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The iPhone wannabes

Kusham Mitra     August 19, 2008

The Apple iPhone 3G is coming on the Airtel and Vodafone networks soon. As the most hyped-up gadget on the planet arrives 'legally' on Indian stores, we take a look at some gadgets that get less media attention, but are, nonetheless equally capable as, and sometimes better than, the iPhone.

Nokia N96

Nokia's latest and greatest phone, the N96, has 24-gigabytes of storage, and beats the IPhone on that count. It also has a far better camera and easier e-mail synchronisation. The N96 allows users to view Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld (DVB-H) signals for mobile TV. Then, Nokia Maps, which it offers, is the only such service to offer live turn-by-turn navigation in India, which the iPhone will not. Okay, it doesn't have a touch screen. But that apart, this is the iPhone 3G's strongest competitor.

Forex reserves in emerging Asia

Have Asia economies, including India, built up reserves of foreign exchange far bigger than their needs? Not really, says an IMF Working Paper that suggests that on the contrary, higher reserves can reduce the borrowing costs for most of Asia.

Empirical analysis is doesn't not suggest that reserves are "too high" in the majority of Asian countries, though China may be a special case. Much of the reserve accumulation in Asia can be explained by an optimal insurance model under which reserves provide a steady source of liquidity to cushion the impact of a sudden stop in capital inflows on output and consumption, says an IMF working paper.

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