Xiaomi hopes to lure smartphone component assemblers to Indian shores as the company seeks to establish the country as a strong manufacturing base. As part of the “Make in India” drive, Xiaomi plans to help roughly 50 assemblers of components suitable for smartphones and tablets to set up shop in the country, which will hopefully prompt further economic growth and provide local job opportunities.
The overall goals are to invest up to US$ 2.5 billion in India and to create up to 50,000 jobs. The Chinese firm currently has six smartphone manufacturing plants in India in partnership with Foxconn and Hipad.
Xiaomi says that over 95 percent of its phones sold in the country are locally assembled, which is an interesting statistic since it means an overwhelming majority of sales are from the budget Redmi series. The Mi Mix 2, then, accounts for less than five percent of Xiaomi’s sales.
Xiaomi has built the new plants in partnership with Foxconn — which is one of the most experienced mass-assembling companies in the world. The plants are located in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh and Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. Interestingly, Xiaomi says that these plants employ more than 10,000 people across a campus of 180 acres.
These plans have been announced under the Indian Government’s Make in India program that intends to boost local manufacturing by providing various incentives. Xiaomi’s announcement comes following the government’s recent decision to impose 10 percent import duty on certain smartphone components to encourage their local manufacturing.
Xiaomi also announced that it has started local manufacturing of SMT (Smart Mount Technology) and PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly) in partnership with Foxconn at Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. Though the company says that the current manufacturing operations contribute a minuscule 10 percent value to the assembled phone. Xiaomi is aiming to boost that figure further to 50 percent with PCBA manufacturing.
Samsung launches new devices and faces old problems: Weekend Rewind
Samsung has their work cut out for them
Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.
1. Samsung faces legal trouble, while the iPhone X enjoys the top spot
Six years after Samsung was first found liable for infringing on five iPhone patents in its own smartphone designs, they are now ordered by a California jury to pay US$ 539 million in damages to Apple. CNET reports that the infringements in question occurred on Samsung phones sold in 2010 and 2011. All this comes after a March 2018 report says that the iPhone X remains the best-selling smartphone in the world, while Samsung’s new flagships the Galaxy S9 and S9+ share the no. 5 and 6 spots. Samsung sure has their work cut out for them.
2. Samsung announces new phones around Asia
We’re still a few months away until we see Samsung’s new premium flagship, but there’s no stopping the Korean company from announcing phones for other budget segments. New Galaxies launched this week around Asia, including the Galaxy S Light in China, Galaxy A6+ in the Philippines, and the Galaxy J6, J8, A6, and A6+ in India.
3. HTC unveils notchless U12+
HTC has a new flagship and while it packs top of the line specs, it’s unique in so many ways for a phone launched in 2018. Instead of carrying a notch, it sports a 6-inch Quad HD+ screen with an 18:9 ratio. It comes in Ceramic Black, Flame Red, and a color called Translucent Blue, which allows users to see the inner workings of the phone through the translucent back panel. Read more about the phone here.
4. Essential is up for sale?
According to reports, Essential is canceling the Essential Phone 2, and is now focusing its efforts on an undisclosed home tech product. Essential also reportedly enlisted the help of the Credit Suisse Group to find potential buyers for the whole company, including its entire library of patents (which houses the Essential Phone), and the company’s engineering team. Read the report here.
5. Acer launches new laptops and desktop PCs
It was Acer’s big week as they announced a slew of products at their annual Global Press Conference in New York. There’s the powerful Predator Orion 5000, gaming laptop beast Predator Helios 500, affordable Acer Nitro 50, and lightweight 15-inch Swift 5. There’s also a Special Edition Predator Helios 300 in white and it’s gorgeous.
Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.
Honor 7A and Honor 7C with dual rear cameras launch in India
A perfect package in terms of features and price?
After launching the duo in China, Honor has now announced the Honor 7A and 7C in India.
Back in November, the Honor 7X was launched in the country and received a good response in terms of sales. The budget smartphone segment has never been this competitive; Xiaomi has the Redmi Note 5, ASUS has the ZenFone Max Pro, OPPO has the Realme 1, while Samsung too is trying its luck with the On and J series.
The major differences between the two are in display size and their processors. As far as design is concerned, the two are identical and closely resemble their sibling, the Honor 7X. The duo ships with Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box and support Face Unlock.
The Honor 7A has a 5.7-inch HD+ LCD display with an aspect ratio of 18:9 that Honor likes to call FullView. The device is powered by a Snapdragon 430 processor backed by 3GB of RAM. On the rear, it sports a dual camera setup consisting of a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel secondary camera. On the front is an 8-megapixel selfie shooter along with a soft LED. The device is priced at INR 8,999 (US$ 132) and will be available exclusively from Flipkart starting May 29.
On the other hand, the Honor 7C consists of a 5.99-inch HD+ LCD display and the same FullView aspect ratio. It’s powered by a slightly more powerful Snapdragon 450 processor and comes with either 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage or 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. It sports the same camera setup on the front as well as the back. Both devices are backed by a 3000mAh battery and fingerprint scanner on the back. The Honor 7C is priced at INR 9,999 (US$ 147) for the 32GB variant and INR 11,999 (US$ 176) for the 64GB variant. Even this device will be available from Flipkart starting May 31.
These two phones will also be available for purchase from HiHonor Online Store. Launch offers include 50GB additional free data for the Honor 7A and 100GB additional free data for the Honor 7C from Jio.
Samsung launches Galaxy J6, J8, A6, and A6+ in India
Will Samsung be able to take back the market it’s losing to Xiaomi?
Samsung announced four new devices — the Galaxy J6, J8, A6, and A6+ — at an event in Mumbai, India today. The J series duo is intended for the lower-midrange market while the A series is intended for the higher midrange.
The Infinity Display is their one common feature, meaning they have smaller bezels and chins just like Samsung’s flagship, the S9. The physical home and back keys are gone while the fingerprint scanner has been shifted to the back. All of them also feature a soft LED flash on the front, as well as Samsung Mall and other Samsung-exclusive apps.
The budget Samsung Galaxy J6 has been launched in two variants: 4GB RAM and 64GB storage or 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. It has a 5.6-inch HD+ (720p) display with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. It’s powered by an octa-core Exynos processor backed by a 3000mAh battery. On the rear is a 13-megapixel camera while the front sports an 8-megapixel sensor. The first variant is priced at INR 13,990 (US$ 205) followed by the second one at INR 16,490 (US$ 241). It will be available from Flipkart and Paytm starting May 22. Launch offers include cash back on ICICI Bank Credit and Debit cards, and Paytm.
The Samsung Galaxy J8 features a 6-inch HD+ AMOLED display and is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 450 processor. It has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage along with a 3500mAh battery. It owns a dual-camera setup on the rear consisting of a 16- and 5-megapixel setup along with a 16-megapixel front camera. It’s priced at INR 18,990 (US$ 278) and will go on sale from July.
The Samsung Galaxy A6 has a 5.6-inch HD+ AMOLED display and is backed by an octa-core Exynos processor. On the optics front, it ships with a 16-megapixel camera on the rear with an f/1.7 aperture, and a 16-megapixel front camera with an f/1.9 aperture. It has 4GB of RAM and storage options of 32GB or 64GB. It sports a 3000mAh battery and metal unibody construction. It’s priced at INR 21,990 (US$ 322) for the 32GB variant and INR 22,990 (US$ 337) for the 64GB variant. It will be available on Amazon.in and offline retailers starting May 22.
The Samsung Galaxy A6+ has a 6-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display and runs on a Snapdragon 450 octa-core processor paired with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a 35000mAh battery. It has a dual rear camera setup consisting of 16-megapixel main and 5-megapixel secondary sensors, along with a 24-megapixel front camera. It has been priced at INR 25,990 (US$ 381) and is available from Amazon.in starting May 22 along with the A6.
All the phones run on Android Oreo out of the box and are assembled under the Make in India campaign.
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