Samsung Leads The Indian Smartphone Market In Q4; Jio Makes An Entry

Although there has been a decline of 4% YoY and a QoQ decline of 12.8% in handset shipment, India brands have grown by 45%  compared 7% to 4Q’15 and the handsets made out of India contributed 67% to the sales, reveals CyberMedia research firm.

India shipped 52.8 million handsets in the January-to-March period compared with 55.4 million a year earlier.

The report also says that the average selling price of smartphones have increased.

“We saw for the first time, price band of Rs 10,000 – 15,000 contributing the maximum (22%) towards the Smartphone shipments.  Usually, the prime contributor used to be the price bracket of Rs 6,000 – 8,000,” said, Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst CMR’s Telecom Practice.

Fig 2_1Q India Mobile Handset Press Release_CMR

Samsung led with a 28% share followed by Micromax with 16% and Intex with 12%. The No. 4 and No. 5 positions were taken by Lenovo and Reliance Jio, with 9% and 8% shares, respectively.

The report also highlights that there has been a significant increase in shipments from Lenovo, Oppo, LG, Panasonic, Micromax, Intex, LYF (RJio) and Vivo in Rs 10,000 – 15,000 price bands.  Few brands which has also done an exceptional work include Lenovo’s K4 Note, LeEco’s Le  1S, Micromax’s Canvas Mega 4G, Huawei’s Honor 5X and Intex’s Aqua Freedom.

 

Samsung Beats Apple In The Premium Smartphones Segment In 2015

Samsung, Apple and Sony Mobile were the top three premium brands of 2015. Also Android and iOS accounted for 99% of the OS share which means Windows was just 1%, according to Cyber Media Research.

CMR-India-Premium-Segment-Smartphone-Market-2015

3.3 million premium Smartphones were shipped in 2015, of the total 96.4 million Smartphones during the period. This accounted for 3.4% of the total Smartphone shipments,  said the research firm.

53% growth registered in Premium Segment Smartphones through 2015.

Across Operating Systems, merely 13% of the devices were shipped with the latest version of the operating system.

Krishna Mukherjee – Analyst Telecoms, CMR, said, “Unfortunately, so far none of the Indian brands have been able to establish itself in the premium segment.  While their focus continues to be the affordable price points of Smartphones, it is high time that they start foraying into the premium segment as well.This is also going to affect the entire ecosystem.  For instance, once we see more of Indian as well as Chinese brands entering this space, the proportion of 3rd party Fabless chipset companies are going to rise considerably.”

The premium Smartphone shipments are likely to touch 5-million mark in 2016 in India; although this will show a marginal contribution, 3.5-4% of the total Smartphones shipped.

Samsung Launches Galaxy J3 With ‘S-Bike Mode’- Targetted At Bike Riders In India

South Korean mobile device making giant Samsung has launched Galaxy J3, designed specifically for bike riders in India.

As per survey, 70% of Samsung India’s entry-level consumers are two-wheeler users; main drive for coming up with the feature in their new phone.

The new ‘S Bike’ feature on Galaxy J3 has been designed by the Indian team.

sbikemode2

“20,000 man hours went into developing the NFC-enabled feature that is integrated into the hardware of the new handset,” said Asim Warsi, Vice President, Samsung India.

Features of ‘S Bike’:

– Once activated, callers are notified that the user is riding and cannot attend the call using an automated answering machine.

– The caller can press ‘1’ after the notification in case of urgency and connect to the rider.

“We are working on bringing in meaningful innovations that make people’s lives better. While studying the consumers’ phone usage behavior, we realized that incoming calls are a major distraction to bikers,” Asim added.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge Launched With Made In India Features [ Pre-Bookings Open Till 17th March]

Samsung’s flagship devices Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are now available in India. The price of Galaxy S7 and S7 edge in India stands at Rs 48,900 (32 GB) and Rs 56,900 (32 GB), respectively.

Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge will be available in India starting from March 18, 2016 in Black Onyx, Gold Platinum and Silver Titanium colors. The pre-booking opens has started and continues till March 17, 2016.

Samsung R&D in India played a significant role in the development of the new devices with many engineers involved in the expansion of the My Galaxy platform. The unique consumer engagement platform has been customized to offer services such as My Assistant, Phone pick up and drop, Fast Track service and Live Chat.The Indian R&D team also contributed to developing the Motion Panorama feature.

Galaxy S7 and S7 edge now brings metal and glass together from every angle. Both the devices come with a thinner bezel and a larger immersive screen in the smallest possible frame, with a 5.5” sAMOLED Display for the Galaxy S7 edge and 5.1” display on the Galaxy S7.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyohHyQl-kc

The edge screen on the Galaxy S7 edge is now even more powerful and convenient, with quick access to Applications and content. The new ‘Always on Display’ feature allows users to easily check for updates, without having to worry about unlocking the phone.

With IP68 water and dust resistance, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge can sustain up to 30 minutes submerged in a meter and a half of water.

Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge introduce the first Dual Pixel camera on a smartphone with brighter lens with wider aperture and bigger pixel.

Galaxy S7 and S7 edge come with 3000mAh & 3600mAh batteries, respectively. The Galaxy S7’s CPU is about 44 percent more powerful than its predecessor. Samsung has also added an enhanced GPU – which does the heavy lifting for graphics. This is about 60 percent more powerful than the one in Galaxy S6, claims Samsung.

Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are powered with LTE Cat 9 connectivity. Along with 32 GB, it allows users to insert a microSD card up to 200GB of additional storage.

Samsung has partnered with Vodafone, which will offer twice voice and data for the first 6 months to select Vodafone Red plan customers.

Samsung is also offering multiple mobile accessories like Clear Cover, Battery Pack, Flip Wallet, LED View Cover, S View Cover, Clear View Cover and Wireless Charger Stand on the purchase of the new smartphones.

India’s Smartphone Market Beats USA, Samsung Leads The Market [Report]

Smartphone shipments in India grew 15% annually in Q4 2015 and in the CY 2015, it grew 23% YoY and crossed 100 million units.

The smartphone user base in India also grew to 220 million users by end of 2015 surpassing USA for the first time ever, said Counterpoint research in a report.

More than 40% of the shipped phones were smartphones and 50% were 4G. One of the reasons that the research firm cited for such a healthy growth was Make In India campaign for which 20+ mobile phone brands are now assembling their phones in India.

Also, one in three smartphones were sold through online channels during the year.

According to the study, Samsung led the market with during the quarter with market shares of 23.6% and 28.6% respectively. The company also retained top slot for the entire calendar year in both overall mobile phone and smartphone market.

Recently, the Telecom Minister had also announced that mobile production in India has reached 100 million units.

Samsung Launches Gear S2 Smartwatch And Gear VR Headset In India

Samsung has launched Gear VR, a virtual reality headset and Gear S2, a smartwatch priced at Rs.8,200 and Rs 24,300 respectively.

The Gear VR is compatible only with Samsung Galaxy smartphones including Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+, S6 and S6 edge.

Gear S2 is a sleek wearable which comes in a circular design. The device is available in two variants; the Gear S2 and the Gear S2 Classic. The smartwatch runs on Samsung’s Tizen OS and not Android and its battery lasts for 2-3 days, said the company.

The Gear S2 is 11.4-millimeter thin and has a 1.2-inch screen with 360 x 360 pixels resolution (302 ppi). It uses a 1-GHz dual core processor equipped with a number of sensors.

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Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 5 Dual SIM For Rs 51,400 [Slashes Price Of The Single SIM Model]

Samsung has launched dual-SIM variant of the Galaxy Note 5 phablet in India, priced at Rs 51,400.

The phablet features a 5.7-inch QHD Super-Amoled display with a pixel density of 515ppi, and is powered by a 64-bit octa-core and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.5GHz. The Android Lollipop device comes packed with 4GB RAM.

Samsung Galaxy 5

The phablet comes with a 16-megapixel rear camera, f/1.9 aperture and optical image stabilization and a 5-megapixel front camera. It has a a 3000mAh battery and supports fast charging technology.

The device will be available in Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, and Silver Titanium colour variants.

With the launch of this latest device, prices of the previous single SIM model has slashed and is now available for Rs. 47,900 for the 32GB and Rs. 53,900 for the 64GB model.

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Samsung India Is Struggling, Records A 10-year Low In Smartphone Sales

When Samsung decided to take on the Indian smartphone market, they grew at a healthy 10-15 % per year; their growth numbers hit 40% in the following years.

Nevertheless, recent reports show that during 2014-15, Samsung’s Indian unit grew by just 3%, i.e. Rs 41,575 crore in gross revenues (when compared to Rs 40,392 in 2103-14). This is the lowest growth-rate that the company recorded in the last 10 years.Samsung-office-board

All hell broke loose at Samsung India and Mr. HyunChil Hong was summoned to the country. Samsung crowned him as the President for its India operations.

Hong, with a mission to turn Samsung back to its profitable ways, fired around 5% of their employees in India. They targeted all mid-level managerial positions in manufacturing. He also introduced several other initiatives to get the company going in the right direction.

Countless budget phones below Rs 10,000 were launched, Samsung even leveraged e-commerce to sell their premium phones to take on Apple in the high-end smartphone sector.

Samsung tied up with ‘Make In India’ campaign to boost local manufacturing, but their efforts proved to be falling short as Micromax took over Samsung in terms of sales, according to a Counterpoint research in 2014.

Further, a Gartner report points out that Samsung lost to Apple in terms of global smartphone sales—their market share dropped by 10% in 4Q 2014. Samsung held the spot for 4 years, before the drop.

Is it time for Samsung to rethink about their strategies, yet?

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Samsung To Pay $548 Million To Apple For Imitating ‘Original’ iPhone Designs

Apple in 2011 sued Samsung for allegedly copying technology, design, and packaging; after a year of investigation into the complex case, a US court in 2012 directed Samsung to pay more than a billion dollars in damages.

The four-year-old dispute was settled yesterday when the two rivals filed a joint statement with the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The two parties came to an agreement as Samsung agreed to pay $548 appl vs samsung 1million in fines to Apple for copying iPhone designs.

However this is only a part of the original $1 Billion payment that the South Korean giant was directed to pay. The amount was split in two parts—$548 million for violating technology patents, and another $382 million for allegedly copying packaging content.

The jury will look into the ‘packaging’ violation part in 2016 and shall deliver verdict after investigating further into the matter.

At this moment, the words of late CEO Steve Jobs from his biography by Walter Isaacson seems to be the most fitting quote for the story:

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go to thermonuclear war on this.”

[Source]

Samsung Launches Its Galaxy Note 5 And S6 Edge+ Phablets

Samsung has two new, more refined phablets to take on the Apple iPhone in the hope to dominate the category which the company once created. The Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ were launched at Samsung’s Unpacked event and will go on sale on August 21.

Galaxy Note 5

Samsung-Galaxy-Note-5

The Galaxy Note 5 features a 5.7-inch QuadHD display and is powered by the company’s own octa-core Exynos 7420 SoC coupled to 4GB of RAM. There are two variants of the device – 32GB and 64GB – but unlike the S6 Samsung hasn’t launched a larger 128GB variant.

The battery on the new Note 5 is smaller than the Note 4’s at 3,000 mAh, but the device now features wireless and quick charging support. In terms of design, the Note 5 is very similar to the Galaxy S6 while the curved back makes it easier to hold the device.

No Samsung flagship phablet is complete without an S Pen and the Note 5 houses its writing utensil in a slot located on the lower right. The new S Pen is longer, has higher pressure sensitivity and better writing performance over its predecessors.

In terms of imaging, the Galaxy Note 5 features the same 16MP OIS camera at the rear and a 5MP front facing shooter.

The Galaxy Note 5 runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop featuring Samsung’s infamous TouchWiz skin on top. There are a couple of new features, but best of which includes the ability to live stream video via the camera app directly to YouTube.

Galaxy S6 Edge+

Samsung-Galaxy-S6-Edge+

Alongside the Galaxy Note 5, Samsung also launched a larger version of its curved screen flagship device called the Galaxy S6 Edge+. The device features a larger screen – 5.7-inches and is powered by the same Exynos 7420 SoC that is in the Note 5.

Both devices share identical specs and will be available in 2 variants, again the S6 Edge+ doesn’t come in a 128GB variant. Of course, the biggest feature that’s mission on the S6 Edge+ is the S Pen which Samsung has reserved only for its Note line.

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Note 5 quite a while ahead of its annual schedule and that’s partly due to the company’s strategy of distancing itself from the launch of Apple’s iPhone. The company is trying to get users to jump onto its ship before Apple can come in and swoop customers away.

Google, Samsung To Release Monthly Android Security Updates For Devices

Following the discovery of the Stagefright vulnerability, Google has announced that it will roll out Android Security Updates for Nexus devices once every month.

These updates will be in addition to platform updates Google has been rolling out whenever they’re ready.

The monthly updates will hit the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, Nexus 10 and Nexus Player, with the first such update rolling out today which carries fixes for the Stagefright bug.

Google says its monthly security update program will support devices up to 3 years from their initial availability or up to 18 months after a device has been purchased from the Play Store.

Samsung too has announced that it will roll out security updates for its Android phones and tablets once every month. The Korean company said that it is further developing the process to roll out timely security updates.

The move by Samsung and Google are big wins for Android users and could be the start of an era where Android device manufacturers aren’t seen dragging their feet when it comes to regular OS updates.

While Google can simply push updates to its Nexus line of devices, Samsung says it is in active dialogue with carriers around the world to push updates to its devices.

Apple And Samsung Sold Less Tablets In 2015; Tablet Demand In Decline (Report)

A report by IDC has revealed that sales of tablet devices is on the decline.
A report by IDC has revealed that sales of tablet devices is on the decline.

People are buying lesser tablets worldwide according to a report by International data Corporation (IDC).

According to IDC, while Apple and Samsung hold the majority of the market at 45 percent, the sales of tablets has declined year on year by 17.9 percent and 12 percent respectively.

Senior analyst at IDC, Jitesh Ubrani, said that the decline could be because of competition from larger phones and little innovation in hardware. Additionally, end users can install the latest operating systems and do not need to buy another device. This has dulled the initial demand for these devices in the market.

However, with newer form factors like 2-in-1s, better pricing and added productivity-enabling features like those in iOS9, vendors should be able to make the devices stand out in a competitive market.

 

Samsung Launches Its Thinner/Lighter/Smaller Galaxy Tab S2 Tablets

Samsung has announced the launch of its Galaxy Tab S2, offering a metal-framed device that is thinner and lighter than its predecessor.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

The Tab S2 will be available in two sizes just as before, however, the company has cut down the screen sizes to 9.7-inches and 8-inches.

The device is powered by am Exynos 5433 octa core SoC coupled to 3GB of RAM. Internal storage stands at 32/64GB with the option to expand that by up to 128GB with a microSD card.

Both variants of the device also get a display with a resolution of 2,048 x 1,563 pixels despite their sizes being 9.7-inches and 8-inches respectively.

Other features include a fingerprint reader, 8MP primary camera and 2.1MP front-facing unit. The 9-inch variant packs a 5,870mAh battery while the smaller 8-inch units gets a 4,000mAh unit.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S2 runs on Google’s Android 5.0 Lollipop OS while both variants can be had in a LTE + WiFi or just LTE variants.

Samsung’s China-Bound Galaxy A8 Is Its Slimmest Smartphone Yet

Samsung has announced the launch of the Galaxy A8 in China which measures in at 5.9mm at its thickest making it the company’s slimmest phone yet.

Samsung Galaxy A8 1

The device belongs to the mid-range ‘A’ series but still benefits from Samsung’s new premium metal design that the company debuted with the Galaxy S6.

To be clear, there are thinner smartphones out there from the likes of Gionee and Oppo but judging from press shots, Samsung’s device has got to be the prettiest.

Despite being second in line to Samsung’s S line of devices, the company has shied away from nearly eliminating the bezels on the display and sticking a fingerprint reader at the front.

The other insane bit about the A8 is how Samsung has managed to cram a 3,050mAh battery into that tiny frame. Other tech specs include a 5.7-inch FHD OLED display, 16MP primary camera and 5MP front-facing shooter.

Samsung Galaxy A8 2

Processing power is where the A8 loses out to its its more expensive Galaxy S counterpart, featuring a Snapdragon 615 chip coupled to 2GB of RAM.

Samsung has priced the A8 at 3,499 yuan (approx INR 35,750) in China, but there’s no news about when the device could reach the Indian or any other international markets.

#MakeInIndia: Local Assembly Of Mobile Phones Grew By 64% During Apr-Jun

Leading mobile phone vendors in India have doubled their imports of semi knocked down (SKD) mobile phone units into the country as local handset assembly takes off.

According to research firm Cybex Exim Solutions Samsung and Micromax together imported 6.9 mn SKD units into India during June 2014, more than twice the 3.4mn units they imported during the same month last year.

In the Apr-Jun quarter of this year, SKD imports grew by 64% y-o-y to 18.14 mn units. The report adds that majority of these devices were smartphones.

The move to increase assembly of devices in India was driven by the Government’s decision to change the import duty structure on smartphones, making it more economical to assemble devices in the country than import them.

Local assembly is being seen as the first step towards manufacturing smartphones in India, which is in-line with the government’s agenda to turn the country into a smartphone manufacturing hub.

Leading handset vendors Micromax, Samsung, Xiaomi, Lava, Intex, Sony, LG, HTC and Asus have all shown interest in manufacturing their devices in India. Even Foxconn, the company that manufactures the iPhone for Apple, plans to invest $2bn in the country for setting up 10-12 facilities by 2020.

Apple’s Landmark $930mn Patent Win Against Samsung Has Been Partially Reversed

A US appeals court has thrown out Apple’s trademark finding that the appearance of the iPhone can be protected, adding the latest twist in the intellectual property battle between Apple and Samsung.
iPhone 6 in India
In essence, that means 40% of the $930 million verdict which Apple had won must be reconsidered, even though the prior patent infringement verdict was upheld.
The appeals court said that Samsung did indeed infringe on Apple’s patents but did not violate on Apple’s “trade dress”. ie. making a phone with the general appearance of an iPhone isn’t illegal.
The appeals court has said that the issue of trade dress must be reconsidered by a lower court, which might choose to reduce all or part of the $382 million that was awarded by the jury.
It is still to be seen what exactly the impact of this ruling will be, and if more smartphone manufacturers will get comfortable building phones with the general appearance of an iPhone.