India

Samsung Galaxy On6 with Infinity Display has officially launched

Will this phone help Samsung bounce back to dominance?

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Samsung has finally launched the latest model in its Galaxy On series, the On6. The new device sports the Infinity Display design which offers 15 percent more display area without increasing the size. Samsung introduced its Infinity Display to non-flagship smartphones with the Galaxy A6+, A6, J6, and J8 smartphones last month.

The smartphone is priced at INR 14,490 (US$ 218) and will be available starting July 5 exclusively via Flipkart and Samsung’s e-store in blue and black. Samsung in association with Flipkart is also offering a complete mobile protection plan for INR 49 and no-cost EMI starting at INR 1,610 from leading bank debit/credit cards.

It features a 5.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. Under the hood, it runs on an octa-core Exynos 7870 processor paired with 4GB of RAM. Also on offer is 64GB of onboard storage which is further expandable up to 256GB via a microSD card.

Coming to the camera, it sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera also with LED flash. The fingerprint scanner is located on the back while the device also supports Face Unlock for authentication.

The On6 is backed by a 3000mAh battery and runs on Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. Samsung has heavily invested in its “Make for India” initiative, meaning it has a handful of special software optimizations and features specially made for Indian lifestyle. This includes Samsung Pay Mini, Chat-Over-Video that lets you watch videos while chatting, and My Galaxy Video that shows curated playlists of short-form content and full-length Bollywood movies.

This phone competes against the almighty Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro, OPPO Realme 1, and ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M1). While the pricing is still on the higher side, it’s good to see Samsung up its midrange game. The previously launched Galaxy A6+ runs on an entry-level Snapdragon 450 SoC, but costs almost double the Redmi Note 5 Pro, which is powered by a much better processor and offers a lot more value.

Apps

Google is under investigation for abusing Android

Dominating the market comes with a price

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Google has often been accused of monopolizing the smartphone market with the use of Android. While Android as an operating system is open source and anyone is free to make or use the system however they wish, Google’s push of its apps is a bigger problem.

Android is maintained by the search engine giant and the code is available for everyone’s use. But, Google pushes its range of apps in stock Android like Gmail, Maps, Play Music, YouTube, and more. Many accuse the company of forcing itself upon users and blocking the competition from a fair chance.

India’s Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been reviewing Google’s case for the last six months. The enforcement agency is currently at a preliminary stage and no official release has been made. Google, as well as CCI, have declined to comment.

The European Commission found Google guilty of dominating the market since 2011 and it’s abusing its standard practice of installing Google apps. The investigation led to a US$ 5 billion fine from the antitrust agency.

Google and CCI have met in recent months and the complaint was filled by a “group of individuals.” The agency has a track record of taking years to finish or conclude a case and we never know when a verdict might actually come.

Although, the CCI did impose a US$ 19 million fine on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position.

Android has a massive 85 percent market share and almost every Android phone ships with Google’s suite of apps. These apps, in return, help the search engine push ads to the user and generate revenue for the company.

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India

Xiaomi has become an undisputed leader by market share

Can Samsung turn the tides this year?

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For more than a year, Xiaomi has been leading the Indian smartphone market in terms of market share and there’s no stopping them. The brand has single-handedly managed to oust local brands like Micromax, and even experienced players like Samsung have taken a hit.

According to IDC, in Q4 2018, Xiaomi managed to grab an astounding 28.9 percent of the market, followed by Samsung at 18.7 percent. While Vivo and OPPO have managed to grab a decent 9.7 percent and 7.1 percent respectively, their rate of growth has slowed down considerably.

If we consider the complete year of 2018 against 2017, Vivo has managed to grow just 0.6 percent year-over-year and OPPO actually dipped by 0.3 percent. The report also says that online-focused brands drove the online channel share to an all-time high of 38.4 percent. On the other hand, offline sales registered a meager 6.7 percent growth.

During the last quarter of 2018, Realme managed to grab quite a huge chunk of the market with a share of 7.5 percent. The sub-brand of OPPO was launched just half a year back and has already released a wide array of phones.

The average selling price of phones continued to be in the budget segment at roughly US$ 158 (INR 11,000). More than half of the shipments belong in the US$ 100 to US$ 200 segment, and that’s where brands intend to lead.

In the end, Xiaomi shipped more than 40 million units in 2018, followed by Samsung with almost 32 million. Samsung had been relatively silent last year, but has now changed strategy with the M-series launch. The South Korean giant is focused on taking back the budget and midrange segments by reportedly launching a plethora of phones in the coming months.

Lastly, OnePlus has once again emerged as the leader in the premium segment, followed by Samsung and Apple in the super-premium segment.

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Accessories

Xiaomi puts up new sports shoes for crowdfunding in India

It doesn’t have Bluetooth or Wi-Fi

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Image credit: Xiaomi

For those who are unfamiliar, Xiaomi is not all about electronics. If you visit their Mi Stores, you’ll see a variety of products from phones and TVs to rice cookers and backpacks. Adding to the plethora of products under the umbrella of Xiaomi is the Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2.

Xiaomi’s venture into footwear is not new; they released a few smart shoes already in China and select markets. This newest one is available in India on the company’s crowdfunding platform.

The shoes are currently priced at INR 2,499 or roughly US$ 35 during the funding period. It’ll go up to INR 2,999 or US$ 42 once they go sale, so you might want to pitch in before it starts shipping in March.

Image credit: Xiaomi

You might be thinking what kind of shoes Xiaomi is offering here. As listed on the crowdfunding page, the Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 (quite a long name) has a “5-in-1 Uni-Moulding Technology” which combines five different materials to minimize wear damage. It also has a “10-fishbone structure” for improved balance while offering arch support.

It doesn’t have any batteries or Bluetooth like previous Xiaomi smart shoes, so this is one of the Xiaomi products you can throw in the washer for easy cleaning.

Like Xiaomi’s phones, the available colors are limited to blue, black, and dark gray. If you want your own, we highly suggest signing up and ordering immediately here.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi’s AirDots Pro is the latest AirPods copycat

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