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Samsung launches pricey new Note as pandemic shrinks smartphone market

SEOUL Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled its latest Galaxy Note smartphone on Wednesday hoping to regain ground against rivals Huawei [HWT.UL] and Apple as the smartphone market begins to recover from its COVID-19 slump.

Samsung launched its previous premium model, S20, in February at the start of the pandemic but since then it has ceded its top ranking in the smartphone market to China’s Huawei, as people opt for cheaper models in straitened times.

The new Note 20 boasts a larger screen at 6.7 inches (17 cm), 5G connectivity, enhanced writing features with its S-Pen stylus, and access to more than 100 console and PC games via a tie-up with Microsoft’s Xbox cloud service.

It will go on sale from Aug. 21 in about 70 countries including the United States, where the basic version will retail for $999, compared to the predecessor’s $949.

“It is an uncertain time to launch a new premium device given the challenging competitive and economic environments,” said Paolo Pescatore, an analyst at PP Foresight Tech, adding that the “eye-watering price” could deter some buyers.

Apple fans are unlikely to jump ship to the new Samsung model as the 5G iPhone is likely to be launched later this year, analysts say.

Samsung posted a 29% on-year drop in shipments in the June quarter, the biggest fall among top vendors, according to researcher IDC. Apple, which launched the budget-friendly SE during the period, remained resilient with 11% on-year shipment growth, while Huawei posted only a 5% fall.

The global smartphone market shrank about 16% on-year in the April-June quarter due to COVID-19 lockdowns and consumer caution, a larger contraction than in the first quarter, and is expected to improve only slightly in the second half, IDC said.

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“Its not until H1 2021 that most countries around the globe will start showing positive growth in smartphone shipments,” said Nabila Popal, research director at data provider IDC.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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Apple Reports 25% Growth in Smartphone Market With 45.1mn iPhone Sales Globally

Image for Representation
(Image: Reuters)

Image for Representation
(Image: Reuters)

Compared to Apple’s growth, Samsung fell 30 percent, Huawei 5 percent, Xiaomi 10 percent, OPPO 16 percent, and others 23 percent in terms of smartphone shipments.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: August 1, 2020, 11:24 AM IST

As the global smartphone market plummeted 14 per cent in the June quarter, Apple was the only vendor to grow as it shipped 45.1 million iPhones globally, a growth of 25 per cent compared to the previous year, according to a new report. Samsung fell 30 per cent, Huawei 5 per cent, Xiaomi 10 per cent, OPPO 16 per cent and others 23 per cent in terms of shipments in the second quarter, reported market research firm Canalys.

“Apple defied expectations in Q2. Its new iPhone SE was critical in the quarter, accounting for around 28 per cent of its global volume, while iPhone 11 remained a strong best-seller at nearly 40 per cent,” analyst Vincent Thielke on Friday. According to him, iPhone SE will remain crucial to prop up the volume this year, amid delays to Apple’s next flagship release. “In China, it had blockbuster results, growing 35 per cent to reach 7.7 million units. It is unusual for Apple’s Q2 shipments to increase sequentially,” said Thielke. The smartphone market worldwide fell to 285 million units, a second consecutive quarter of freefall, as lockdown orders caused by the Covid-19 pandemic persisted through April and May.

Huawei toppled Samsung with shipping 55.8 million units, compared to Samsung’s 53.7 million in Q2 2020. Apple was third with 45.1 million units. Xiaomi came fourth, shipping 28.8 million units, which was down 10 per cent, and OPPO reclaimed fifth place from Vivo, shipping 25.8 million units with a 16 per cent decline. “As well as the new iPhone SE, Apple is also demonstrating skills in new user acquisition. It adapted quickly to the pandemic, doubling down on the digital customer experience as stay-at-home measures drive more customers to online channels,” said the report.


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Tech

Indian Smartphone Market Likely to See 40% Recovery in Second Half of 2020: Report

After going through disruptions in supply chain and curtailed domestic production, the India smartphone market is now showing encouraging signs of revival that sets it on a potential course for market recovery for over 40 per cent in the second half this year, according to a new report. Over the short-term, the mobile market will improve in mid-Q3, spurred by early online sales festivals, setting the smartphone market on a potential path to recovery towards the all-important festive season.

During this period, smartphone brands will focus on showcasing their consumer-centric value propositions, focusing more on hyperlocal delivery models, and launching more 5G-ready smartphones, according to market research firm CMR’s ‘India Mobile Handset Market Review Report.’ CMR’s current estimates point to better performance for the India smartphone market in H2 2020, with the market anticipated to recover by more than 40 per cent in comparison to the first half.

“As a consequence of the pandemic, Q2 2020 was, in essence, a lost quarter. While the mobile handset industry faced multiple challenges with respect to their supply and demand-side dynamics, the industry looks set on the path to a potential recovery in the coming months,” said Amit Sharma, Manager-Industry Intelligence Group, CMR. The initial consumer demand in the unlock phase was driven predominantly through online channels and driven by a need for urgent replacements.

“Facing up to the pandemic, smartphone brands debuted innovative hyperlocal delivery models, some of which have the potential to gain permanence,” Sharma added. The path to potential recovery will be led by pent-up consumer demand, driven by a need for upgrades. In the run-up to the festive season, consumers will seek to go for meaningful value propositions that bring devices and compelling content ecosystem offerings, together.

“This, coupled by smartphone brands bringing more value for money offerings and backed by aggressive messaging, will potentially drive the market,” said Sharma. Thus far, a key challenge for the smartphone market in India to grow has been the inability to offer value propositions that will help feature phone users to migrate to smartphones. “We believe recent announcements, such as the Jio-Google deal, augur well for the future of the mobile handset industry in India, and in potentially enabling the migration of feature phones to smartphone users, with its focus on driving affordability,” said analyst Anand Priya Singh.


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Apple's Taiwan suppliers, Samsung apply for India's local smartphone scheme

Apple's Taiwan suppliers, Samsung apply for India's local smartphone scheme

Apple Inc’s Taiwan contract manufacturers Foxconn, Wistron Corp and Pegatron Corp have applied for India’s $6.5 billion scheme to boost local smartphone manufacturing, the country’s tech minister said on Saturday.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: August 1, 2020, 2:08 PM IST

NEW DELHI Apple Inc’s Taiwan contract manufacturers Foxconn, Wistron Corp and Pegatron Corp have applied for India’s $6.5 billion scheme to boost local smartphone manufacturing, the country’s tech minister said on Saturday.

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has also applied for the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told a news conference.

The plan offers companies cash incentives on additional sales of devices made locally over five years, with 2019-2020 as the base year.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor



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Realme 6i Goes on First Sale Today in India: Price, Specifications and More

Realme will be hosting the first sale of its new budget offering, the Realme 6i, in India. Notably, the Realme 6i smartphone launched in the Indian market is a rebranded variant of the same device that was unveiled in Europe back in May. The Realme 6i features a quad-camera setup, an octa-core processor under the hood, a 90Hz refresh rate, and is also available in two storage configurations as well. The Realme 6i will go on sale via Flipkart as well as Realme India’s website today at 12PM.

REALME 6i SPECIFICATIONS

The Realme 6i arrives in India with a 6.5-inch Full-HD+ display with 1,080 x 2,400 pixel resolution, 90Hz refresh rate, and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. Under the hood, the Realme 6i is powered by a gaming-focused MediaTek MediaTek G90T chipset coupled with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage. The Indian variant comes in a single storage option, but it can be expanded up to 256GB via a microSD card. Furthermore, the device is backed by a 4,300mAh battery that supports a 30W fast charging, although Realme only ships a 20W charger in the retail box. The device runs on Android 10 based Realme UI on top.

The Realme 6i boasts a 48-megapixel primary camera in the quad-camera setup for photography duties. The main camera is paired with an 8-megapixel secondary ultra-wide sensor, a 2-megapixel depth sensor, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. On the front, there is a 16-megapixel selfie-shooter sensor.

For connectivity, the phone features Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 4G LTE, and Bluetooth v5.0, and USB Type-C port for charging. Sensors onboard the device include a magnetic induction sensor, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, gyro-meter, and accelerometer. The Realme 6i also comes with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and is sold in Black and White colour options.

REALME 6i PRICE IN INDIA

The base variant of the Realme 6i, i.e. the 4GB + 64GB model costs Rs 12,999 while the higher-end 6GB + 64GB has a price tag of Rs 14,999. Both Flipkart and Realme have some offers on both phones for interested shoppers. Flipkart is offering a 5 percent instant discount on SBI credit card and EMI transactions, Rs 30 discount on the first prepaid transaction using RuPay debit card and Rs 30 Off on first prepaid transaction using UPI. There is also a 5 percent unlimited cash back on Flipkart if customers use and Axis Bank credit card, 5 percent off with Axis Bank Buzz credit card, and no-cost EMI plans. If you happen to buy the phone from Realme India’s website you can get up to 100 percent SuperCash worth Rs 500 on MobiKwik users.


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Huawei Overtakes Samsung as World's Biggest Smartphone Maker Amid Sanctions and Controversies

FILE PHOTO: The Huawei logo is pictured at the IFA consumer tech fair in Berlin, Germany. (Reuters)

FILE PHOTO: The Huawei logo is pictured at the IFA consumer tech fair in Berlin, Germany. (Reuters)

Huawei shipped 55.8 million devices in the April-June period, trumping Samsung’s 53.7 million, according to a report by data research firm, Canalys.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: July 30, 2020, 2:53 PM IST

China’s Huawei Technologies snatched the title of biggest smartphone seller from Samsung Electronics in the second quarter, underscoring the resilience of the China market even as global demand for phones plunged amid the pandemic. Huawei shipped 55.8 million devices in the April-June period, trumping Samsung’s 53.7 million, according to data from research firm Canalys.

The Chinese company has felt the heat of U.S. sanctions that have disrupted its business overseas, but the latest numbers show its rising dominance in its home market. Huawei now sells nearly two-thirds of its handsets in China, which took an early hit from the coronavirus pandemic but has since reclaimed ground as new cases have dwindled. Smartphone makers dominant in other countries are still struggling as new virus cases continue to rise.

Huawei’s sales fell 5% from the same quarter a year earlier, while South Korea’s Samsung posted a 30% drop due to weak demand in key markets including Brazil, the United States and Europe. “Our business has demonstrated exceptional resilience in these difficult times,” a Huawei spokesman said. Domestic sales rose 8%, but Huawei’s overseas shipments fell 27% in the quarter.

The company’s stint as the top seller may prove short-lived once other markets recover, a senior Huawei employee with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Samsung said on Thursday it expects smartphone demand to pick up in the second half of the year. The United States has effectively blocked Huawei from using Google’s services, damaging the attractiveness of the Chinese company’s phones abroad, and limited its access to chips crucial for 5G networking.

S&P Global Ratings said in a report on Wednesday the latest restrictions on Huawei could wipe out $25 billion in revenue from several Asia-based firms. Huawei has yet to publicly address the impact these curbs will have on its operations. It remains unclear how much of Huawei’s second-quarter sales were driven by its 5G smartphones and high-end models that are most vulnerable to the restrictions, said Nicole Peng, vice president of Mobility at Canalys.


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Tech

Nubia Red Magic 5S Gaming Smartphone Debuts in China With Triple Cameras & Snapdragon 865 SoC

Nubia has unveiled its latest gaming smartphone under its Red Magic series. The handset called the Nubia Red Magic 5S has been launched in China and it arrives a little more than a month after the company unveiled the Red Magic 5G and the Red Magic 5G Lite smartphones. Key features of the phone include triple rear camera setup, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 SoC and a 4,500mAh battery and a tota of three storage variants. International launch plans, however, are currently unknown.

Nubia Red Magic 5S Specifications

As far as specifications of the Nubia Red Magic 5S are concerned, the phone comes with a 6.55-inch AMOLED display with an FHD+ 1,080 X 2,340 pixel resolution along with 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 144Hz refresh rate, and 240Hz touch response rate. One of the most interesting features of the Nubia Red Magic 5S has to be the company’s proprietary ICE 4.0 cooling system that packs both thermal and air cooling tech to reduce heat generation. Furthermore, the cooling system is also backed by a centrifugal fan with a speed of up to 15,000 rpm. Under the hood, the Red Magic 5s is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC that has a maximum clock speed of 2.84Ghz. The chipset is coupled with up to 16GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. The Nubia Red Magic 5S also comes with a 4,500mAh battery with support for 55W fast charging.

The camera department of the Nubia Red Magic 5S boasts a 64-megapixel Sony IMC686 main camera with an f/1.8 aperture, the other two being an 8-megapixel secondary lens and a 2-megapixel macro lens respectively. For selfies, the phone gets an 8-megapixel camera at the front. For connectivity, the Nubia Red Magic 5S comes with 5G, 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth v5.1, GPS/ A-GPS, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The device also packs an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Nubia Red Magic 5S Price and Availability

The base 8GB+128GB variant of the Nubia Red Magic 5s is priced at CNY 3,799 (~ Rs 40,600) whereas the 12GB+256GB model costs CNY 4,399 (~ Rs 47,000). However, the top-of-the-line 16GB+256GB storage variant has a price tag of CNY 4,999 (~ Rs 53,400). The Nubia Red Magic 5S also gets a dedicated accessory called the Ice Dock cooling that is priced at CNY 179 (~ Rs 1,900). The phone is sold in Silver and Neon colour options and will be up for sale in China from August 1.


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5G Smartphone Sales Hit the Headlines in China in Q2 2020 With Huawei Topping the Chart

image for Representation
(Reuters)

image for Representation
(Reuters)

While smartphone sales increased 9 percent quarter on quarter indicating some signs of recovery, overall sales in China declined 17 per cent year-over-year in Q2 2020.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: July 27, 2020, 1:05 PM IST

One-third of the total smartphone sales in China were 5G devices during the June quarter as Chinese operators, as well as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), actively pushed 5G smartphones via lowering prices along with attractive 5G plans, according to a new report. Overall smartphone sales in China declined 17 per cent year-over-year in Q2 2020.

However, the sales increased 9 per cent quarter on quarter indicating some signs of recovery. Covid-19 has been mostly contained in China but the demand for smartphones is yet to recover to pre-COVID levels, said the report by Counterpoint Research.

“Despite a slowdown in the smartphone market in China, Chinese OEMs have picked up the pace in 5G developments that were hampered by Covid-19 disruptions in Q1 2020,” Ethan Qi, Senior Analyst, Counterpoint, said in a statement. In Q2, 33 per cent of smartphones sold were 5G enabled compared to just 16 per cent in Q1. “The proportion was even higher in June, where more than 40 per cent of smartphones sold were 5G capable,” Qi added.

China’s 5G smartphone market is quite consolidated with HOVX (Huawei, OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi) grabbing 96 per cent of the market. Huawei dominated 5G smartphone sales, accounting for 60 per cent of the market. High-end 5G smartphones are predominantly from Huawei, while Oppo, Xiaomi, and Vivo all have various offerings in the mid-tier.


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Realme X3 SuperZoom Review: Setting a New Bar For Mid-Range Smartphones

The new Realme X3 SuperZoom is one of the best smartphones that you can buy under Rs 35,000. It packs a great camera, powerful processor, smooth 120Hz display and 30W fast charging as well.

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Gorilla Glass Victus Will Be Much Harder To Scratch; Samsung Galaxy Note 20 May Adopt It First

Corning Inc. has announced the next iteration of its popular Gorilla Glass technology, which is pretty much the gold standard when it comes to toughened glasses for smartphones. It is called the Gorilla Glass Victus and is most definitely a big step forward from the Gorilla Glass 6 that it succeeds. Corning says the Gorilla Glass Victus can be used on smartphones, laptops, tablets and wearables. There is a strong chance that the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series, set to be unveiled early next month, could be the first phones to bring the Gorilla Glass Victus to consumers—Corning indicates as much that Samsung will be the first smartphone maker to adopt the Gorilla Glass Victus in “the near future”.

Corning says the Gorilla Glass Victus offers 2X more scratch resistance than the Gorilla Glass 6 and achieved drop performance up to 2 meters when dropped onto hard, rough surfaces. Corning’s superiority in the game is perhaps best defined by the fact that the Gorilla Glass Victus offers as much as 4X more scratch resistance than competitive aluminosilicate glasses. Corning says their research in markets including India, China and the US indicates customers are willing to pay a premium for improved durability in the phones that they buy. The company also understood the feedback shared by more than 90,000 customers regarding their experience with Gorilla Glass scratch resistance.

Corning releases a new version of its Gorilla Glass toughened glass almost every two years. The Gorilla Glass Victus succeeds the Gorilla Glass 6. Apple has also regularly invested in Corning. The company invested $250 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund in Corning in September 2019, following up on the $200 million investment in 2017. Apple also uses Gorilla Glass for its iPhone line-up and it is to be expected that this year’s iPhone 12 line-up (at least that is the tentative naming expectation) will also deploy the Gorilla Glass Victus.