Tag Archive: smartphones



Mobile handset shipment this year is estimated to touch 265 million with feature phones forming about 59 percent of the overall market, research firm CMR today said.

According to the CMR report, of the total shipment, 116 million are estimated to be smartphones. About 78.4 million handsets were shipped during the third quarter of 2016 while for nine months ended September, the total shipment was 197.5 million, it added.

“In line with previous insights from CMR, the third quarter of 2016 for mobile handset industry in India ended with a strong reaffirmation of the fact that it would take a longer than expected time for India to become a smartphone-only market,” it said.

Feature phones still form about 59 percent of the overall market and can’t be wiped off anytime soon, it added. “There is a mismatch between the technology road map and the user priorities. While the ecosystem is working on to make data services more affordable, accessible and meaningful for the subscribers, the majority is still looking for reliable voice communication,” CMR Principal Analyst (Telecoms) Faisal Kawoosa said.

He added that this is forcing even a future-ready network like Jio to work on innovative models of launching voice-over LTE-enabled 4G feature phones to tap the voice potential.
As per the report, Samsung led the overall mobile handset industry (24.5 percent share) as well as feature phone and smartphone categories with similar market shares.

It was followed by Lava (9.7 percent) and Intex (9.3 percent), respectively.

In the smartphone category, Lenovo was the second-largest player with 10.4 percent share, followed by Micromax (7.5 percent).

As for feature phones, Lava and Intex had 12.3 percent and 11 percent share, respectively. Interestingly, 66 percent of the phones shipped in the third quarter were Made in India.

 
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

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After launching the Mate 9, Mate 9 Porsche Edition, and the Mate 9 Pro this month, Huawei obviously wasn’t done with the Mate 9 lineup as it has now announced the more affordable Mate 9 Lite. The Mate 9 Lite is now listed on the company’s website without pricing, but the name and the specifications suggest it will be the cheapest in the Mate 9 lineup. We do know that the smartphone will be available in Gold, Grey, and Silver colour options.

The Huawei Mate 9 Lite comes with typical mid-range specs. The device runs Huawei’s EMUI 4.1 on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It sports a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920) display with a 2.5D curved glass on top. A Kirin 655 SoC with an octa-core CPU means the device won’t be too big on performance compared to its Mate 9 siblings.
In terms of optics, the Mate 9 Lite comes with a dual rear camera setup much like the other Mate 9s, but unlike the 20-megapixel and 12-megapixel Leica sensors found in the Mate 9 and Mate 9 Pro, the Mate 9 Lite comes with a lower 12-megapixel and 2-megapixel rear cameras minus the Leica branding. The front sports an 8-megapixel sensor. The 12-megapixel sensor features a 0.3 second PDAF focus, while the secondary camera captures depth for bokeh shots.

According to the Huawei website, the Mate 9 Lite will be offered in two variants – one with 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage and the other with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The device is fitted with a 3340mAh battery. Connectivity options include GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The Huawei Mate 9 Lite measures 150.9×76.2×8.2mm and weighs 162 grams.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


In today’s weird news, a Chinese billionaire’s son purchased eight iPhone 7 smartphones. But that’s not the weird part. The iPhone 7 smartphones were purchased for the son’s dog. You may need a moment to digest what you just read, but the story is fantastically true.

Wang Sicong is the son of Wang Jialin, a Chinese businessman whose net worth is over $30 billion. The son bought his dog Coco eight iPhone 7s, according to a post on the dog’s account on Weibo. Yes, the dog has his own Weibo account too – and, it’s verified. The iPhone 7 in China is priced between CNY 6,388 and 7,988 (roughly Rs. 64,210 to Rs. 80,000), which means Sicong spent upwards of CNY 51,071 (roughly Rs. 5,13,000). For the son of a businessman worth $30 billion, that price would not pinch too much.
While Apple fans in China started lining up outside the Apple Store on Friday, Sicong easily managed to get eight of the latest devices from Apple only to give it to his beloved dog. The dog, of course, is seen happily posing with his new collection.

This isn’t the first time Wang Sicong’s dog has received such spotlight. In May 2015, Sicong purchased two Apple Watch Editions for his dog (named Wang Ke Chi Bi), which the dog flaunted on his two front paws. In fact, the Apple Watch Edition models were a lot pricier compared to the iPhone 7, costing somewhere between $10,000 (roughly Rs. 6,40,000) and $17,000 (roughly Rs. 11,00,000) each.
By the looks of it, Sicong’s dog is an all out Apple fan and one can expect him to sport the latest Apple Watch Series 2 in the near future.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Research firm Strategy Analytics on Thursday said that Google’s mobile operating system Android captured 97 percent of the total smartphone market share in India in terms of shipments, to retain its top position during the second quarter of 2016.

“Android shipped 29.8 million smartphones in India in Q2 2016, growing an impressive 28 percent annually from 23.2 million units in Q2 2015. Android maintained first position across India with a record 97 percent OS share for the quarter, up from 90 percent a year ago,” Strategy Analytics’ Executive Director was quoted as saying in the release.

The total smartphone shipments in India grew 19 percent year-on-year to 30.7 million units from 25.8 million units in April-June last year, Strategy Analytics said in its release.

“Android dominates the India smartphone market and looks unbeatable right now, due to its deep portfolio of hardware partners, extensive distribution channels, and a wide range of low-cost apps like Gmail.”

Interestingly, in its release Strategy Analytics pointed out that Apple’s iOS shipments fell 35 percent year-on-year as the company shipped 0.8 million smartphones in India during April-June, compared with 1.2 million units a year ago in the same time period. The report seemingly contradicts Apple’s own figures revealed during its third quarter earning call last month, saying it had experienced 51 percent growth year-on-year in iPhone sales in India during the same period.

“Apple’s smartphone market share has halved from 4 percent to just 2 percent in India during the past year. Apple iOS will need to reduce iPhone pricing to cheaper levels, attract more operator subsidies and enlarge its retail presence through Apple stores or online channels if it wants to regrow significantly in the future,” Strategy Analytics’ Director Woody Oh was quoted as saying in the release.

If the numbers are any indication, Android has taken such a lead that it will be hard for Apple to gain any momentum without drastically reducing its product prices.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


When Jessa Jones found out her kids had submerged her iPhone in her toilet, causing a clog, she thought her phone was a lost cause. It powered on but didn’t seem to be taking a charge anymore. The Apple store warns against water damage, which is not covered by warranty.

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It wasn’t until Jones started poking around on online forums that the mother of four discovered that the phone didn’t charge because the charging chip was ruined. After two years of tinkering with the device, Jones finally got the phone to start working again.

“I didn’t want to abandon the phone just because it wouldn’t take a charge. It seemed like such a solvable problem,” she said.

She didn’t know that her journey to fix a phone would lead her to become one of the most innovative iPhone repair experts in the game, and drive her to a world of black market electronics and leaked iPhone blueprints that spans the globe.

Jones is part of a group of independent device repair technicians who are dedicated to fixing and extracting data from damaged phones, tablets and computers. These fixers can rescue phone photos and prolong the life of the device. Yet their practice exists in a legal gray zone. Due to Apple’s tight grip on the repair services of its products, many repair technicians must rely on questionable electronic pieces from factories in China, as well as re-created design guides. The tech giant forbids official parts or device blueprints from being used outside of their Apple Genius bars or authorized third-party shops.

And Apple isn’t the only company with these strict repair guidelines. While Jones’s vocation is perfectly legal, she is sometimes forced to utilize not-quite-legitimate sources.

“For a cracked iPhone, the best quality screen that I can possibly source I’m technically not allowed to have,” said Jones. She risks confiscation every time she ships Apple parts from China, where she buys from sellers who could be sending her factory rejects, backdoor inventory or shoddy fakes, depending on her luck, she said. Then there are the design guides, or schematics, which she finds on unofficial websites and forums.

“It feels very much like we’re doing something wrong. It feels unsupported and illegitimate.”

A New York bill called the Fair Repair Act would help give Jones the legitimacy she desires. The bill requires that hardware manufacturers make repair instructions and parts available to the public. If passed by state lawmkers, the bill could open up independent access to repairs across the nation; its legality in one state would free up information and distribution flow to the rest of the country.

The impact of this right-to-repair legislation would extend beyond independent technicians like Jones. If the bill becomes law, it could be a big positive for the environment, cutting down on manufacturing costs and e-waste generated from disposed phones. That’s a major reason that New York state Sen. Phil Boyle decided to sponsor the bill, citing the destructive consumer cycle of buying new devices because minor repairs are too expensive to afford through official stores. These phones typically end up in landfills. Even recycling these devices properly relies on access to Apple device designs so that they can be easily disassembled and processed.

“The manufacturing impact of the electronic sector is huge,” said Kyle Wiens, a repair advocate and founder of iFixit, an online wiki of repair guides and electronic parts store. “If you’re gonna go to all the effort and environmental impact to make a phone, let’s make it last for seven or 10 years. And it’s okay if it’s not necessarily used by the first owner for all that long, but let’s make it so that somebody can use it.”

Studies have shown that the average American keeps their phone for around 1.5 to 2.5 years before moving on to a new one.

But New York’s right-to-repair legislation has made little progress toward passage. It’s still in its early stages of the state’s congress and will die if it isn’t passed by the end of the month. Documents in public government filings reviewed by the Huffington Post earlier this month show that Apple lobbied to kill the bill.

“Apple in particular has been really vocal about how environmentally friendly they are, but then, behind the scenes, they’re subverting every possible technique that people could have to make their products last longer,” said Wiens. Apple removed the iFixit app, created by Wiens’ repair community/company, from the app store last year when iFixit posted instructions on how to tear down the Apple TV.

Responding to questions from The Washington Post, Apple pointed to a company environmental report that demonstrates its e-waste efforts, including the development of a robot that helps take apart and recycle Apple products. The company also emphasized that it wants Apple devices to be repaired with genuine parts and verified technical know-how to preserve the integrity of the products. When pressed about Apple’s lobbying efforts to kill the bill, Apple declined to comment.

Wiens is also concerned that Apple’s tactics are quashing innovation. He uses Jones, the homemaker turned fixer guru, as an example. “She’s able to do much more sophisticated repairs than even Apple does,” he said. “There’s a huge amount of innovation that kind of starts at the grass-roots community. She’s hanging out on the online forums, starts tinkering, starts doing some of it on her own. And now she’s at the forefront of data recovery.”

Jones, who now owns her own corner repair shop in her hometown of Honeoye Falls, N.Y., hosts training courses to teach others how to extract vacation photos from a phone with water damage. She said that experts from well-known, well-established data recovery companies have shown up at her board repair course to learn her techniques.

Louis Rossmann, who owns a local electronic repair shop in Manhattan’s East Village, is another DIY fixer who turned his know-how into a small brick-and-mortar business. Rossmann, who didn’t go to college, has taught himself almost everything that he knows about electronics. His day typically consists of a flood of nearby New York University or New School students who have fried their computers and anxious that they won’t be able to access their notes or their thesis in time.

The Apple website is cagey in terms of what a fried motherboard would cost to repair, saying that it depends on the damage, but forums suggest around $750 to $1,000, not including shipping/handling. The cost is nearly the price of a new computer, and there’s no guarantee that the data will be saved.

Rossmann, who has been tinkering with computers for nine years, is able to repair the laptop and save the customer’s data for half the price. On his YouTube channel, which mixes detailed tutorials on device repair and motivational videos barked through a thick Staten Island accent, Rossmann advocates for right-to-repair laws.

“Think back to a time when the back panel of a television set had schematics and diagrams posted on it,” he said. “This was not thousands of years ago. This is how society was, but it was slowly taken away from us piece by piece over the last decade. This is important because we will eventually live in a world where everything is disposable if the precedent continues — where you do not own a device, you’re renting it until it breaks.”

In his videos, Rossmann focuses the camera on a motherboard, walking viewers step-by-step through the repairs. “I believe in the good that repair can do for society,” he said.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Apple Inc said its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were still available for sale in China after Beijing’s intellectual property regulators barred their sales saying the designs had infringed a patent held by a Chinese company.

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“We appealed an administrative order from a regional patent tribunal in Beijing last month and as a result the order has been stayed pending review by the Beijing IP Court,” Apple said in a statement on Friday.

The notice, dated May 19, banning sales of certain iPhone models in Beijing was posted on a Chinese government website.

The Chinese market is vital to Apple, driving more of its sales than any other region outside the United States. But the tech giant has faced greater scrutiny there in recent months, with its online book and film services blocked by Chinese regulators earlier this year.

Apple historically had enjoyed favourable treatment in China, but Beijing’s crackdown on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is a reminder that the tech giant is not immune to the scrutiny that other US tech firms have long faced in the country, said analyst Colin Gillis of BGC Partners.

“There’s a variety of risks of having dependence on sales in China to Apple, and government intervention in whatever form is one of them,” he said.

Last month, Apple announced that it would invest $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing, a move that was widely viewed as an attempt to shore up relations in China.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


According to the Q1 2016 smartphone shipments and market share report by Strategy Analytics, Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi saw a rise in market share year-on-year in the first quarter, while the other two smartphone manufacturers in the top five – Apple and Samsung – saw a drop.

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Strategy Analytics says that while Samsung retained its premier position in terms smartphone shipments, it saw a drop of 3.7 million units shipped year-on-year – with 79 million smartphones shipped. It’s market share dropped 0.4 percent year-on-year to 24.6 percent. The South Korean tech giant is said to have kept its top spot position mainly because of its flagship Galaxy S7 models and J-series models. As for its rival Apple, the firm retained its number two position with 51.2 million units, but saw a year-on-year drop of 10 million units, and a drop in smartphone market share from 17.7 percent to 15.3 percent.

Talking about the Chinese smartphone brands, Huawei maintained its third position with 8.5 percent market share, which is 3.5 percent more from the same quarter last year. The company’s smartphone shipments in the first quarter grew 64 percent year-on-year, to ship an impressive 28.3 million smartphones worldwide. “Huawei is closing the gap on Apple, but Huawei itself is now being chased hard by ambitious rivals like Oppo and Vivo,” said Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics.

Oppo also saw a year-on-year growth from 2.4 percent market share in Q1 2015 to 4.6 percent in Q1 2016 due to its increased presence and branding in Asian region. It shipped 15.5 million smartphones, an increase from 8.3 million from the same quarter last year. Xiaomi however, saw a slight fall in shipments because of a rise in Oppo’s market share. It shipped a total of 14.6 million smartphones down from 14.9 million in 2015 Q1, however, increased its market share by 0.1 percent to 4.4 percent.

Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics added that overall global smartphone shipments fell by 3 percent annually from 345 million units in Q1 2015 to 334.6 million units in Q1 2016. “It is the first time ever since the modern smartphone market began in 1996 that global shipments have shrunk on an annualised basis.” The drop is said to take place due to the ‘increasing penetration maturity’ in leading smartphone markets such as China.

 
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Apple Inc will continue its reduced production of iPhones in the quarter ending June in light of sluggish sales, the Nikkei business daily reported, citing parts suppliers notified of the plan.

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Apple apparently does not plan to make enough of the newly launched iPhone SE model, the Nikkei report said.

The company’s shares fell 1.8 percent to $110.05. Shares of some Apple suppliers also fell following the report. Skyworks Solutions Inc was down 1.4 percent, Broadcom Ltd fell 2.4 percent while Jabil Circuit lost 1.7 percent. The Nikkei reported in January that the technology giant was expected to cut production of its iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models by about 30 percent in the quarter ended March, but production was expected to return to normal in the current quarter.

The production cut could last longer than the one it implemented in 2013, when Apple cut production orders for its cheaper iPhone 5c a month after its launch, the Nikkei said.

Apple has told parts suppliers in Japan and elsewhere that it will maintain the reduced output level in the current quarter, the Nikkei report said.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In January, Apple said it expected a fall in revenue for the quarter ending March – its first forecast for a revenue drop in 13 years – as the critical Chinese market showed signs of weakening. It also reported the slowest-ever increase in iPhone shipments.

Global smartphone sales in 2016 are expected to grow at their slowest rate – in single digits in percentage terms, according to research firm Gartner Inc.

 
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Oracle Corp and Alphabet’s Google unit failed to settle a long running copyright lawsuit over the Android operating system ahead of a retrial scheduled for May, according to a court docket.

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The case involves how much copyright protection should extend to the Java programming language, which Google used to design Android. Oracle is seeking billions in royalties for Google’s use of some of the Java language, while Google argues it should be able to use Java without paying a fee.

At trial in San Francisco federal court in 2012, the jury deadlocked on Google’s fair use defense. Both companies participated in a court-ordered settlement conference on Friday before a US magistrate in San Jose, California, in an attempt to stave off retrial next month.

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai and Oracle CEO Safra Catz both attended, but talks were unsuccessful, US Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal wrote in a brief statement.

“After an earlier run at settling this case failed, the court observed that some cases just need to be tried,” Grewal wrote. “This case apparently needs to be tried twice.”

Representatives for both companies could not immediately be reached for comment.

 
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Apple’s latest attempt to crack the Indian smartphone market by selling used phones is meeting a wall of resistance.

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The iPhone maker is seeking permission to become the first company allowed to import and sell used phones into the country, its second attempt in as many years. This time, the stakes are higher and a growing number of industry executives are fighting the move, warning government officials in private that it’ll open the floodgates to electronic waste, jeopardize local players, and make a farce of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India program to encourage local manufacturing.

“Make in India could turn into Dump in India,” said Sudhir Hasija, chairman of Karbonn Mobiles, who said it sells about 1.7 million phones a month.

Apple’s application in 2015 was rejected by the environment ministry without much fanfare. But things have changed since: India, as the world’s second largest mobile population, now represents a vast untapped opportunity for Apple just as China and the United States are slowing. Apple has publicly talked up its prospects in India and is on course to get the green light to open its first retail stores.

Sensing the threat, the electronics manufacturing industry’s main representative body recently set up a lobbying arm that wrote directly to the government vehemently opposing Apple’s application.

“Why even consider allowing import of used phones when import of other used goods such as cars are precluded by 300 percent duty levies?” asked Ravinder Zutshi, chairman of the newly formed Mobile and Communications Council, which issued the letter. The group’s members include the largest Indian phone brands: Micromax, Intex and Samsung.

Apple’s application has gone to so-called inter-ministerial discussion, said Asha Nangia, a director in the Department of Electronics & Information Technology. That adds a layer of bureaucracy to a process that’s far from certain. The government could go either way, though it’s encountering far greater local opposition than the first time around. The company declined to comment.

The maker of the world’s most expensive smartphones had been stymied by low incomes and regulations. But selling cheaper refurbished devices can help convert price-sensitive consumers, who previously would have had to fork over a month’s earnings or more to own the coveted brand. Apple last month unveiled a smaller iPhone SE (Review) that, with a starting price of $399, may still be out of reach of many Indian buyers.

Apple now has less than 2 percent of an Indian market in which four-fifths of phones cost less than $150. Branded smartphones are available for as little as $35 in India. Western multinationals from car-makers to soda vendors use “India only” prices and cut-rate “India edition” products to woo customers. Apple can’t employ those strategies without tarnishing its marquee phone’s premium aura.

Still, its sales there jumped 76 percent in the holiday quarter, indicating that demand for the premium brand is growing. Tim Cook called out the country’s “incredibly exciting” prospects during his last earnings conference and said his company will devote more energy to that market.

“All this will neatly tie into Apple’s strategy as the smartphone market peaks in the country in the next few years,” said Neil Shah, research director for devices and ecosystems at Counterpoint Research. “Apple will sell these at far lower price points and bring down entry barriers in India where new iPhones are out of reach of the masses.” Apple could target annual iPhone sales of 10 million by 2017, he added.

But rival smartphone makers will have none of it. One of the chief complaints is that allowing Apple to have its way would result in a deluge of used electronics imports, making mince-meat of Modi’s localization drive. Global players such as Foxconn Technology Group are considering or have begun taking baby steps towards local manufacture, starting with basic assembly. Any easing of curbs on imports could give them pause, Hasija argued.

“Make in India will become a big zero,” said Hasija, who’s set up four phone assemblies across the country since the program was launched and is building a fifth.

Another criticism focuses on potential damage to the environment. When destroyed, phones produce toxic materials that India isn’t equipped to deal with, critics say. Used batteries and LCD screens could worsen the mountainous e-waste problem the country already faces.

“The millions of imported used phones will need their batteries replaced. What will happen to those batteries, where will they go?” asked Sunil Vachani, chairman of Dixon Technologies, whose phone assemblies roll out a million phones a month for brands like Japan’s Panasonic and China’s Gionee. “I am against any change in policy with regard to import of used phones.”

To be sure, Apple has some of the industry’s most exacting protocols for recycling products. The company says it typically manages to collect and recycle 85 percent, by weight, of devices produced seven years earlier. Apple’s eventual plan, as stated in its application to the government, is to set up facilities that take discarded phones and refurbish them for use.

Importing used phones also dovetails with developments on the other side of the globe. In February, Apple launched a U.S. program that allows users to upgrade older iPhones for a small monthly cost. Shah said the 14 million to 15 million older phones he expects to be traded-in could be refurbished and sent to emerging markets — including India.

“Even if the refurbished iPhones are priced a bit more than 10,000 rupees ($150), that will hurt our sales because Indians may choose Apple for its snob value,” said Hasija of Karbonn.

 
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)