A few years back, the most prominent smartphone companies in India included Micromax, Karbonn, Sony, HTC, and obviously, Samsung. It was a healthy mix of a few homegrown companies along with a blend of various manufacturers from diverse backgrounds. Each had its unique selling point and the market was at a nascent stage.
Fast forward to 2018, the dynamics have completely changed. Except for Samsung, all other companies listed above are almost non-existent and the complete business has been taken over by Chinese makers. According to Counterpoint Research’s Q2 2018 report, Xiaomi, Vivo, OPPO, and Honor (Huawei’s sub-brand) have a combined market share of 53 percent.
Domestic companies like Micromax have a very unstable presence in the region now, and all other vendors like Karbonn, Intex, and Spice have packed up. The only brand that has been able to survive this long is Samsung. But, considering the recent two quarters, even Samsung has lost a substantial share to the Chinese.
How did the newcomers manage to take over the market so rapidly, and successfully?
The base strategy is pretty similar to that of Samsung. Back in 2010, when Nokia and BlackBerry had their superiority, Samsung Mobile was a fledgling in the country. Samsung came in and filled the market with next-generation trendy products at a nominal rate. When Nokia and BlackBerry were busy competing with their QWERTY phones, Samsung was selling touchscreen phones like the Corby and Champ.
These phones appealed to the younger audience, and while Apple was busy knocking down everyone in design, Samsung was busy scaling their production. Soon, we saw their brief stint with Windows OS via the Omnia series, followed by entry into the Android ecosystem. Even with Android, Samsung continued releasing phones in every price segment: The Galaxy Star was a top-selling budget phone, the S-series had just taken off, and new devices were being launched almost every month.
In short, they filled the market with options and every type of user was targeted. The gamble paid off massively. Within a few years, the old behemoths were gone and Samsung had established a brand with trust among users. The company focused on grabbing market share via the budget and midrange segment and simultaneously managing the top-tier S and Note series for higher margins.
This is the same strategy that the new Chinese vendors are applying. First, fill the market with trendy phones that are reasonably priced, and then expand their portfolio. A notch and glass backing are the current trends, and everyone quickly jumped on the bandwagon.
From gradients to patterns, there are multiple options available. Want a performance-centric phone? Huawei and Xiaomi brought in high-end processors for just INR 20,000 (US$ 276). Like iPhone’s Face ID? Almost every phone comes with face unlock.
Vivo brought in the in-display fingerprint scanner before everyone else and it’s exactly the kind of innovation the end user wants. While these companies are busy expanding their portfolio, they are also careful to consider long-term goals. Huawei’s Mate and P series have been mind-boggling, and with the P20 Pro, it has managed to establish itself as a premium player.
OPPO, Vivo, and OnePlus belong to the same holding company — BBK Mobile. OnePlus leads the premium segment while OPPO and Vivo act as test beds for new concepts, like the sliding camera. Ultimately, anything earned by either of them goes to the same pocket. Xiaomi has avoided the top-tier segment until now, but with the POCO F1, it still remains unclear how they intend to establish a premium brand.
Apples and oranges
I haven’t considered Apple in this equation because the company has completely different expectations from the market. It doesn’t care about market share as long as it grabs the top one percent audience. Every week we see new launches happening in the country with each new product trying to take on the competitors offerings.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that the Chinese domination in the country will be short-lived but the statistics suggest a different story. Each of them has also confidently invested in growing their presence; this includes the operation of service centers and exclusive stores. In fact, all of them have joined the Make in India initiative to avoid import duty.
We haven’t seen Samsung get aggressive to the competition yet; they are still trying to make it through at their own pace. It will also be interesting to see how HMD Global is able to make a mark with their Nokia branded offerings in the country.
5 timeless gifts you can give to a dad anytime of the year
For your dad, your friend who became a dad, or any ‘dad’ in your life
Dads don’t get a lot of spotlight, probably because a lot of us suffer from daddy issues. But for those who have a loving relationship, or those who just started repairing theirs — giving your dad a thoughtful gift might be a way to strengthen the connection.
Here are five timeless gifts you can give to your dad, your friend who just became a dad, or if there’s any ‘daddy’ in your life.
In the era of connected life, going out without a power bank is like going out without a wallet. Even though most gadgets nowadays have strong battery lives, it’s always practical to have a backup.
And dads love being prepared at any costs, making it the perfect gift that’s versatile to every need — whether it’s for their smartphone, wireless earbuds, portable speakers, or a mini-fan. Shop here.
Just because they’re getting old, doesn’t mean they should forget how to groom themselves. Teach them to be like a fine wine — they should get better as they age, and they should even look more dapper to keep up with the times. (Hello, matching father and son outfits?).
Anyhoo, an electric shaver will suffice — giving them a clean, shaved look that will help them look presentable wherever they are. Shop here.
Leather Wallet Phone Case
For so many years, dads kept us protected in different ways. Now that we have a chance to give back, why not help them protect their essentials through a leather wallet phone case?
Mujjo’s, for example, speaks convenience and efficiency, without forsaking style. Its cardholder can carry up to three cards, and the case comes in a durable yet gorgeous leather design producing a beautiful patina over time. Shop here and use coupon #dad for 15 percent off all products (valid through June 21st).
Men love cordless drills. Not because they love drilling somebody else, but because it gives them the power to build and repair things.
In a way, it’s also one of the most useful and practical gifts that you can give, since the household can use it in different situations. Shop here.
Our dads sometimes forget that health is wealth. Give them the gift of health through a treadmill, so you can encourage them to live an active and fit lifestyle to prevent diseases that come with age.
Running a few miles can help them live longer, so you all can bond and make more memories together. Shop here.
realme 8 5G Unboxing and First Impressions
Midrange game changer?
Game-changer. It’s a bold adjective to use, especially when you’re describing a smartphone that’s situated in a competitive midrange segment. But realme has always dared to leap, and they’re doing exactly that with the realme 8 5G.
They’re calling it a 5G game-changer. It will require more extensive testing to determine whether that’s true or not, but for the meantime, here are our first impressions of realme’s newest offering.
But first, a quick rundown of the specifications for this device.
|Display||6.5-inch IPS LCD display, 90 hZ 1080p|
|Processor||MediaTek MT6833 Dimensity 700 5G (7nm)|
|RAM + ROM||128 GB ROM/8GB RAM|
|Cameras||48MP primary camera (wide)
2MP macro camera
2MP depth sensor
The phone comes in realme’s signature yellow box. No surprises there.
Taking out the lid, you’re greeted by a short note from the brand. Nice touch!
Going through the rest of the box, you’ll find your usual set of manuals, a charging cable, and your charging brick. Realme also included a case for free out of the box. Good stuff!
It makes a good first impression, but can it last?
Out of the box, the first thing you notice is how pretty the device is. Without touching it, you’d think it was made out of glass. But in reality, they used plastic for this device. The radiant light effect is definitely a nice touch.
Outside of the fingerprint smudges you’ll definitely be leaving on the back, you’d want to rock this phone without a case.
The realme 8 5G uses a curved back for added ergonomics. The phone is well-built, and it doesn’t feel cheap even if plastic was realme’s material of choice.
That extra feeling of sturdiness matters, especially in a competitive midrange market. First impressions can make or break whether you get a smartphone or not. In this case, realme passed with flying colors. Early indications suggest that realme has a winner with the 8 5G.
That’s all we have on realme’s newest midrange offering for now. We’ll be testing the device to see whether the realme 8 5G can truly #CaptureInfinitePossibilitiesWith5G.
Huawei MatePad 2021 Unboxing and First Impressions
The device for people on the go!
Starting off, we have the box. A clean and simple look, but definitely pleasing! The front of the box shows us the branding and the name of the device.
A Huawei logo on the upper left corner, the AppGallery on the lower right, and on the lower left, the screen size of the device.
The box also has an interesting texture, only on the top cover though.
Opening the box, we have the device itself wrapped in fine paper and a pull tab to assist you when lifting the device out of the box.
Underneath the device, you are presented with two boxes. One box for the charging brick…
and the second containing the paperwork, USB Type-C cable, a 3.5mm headphone jack adaptor, and a warranty card.
Only the larger box is removable so be careful not to rip out the smaller box. Behind the larger box is the sim ejector tool, be sure to keep it safe!
Removing the paper, we now see the simple but gorgeous Huawei MatePad in the “Midnight Grey” colorway. Be sure to remove the sticker — it’s optional but I suggest that you do.
The device itself is lightweight and easy to carry around, as a slim device it’s very easy to place it in a bag and you will have no problem carrying it around all day.
Starting off at the front, you will see the 10.4-inch screen with the camera at the top. Referring to the format at the back of the device, the front-facing camera is placed at the top.
On the left side of the device, you will be able to find the speakers along with the sleep/wake button. The right side shows you another pair of speakers and a charging port.
The top shows 4 microphones with the volume up and down button at the very left.
Heading over to the back you’ll be able to see the single-shooter camera, the Huawei branding, and an indication of their partnership with Harman/Kardon. The camera is accompanied by a flash and a microphone.
- Display: 10.4-inch 2000×1200 IPS, 225 PPI
- Processor: Huawei Kirin 820 series
- Memory: RAM – 4GB, ROM – 128GB
- Camera: 8MP front, 8MP rear
- Battery: 7250mAh
Finally, now we have unboxed the new Huawei MatePad. With this, the device itself feels good to the touch and is a good size for a tablet. Additionally, the “Midnight Grey” colorway of the MatePad is a great choice, it doesn’t collect fingerprints easily and the device is lightweight so you don’t have to worry when taking it with you anywhere.
The initial setup of the new MatePad was fast and easy, there are pre-loaded apps that are ready to use. Although I’m not sure if it’s just me or the apps change from time to time when you open the designated folders of the pre-loaded apps. For media consumption, the experience was good. Although the YouTube app was not the same as the ones we see on our devices, it works well as it should.
The screen looks good so far with the 2000×1200 IPS display, trying a few videos and films, the quality was great. Additionally, the speakers are a huge boost to the volume — loud but good quality. The MatePad also doesn’t have a 3m5mm headphone jack, luckily, they provided an adaptor. The MatePad is looking good so far, stay tuned for the next article as we are going deep and we’ll be having a full review of the Huawei MatePad 2021.
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