With mounting revenue losses amid too many players fighting to grab a pie, exits will surpass entrants in the Indian smartphone market in 2017, analysts said on Thursday.
There are nearly 250 million unique smartphone users in the country and by the end of 2016, there will be 280 million Indians with these devices.
“With declining margins amid cut-throat competition, we predict some smartphone players will call it quits in 2017. We estimate that number of exits in the smartphone market will exceed number of entrants in the next year,” Tarun Pathak, Senior Analyst, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems at New Delhi-based Counterpoint Research, told IANS.
“While some signs of this trend already started happening, we predict it will only intensify in 2017 and lead to consolidation in smartphone market,” Pathak added.
Most of the exits will be seen at the entry-level smartphone segment, involving regional players which were unable to generate volume and, at the same time, were unable to scale up their portfolio.
As tech companies strive to connect the next billion, India will lead the way in 2017 where new disruptive start-ups will emerge and regional knowhow and strength in developing vernacular apps to entice first-time mobile users will be the key, analysts said on Thursday.
“10K-20K smartphone was the fastest growing smartphone segment (+86 per cent) in 2016 and is likely to be the fastest in 2017 too owing to users upgrading from sub-10k category to mid-end segment,” said Karn Chauhan, an analyst with Counterpoint Research.
With replacement rate of smartphones increasing and new launches happening more frequently, the experts also see refurbished and hands-down smartphone market to grow in 2017.
As Samsung ramps up its OLED production with other players also setting up manufacturing plants for OLED production, the competition for OLED screen size with sharper and narrow bezels is likely to intensify in 2017.
“Apart from this, we will also see Dual camera, Front flash and quick-charge technology leading from the specification perspective in India,” Chauhan noted.
India handset manufacturing will continue to evolve from assembly towards end-to-end manufacturing.
“As per a Counterpoint Research-IIM Bangalore study, the local value addition in India during 2016 was 6 per cent which is estimated to grow to 10 percent in 2017,” Pathak told IANS.
Demonetisation has given strong momentum to the adoption of digital payments via smartphones – a trend which is likely to be more significant in 2017, the experts noted.
HTC has started sending media invites for an event on January 12 where the company says it will make its “next big announcement.” The company has shared a teaser invite with “for U” as a tagline. Unfortunately, not many details about HTC’s upcoming announcement are available right now.
It’s worth noting that the January 12 launch date is just after the CES week which means HTC doesn’t want its announcement to get lost in a host of launches during the event. The Taiwanese company has not dropped any hints in the invite for the launch event, however, recent rumours have pointed to the launch of the HTC X10 mid-range smartphone in January. The event could also see the launch of the company’s next flagship or be about the company’s recent virtual reality push, or both.
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Starting with the HTC X10, the successor to the HTC One X9 is said to launch in January and cost around CNY 2,000 (roughly Rs. 19,500). It is said to sport a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920) display, a 2GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 processor (Cortex-A53 cores), Mali-T860 GPU, 3GB of RAM, and a 13-megapixel rear camera with OIS.
Another recent report claimed that HTC has been working on its next flagship, the HTC 11. According to initial rumours, HTC 11 may sport a 5.5-inch QHD (1440×2560) display and run on Android 7.0 Nougat customised with HTC’s Sense 8 UI on top. The handset is rumoured to pack a dual-camera setup of 12-megapixel at the back while an 8-megapixel front-facing camera is also expected on board. Under the hood, the HTC 11 is expected to be powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU, along with Adreno 540 GPU for graphic performance. It is said to pack a whopping 8GB of RAM under the hood, with an inbuilt storage of 256GB. The device is said to be backed by a 3700mAh battery. According to rumours, HTC’s next flagship will launched with a price tag of $691 (roughly Rs. 47,000). However, all these leaks should be taken with a pinch of salt as HTC has not mentioned anything about the upcoming device and the leaks legitimacy remains questionable.
Huawei Terminal’s Honor brand on Friday unveiled the Honor Magic smartphone. The new Honor Magic smartphone will be available starting Friday in China and has been priced at CNY 3,699 (roughly Rs. 36,000). It will be available in China via Vmall, Tmall, and JD.com. The Chinese company has not revealed any global availability details for the Honor Magic smartphone as of now. With the launch of the Magic smartphone, Honor also commemorated its third-anniversary.
The Honor Magic features intelligent sensor and recognition technology to ensure privacy. It comes with WiseScreen sensor that allows users to unlock the phone by simply looking at the screen. When users put Honor Magic down or in pocket, the smartphone automatically turns off the screen and locks the phone. The new Honor Magic also comes with FaceCode intelligent recognition feature that shows notifications arriving on the device only when it verifies that it’s the user and not someone else. Users will have to pre-register a face on the phone. The company also introduced a Google Now on Tap-like feature dubbed Deep Think which surfaces information about a place or a topic when users press and hold the home button.
For specifications, the Honor Magic features a 5.09-inch (1440×2560 pixels) Quad HD Amoled 3D curved display. Honor Magic is powered by the company’s in-house octa-core Kirin 950 processor clocked at 1.8GHz coupled with 4GB of RAM. There is 64GB of inbuilt storage. The new Honor Magic smartphone runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Honor’s UI on top. It supports dual-SIM and packs a 2900mAh battery with fast charging support. The company claims that Honor Magic smartphone can reach up to 70 percent in 20 minutes of charging while 10 minutes of charging gives 40 percent charge.Honor Magic sports 12-megapixel dual-rear cameras with dual-tone LED flash and f/2.2 aperture. There’s an -8-megapixel front camera on board as well. The Honor Magic measures 146.1×69.9×7.8mm and weighs 145 grams. Connectivity options include 4G LTE, 3G, GPRS/ EDGE, Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS/ A-GPS.
The new Moto M – Motorola’s first all-metal smartphone – has been launched in the Indian market, and will be exclusively available on Flipkart. The Moto M smartphone has been launched in two variants in India – the 32GB + 3GB model priced at Rs. 15,999, and the 64GB + 4GB version that costs Rs. 17,999.
Both the Moto M variants will go on sale at 11:59pm on December 14. Lenovo is offering Rs. 1,000 discount on Citibank and Rs. 2,000 off on exchange of an old smartphone. Additionally, the company is providing a Rs. 1,000 discount on the Moto Pulse 2 headphones to Moto M buyers.
The Dual-SIM (Nano-SIM), Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow-powered Moto M – the first Motorola smartphone with an all-metal body – has a 5.5-inch IPS display with 2.5D curved glass and full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) resolution. The new Moto packs the 2.2GHz quad-core MediaTek Helio P15 processor under the hood. For storage expansion, Moto M users can slip microSD cards of up to 128GB capacity in the secondary SIM card slot. On the imaging front, Moto M has a 16-megapixel rear camera with Phase-Detection Autofocus (PDAF), and an 8-megapixel front camera for selfies. The Moto M connectivity suite includes Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.1, GPS/ A-GPS, 4G VoLTE (with support for Indian LTE bands), USB Type-C (USB 3.1), NFC, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Moto M’s battery is rated at 3050mAh and supports fast-charging; the smartphone measures 151.35×75.35×7.85mm and weighs 163 grams. Other key features of the new Moto M smartphone are fingerprint sensor and Dolby Atmos support.
Gionee has teased the launch of its upcoming smartphone via Weibo, which is Chinese equivalent of Twitter. The upcoming smartphone believed to be dubbed M2017 is expected to sport a large 7000mAh battery, which will be the biggest USP of the handset.
GizmoChina first reported the teaser image shared by Gionee which showed the new brand ambassador holding the upcoming smartphone in left hand. Based on preliminary leaks, Gionee’s M2017 will feature a dual-rear camera setup. It is said to sport 12-megapixel sensor and a 13-megapixel sensors at the back while house an 8-megapixel front camera. The handset is likely to run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, measure 155.2×77.6×10.6mm, and weigh 230 grams.
Other rumoured specifications include 5.7-inch QHD display, 6GB of RAM, and it’s expected to be powered by a 1.9GHz octa-core processor. The handset is also said to pack a massive 128GB of inbuilt storage.
The company last month unveiled the S9 smartphone in China priced at CNY 2,499 (approximately Rs. 25,000). The biggest highlight of the Gionee S9 were its dual rear cameras – 13-megapixel alongside a 5-megapixel secondary rear camera – which use camera sensors from Sony and Samsung respectively. The dual rear cameras on the S9 would let users adjust the focus and depth of field blur on clicked pictures. The handset also packs dual-tone LED flash. Alongside, the S9 also sports a 13-megapixel front camera with Gionee’s Selfie flash feature. It comes with self-timer and seven beauty effects to enhance selfies. The metal-clad dual-SIM Gionee S9 sports a fingerprint scanner at the rear.
Former Lenovo VP and current Zuk CEO Chang Cheng had earlier announced that the Zuk Edge would be unveiled sometime this week, and now he has shared an invite of the launch event confirming the date. The invite confirms that the upcoming Zuk Edge smartphone is launching on December 7, where the pricing, official specifications, and availability will be unveiled.
Before its launch on Wednesday, the Zuk Edge has been leaked on several occasions, and there’s little that remains unknown. The smartphone was rumoured to have a bezel-less display and a curved-edge screen, but the latest renders refute these claims. The smartphone is now expected to sport metal edges, with a glass back, and a Home Button below the display. The camera is situated at the centre at the back with the flash sitting below it. The speaker grille, 3.5mm audio jack, and the USB Type-C port are all situated on the bottom edge of the Zuk Edge smartphone. The device is expected to be available in Black and White colour options. It is expected to be priced at CNY 2,699 (roughly Rs. 26,800).
Past leaks suggest that the Zuk Edge may sport a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display, and be powered by a 2.35GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor coupled with 4GB of RAM or 6GB of RAM. It should offer 32GB and 64GB inbuilt storage offerings, and have the fingerprint scanner as well (presumably under the Home Button at the bottom of the display).
As for the optics, the Zuk Edge smartphone is tipped to come with a 13-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel camera at the front. Finally, it is said to run Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ZUI 2.0 skin, and is expected to pack a 3000mAh battery.
BlackBerry has been looking to revive its smartphone portfolio for a while now, but have been largely unsuccessful. BlackBerry CEO John Chen confirmed last month that the company is working on its last in-house smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard. This smartphone is largely expected to be codenamed Mercury, and now fresh live images leak has revealed key details of the device.
The images have been leaked on Weibo, and they show uncanny similarity to the previously launched BlackBerry Priv. However, the keyboard is fixed below the display, and does not slide out of sight. It also has capacitive navigation buttons, and not on screen buttons, as found on the Priv.
The alleged BlackBerry Mercury is tipped to have the fingerprint sensor integrated into the space bar. BlackBerry is expected to unveil the smartphone sometime this month, and begin shipping it in 2017. It is also expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 625 processor, and feature a 4.5-inch sized display.The smartphone has been spotted on Geekbench as well, and the leak hints at 3GB of RAM, 32GB of inbuilt storage, an 18-megapixel rear camera, and an 8-megapixel front camera for selfies.
BlackBerry will officially stop producing, stocking, and distributing its own phones, after this one last treat for all its (remaining) die-hard fans. Moving forward, it will license the BlackBerry brand to outside companies to put on phones they build themselves.
The physical keyboard is BlackBerry’s best-known smartphone feature, with many former users still lamenting its absence, and the company plans to switch off the lights in its factories, after giving its loyalists one last parting gift. There’s very little that is known about the BlackBerry Mercury as of now, but more details will surface as launch date nears.
US-based handset maker InFocus will soon launch a new smartphone in India that will support Aadhaar authentication using the iris scanner on the device.
Priced at under Rs. 12,000, the device will be made available early next year. InFocus also says it has been awarded STQC (Standardization Testing and Quality Certification) from the Indian government and the company plans to launch more devices supporting Aadhaar-based biometric authentication in the future.
STQC certification authenticates the use of Iris-recognition devices, used for biometric authentication linked under the Aadhaar project.
“InFocus smartphone features IriTech’s superior iris image quality assessment and on-board K7 generation algorithm to provide good quality images and avoid false positives while maximising true positive identification rates,” InFocus India Country Head Sachin Thapar told PTI.
Apart from UIDAI, IriTech also works with government agencies in the US, Kenya and Columbia. The smartphone with embedded algorithm can complete an image capture and K7 image generation in less than 2 seconds. It can capture the iris image under various environments, including under direct sunlight.
“Moreover, the biometric data from the InFocus device gets encrypted by a UIDAI key at the chip level in device, making it impossible for anyone but the Aadhaar server to see the information. Such encryption prevents information leakage of all kinds,” Thapar said.
Thapar added there is a great potential in the integration of iris recognition technology in a ubiquitous device like a smartphone.
“While the M425 will be made available in the next 2-3 months, we will bring more devices with this technology as we have received the certification,” he added. Thapar was referring to an iris scanning variant of the InFocus Bingo 20 (M425), which was launched in March this year at Rs. 5,749.
Currently, Samsung is the only phone maker to have already embedded Delta ID’s ActiveIRIS technology in its Galaxy Tab Iris.
Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has held discussions with handset makers and operating system providers to embed the identification technology onto their devices. The
availability of smart devices that are Aadhaar-enabled will help people authenticate their Aadhaar biometrics on the phone itself to avail of various government schemes, subsidies and services.
“The InFocus Aadhaar-enabled iris smartphone is a great example of the innovation possible on the Aadhaar platform. The phone is timely as it can be used for applications like opening instant bank accounts with eKYC and as a cashless micro ATM for merchant payments. This will accelerate JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile) implementation,” said Nandan Nilekani, former Chairman of UIDAI.
The dual-SIM InFocus Bingo 20 (M425) smartphone is a 4G-VoLTE enabled smartphone that runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, and is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor. The phone features a 4.5-inch display, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 64GB), apart from a 2300mAh battery.
Stating that the device can be used as a secure and reliable biometric solution in various arenas like banking, E-PDS (Electronic Public Distribution System), MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural employment Guarantee Act) payments, E-governance services such as passport, taxation, healthcare and education, Thapar said this also represents a huge leap towards facilitating biometric identification.
“It also eliminates use of any separate devices for biometric identification,” he added.
The makers of ‘Freedom 251’, claimed to be the world’s cheapest smartphone, have been summoned as accused by a Delhi court in a Rs. two-crore cheque bounce case filed by a private firm.
The court summoned the accused – M/s Ringing Bells Pvt Ltd (RBPL), its authorised signatory and Managing Director Mohit Goel, its Directors Anmol Goel and Sumit Goel, CEO Dhaarna Goel and President Ashok Chaddha – on a complaint filed by M/s Aryan Infratech Pvt Ltd (AIPL).
In its order, Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria noted that even after the legal notice was sent to the accused when the cheque got dishonoured, they failed to pay the amount.
“There is sufficient material available on record to summon all the accused. Therefore, a prima facie case punishable under section 138 Negotiable Instrument Act…Issue summons to all the accused,” the court said while posting the matter for April 28 for the next hearing.
According to the complaint, the accused had issued a cheque in favour of the complainant firm AIPL towards discharge of their liability. However, it was returned by the bank on October 28 due to “insufficient funds”. Therefore, the complainant firm sent a legal notice to the accused but payment was not made and AIPL approached the court.
The complaint has sought prosecution of the firm and its office bearers and payment of the amount along with compensation.
A little-known company RBPL began selling the handset, Freedom 251, via its website in February. But the launch of the smartphone, touted to be the worlds cheapest, landed in a controversy, with some alleging it to be a ponzy scheme.
The firm had claimed that around 30,000 customers had booked the phone despite the glitch and seven crore people registered for it.
The company, however, withdrew the product and refunded the payments to customers following a close scrutiny by government agencies.
Later, the company had said that it would deliver the phone on cash-on-delivery mode to those who placed the order.
OnePlus 3T, the mid-cycle upgrade to the OnePlus 3 erstwhile flagship smartphone, was launched in India on Friday. The new OnePlus 3T is priced at Rs. 29,999 for the 64GB inbuilt storage model, and Rs. 34,999 for the 128GB storage model, making it the most expensive OnePlus device yet. Regarding the launch, both OnePlus 3T variants will be available starting 12.01am IST on December 14 and will be exclusively available on Amazon India.
OnePlus says it will begin manufacturing the OnePlus 3T in India from next month, starting with the 64GB variant. The OnePlus 3T smartphone was unveiled globally last month, and has since gone on sale in the US, Europe, and the UK.
The new OnePlus 3T smartphone features upgrades over its predecessor, the OnePlus 3 (Review), which was launched in June this year. The biggest differences between OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3 are the inclusion of a faster SoC, a higher resolution front camera, a larger capacity battery, and increased inbuilt storage.
OnePlus 3T smartphone also comes in a Gunmetal colour variant, and foregoes the Graphite colour variant of the original. Like the OnePlus 3, the OnePlus 3T will also be made available in a Soft Gold colour variant; however, the OnePlus 3T Soft Gold option will make its way to online shelves later. Notably, the 128GB variant will only be available in the Gunmetal colour variant, the company clarified.
The dual-SIM (Nano-SIM) OnePlus 3T features an anodised aluminium metal unibody design, a fingerprint sensor on the home button, and a Alert Slider. The new OnePlus smartphone runs OxygenOS-based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, and sports a 5.5-inch (1080×1920 pixels) Optic AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. OnePlus 3T is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC (with two 1.6GHz Kyro cores and two 2.35GHz Kryo cores) coupled with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM.
OnePlus 3T features a 16-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX298 sensor, an f/2.0 aperture, OIS and EIS, and PDAF autofocus. The OnePlus 3T selfie camera has 16-megapixel resolution and comes with a Samsung 3P8SP sensor and f/2.0 aperture. The smartphone is available in 64GB and 128GB inbuilt storage variants.
The OnePlus 3T smartphone’s connectivity options include 4G LTE (with support for India’s LTE bands), Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, USB 2.0 Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack, and GPS/ A-GPS. OnePlus 3T’s battery capacity rated at 3400mAh and supports the company’s Dash Charge (5V 4A) fast-charging technology. It measures 152.7×74.7×7.35mm and weighs 158 grams.