After Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy Note 9 Gets An Update With April 2019 Security Patch

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was the first smartphone to get the April 2019 security patch amongst the company’s expansive smartphone lineup. This is now being pushed to the Note 8’s successor. 

Samsung has released an update with the latest security patch for the Galaxy Note 9 in Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia. The software version accompanying the update is N960FXXS2CSD2 and it’s available both over the air and through our firmware database.

It’s unclear at this point if the update brings anything other than the security enhancements. The March update for the Galaxy S9 introduced a narrower field of view as the default setting for the selfie camera feature that debuted on the Galaxy S10, and we can expect the same change to come to the Galaxy Note 9 as well. Perhaps it will also finally bring a schedule option for one UI’s night mode which continues to be absent from the Note 9 but was added to the Galaxy S9 with the February update. 

You can check if the April update is available for your Galaxy Note 9 by going into the Software update menu of the phone’s settings and tapping Download updates manually.

Realme 3 Pro To Launch On April 22, Supports Fortnite

Realme 3 Pro is set to get launched in India on April 22. The company confirmed the launch date via a tweet on Thursday. Realme CEO Madhav Sheth claimed in a tweet that Realme 3 Pro would be the first of its kind to support Fortnite. 

The new flagship smartphone is designed to compete with Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 7 Pro. 

The Realme 3 Pro was announced as the company’s next model alongside the Realme 3 launch last month.

Through its latest tweet, Realme has publicly announced that the Realme 3 Pro would launch in India on April 22. The company will host the launch at the Delhi University at 12:30pm IST.

In a separate tweet posted on Wednesday, Realme CEO Sheth highlighted the gaming-focused hardware of the Realme 3 Pro by calling it as the first in its segment to support Fortnite directly. The executive also took a dig at the Redmi Note 7 Pro by saying, “Tried to play this game on some latest ‘Pro’ devices but none of them could manage. When it comes to speed, chipset matters.”

Realme hasn’t revealed any information around the chipset of the Realme 3 Pro. However, as per its formal announcement last month, the phone will come with a 48-megapixel primary sensor.

Sheth earlier this week also shared three camera samples of the Realme 3 Pro. While one of the images shared on Twitter teased the selfie camera of the upcoming Realme phone, the other two gave a glimpse at the performance of its rear-mounted camera setup. Further, the camera samples suggested that phone could have dedicated HDR support on the main camera and a selfie camera with a resolution greater than 13 megapixels, which was available on the Redmi Note 7 Pro.

Samsung Lists Replacement Costs For Key Parts Of Its Smartphones

Any new flagship smartphone to stand firm in today’s market, it needs to have all the latest features. From having dual frequency GNSS to every feature added in Bluetooth 5. This availability of features can make smartphones difficult to repair as the number of parts increases. 

More parts mean more potential for breakage. In a move to possibly counter this, Samsung has listed replacement costs for key parts of its smartphones on its website.

The parts – which include the display, motherboard, battery, and back glass – are listed on Samsung India’s website, meaning the prices are in Indian rupees. The company has listed prices for virtually its entire smartphone range, from the flagship Galaxy S-series all the way down to the most basic Galaxy On-series. Prices range from a staggering ₹34,182 (~$494) for a new Galaxy S10+ motherboard to ₹968 (~$14) for new back glass on a Galaxy On7. 

There are some caveats, though. The service seems to be only available to consumers in India at the moment, with no clear indication as to how soon – if at all – the service will become available in other countries. The prices listed are purely the cost of the part itself and do not include the inevitable labor and GST charges. However, the prices listed are the prices for premium color and for maximum internal storage capacity, so people whose devices have less than maximum storage may see a drop in price.

Clearly, the intention here is to give consumers a general idea of the cost of the repair, as opposed to an exact value. It’s a nice idea from Samsung and one that will likely help them out as people will be less likely to turn up to a repair center and be turned away by the cost of the repair, thus shortening queue times.

ITR-1 For Fiscal Year 2018-19 Requires Interest Income Break-up From Tax Payers

The filing of basic income tax return (ITR) form, ITR 1 this year will require to give break- up. This will result ibto making it difficult to claim wrong tax breaks related to interest income as it is easier for the income tax department to detect this. 

However, as earlier ITR Forms asked for declaration of consolidated interest from all sources – which includes interest from fixed deposits etc – it was, prima facie, not easy for the tax department to check whether the person had actually earned Rs 10,000 as savings account interest. (Section 80TTA allows tax payers to claim up to Rs 10,000 as a deduction from interest income from savings accounts with banks and post offices.)

Similarly, from FY 2018-19, senior citizens will be allowed to claim up to Rs 50,000 as deduction from interest income from bank and post office fixed deposits. When only a consolidated interest figure is to be given in the tax return, the tax department would find it difficult to check whether the deductions were being claimed correctly, i.e., from interest income from the specified income source.

Interestingly, details of all savings accounts held by the tax payer are already required to be filled into the ITR so it becomes easy for the department to ascertain whether a person actually earned the amount claimed as deduction under section 80TTA as interest on savings account.

The latest income tax return form -1 for the FY 2018-19 asks taxpayers to provide full break-up of the interest income and income from any other sources received during the year.

The latest ITR-1 form software utility, which is now available on the income tax e-filing website, provides a drop down menu from which a taxpayer is required to choose and specify the source of interest income.

Chartered Accountant Naveen Wadhwa, DGM, taxmann. com says, “Up to last year, a taxpayer was required to show a consolidated amount in respect of interest income taxable under the head ‘Income from other sources’. The new ITR forms now require a complete break-up of the interest income – interest on saving accounts, interest on fixed deposits, pass-through interest income and even interest on income-tax refund.”

In the ITR-1, five sources of ‘Other income’ are specified, namely interest from savings account, interest from deposits (Bank/Post office/Cooperative society), interest from income tax refund, family pension and any other. In case the ‘other’ option is selected by the individual, then he/she is required to provide the details of the income received.

The move appears to be aimed at preventing taxpayers from wrongly claiming deduction available under section 80TTA and 80TTB. In the previous year’s ITR-1 form, the taxpayers were asked to provide an aggregate amount of income from other sources received by them without specifying the nature and source of income, i.e., whether it is an interest income from income tax refund or from the savings account or fixed deposit.

Wadhwa says, “This change has been made in the ITR form so as to verify that taxpayers are claiming deduction under Section 80TTA only in respect of interest on saving accounts. The income tax department can also reconcile that the interest paid to the assessee on income-tax refund has been offered to tax by him in the ITR.”

Usually interest income received by an individual is taxable in his/her hands, unless specified in the Income Tax Act. However, an individual aged below 60 years can claim deduction under section 80TTA. 

Similarly, from FY 2018-19, senior citizens (aged 60 years and above) can claim deduction under section 80TTB for interest income received from deposits held either with bank, post office or cooperative society. The interest income covered under section 80TTB includes interest earned from savings account, fixed deposits, recurring deposits, or any other deposits held with a bank, post office or cooperative society. Interest received from any other sources such as company FD or interest from bonds, non-convertible debentures is not eligible for deduction.

“The ITR forms and return filing utilities released last year in the month April, 2018 did not require a taxpayer to furnish the bifurcation of interest income. However, subsequently the income tax department updated the return filing utility of ITR-2 and ITR-3 wherein complete break-up of interest income has been sought,” says Wadhwa. 

However, for FY2018-19, i.e., the year for which returns have to be filed now, this break-up has been asked for from the start, i.e., in the forms that have been notified.

Bharti Airtel, Singtel & Warburg Pincus In Talks Of Buying Stake In Dish TV

Bharti Airtel,  Warburg Pincus and Singapore Telecommunications are in initial talks with Zee Founder Subhash Chandra to buy over 61% stake in Dish TV. This will be followed by an open offer for 26% more, as the Sunil Mittal-led telco tries to bolster its digital TV and home broadband play to fight Jio, people familiar with the matter said.

Thereafter, Bharti Airtel’s digital TV business, housed under Bharti Telemedia, is likely to be hived off and combined with the listed Dish TV through a reverse merger, the people said.

If the deal happens, it will offer much-needed liquidity to the Zee Group promoters, who have pledged 82.05% of their holding in Dish TV and 59% of their stake in Zee Entertainment to lenders. Subhash Chandra is also in talks to sell a substantial stake in Zee Entertainment. The Essel Group’s total debt stands at Rs 17,174 crore, which includes debt of private unlisted companies as well as the listed ones.

“The negotiations (for Dish TV) are around the valuations, with an expected offer at over Rs 50 a share for the promoter stake,” said one of the people mentioned earlier. “Due diligence is on, and the deal is expected to be completed in two months.”

At Rs 50 a share for the 87% stake, including the open offer, the effective payout for the consortium could be roughly $1.15 billion (nearly Rs 8,000 crore).

CONSORTIUM WILL HAVE TO TAKE ON DISH TV’S DEBT

In addition, the Singtel-Bharti Airtel-Warburg Pincus consortium would need to take on Dish TV’s debt, which stood at Rs 3,154 crore (around $451 million) as on March 31, 2018. However,SBICap Securities estimates the debt to have increased to $600 million by December end.

Shares of Dish TV India closed at Rs 37.45, down just over 1%, on the BSE on Wednesday, giving it a market capitalisation of Rs 6,895.50 crore. The Airtel scrip ended 3.3% lower at Rs 340.05.

The shareholding of the three-member consortium in the final merged entity will be more than the maximum 75% promoter stake permitted in a listed company, and the entity will have one year to reduce this holding to the permissible limit.

In response to the queries, Bharti Airtel and Singtel said they don’t comment on rumours and speculation. Warburg Pincus and Dish TV had not replied as of press time.

Bulk of the investments are likely to be made by Singtel and Warburg Pincus to prevent any serious drag on Bharti Airtel’s debt-heavy balance sheet, one of the people said. But Airtel is still likely to end up with a sizeable holding in the merged entity by virtue of its 80% stake in Bharti Telemedia, in which Warburg Pincus holds the balance 20%.

The deal would be Airtel’s reply to rival Jio’s attempts at bolstering its digital TV services and home broadband offerings by buying Hathway Cable & Datacom and DEN Networks. Both companies are trying to hook consumers with a triple play of mobile phones, TV distribution and home broadband.

If the Airtel-Dish TV deal fructifies, the combined entity will be the world’s largest TV distribution company with over 38 million subscribers and 61% share of India’s DTH market. In comparison, Jio, after acquiring majority stakes in Hathway and DEN, controls 24 million cable-connected homes of these two companies across 750 cities. This is around 35% of India’s estimated cable industry base of 70 million.

Analysts said since Bharti’s DTH business is urban-centric, it is particularly vulnerable to churn as Jio is widely expected to target metros and 80-to-100-odd top tier-I and II markets once it launches fibre-based superfast home broadband services.

Rajiv Sharma, co-head of research at SBICap Securities, pegs the “equity valuation of the Dish TV-Bharti Telemedia combined entity at roughly $3.5 billion” and believes there is a strong strategic rationale for Bharti to buy Dish TV.

“A potential merger with Dish would allow Bharti to remain a large player in the digital TV market and optimally hedge its risks, in that, even if it loses subscribers in the urban markets to Jio, it could reduce overall vulnerabilities with Dish TV in the bag as the latter has a high rural sub-base,” Sharma told. 

Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. Shares Goes Higher After Flat Debut

The Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) shares made a flat debut on Thursday over stock exchanges. Its shares debuted at ₹19 on Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), remaining at their same initial price. Later, RVNL’s shares went higher to ₹19.55, 3% up from issue price of ₹19. 

Investors bid for about 45.8 million shares of RVNL, which undertakes railway projects, or 1.8 times the 25.35 million shares on offer. RVNL initial public offer (IPO) had closed on 3rd April 2019 and the price band was ₹17-19 per share.

Retail investors subscribed about 2.5 times the shares reserved for them, while qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) portion was subscribed 1.36 times.

RVNL is the first Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) disinvestment in the current fiscal, which started on April 1. The government raised about ₹480 crore by selling 12.12% stake in Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) with both retail and institutional investors lapping up the shares reserved for them.

In April 2017, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had approved listing of five railway companies – IRCON international, Rail Vikas Nigam, Indian Railway Finance Corp Ltd, RITES Ltd and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp. Out of these five, IRCON International and RITES was listed in 2018-19.

Electric wires and cables maker Polycab India Ltd.’s initial oublic offering (IPO) to raise ₹1,346 crore was subscribed more than 50 times. Metropolis Healthcare Ltd.’sinitial public offering (IPO) to raise as much as ₹1,204 crore was also over-subscribed.

Jet Airways Gets Bids From 5 Companies, Lenders Wait For Etihad Interest

Over five companies are said to have given expressions of interest (Eo-Is) in taking up stakes in the ailing Jet Airways which was put on sale by lenders. However, the Wednesday deadline has been extended by two days by the lenders, expecting that partner Etihad Airways will also submit EoI. 

The names of the investors couldn’t be ascertained but both people cited above said the Eo-Is were either “non-serious” or lacked critical details on how the bidders will recapitalise Jet. This is the first stage of the bidding process and the EoIs are non-binding.

“As part of the (bidding) process, we are in receipt of some EoIs and some more persons have expressed desire to participate if additional time is provided,” said a spokesperson of SBI Capital Markets, which is overseeing the process. “Accordingly, in order to allow better participation in the process the domestic lenders have agreed to extend the timeline for submission of Expressions of Interest which have been updated and made available on the websites.”

Lenders led by State Bank of India have been trying to persuade Etihad, which owns 24% of Jet, to increase its investment to help revive the carrier. Etihad though has been insisting on an exemption from the takeover norm that requires investors to make an open offer for a further 20% stake if they exceed a 25% threshold.

TATA GROUP NOT TOO KEEN

Etihad’s board is supposed to take a decision on whether to invest further in Jet.

Meanwhile, Jet continued to grapple with financial woes. Indian Oil Corp. (IOC) stopped supplies to it between 3 pm and 8:30 pm, forcing it to delay all flights till after 9 pm, according to two people aware of the matter. Moreover, a cargo agent in Jet’s main global hub Amsterdam seized a Boeing 777 plane’s bellyhold cargo in the afternoon, grounding the aircraft, sources said.

“Flight 9W 231from Amsterdam to Mumbai of April 10 was cancelled due to operational reasons,” Jet said, without elaborating. “Guests… are being re-accommodated.”

Since Tuesday, Jet has been flying 22 planes, down from 124 in December. Jet disputed this, saying it still has 26 planes flying.

On Wednesday evening, the airline’s founder Naresh Goyal signed an agreement to pledge more shares. The stake he’s pledged is now up to 41.1% out of his total 51% holding. The lenders have however approved Goyal retaining a 9.9% shareholding in the airline that will be unencumbered, which means that it will not have to be pledged. In effect, this means he will continue to have a presence in the airline.

MORE ON THE BLOCK

Goyal’s move will allow the lenders to put a higher number of shares on the block as part of a revival plan, up from 31.2%. The lenders’ plan to take over more than 50% of Jet’s shares was stalled following a recent Supreme Court judgement that quashed a Reserve Bank of India circular that overhauled rules for debt restructuring. The lenders are pushing hard for a rescue to stave off Jet’s referral to bankruptcy court.

The Tata Group, speculated to be a strong contender, doesn’t appear to be interested in participating in the process. A person close to the group said it has invested heavily in building two brands — Vistara and AirAsia India —and buying another airline doesn’t make business sense. Instead, picking up routes abandoned by Jet Airways would be more advantageous.

SBI, Etihad, Tata Sons and IOC didn’t respond to queries.

Jet has grounded planes, delayed salaries, defaulted on loans and laid off staff. Its management has estimated the airline won’t survive beyond April without a fund infusion. The delay is said to be a concern for the aviation ministry, which feels that this will hurt revival chances.

“The banks are under pressure to find a solution to the Jet Airways crisis but delays are hampering the prospects of revival further,” said a senior aviation ministry official. “Delay in finding a way out for the airline is only taking the airline to a point of no return.”

Apart from extending the deadline, the lenders also issued clarifications on bid requirements. An investor will have to specify how much equity it intends to pick up and the amount of debt it will take on. The bid document had said earlier that the new owner will take over control and management of Jet and settle its obligations.

Lenders have initiated the bidding process as Jet was unable to honour its debt obligations, the bid document said. The fund infusion can be by way of loans, according to clarifications. The shares can be taken over either via acquisition or subscription, the clarification said.