Take pictures by blinking with Blincam on your glasses

blincamCNET – A team in Japan has made hands-free photography simpler than ever — at least, for people who wear glasses.

The Blincam is a camera that attaches to specs and takes pictures when you blink — finally giving you a legitimate reason to wink at everyone and everything.

It operates its shutter when it detects firm, intentional blinks of the eye with patent-pending sensor technology that can differentiate between natural eye-blinking and a concerted effort. With its built-in Bluetooth technology, any images captured by the device is uploaded to a paired phone.

It’s reminiscent of the Google Glass concept that was released in 2013. An augmented-reality headset, Glass had the ability to take photos and video without the obvious social gesture of pointing a phone. With that came concerns over privacy, something Blincam’s developers will also have to overcome.

The company hopes to release the Blincam on Amazon and other online retailers early next year. A price has yet to be set.


The Pokemon Go frenzy has now doubled Nintendo’s market value

nintendo-goldPokemon Go is not even a Nintendo property, technically speaking, but the mania surrounding it has nonetheless rocketed the company’s shares up another 14% on Tuesday. Since the game’s debut earlier this month, Nintendo’s market value has more than doubled, trading at $42.3 billion on Tuesday.

Pokemon Go is now available in 35 countries worldwide – 26 of which in Europe – and has since its release surpassed Twitter in daily users on Android in the US, has beeninstalled on more devices than Tinder, and has turned into the most popular mobile game in US history. Riding on the wings of success, Nintendo even announced the retro-flavoured NES Classic Mini console, which was warmly welcomed by fans.

The Pokemon mania has generated tidal waves of success that have hit fields of business completely unrelated to the video game industry. McDonald’s Japan saw its shares soar with some 23 percent after it began including Pokemon figures in its Happy Meals last Friday. This is the company’s biggest daily gain since its July 2001 listing on Topix. Baking firm First Baking also saw its shares rise 18% on Tuesday, thanks to its Pokemon-themed bread.

Although Nintendo has shunned from mobile for years, the company is now seemingly changing its stance on the mobile gaming industry – to some extent at least– as it reportedly has plans to release four more games for Android and iOS by the end of March 2017, and possibly even a smarphone peripheral further down the line.

via: The Guardian

AT&T Exploring Use of Drones to Boost Coverage

att1_2040.0.0PhoneScoop – AT&T today said it is testing how best to use drones within its business and went so far as to suggest using them to enhance coverage at live events such as concerts. AT&T is already using drones to inspect cell towers, but it imagines them doing much more. “Connecting drones to our nationwide LTE network lets us capture data and feed it directly to our systems,” wrote AT&T’s John Donovan in a blog post. “In turn, this can allow us to make changes to our network in real time. By using drones to inspect a cell site, we’re able to conduct inspections more quickly and safely — and even access parts of a tower that a human simply could not.” Since AT&T’s drones are already connected to its network, it sees a future wherein the drones become part of the network itself. “Possible uses include Flying COWs (Cell on Wings) providing LTE coverage at large events or even rapid disaster response,” continued Donovan. “A Flying COW may even be able to provide coverage when a vehicle is unable to drive to a designated area.” AT&T plans to demonstrate these and other capabilities this week at a technology conference in San Francisco. AT&T did not say if or when it might actually provide LTE coverage via drone.

Microsoft’s HoloLens brings you inside a gigantic jet engine

CNET – Many people spent the weekend getting acquainted with augmented reality, the fusing of the digital and physical world, through the popular new Pokemon Go app that lets users see fictitious creatures hanging out in the real world through a phone screen.

But augmented reality, also referred to as mixed reality, can have more practical applications like training.

That’s exactly what Microsoft was pushing for at its Worldwide Partner Conference on Monday. Presenters at the Toronto event used Microsoft’s heavily hyped HoloLens to bring a digital representation of a jet engine on stage to show how Japan Airlines intends to use the technology to train flight crews and mechanics.

“We can continue to learn in new ways, not possible in the real world,” said Lorraine Bardeen, general manager of Windows and HoloLens experiences production and strategy for Microsoft.

Augmented reality, alongside its sibling virtual reality, is one of the hottest trends in technology. Major players such as Microsoft and Google have experimented with both technologies as a potential new way for people to view the digital and real worlds, with potential applications in gaming and entertainment, as well as in the workplace.

Microsoft has wowed audiences before with its HoloLens demonstrations. But aside from a developer model that costs $3,000, there hasn’t been word on when the average consumer can buy one.

For now, interested consumers will have to rely on these demos for a taste of the HoloLens experience. On Monday, that meant taking a giant jet engine and expanding it from tabletop size to actual size for the purposes of learning about how the engine works, how it might have been recently updated or the hazardous spots where you shouldn’t stand.

Having an interactive, 3D model of something like a jet engine could supplement materials like manuals. It could also help when the actual equipment is unavailable.

“Any company that needs to train and develop their employees, and any partner who helps companies with professional training has a big opportunity,” Bardeen said. “You will be at the forefront of the next major computing platform.”

Meet the Smartest, Cutest AI-Powered Robot You’ve Ever Seen

AnkiTA-1024x768Wired – BORIS SOFMAN TAPS his phone, and the robot on the conference room table in front of him wakes up. Not in that gadget-y way, like when a laptop screen turns on, though. The robot slowly raises its head and opens one eye, then the other, as if the light of the world is just too much. Sofman, CEO of robotics company Anki, chuckles as the it shakes off the rust of sleep and ambles off its charging cradle. After circling the table a moment, it drives quickly to the edge. It only pauses once it’s driven halfway off. I instinctively put my hand out to catch it, but a split second later, the robot looks down, and its blue OLED eyes go wide. Sofman smiles. The robot yelps in a tiny robot voice, flails its single, u-shaped arm in terror, quickly reverses its bulldozer-style tracks, and backs away.

“This little guy,” Sofman says, “is Cozmo.”

Three years ago, Sofman took the stage at Apple’s WWDC keynote and demonstrated Anki Drive, a set of artificially-intelligent race cars. That was Anki’s first product. Cozmo is its second—third if you count a major update to Drive—launching today after five years in development. It is a $180, coffee-mug-sized, vehicular robot—like a cross between a Furby and a Tonka Truck. Like Drive, Cozmo is a toy. It’s meant largely for children, and it is adorable.

With most toys, Sofman says, it’s up to the humans playing with them to provide creativity. Your C-3PO doesn’t act like C-3PO unless you do all the work. “Here,” Sofman says, “we can actually make him true to form.” Thanks to a wholly unique combination of computer-vision science, advanced robotics, deep character development, and a set of machine-learning algorithms that Anki calls the “emotional engine,” Cozmo is meant to be something very much like a real-life version of Wall-E or R2-D2. It’s not human, but it feels real.

If Anki can actually pull off this difficult mix of high-tech and kid-friendly, Cozmo could be much more than the next Tickle Me Elmo or Furby. Next time a Pixar movie comes out, the cute characters could feel as alive in your living room as they do on-screen. Sofman and his team are offering SDKs for nearly every part of Cozmo, and they imagine children learning to program by building fun new games and features for their adorable robots. “With enough attention and love to it,” Sofman says, “this could be the most capable STEM platform that ever existed.” They’ll be updating the robot’s software constantly with new games and capabilities. It may look and act like a toy, but Anki wants it to be the next big thing in hardware computing.

The hoped-for next big thing in hardware computing is currently staring at me, with two blue OLED eyes wide and unblinking. “Oh,” Sofman says. “He wants to meet you.”

Going Off-Road
The Anki crew has been thinking about Cozmo since well before Sofman’s Drive demo at WWDC. From 2005-2010, Sofman was a PhD student in the well-regarded robotics program at Carnegie Mellon (which is now maybe most famous for being the place Uber raided for talent when it started developing self-driving cars). He, along with classmates Mark Palatucci and Hans Tappeiner, wanted to do something unique with their research.

“They came in,” says stadium-filling venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, recalling his first meeting with the team in 2011, “and they basically said, ‘We have these backgrounds in robotics, and we could spend our lives building these sort of AI robots that cost millions of dollars and work on assembly lines.’” That’s what just about everyone with a robotics PhD does. “But they said, ‘We really think that’s inadequate. This technology is ready to be shrunk down into products that cost hundreds of dollars, and are able to be in the home.” They showed Andreessen a working version of Drive, plus renderings of what would become Cozmo. Andreessen led a huge funding round, and now sits on Anki’s board. He calls Anki “the best robotics startup I have ever seen.”

Once Drive launched in 2013, work on the little robot began in earnest. Anki’s first Cozmo hire was Andrew Stein, another Carnegie Mellon PhD (this is a recurring theme), to work on computer vision. One nice thing about Drive was that cars were moving on a track, which Anki used to map their position. “We don’t have that with Cozmo,” Stein says. Anki did consider building the robot with a little play-mat, but Stein says “it takes away from the product. It feels less like a little creature if that little creature can only run around on the mat he comes with.” Cozmo, then, had to be able to constantly map its surroundings and navigate through them. Cozmo is solving the same kinds of problems as Google’s self-driving cars. They’re hard problems: “The number one challenge” for a home robot, says Chelsea Finn, a PhD researcher at Berkeley, “is to see the unstructured environment, and make actions depending on the state of the environment.” Luckily, researchers are coming up with answers. “There have been these huge leaps and bounds in computer vision with deep learning,” Finn says, “and hopefully we can make real progress.”


Cozmo is fully based on computer vision and deep learning. The robot sees the world through a single camera in its face, hidden in a slot that’s meant to look like a mouth. The camera runs at 15 frames per second, sending the footage to your phone, which does all the processing before sending instructions back to the robot. So Cozmo will always have as much processing power as that fancy new computer in your pocket. The downside, of course, is that you need a phone nearby when you’re playing with the li’l bot. The phone trick didn’t solve all of Anki’s problems, either: Stein spent years working out how to compensate for the latency that comes with sending data back and forth.

It would be impossible to hard-code every imaginable playplace into the system, which is why machine learning has become such a crucial part of Anki’s efforts. “A lot of situations where you invoke machine learning,” says Michael Wagner, a CMU robotics researcher who amazingly is not involved with Anki, “are because you don’t really understand what the system should do. How should it prefer to drive over rough terrain versus smooth terrain? You don’t know. So you throw machine learning at it.” Lots of testing, lots of training, and the system figures out how to react by itself. Many of what Anki’s dealing with are standard robotics challenges, but no one’s ever solved them for this kind of product. This robot doesn’t have to be perfectly efficient, like an assembly-line worker. This robot has to be fun.

Would You Like to Play a Game?
The key, Anki discovered, was to take everything Cozmo needs to do and somehow make it part of its character. It’s a toy, after all. Nobody wants to read a manual, or put their cute little robot down on the floor and wait ten minutes while it meticulously maps its surroundings. So early on, Anki decided that Cozmo should appear to curious: Put it down and it’ll instinctively start looking around. It’s also a pathological show-off, which is both delightfully silly and a perfectly practical way to teach users about Cozmo’s many features. The wee bot will grab one of its blocks, put it down in front of you, and announce a desire to play a game.

Cozmo’s favorite initial game seems to be a color-matching competition called Speed Tap. You and Cozmo each take a block, and when their blinking colors match whoever taps their block first wins. (It’s way more fun than it sounds, I swear.) Cozmo is a cheeky gamer; the little scamp tried to fake me into tapping my block when they didn’t match, and stormed off when I won. And it’s those little tics, the banging of its lift-like arm and spinning in circles and squawking in its Wall-E voice, that really makes you want to refer to the little guy as “he” rather than “it.”

The many iterations of Cozmo. (Not pictured: the one that was a webcam on top of a box of staples.)
The many iterations of Cozmo. (Not pictured: the one that was a webcam on top of a box of staples.)ANKI
To give these emotions and reactions visceral weight, Anki created what it calls an emotional engine: a collection of algorithms that affect the way the robot mimics feelings. The Anki team did a lot of research on emotions, focusing especially on the so-called Core Emotions written about by psychologist Paul Ekman and portrayed in movies like Inside Out.

Almost like a human, Cozmo is aware of many potential emotional responses at any given time, all vying for a ride on that bit of data that shoots from the inside of its processor to the robot’s means of expression. Take that moment when it rolled up to the lip of the conference room table, for instance. “He sees an edge,” Sofman says, “and that spikes a response in him.” He points to a real-time graph of all of Cozmo’s available states. “He’s a little less brave, a little less calm, a little less happy.” It’s a very sophisticated imitation of nervousness. When Cozmo sees a block, those same variables combine to simulate excitement and confidence. And if it tries and fails to pick a block up, it would “get” sad and apprehensive. You can see it in the graph, and you can see it in Cozmo.

And just as important as it was for Anki to create recipes for emotional expression, it was also necessary for the team to make sure that it wasn’t… robotic. Cozmo might react the same way twice, but it’s programmed to be unpredictable. “Kids would very quickly realize if, like, it was a ‘do A get B’ scenario,” says engineer Brad Neuman. “Kids are smart.”

The way Cozmo shows these feelings, of course, is every bit as important as having them in the first place. For that, Anki hired the man they now call “the soul of Cozmo,” Carlos Baena. Baena spent a decade at Pixar, animating a bunch of minor characters you maybe heard of, like Wall-E, Nemo, Mr. Incredible, and Buzz Lightyear. During one of their initial meetings, Sofman and Tappeiner showed Baena a smartphone video of a 3D-printed prototype interacting with an Anki employee. All Baena could look at was the employee’s face. “He just kept talking to [Cozmo], you know?” he says. “Sometimes, even cursing at him. It was past being a cute little thing. It felt deeper.” He saw in Cozmo the possibility for a connection beyond anything you can get through a movie-theater screen.
Baena and his team created a nonsensical language and chipper voice that is still somehow communicative, the same way R2-D2 managed to say so much with beeps and bloops. They spent months looking at the eyes of cartoon characters, learning how and what they can communicate. They wrote an original score for Cozmo, which plays from your phone as he motors around. Just for effect, Neuman showed me the same Cozmo motions without the animations and music. It was nifty, like a remote control car, but lifeless. Then the eyes came alive and the sounds began, and Cozmo was back.

Anki’s still working out some bugs, trying to figure out the difference between delightful unpredictability and actual buggy software. But even this fall, when Anki launches Cozmo to the world, it won’t be finished—it can’t be. Because, no matter how sophisticated the robot’s programming is, it can’t actually re-program itself. Not even Google’s AlphaGo can do that. At least for now, AI engineers must retrain systems with new machine learning algorithms or new data before they can truly operate in new ways. The company plans to keep updating it so that you never run out of things to do with your crazy little robot.

“We’d like to get it to the point where it literally does new things every day,” Andreessen says. “We want it to be programmable.” They hope that other companies will build robots like Cozmo, maybe even robots that are aware of Cozmo and want to be friends. This real-world video game might just take over the world. Or maybe it won’t. And then Cozmo will be all alone, and sad—at least, it’ll appear that way.

Got a Cracked Screen? 3 Best Smartphone Screen Repair Options

broken-iphone-glass-replacement-tipsA cracked smartphone screen can ruin your day, and if you don’t have the right repair options it could ruin your month.

Replacing an iPhone or Android in the middle of a contract or a payment plan is expensive, and with trade-in offers there is less chance that you have a spare phone to rely on.

We’ll walk through the options you can use to fix your broken iPhone screen or broken Android screen. There are a variety of ways you can fix your broken screen and options to look for help.

Here are the best options:

  1. Call 888-485-4227
  2. Go to www.affordablecellularrepair.com and make an appointment
  3. Go to 4404 NW Cache Rd, Lawton, OK 73505 and bring your broken phone

That’s it! It’s so easy. See you soon!

Should You Fix That Broken Gadget?

brokephoenConsider The Value of Your Time

Your time also has value that’s often overlooked when making the decision to repair well-used and loved tech versus replace it outright. It makes sense to try and approach these things logically in terms of specs and dollars, but keep these things in mind when making your decision as well:

  • Consider repair time and how long you’ll be without your devices. If you choose to repair your current devices, make sure to find out how long you’ll be without your tech. After all, if your primary laptop is the one that needs repair, you’ll be without a computer for a while unless you have a backup. If it’s your phone, it could be even worse. You don’t want to be stuck in a never-ending repair hell where your laptop is in the bowels of some repair shop for months upon months while you wait. If a little more money could get you up and working in hours instead of weeks, it might be worth it.
  • Consider set-up time, and how long it’ll take you to get back to normal. If your repair is something that can be done quickly, or even while you wait, it might not make sense to upgrade. You’ll probably spend hours trying to get your laptop or phone up and running with all of your settings. Even then, it’ll take you even longer to get back to that “productive” normal, where you don’t try to do something and realize you don’t have the files or apps required. While it’s fun for some people to break in new tech, others prefer to just turn it on and go to work. Make sure you know which one you are before you choose.

Read more here.

Courtesy: LifeHacker


Nokia no longer the butt of tech jokes

Withings scaleImage copyrightWITHINGS
Image captionNow a company owned by Nokia, Withings’ latest offering is this smart weighing scale

You know what? I think it’s time to stop laughing at Nokia.

The clichéd joke is that it’s tech’s most famous has-been, a firm that peaked with the 3310 and has nothing else to offer the world other than nostalgia about how your dad “still uses his old Nokia!”.

And after Microsoft bought Nokia’s mobile division, and then swiftly gave up on making phones, it seemed like that was it for Nokia as a consumer brand.

But what Microsoft left behind in Finland, a country which once oozed with pride over Nokia’s success, was a bevy of bright engineers and strategists.

Nokia isn’t going away, and it surely once again deserves the tech world’s respect and attention.


Let’s start with its most recent acquisition: Withings. Withings is a French digital health company that holds the accolade – if you ask me – for producing the only smartwatch on the market that isn’t grossly offending to your eyes.

Withings watchImage copyrightWITHINGS
Image captionWithings’ fitness watches are more minimalist compared to many of its competitors

Another of its products, launched just this week, is its smart weighing scale. There are a few of these on the market, but Withings/Nokia’s scale is the only one that measures your “pulse wave velocity” (PWV). I hadn’t heard of it either, but I’m told it’s a measure of how blood is moving around your body. A key metric for measuring your cardiovascular health.

Nokia’s recently-completed purchase of Withings cost the firm peanuts – €170m ($191m; £133m). The sort of amount you’d imagine Facebook finds down the back of its sofa.

For that money the company has essentially bought a ready-made digital health division with an impressive, sleek array of products and the promise of more to come.

I’m writing this in the lobby of Nokia’s new San Francisco office, the new home of Nokia Tech, the firm’s innovation wing. Cedric Hutchings – formerly Withings chief executive, but now Nokia’s head of health – told me joining Nokia gives them the chance to expand rapidly. He has lots of ideas and needed Nokia’s money.

Robotic ET

Nokia’s other big focus is virtual reality. Of course, that’s a crowded space. Next week I’ll be at E3 looking at virtual reality gaming, and the roster of companies producing hardware is huge – Oculus, Sony, HTC, Microsoft, Samsung… you can’t move for VR gear.

But Nokia is taking a different angle. Its focus has been on making the best virtual reality camera.

Nokia OzoImage copyrightNOKIA
Image captionNokia’s 360 degree camera costs $60,000

No easy task – you need to film a complete 360 degrees, and provide the ways and means to stick it all together. Facebook’s attempt at this looks like some kind of angry robotic ET – but Nokia’s Ozo is a neat little orb.

“We are taking a risk, but we think it’s worth it,” said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Tech.

“Virtual reality puts us on the market as the most innovative company in that space.”

Facebook Surround 360Image copyrightFACEBOOK
Image captionFacebook has its own 360 camera in the works

Patience will be a virtue here. Despite a lot of excitement, VR is still a revolution-in-waiting. Mark Zuckerberg has said he expects it will take several years to know if the VR headsets will be a success. For Nokia, the wait will likely be even longer.

“Yes it’s a gamble,” Mr Haidamus agreed. “But it’s such an exciting space and we’re in year one of many years to come.”

The Ozo costs $60,000 – but if Hollywood is on the brink of getting excited about VR, that’s a target market ready and waiting to pay that kind of money.

If VR is the next tech gold rush, you could say Nokia is the company with the best shovel.

If it comes off, the ones laughing will be Nokia – all the way to the bank. A tech comeback few might have expected.

Follow Dave Lee on Twitter @DaveLeeBBC and on Facebook

Do you Have Devices Sitting Around in a Drawer Broken?

Considering the way mobile phones have allowed us increasing untethered liberation, it’s not a surprise to see the exponential growth of cellphone, especially smartphone, users. The Pew Research Center says 64 percent of Americans owned a cellphone in 2014. And there are no signs that number is going to stop growing any time soon. But along with use comes repair problems as well.

Dead and Broken Units in Your Home
If you’ve got a broken iPhone unit or two, don’t lose hope that you’ll never see their screens come back to life. You don’t have to shell out money for a new one if you can find a way to make the damaged ones work again! Here’s what you can do to make that happen:

Repair Shop

If you don’t have the skills or tools to pull off DIY jobs, then bring your devices to a reliable Android repair or iPad repair shop.

Finding a Repair Shop
Experience is always a good indication. So look for phone repair shops that have in business for years. If you’re looking for iPhone repair or cell phone repair in Sacramento, contact us at iParts and Phone Repairs. We are a wireless device, smartphone and gadget repair center. We take pride in our knowledge of the “i” product line and have learned to repair each new gadget the most efficient way possible.

From using your mobile phone to chat and read emails, to surfing online as well as shopping, you’ve come a long way from relying on your cell phones for basic call and text features. So don’t give up too easily at the first sign of trouble. You might think the problem is so much worse than it actually is, so it helps to consult with a repair technician first before leaving your phone to your drawer—and to oblivion—forever.

See more here.

Apple’s Cook tours India in critical moment for iPhones

Apple CEO Inaugurates Office in Southern India

Apple CEO Tim Cook inaugurated an office in southern India on Thursday to develop the Maps feature for Apple products. (May 19) AP


NEW DEHLI — Tim Cook is in the midst of what may be his most important business trip since he became Apple CEO nearly five years ago.

In the first visit by an Apple CEO to India, Cook met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. He’s already rubbed shoulders with Bollywood stars, financial and tech leaders and consumers.

“(Cook) spoke of the possibilities of manufacturing and retailing in India,” according to a statement issued by Modi’s office after the meeting. “He appreciated the breadth of young talent in India, and said the youth have significant skills which Apple would like to tap. He mentioned the immense potential for ‘app development’ that exists in the country.”

Apple had no announcement on whether it will open stores in India this year, a goal of Cook’s.

The week-long journey, which started in China, had the air of a diplomatic mission to burnish Apple’s investment and commitment to two countries vital to its success, Apple watchers say. But while slowing demand for iPhones in China, Apple’s second-biggest market, has put the brakes on Apple’s growth, the India market is seen ready to inject new momentum to the world’s most valuable company.

“North America and China are Apple’s largest markets, and both have slowed down significantly in the last year. They have reached a saturation point,” said Niel Shah, an analyst at Counterpoint.

“India, on the other hand, is the fastest-growing market in the world for smartphones. The fact is that for the company, it’s the perfect time to look seriously at the Indian market because there’s nowhere else left to go,” Shah said.

In Hyderabad, Cook opened a technology center that will focus on developing maps for its iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. Apple said the initiative would create 4,000 jobs.

“The talent here in the local area is incredible, and we are looking forward to expanding our relationships and introducing more universities and partners to our platforms as we scale our operations,” Cook said Thursday in that southern India city.

He also met with officials from ICICI Bank, India’s largest private lender.

The Cupertino, Calif., is intensifying its focus on the Asian countries because business at home has cooled after a torrid decade of growth. Sales in the recently completed quarter marked the first year-over-year decline in more than a decade. Shipments of iPhone plummeted 16%, the first drop in the product’s 10-year history. Google Chromebook sales surpassed Macintosh for the first time in the U.S. recently, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a tweet Thursday.

“It is critically important” Apple show it is investing in both countries and not merely selling products to them, said Thomas Cooke, a professor at Georgetown McDonough School of Business. “Apple needs to show it is interested, and Cook’s trip demonstrated that.”

Cook landed in China shortly after Apple plowed $1 billion in Didi, China’s leading ride-hailing service. It is Apple’s largest known investment in a tech company.

Apple rivals Facebook, Google, Amazon and Microsoft have made nice with government leaders of India and China in recent months, mindful of their burgeoning, and highly coveted, demographics. Half of India’s 1.25 billion residents are under 25 years old, the “ideal customer fit” for Apple, Georgetown’s Cooke said.

Apple has built a $59 billion business in China, its second-largest market, where four of the top-five selling smartphones are iPhones. But it is in India, with annual sales of $1.5 billion, where Cook & Co. see the most potential. “We see India where China was 10 years ago,” he told Apple shareholders in February. Indeed, iPhone sales in India soared 56% in the recently completed quarter.

Apple has “golden status in China and there is tremendous opportunity in India,” saidTim Bajarin, founder of Creative Strategies. He said a dedicated product in the India market could be a game changer.

Apple has made no secret of its grand plans for the two most-populous countries in the world, but it won’t be easy.

Sales in China slumped 11% in the first three months of this year, a reflection of a slackening smartphone market and a wobbly economy. Such concerns prompted at least one major Apple investor, Carl Icahn, to dump nearly 50 million shares. (Billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway group, on the other hand, gobbled up $900 million in Apple stock.)

But Silicon Valley analyst Jack Gold expects Apple and other makers of high-end smartphones will sell “significantly reduced numbers” in India than in China because of lower network capabilities, lower median household income and a high-penetration of Android phones in India.

Gold estimates Apple sold about 20 million smartphones in China in the last quarter of 2015. India, he said, accounted for about 11 million in the same time. “That’s a significant amount, but not sufficient to make up for all the market downside Apple is seeing in China and other parts of the world,” he said.

In India, authorities this month rejected Apple’s request to import and sell refurbished iPhones amid protests from handset vendors, who argued the move would flood the market with used electronics and undercut a government push to ramp up local manufacturing. Apple, which has a 1% slice of the smartphone market in India, had hoped to increase its market share through the sale of lower-priced iPhones to cost-conscious consumers.

In India, Cook said refurbished iPhones are better than most models and have full service support from Apple.

Even with a faster network, the iPhone is too expensive for the typical Indian — most buy smartphones that costs $150 or less. Apple’s entry-level phone in India, the iPhone SE, sells for $550, a price that may drop once Apple’s partner, Foxxcon, begins manufacturing the iPhone and other Apple products in India. Plans already are underway to build a plant in the state of Maharashtra.

Modi, a business-friendly leader who has promised to spur India’s economy, has been courting tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google to set up shop in India with promises to make India’s laws and regulations more hospitable to foreign investment.

Gahlot reported from New Dehli, Swartz from San Francisco.

Follow USA TODAY San Francisco Bureau Chief Jon Swartz @jswartz on Twitter.