Weekly Tech Wrap: India Bans Laptop Imports, More Top Technology News

Weekly Tech Wrap: India Bans Laptop Imports, More Top Technology News


From India restricting the import of laptops and tablets to Apple being expected to introduce USB-C in the upcoming iPhone 15 series — the world of tech was dominated by these headlines over the past week. Let’s take a closer look.

India Restricts Import Of Laptops, Tablets

The Centre has introduced restrictions on the import of laptops, tablets, servers, and other Personal Computers (PCs) as a measure to promote local manufacturing. To import these items, a valid licence for restricted imports will be required, as stated in a notice issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

According to the notice, there is an exemption from import licensing requirements for the import of one all-in-one PC or ultra-small form factor computer, even if purchased from e-commerce portals, through post or courier. However, imports of these exempted items will still be subject to the payment of applicable duties.

It’s important to note that the restrictions will not be applicable to imports made under baggage rules, as clarified in the notice.

Click here to check out more details

Online Gaming GST To Be Reviewed Next Year

After the 51st GST Council Meeting, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made an announcement indicating the council’s decision to reconsider the imposition of 28 per cent GST on online gaming, horse racing, and casinos. The review process is scheduled to take place six months after the proposed implementation date of October 1.
The Finance Minister further revealed that the computation of the value of supply for online gaming and actionable claim in casinos will be based on the entry-level. The GST Council deliberated on the potential impact of a 28 per cent tax on the Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) and projected that it would yield a net revenue of only 11-12 per cent. In comparison, the current 18 per cent tax on GGR results in net revenue of 8-9 per cent.

Click here to read our full report

IDC Reports Dip In India’s Phone Shipments

According to a recent report from the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the Indian smartphone market witnessed the shipment of 64 million units in the first half (H1) of 2023, experiencing a decline of 10 per cent year-over-year (YoY). In the second quarter (Q2), the market showed growth of 10 per cent compared to the previous quarter but declined by 3 per cent YoY, totalling 34 million units.

Interestingly, the premium smartphone segment (over $600) demonstrated the highest growth, soaring 75 per cent YoY and capturing a 9 per cent market share.

To stimulate demand before the festive season in the second half (H2) of the year, smartphone vendors and channels made efforts to clear their inventories through various means, including offering discounts, special schemes, and price reductions.

Upasana Joshi, Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India, commented, “Consumers are increasingly opting for premium offerings, thanks to accessible and affordable financing options. IDC foresees this growth trend to persist in the coming months of 2023.”

Click here to check out our full report

Meta To Ask User Consent For Ads

Meta has reportedly made an offer to obtain user consent before permitting businesses to target advertising based on individuals’ digital activity within the European Union (EU). This move comes as a response to increasing pressure from regulators, as mentioned in media reports. Meta’s popular photo-sharing platform, Instagram, is expected to ask for users’ permission before utilising their digital activities, such as “your embarrassing dance-video habit,” to tailor the ads they view, but this will be applicable only to European residents, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The decision to implement this change is attributed to evolving regulatory requirements within the EU, and it was prompted by an order issued in January by Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner, which serves as Meta’s primary EU regulator. This order compelled Meta to reevaluate the legal foundation of its personalised ad targeting practices.

Click here to check out the full story

ALSO READ: Meta’s Open Source Generative AI Tool AudioCraft Is Here To Create Music And Audio

USB-C On iPhone 15?

In September, Apple is anticipated to unveil its new iPhone series, as long as production proceeds without delays. As per insights from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the Apple 15 Pro is expected to showcase significant camera enhancements, ultra-thin bezels, and a shift to USB-C instead of the lightning charging port. Moreover, there are indications that Apple is internally redesigning the iPhones to enhance repairability, similar to what was done with last year’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, which may result in the inclusion of rear glass for the Apple iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max models.

To provide some context, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus featured a chassis redesign that allowed them to be opened both from the front and back, a feature not seen since the iPhone 4S back in 2011. However, this chassis redesign was not extended to the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max models, at least not for authorised repairs.

Click here to read the full report

Finally, in this week’s Digital Disconnect, we look at how the vigilante-led communal violence in Nuh has cast a dark shade on social media. The morose bit is – this isn’t the first time this has happened. Read the column now.

That’s it from the world of tech headlines this week. Stay tuned to this space for more top stories next week.

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