How Apple is gaining smartphone customers during a chip shortage

  • Apple Inc is eating into its rivals’ smartphone market share as the iPhone maker navigates through a global chip crunch better than other mobile phone makers, according to data providers.
  • Higher iPhone shipments helped Apple gain at least 3% market share in global smartphones in the third quarter, even as overall shipments shrunk by about 6% due to the chip shortage, according to data from market research firms Counterpoint, IDC, and Canalys.
  • Given how closely tech companies guard smartphone sales data, the shipment figures are the best indication of who customers prefer.
[Via]

Major job cuts in auto & mobile handsets sector

The last year has been a rough one for the auto industry as it has seen the steepest volume contraction in over a decade in the June quarter. The automotive parts sector has been the hardest hit if one looks at pink slips with more than 8-10 lakh contract staff being laid off in recent months.

While contract employees happen to be the majority in the auto parts sector, the position of regular employees seems dicey as well. Bosch recently closed its factory for five days, something that hasn’t been seen before (as told to some sections of the media by a director of the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India).

In the mobile handsets sector, apart from the overwhelming competition from Chinese brands, the incredible growth of e-commerce has hurt it badly. Over 250,000 jobs have been cut in the last two years, with most of those who were laid off being in-store brand promoters. This ties in with the decline of brick and mortar stores who have been negatively impacted by online sales.

Local handset manufacturers such as Micromax and Lava have been pushed out, while a few other brands like Karbonn and Intex are barely surviving as Chinese brands now command 75% of the Indian market.

HTC is Launching Blockchain Based Smartphones, HTCExodus. How much premium would you pay?

HTC and Exodus smartphone. Reminds you of SIRIN LABS and that device FINNEY?
The first is packaged both as a mobile-connecting-point to the world of decentralised-networks and as a storage-device for crypto in a user’s pocket. The latter was introduced as a cyber-protected, blockchain-enabled mobile phone (something tailor-made to support Blockchain applications like built-in cold storage crypto wallet with room for major crypto-currencies and tokens).
HTC has announced HTC Exodus, a smartphone based on Blockchain.
These implausible-sounding bells and whistles were laid down on BlockShield, a proprietary technology from SIRIN LABS that could, apparently, secure the hardware’s crypto wallet and ensure transaction integrity.

HTC Exodus Blockchain Phone
HTC Exodus Blockchain Phone

Two questions pop here: is it really possible to make a blockchain-y phone? Specially when it is a shared database and cannot be pinned down to one party instead of a network of connected devices as experts like Scott Adam Gordon have argued already.
If this can, however, work, would it make HTC repeat with decentralised technologies what Google did with search and Facebook with networking (but messed a bit with backdoors into personal data)?
May be users would like the idea of paying for un-compromised privacy? The question is how much more?

Would you hold a phone or hands?

Ergonomics, product-design flaws, safety-worries, or the good old phantom-limb effect. Researchers are scratching their heads to work out some numbers that came up in a new study.

Active Phones; Inactive Brain?
Active Phones; Inactive Brain?

In ‘The Phone Walkers: A study of human dependence on inactive mobile devices’ Laura Schaposnik and James Unwin from University of Illinois dug in a clear pattern of mobile phones being carried in people’s hands (3000 people on Parisian streets) without the person using it (that is, not looking at it).
So we hold our phones when we aren’t actually using them. Big deal! It is, when we see how as soon as individuals join members of the opposite sex there is a clear tendency to stop holding mobile phones whilst walking (just 18 per cent). Else, 38 per cent of solitary women, and 31 per cent of solitary men touch their phones (via).
Hmm. It’s just a phone. It’s not the ring, Frodo.

Gionee launches its front flash smartphone in India S6s For Rs. 17999

Gionee has announced the launch of S6s, it’s first front flash smartphone in India. Equipped with a stunning 8 MP Front Camera with Selfie Flash (High CRI), a screen that lights up to brighten pictures regardless of the light conditions and finger print sensor, Gionee S6s promises to capture the best selfie moments, in a fast and convenient manner.

Price of Gionee S6S In India

Gionee S6s supports both 4G and VoLTE. S6s will be available across India in  colour variants of Mocha Gold and Latte Gold, at a price of 17,999 INR. It will also be available on Amazon, Gionee’s official online partner for S6s.

Gionee S6s Mocha Gold

Power packed with 3GB RAM, S6s comes with 32 GB ROM and expandable memory up to 128 GB.

Key Specifications of S6s

  • Display – 13.97cm (5.5) FHD IPS
  • CPU- MTK6753 64bitOcta-core 1.3GHz
  • RAM + ROM- 3GB+32GB (Expendableup to 128GB)
  • Camera – 13MP+8MP
  • Battery- 3150mAh
  • Fingerprint- Yes
  • Front Flash- Yes
  • Android- 6.0

Adcom Rings Bell On Freedom 251: Threatens Legal Action For Passing Phone As Theirs

More troubles have cropped up for the Noida-based startup Ringing Bells, after feature phone brand Advantage Computers (Adcom) on Friday threatened legal action against Ringing Bells for passing on Adcom handsets as theirs during the “Freedom 251”-world cheapest phone, launch.

“We are deeply grieved by this incident where our mobile phone has been presented to masses for Rs.251, and therefore, would not hesitate from taking any legal actions against the company, in case the entire fiasco impacts Adcom’s brand name or subsequently we face any other kind of losses,” said Sanjeev Bhatia, Chairman of Adcom.

During the launch event held in February, Ringing Bells had distributed some phones to the media folks, which were Adcom handsets. However, Ringing Bells president Ashok Chadha clarified later that the Adcom handsets were given out as only “samples” to a section of the media and the real “Freedom 251” will be a new product with all promised features.

“On Adcom’s role, we would like to clarify that they provided some prototypes for the sample ‘Freedom 251’ handed over to some special guests, including media, for initial impression about the way the phone would look and behave in future. We have other partners for assembly of our phones. We are happy to share their names on special requests.” said Chadha.

Sanjeev Bhatia even raised suspicion over the pricing policy of ‘Freedom 251’.

“Furthermore, we still haven’t been able to evaluate their pricing policy as we sold the handsets at Rs.3,600 per unit (to Ringing Bells),” added Bhatia.

[source]

The New ‘iphone killer’, mPhone’s Promoters Arrested On Launch Day

After all the controversies with world’s cheapest smartphone Freedom 251, new smartphone Mango or mPhone’s makers from Kerala are now in trouble.

The promoters of Mango Phone which was supposed to be the new ‘iphone killer’ got arrested on the day of its launch at Kochi for allegedly duping the Kalamassery branch of Bank of Baroda.

The promoters Anto Augustine and Josekutty Augustine are both brothers from Kalpetta in Wayanad district  and have been absconding for almost a year after defrauding banks, said the Police in a statement.

The company’s mPhone 11 Plus is priced around Rs 39,999 and mPhone 5s priced Rs 11,999 with five other models in between. The company promised a m2 smartwatch of price Rs 12,999 along with accessories including wireless chargers to power banks and headphones.

[source]

Waiting For Your Freedom 251? Now Pay Cash On Delivery

With all the serious ongoing speculations about the cheapest smartphone Freedom 251, the makers Ringing Bells have announced that cash on delivery option will be provided to the customers.

To ensure the buyers, the company has decided that the customers will have to pay only after receiving the device.

The company will deliver 25,000 smartphones in the first phase which will be concluded before 30th June.

Earlier, PayUBiz its payment gateway partner said that it will not process payments until the product is dispatched.

[source]

LG To Launch Its Flagship Smartphone G5 In The Next Quarter

LG Electronics will launch the LG G5, its flagship smartphone for 2016, in India in the next quarter. The smartphone was unveiled at the recent Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

The G5 comes with a new design, a sleek, metal uni-body featuring a slide-out Battery tray and a Modular Type design.

The 3D Arc Glass featured in the smartphone’s 5.3-inch display creates a gentle curve and a smooth colorful metal surface formed through an advanced microdizing process enhances the experience.

LG G5’s insulative antenna is invisibly integrated into the body without disrupting handsets seamless look of the metal uni-body.

LG’s innovative Modular Type design gives the LG G5 the ability to transform into a digital camera, Hi-Fi player and more.

LG is also introducing a smartphone ecosystem — the LG Playground. As part of the ecosystem, LG will bring forth a wide range of companion devices, aptly called LG Friends, to deliver fun.

The smartphone is built with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Processor and has an internal memory of 4GB and expandable upto 2TB. The camera is 16MP while the front camera provides 8MP. It supports  battery is  2,800mAh. The smartphone will be available in silver, titan, gold and pink.

Booked Freedom 251? PayUBiz Plans To Hold On To Your Payment

Ringing Bells has now made a new statement saying that the company will not be taking the payment from the payment gateway facilitator PayUBiz, until it gives proof of delivery.

Taking a cautious move, PayUBiz after all the queries in an official statement, said, “As a leading payment solution company, we are cognizant of both our merchants and buyers. With a surge in no. of queries received for Freedom 251 during last few days, we are cautious towards the payments being made by buyers to buy Freedom 251. As a responsible payment solution company, we have ensured that the buyer’s money remains safe with us and gets released to the merchant once the product is dispatched. In case the merchant is not able to fulfil the huge demand they have received, we will work with merchant to return the money to buyers.”

Ringing Bells, the manufacturer of Freedom 251 has stopped taking bookings and claims that the company has received orders worth Rs 1.75 crores for the smartphone which will be delivered only after four months has raised speculations over the cost and also if the delivery will even be done.

India Ranks Low In Smartphone Ownership and Internet Access [Report]

According to a survey by PewResearch Centre, there has been a notable rise in smartphone and internet usage. In 2015 the number of Internet users rose to 54% from 45% in 2013 across 21 countries.

The major increase was seen from emerging economies such as Malaysia, Brazil and China. Sadly, India still lags behind most of the Asian countries with a low Internet usage and has shown only 6% of rise from 2013 till 2015.

The study revealed a gap of a 33% when compared with emerging and developing nations.

In India 9% of those with lower education levels are online, as compared with 38% who have higher education levels. 11% with lower income own a smartphone and access Internet compared to 28% with higher incomes.

Highlighting the gender gap, the study shows that 17% women and 27% men use smartphone and access internet in India.

Interestingly, India reported one of the highest levels of respondents who own a feature phone while 17% of the population in India own a smartphone, according to the study.

Freedom ‘251’ Or Freedom ‘420’? Makers Of Freedom 251 Under Scanner Of I-T, Excise

Ringing Bells- makers of the *world’s cheapest smartphone* Freedom251- has come under the scanner of excise and income tax departments. I-T Department is probing the financial structure of the company and has obtained documents, including those from the Registrar of Companies.

Telecom Ministry had sought clarification from company for marketing its mobile phone without a BIS certification.

Earlier the industry players too had complained against Ringing Bells to the Telecom Ministry to look deeper into the issue as debates around the feasibility of offering a mobile handset for Rs 251 had erupted. Ministry had directed UP government to confirm firm’s credentials.

“Yes, there was a visit from excise department and I-T Department. Since we are planning to achieve milestones under Make in India, Skill India and Startup India. They issued us some guidelines for future and extended full support and cooperation,” said Ashok Chaddha, President, Ringing Bells.

Freedom 251: Made In India? [Not Really]

The saga of controversies around the cheapest smartphone Freedom 251 has still not come to an end.

Noida based Ringing Bells, the manufacturer has claimed to have received 30,000 confirmed orders and over 6 lakh hits per second on its website on the first day even after the site was down.

After the skeptical price range and its booking failure, reports have surged about the manufacturing of the 3G smartphone. The company has claimed that it was Made in the India but the handsets have a logo of Adcom which is covered by a whitener and Adcom Ikon 4 smartphone is being sold on Flipkart at Rs 4,081.

Freedom-251

The back panel of the smartphone is made of plastic and while the company claims the smartphone has a 1450mAh battery, the rating on the battery says 1500mAh. The Indian national flag is painted on the back panel and the painting has started peeling off even before usage.

All Is (Not) Well With India’s Cheapest Smartphone, Freedom251?

After a great publicity for bringing a smartphone for just Rs 251, things are not going too well for the less known smartphone manufacturer Ringing Bells. After all, launching the cheapest smartphone which is just Rs 251 will raise skeptical eyes and when things are just not going right.

Starting from first:

The site went down even before the booking started and the people took to twitter to react on the failure to book the product.

The site successfully takes you till you add the product in the cart and then returns to the main page. You will then have to enter your shipping address, mobile number and email ID and then tick the terms and conditions checkbox. With the shipping charges, the total price of the phone comes to Rs 291 and not Rs 251. And the delivery of the handset will be received only after four months.

Here are few tweets:

Dr Kirit Somaiya, member of Parliament has also written to Telecom Ministry and asked the regulatory body to set an immediate study.

trai freedom

 

The mobile industry body ICA has also raised concerns over this affordable smartphone and written to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad saying the rate could not be below Rs 3,500 even after a subsidised sale.

The regulatory body also warned senior political and government leadership not to be present at the launch till all the controversies around it are cleared.

Indian Smartphone Maker Brings 3G Smartphone At Just Rs 251

Noida based smartphone manufacturer Ringing Bells has unveiled its smartphone Freedom 251 which will cost just Rs 251. The Noida based company had earlier announced that the smartphone will cost around Rs 500 without disclosing the specifications.

The 3G smartphone will come with a 4-inch display, 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage (expandable up to 32GB), 3.2-megapixel back camera, 0.3-megapixel front camera, and a 1450mAh battery.

The smartphone will be officially launched on Wednesday in New Delhi and bookings for the Freedom 251 open on February 18 at 6am and close on 21 February at 8pm. The company says deliveries will be completed by 30th June 2016.

Le 1s Claims To Get 55,000 Orders In 9 Seconds [ThirdFlashSale]

LeEco’s Le 1s received 55,000 orders within 9 seconds for its third flash sale which ended today.

The company claims that it received a total of 220,000 orders in 31 seconds in the 3 flash sales and 20,28,000 registrations across the 3 flash sales.

Atul Jain, COO, Smart Electronics Business, LeEco India said “We believe that with this third highly successful outcome, LeEco has lived up to its global reputation of being a market disruptor and game changer. Le Max, the top-selling premium Superphone, which joins the sales in India for the first time, has  proved to be a strong contender. Le 1s, the all-time best seller and record breaker, disrupts the market and manifests the ‘LeEco phenomenon’. We are delighted with the huge vote of confidence that Indian consumers have given us and am confident that going forward we will continue to offer more exciting products.”

At a price of Rs 10,999, Le 1s has a full  metal unibody, a fingerprint scanner and a 5.5″ FHD display, the flagship processor of the year Helio X10 Turbo, 3GB Ram and 32 GB  storage, dual-SIM card slots, 4G LTE support, and USB Type-C port. On the camera front, there is a 13-megapixel f/2.0 rear camera, and 5-megapixel wide angle selfie camera.