies, along with higher revenues and cost synergies, while Xerox shareholders would also benefit from a $2.5 billion special cash dividend resulting from the deal.

“This transaction…offers substantial upside for shareholders of the combined companies, including current shareholders of Xerox and Fujifilm Holdings, who will own shares in a more competitive company that has enhanced opportunities for long-term growth and margin expansion,” Jacobson said in a pre-recorded video message.

The takeover deal comes less than a year after Fujifilm admitted improper accounting standards at Fuji Xerox, but Komori said that Xerox’s strong governance standards could be beneficial to the new company.

Fujifilm shares fell 8.3 percent on Wednesday ahead of its announcement of job cuts but after the Journal report about a deal with Xerox. Xerox shares ended down 0.5 percent on Tuesday.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

Xiaomi Redmi Note, Redmi Note Prime Receiving MIUI 9.2 Global Stable Update: Reports

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note will still run Android 4.4 KitKat
  • The new update brings the MIUI 9.2.3.0 version to Redmi Note Prime
  • MIUI 9 update on Redmi Note comes with new features and optimisations
  • xiaomi_redmi_note_1517403655348

Xiaomi Redmi Note has finally received MIUI 9 through a new MIUI 9.2 version, as per user reports. Xiaomi had started rolling out MIUI 9.2 as its latest global MIUI ROM for all its smartphones running MIUI 9 earlier this month. Now, the MIUI 9.2 update is available for both the Xioami Redmi Note and Xiaomi Redmi Note Prime, launched in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

As per GSMArena, citing user reports, the Redmi Note is receiving MIUI 9.2.2.0 version while the Redmi Note Prime is getting the MIUI 9.2.3.0 variant.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note was launched in India back in 2014, running MIUI 5 based on Android 4.2.2. KitKat. Xiaomi had launched the Redmi Note Prime variant running Android 4.4 KitKat-based MIUI 7 in 2015. With the new custom ROM, Xiaomi hasn’t upgraded the current Android version on the Redmi Note Prime as it is based on Android 4.4 KitKat. However, the company has introduced many new features to enhance the experience over the last MIUI 8 version in the Redmi Note Prime.

In the latest update, there is an upgraded Security app with the ability to conduct virus and payment scans. The MIUI 9 update also brings in an improved layout and readability feature for contacts search, better blocklist rules with separated rules for every SIM card, a switch to turn Battery saver automatically when the smartphone is charged, new display formats for updating logs in Updater app, and an option to search for apps in Dual apps settings.

Other key changes include, Mi Mover app now supports data migration restarting, protection from unintentional tapping, Add to Favourites icon adjustments, cleaner removes empty folders better, and overall simplification of the user interface. You can check the availability of the new MIUI update on your Redmi Note 3 by going to Settings > About phone > System update.

It is interesting to note that Xiaomi is introducing its latest MIUI ROM on its older smartphones. Xiaomi Redmi 1S, one of the first Redmi budget smartphones to launch in India, is also receiving MIUI 9 update. Even the Redmi Note 3 also started getting the new MIUI 9.2 version.

 

Vivo Xplay7 Said to Be First Smartphone to Sport 10GB of RAM

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Vivo has been known to push the boundaries when it comes to smartphone internals. Recent leaks suggest that the company’s upcoming flagship phone, the Xplay7,¬†might be powered by 10GB RAM, which, if true, will be the most ever seen on a smartphone. Apart from that, the Vivo Xplay7 is also expected to feature a 4K OLED display, Snapdragon 845 SoC, up to 512GB storage, and an under-display fingerprint sensor.

As we mentioned, a couple of leaks have surfaced on Weibo detailing specifications of Vivo’s supposed upcoming Xplay7. The BBK-owned Chinese phone maker had launched its predecessor, the Vivo Xplay6, back in 2016. If these early reports are deemed to be true, we are looking at one of the best smartphones of 2018 – purely in terms of specifications.

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Photo Credit: Weibo

The Vivo X20 Plus UD recently became the first smartphone to launch with an under-display fingerprint sensor. According to the images leaked online, the Xplay7 might also be secured with the Synaptics-powered fingerprint recognition technology. With a Snapdragon 845 SoC expected, it will be Vivo’s only phone since the Xplay6 to sport a Qualcomm flagship SoC.

Talking about the cameras, the leaks reveal a dual rear camera setup with 4X optical zoom. The phone is rumoured to sport a 4K OLED display with a 92.9 percent screen-to-body ratio. It is expected to arrive in two storage variants – 256GB and 512GB – coupled with 10GB of RAM. While Android OEMs have been pushing the barrier for the past few years, this might be the first instance when a smartphone comes with RAM capacity in double digits. There is currently no update on the pricing and availability but we expect it to be available in the coming weeks at a starting price of around $500 (roughly Rs. 31,800)