India is the world’s second-largest mobile phone market and every company is looking forward to expanding its operations in the country. But things haven’t been going well for Apple. India is a developing market, and a majority of smartphone sales belong to the budget and midrange segment; the premium segment has also lowered in price considerably thanks to OnePlus and Huawei.
While Samsung has managed to price its flagships at around INR 60,000 (US$ 435), Apple’s iPhone X starts at a whopping INR 90,000 (US$ 1,300). According to a report from Counterpoint Research, Apple shipped 3.2 million iPhones in 2017. Coming to 2018, the company has managed to ship “fewer than a million devices,” giving it a market share of just two percent.
Apple is struggling because it has no new or attractive devices in the INR 30,000 to 60,000 (US$ 435 to 875) range. Why would a consumer shell out such a huge amount for a two-year-old iPhone 6s when there’s a brand-new OnePlus 6, ZenFone 5Z, or Honor 10 available?
Apple is having a hard time keeping the prices in check because of a 20 percent import duty being levied by the government. All other companies have already started assembling a major chunk of their portfolio in India, while Apple is stuck to a couple of devices. In fact, Samsung just inaugurated the world’s largest manufacturing facility last week in Noida, India.
Apple’s trouble doesn’t end at bad sales, though. Three high-level executives have left the company due to restructuring of operations. Apple has also established a new sales audit team that is working on reducing the number of discounts being offered by retailers. The new strategy has already seen the company move away from five national distributors to two to tighten distribution.
Apple wants to offer a full-fledged premium experience to its users, and hence, wants sales to happen through authorized channels only. The giant has started clamping down on smaller physical stores and unauthorized sellers who hoarded products at wholesale value and then offered deeper discounts.
While discounts mean higher sales, Apple wants to gain market share without affecting its brand value in the country. The company’s products are known to have a high long-term shelf value and price cuts are rare.
Mi Watch Revolve Active is a premium fitness tracker with 14 days battery
Has more than 100 workout modes
The Mi Watch Revolve was launched last year, and it sits in a comfortable spot — not too expensive, but loaded. Now, the brand’s expanding its offering and bringing in a much more fitness-oriented product dubbed the Mi Watch Revolve Active.
As the name suggests, the watch is designed to keep you outdoors as much as possible. Or in the new normal, as active and fit as possible. It has a far more sturdy build and continues the premium design language.
It has a 1.4-inch AMOLED display with an always-on display, eliminating the need to touch the screen just to view the time or other essential details. In addition, the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and weighs just 32 grams.
The fitness front comes equipped with LifeQ Health algorithm, which analyzes more than 30 key data points like blood oxygen, stress, heart rate, sleep quality, energy levels, calories burned, and more. All these data points are leveraged to process your lifestyle, fitness regime, and overall performance.
Together, these data points deliver more accurate blood oxygen levels (SpO2), sleep cycles, real-time heart rate, stress levels, body’s oxygen consumption (Vo2 Max), and calories burned. In addition, more than 117 workout modes are supported, including triathlons, swimming, HIIT, Boxing, Water sports, and Yoga.
GPS tracking features an Airoha GPS chip that supports GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BDS navigation systems. Simple operations will be far simpler when you summon Alexa, as the watch supports the voice assistant for reminders, alarms, and other instructions.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active is water-resistant up to 50 meters and comes pre-installed with basic apps like alarm, timer, stopwatch, weather, find my phone, flashlight. It connects to the phone via Xiaomi’s Wear App and has a mini-store for watch faces, which has more than 100 options right now.
Lastly, Xiaomi says the watch can deliver up to 14 days of battery life on a single charge. If you toggle the long battery mode, it can stretch up to 22 days. While these numbers may seem inflated, Xiaomi has an irrefutable history of delivering solid numbers in the real world.
Price and availability:
The Mi Watch Revolve Active is priced at INR 9,999, and sales start from June 25. It’ll be up for purchase via Amazon, Mi.com, and other partner stores. It comes in Beige, Black, and Navy Blue watch case options, with six strap color options, including Black, Blue, Green, White, and Purple.
Mi 11 Lite launches with Snapdragon 732G, triple-rear cameras
The lightest phone to launch in 2021 so far
The second wave of Coronavirus has eased in India, and the country is gradually opening up. A few brands decided to avoid any new launches amid the raging pandemic, creating a vacuum in an otherwise fast-paced industry. Thankfully, Xiaomi has returned with a new offering, and it’s called the Mi 11 Lite.
The Mi 11 series is designed to offer a more premium experience without making a huge dent in your pocket. It follows the same design language as the Mi 11X but is far more thinner and light. At just 6.8mm thickness and 157g weight, it’s touted to be the lightest phone of 2021 so far.
On the front, its got a 6.5-inch AMOLED screen with Full HD+ resolution, a 90Hz refresh rate, and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. In addition, to make the phone lighter, Xiaomi incorporated a “flat flexible OLED” and a redesigned circuit board that is 35 percent smaller than conventional ones.
Powering the Mi 11 Lite is a Snapdragon 732G processor with up to 8GB RAM and expandable storage. A side-mounted physical fingerprint scanner is included for authentication, and there are dual speakers with Hi-Res Audio support.
The rear sports a triple camera setup consisting of a 64-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 5-megapixel telephoto sensor. There’s a 16-megapixel selfie camera that is housed in a punch-hole cut-out. The software supports AI Beautify, Night mode, Time burst, and much more.
Backing these internals is a 4250mAh battery with 33W fast charging. The brand claims the battery has an endurance rating of more than 100 hours, and the compatible fast charger is bundled along. The Mi 11 Lite is IP53-certified for minor dust and water splashes.
The Mi 11 Lite is priced at INR 21,999 (US$ 300) for the 6GB+128GB option and INR 23,999 (US$ 325) for 8GB+256GB. It’s available in three color options — Jazz Blue, Tuscany Coral, and Vinyl Black. Pre-orders start from June 25, and the sale starts from June 28 via Flipkart, Mi.com, and partner physical stores.
Airtel starts 5G trials in India, shows off 1Gbps speed
Commercial availability still a year away, though
India is yet to roll out 5G services, but there’s finally some good news. Airtel has kicked off its 5G trial network in Gurugram, Delhi’s neighboring city, just a little over a month after the government gave its go-ahead to carry out trial runs.
Airtel is testing its 5G network at a speed of over 1Gbps, and the site where the trial is running is operating in the 3500MHz band. According to a report by ET Telecom, Airtel has been allotted the 5G trial spectrum in 3500 MHz, 28 GHz, and 700 MHz.
Rival telcos Jio and VIL (Vodafone-Idea) have been allotted spectrums in the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz bands. State-backed telco MTNL has also received permission to start trials. The runs are being carried out in compliance with the guidelines of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
Airtel is currently working with Ericson on the equipment, while other providers include Nokia, Samsung, etc. Jio has announced will be conducting trials using its own indigenous technology. The trails shall go on for six months. Chinese companies like Huawei have long been sidelined.
5G in India
The Indian government is yet to auction the 5G spectrum; hence a commercial roll-out is at least a year away. Earlier in January this year, Airtel claimed that they had become the first telco in India to demonstrate 5G services over a commercial network in Hyderabad. However, these are internal runs.
It noted that in Hyderabad, users were able to download a full-length movie in a matter of seconds on a 5G phone, a demonstration that has underlined the company’s technology capabilities.
The plans to unveil 5G in the country took a backseat due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The industry couldn’t adopt the latest technology quickly as the market was devastated by low tariff wars, pending tax issues, and reducing capex. VIL was barely able to survive bankruptcy, but the debt continues to haunt it.
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