India

Samsung, Xiaomi remain on top of smartphone race in India

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After knowing the standing of smartphone companies in parts of Europe and the world, let’s now see how these brands are doing in India with the latest report from the International Data Corporation (IDC).

According to the second quarter report for 2017 of IDC, 28 million smartphones were shipped to India. Those numbers account for 3.7 percent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth and 1.6 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth.

Leading the top five brands in India is Samsung with a 24 percent market share. While the South Korean top-dog is still on top, its share got a marginal decline of four percent from the same period last year. This is due to the tough competition against Chinese brands in the midrange segment.

Securing the second slot is Xiaomi with a healthy 17 percent market share and a 25 percent QoQ growth. Xiaomi continues to expand its offline presence with Mi homes, Mi authorized stores, and partner large format retail stores. This helped them extend their influence from being online-focused to a physical store with the Redmi Note 4 as its best-seller, having over two million shipments.

Vivo remained in third place with a 13 percent market share. This is a significant increase from four percent during the same period last year. Driving factors for the company’s growth are its new launches and aggressive marketing activities and promotions.

Climbing up to fourth place is OPPO with an eight percent market share, however, their shipments declined by 13 percent QoQ. With the company’s budget devices and massive marketing campaigns, it positions itself as a strong competitor.

Slipping to fifth is the Lenovo Group, which includes Motorola and ZUK, as their shipments declined by 25 percent QoQ. However, the Motorola brand continued to gain traction again thanks to its new models and better marketing strategy.

Overall, mobile phone shipments in India, including feature phones, grew a modest 6.5 percent QoQ after declining consecutively for two quarters.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone 7 is the best-selling phone of Q2 2017

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India

vivo Y1s launches with Helio P35, 13-megapixel camera

Another silent launch by vivo

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vivo has been silently launching new phones this year, and it has managed to grab a significant chunk of the market. Today the brand launched the vivo Y1s in India, a market where affordable phones have maximum demand.

The vivo Y1s will be going up against the Redmi 9A, Realme C11, and Realme C3. Alongside, Vivo V20 Pro is teased to launch in India soon. The company has confirmed that the phone will launch in the country but hasn’t given an exact date.

Coming back to the vivo Y1s, it sports a 6.2-inch HD+ LCD with a water-drop notch. Powering the phone is a MediaTek Helio P35 MT6765 SoC paired with 2GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. There’s also a microSD card slot for storage expansion.

On the rear is a 13-megapixel camera, while the front comes with a 5-megapixel selfie snapper. The phone has added software features like beauty mode, portrait mode, and slo-mo.

Backing these internals is a 4000mAh battery, but fast charging details haven’t been revealed. The phone has been listed on vivo’s website, but the pricing still isn’t official. However, Mahesh Telecom, a Mumbai-based retailer, confirmed Gadgtes360 that the phone would cost INR 7,990 (US$ 110).

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Apps

India bans 43 more Chinese apps, takes total count to 220

AliExpress and Taobao get the red slip

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The Indian government is dead serious about blocking apps developed by Chinese developers. It has announced a new tranche that now stands banned. The most popular app included in the fourth wave is AliExpress, Alibaba’s international shopping app.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) issued an order stating these apps were engaging in activities that are prejudicial to India’s sovereignty and integrity, defense of India, the security of the state, and public order.

India has already banned major Chinese apps like TikTok, PUBG Mobile, and even startups like Shein and Lalamove haven’t been spared. The all-out ban against Chinese apps gained momentum when the two countries were involved in a border skirmish in June.

Both sides suffered high casualties, and the move was seen as an aggressive breach of India’s sovereignty, although China too lays a claim on the disputed valley.

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the anti-China narrative was on the rise since the virus outbreak first happened in the Chinese city of Wuhan. With the escalating border crisis, India clamped down on developers that depend on the market and has pretty much removed every China-backed app from the top 500 list.

Similarly, India has also ruled against Chinese hardware, and Huawei is the worst-hit. The country is yet to deploy commercial 5G, and when it does, it won’t be relying on Huawei’s technology. Officials are concerned that China will get a lot of power over Indian users via data collection and snooping.

The country is also actively pursuing data localization compliance to ensure the data of Indian users remains within the country. WhatsApp Pay wasn’t allowed to launch services in the country for almost two years due to these requirements.

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Gaming

PUBG Mobile to relaunch in India with a new game, $100M investment

Enough to please the government?

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PUBG Mobile is an international sensation, and players can’t get enough of it. Unfortunately, the game was banned in India a couple of months ago due to data security concerns and an ongoing Indo-China border dispute. The game went off app stores, and dedicated players were forced to find a backdoor via VPNs.

Thankfully, this could change soon. PUBG Corporation says it plans to launch a new PUBG Mobile game in India by creating a new local subsidary. Furthermore the company added that it’ll “maximize data security and cater to local preferences.”

PUBG Corporation’s parent company Krafton recently tied up with Microsoft to store user data on Azure Cloud, which is also available in India locally. India follows a strict data localization policy, and due to this, WhatsApp Pay was stuck in bureaucracy for almost two years.

The game’s publisher was previously Chinese tech giant Tencent, but following the ban, it’s no longer allowed to use the franchise in India. PUBG is also looking at ways to engage with the gaming community in the country through various esports and community events.

Some local customization shall include green liquid replacing blood, fully clothed characters, and a disclaimer that the game is a virtual simulation and not real life. Lastly, there will also be a limit on how long a user can play the game to promote healthy gaming habits.

Making the deal even sweeter, the game’s developers will be spending US$ 100 million to cultivate a gaming culture in the country via esports, entertainment, and other events. It’ll also employ 100 hundred employees in the country.

However, the government isn’t very excited about the relaunch. A report in the Times of India cited a source saying, “Unless they address the concerns, it will be difficult to grant any relaxation.”

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