Samsung and Xiaomi neck-to-neck in India in Q2

The Redmi 5A was Xiaomi's bestselling phone in India in Q2.
The Redmi 5A was Xiaomi’s bestselling phone in India in Q2.

Xiaomi and Samsung shipped 9.9 million smartphones each to India in Q2. Together they account for 60 percent of the total shipment that quarter, according to Canalys.

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HTC to slice 1,500 from workforce

Even the Vive wasn't enough to keep HTC intact.
Even the Vive wasn’t enough to keep HTC intact.

Taiwan smartphone maker HTC is making a cut of the most painful kind — by slicing 20 percent of its workforce. The decision to swallow the bitter pill comes in the wake of heavy losses and strong competition.

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Smartwatch market heading towards steady growth

The Fitbit Versa has been well-received by the market.
The Fitbit Versa has been well-received by the market.

The worldwide wearables market is adjusting as smartwatches continue to come to the forefront. In the coming years, smartwatches will encompass more features and functionalities.

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Huawei and Xiaomi lead smartphone growth in Q1

The Huawei P20 Pro helped spur Huawei's growth in Q1.
The Huawei P20 Pro helped spur Huawei’s growth in Q1.

China smartphone makers Huawei and Xiaomi grew strongest as the market recovered in Q1, according to Gartner.

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India smartphone market posts strongest Q1 shipment

The popular Redmi 5A has helped Xiaomi retain its pole position in India.
The popular Redmi 5A has helped Xiaomi retain its pole position in India.

The India smartphone market shipped 30 million units in Q1, the strongest Q1 performance ever and an 11-percent growth year on year, according to IDC.

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Xiaomi bucks trend as China smartphone market dips in Q1

In a quarter when the China smartphone market experienced it biggest ever decline, Xiaomi bucked the trend and grew 37 percent to 12 million units, according to Canalys.

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Xiaomi tops India smartphone market in Q1

Xiaomi shipped 3.5 million Redmi Note 5A smartphones in Q1.
Xiaomi shipped 3.5 million Redmi Note 5A smartphones in Q1.

Building on a momentum of 155 percent annual shipment growth in India last year, Xiaomi started Q1 at the top with a whopping nine million plus units to snag 31 percent market share, according to Canalys.

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New Android devices boost Australia smartphone market in Q2

New Android mobile phone launches spurred growth in Australia, leading to year-on-year growth of 18.4 percent to 2.16 million units, exceeding expectations in Q2, according to IDC.

Smartphones accounted for nearly all of the shipped phones — totalling 2.06 million.

Android returned to being the most popular smartphone OS in Australia. Recently, iOS had overtaken Android as the most popular smartphone OS in Q4 2016 as it held over 54 percent of the market compared to 47 percent for Android.

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China vendors corner India smartphone market

China-based vendors strengthened their grip in the India smartphone market, snaring 51.4 percent share of the smartphone shipment in Q1, according to IDC. They grew 16.9 percent sequentially and an impressive 142.6 percent over the same period last year.

In contrast, share of homegrown vendors dropped to 13.5 percent in the Q1 from 40.5 percent in the same quarter last year.

Overall, 27 million smartphones were shipped in Q1, a  14.8 percent growth over the same period last year. Unlike last year, shipment grew sequentially in the first quarter of 2017 by 4.7 percent recovering from demonetisation impact in Q4.

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China smartphone market hits record high

The very popular Huawei Mate 9 helped propel Huawei to the top.
The very popular Huawei Mate 9 helped propel Huawei to the top.

Everybody knows China is big but with nearly half a billion smartphones shipped last year, the market is massive — that’s one smartphone for every three person in the world’s most populous country.

According to Canalys estimates, China reached 476.5 million unit shipment, growing year on year at 11.4 percent, far exceeding the annual growth rate of 1.9 percent in 2015. China shipment reached 131.6 million units in Q4, which is the highest single quarter total in history, accounting for nearly a third of worldwide shipment.

Huawei took the top spot in the market with 76.2 million shipment, a small lead ahead of runner-up Oppo with 73.2 million units, followed by Vivo in third place at 63.2 million units.

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China phone makers dominate India market in Q4

CanalysWhile Samsung remained at the top, China smartphone makers occupied four of the top five positions to snare the lion’s share in India in Q4, according to Canalys.

Their extremely price-competitive devices pushed out India makers, who have been hit hard by the Indian government’s decision to demonetise the INR500 and INR1,000 (US$7.30 and US$14.65) banknotes.

“Local brands’ target customers typically buy in cash and from independent retailers. With the short-term liquidity crunch caused by demonetisation, these retailers are suffering a slowdown in consumer spending. Local vendors are losing out as retailers look to shift their stock to fast-moving, current devices. In Q4 2015, Micromax, Intex and Lava took second, third and fifth place, accounting for almost 30 percent of the market. One year on and all three vendors have dropped out of the top five, with their collective share falling to around 11 percent,” said Rushabh Doshi, Analyst of Canalys.

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Samsung sets up airport customer service counter for return/exchange of Galaxy Note 7

airportWith an increasing number of airlines banning the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 completely from their flights, Samsung has set up service counters  at several airports for Note 7 customers to return and exchange their phones.

These include airports in Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Incheon (Korea), Singapore, Taipei (Taoyuan and Songshan), Kaohsiung, and Taichung.

This is a relief for customers who may otherwise have to junk their phones or find alternative ways for the phones to be sent to their home countries.

Bye, bye Galaxy Note 7

samsuing-galaxy-note-7-page

The Galaxy Note 7 page on Samsung Singapore’s website says it all. It’s a dark day for Samsung.

Just two months after the Korean giant announced its newest Galaxy Note, the smartphone has gone into history, in possibly the shortest lived model. The company has discontinued production of the smartphone.

The Galaxy Note 7 had the features to take on the Apple iPhone 7 but somehow things didn’t work out properly. Exploding phones while charging led to recalls and even bans from airlines. Even newly-exchanged phones were reported to be facing the same problems.

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Explosive start for Galaxy Note 7

Galaxy Note 7 x 2

UPDATE: It’s official. Samsung is recalling the Galaxy Note 7.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphone has launched with a bang (literally). According to reports, some of these devices overheated and exploded while being charging — leading to Samsung to consider a recall, according to Arirang News. Meanwhile, Samsung is delaying shipment of the smartphones.

 

Samsung skips a note to jump to 7

Galaxy Note 7The stars are aligned. Samsung’s stars, that is. The Korean mobile phone giant has launched the Galaxy Note 7, bringing the phablet numerically in line with the Galaxy S series.

 

And just like the Galaxy S7, the new Galaxy Note 7 comes with curved edges for easier handling. It also sports a 12-megapixel rear camera, expandable storage and a larger 3,500 mAh battery. Among its upgrade from the previous generation are a water-resistant body, iris scanner for added security and new S Pen tricks, in particular GIF-making.

Open for pre-orders from major telcos and Samsung now, the Galaxy Note 7 will be available from August 20.

 

Philippines is fastest growing smartphone market in SEA

IDCThe Philippines smartphone market jumped 20 percent in Q1, according to IDC. With a projected annual growth of 25 percent this year, this makes the country the fastest growing smartphone market in Southeast Asia (SEA).

“While many of the more mature smartphone markets of the world already displayed signs of saturation, the Philippines smartphone market continues to enjoy robust growth owing to a relatively low smartphone penetration rate (30 percent in 2015), active local brand presence, and healthy consumer spending,” said Jerome Dominguez, Market Analyst for Mobile Devices of IDC Philippines.

Local vendors continue to dominate the Philippines smartphone market as they flood it with the most affordable smartphone options.

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Smartphone market in historic drop

It’s almost unthinkable but the smartphone market has dipped for the first time in its history.

According to Canalys, worldwide smartphone shipment fell from 324 million units in Q1 2015 to 321 million units in Q1 2016. The top two vendors both posted shipment declines, with Apple the worse hit.

Excluding Apple and Samsung, smartphone shipment grew five percent despite some of the big named international vendors outside the top five also faring badly. LG, Lenovo and TCL-Alcatel posted significant declines, while Sony plummeted by around 57 percent.

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VR hardware to take off in 2016

The HTC Vive lets users experience room-scale gameplay.
The HTC Vive lets users experience room-scale gameplay.

Virtual reality (VR) is not new but it has had a few false starts in recent years. However, it looks like 2016 is going to be a great year for VR.

According to IDC, worldwide shipment of VR hardware will hit 9.6 million units in 2016. Led by key products from Samsung, Sony, HTC, and Oculus, the category should generate hardware revenue of about US$2.3 billion this year.

While VR will drive nearly all of the hardware volume in 2016, augmented reality (AR) hardware is forecast to ramp up over the next few years. The combined AR/VR device market will see hardware shipments surge past 110 million units in 2020.

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Samsung launches 2-in-1 Windows 10 tablet in Singapore

Samsung Galaxy TabPro SSamsung Electronics Singapore has introduced the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, its first 2-in-1 premium tablet featuring seamless integration of laptop and tablet capabilities.

As the first premium tablet range to be powered by Windows 10 to support LTE Category 6 capabilities, the Galaxy TabPro S comes with enhanced features and long-lasting battery life, making it suitable for on-the-go individuals seeking convenience and performance.

Encased in a 6.3mm slim and sleek exterior, it weighs just 696 grams. The tablet also comes with a full-sized keyboard and cover – the touchpad of the keyboard emulates that of a laptop. The Pogo pin on the Galaxy TabPro S keyboard eliminates the need for pairing or charging separately.
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China smartphone sale hit record high in Q4

IDCSmartphone sale hit a record 117.3 million in China in Q4. This represents an eight percent growth compared to the same period last year.

The phenomenal increase was partly driven by China’s annual singles day online shopping festival in November and Huawei’s strong shipments in the quarter. China’s Q4 growth boosted the calendar year 2015 growth to three percent.

“Xiaomi, Huawei and Apple are the top smartphone players in 2015. This is a stark contrast to the top players in 2013, which was Samsung, Lenovo and Coolpad – with Samsung clearly dominating other players. With operators reducing smartphone subsidy and given the volatility of consumers’ brand preference in the market, the smartphone scene has changed significantly since then,” said Tay Xiaohan, Senior Market Analyst of IDC Asia/Pacific’s Client Devices team.

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Samsung extends lead in India smartphone market

CanalysSamsung has pulled further ahead of the competition with a quarter share of the India smartphone market in 2015, according to Canalys.

Micromax held on to second place, with annual shipment falling by more than 20%, primarily due to inventory build-up in its distribution network.

Lenovo and Motorola’s combined shipments were just short of three million units, up almost 60 percent up from the previous year, moving them past Intex to take third place in the market.

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Semiconductor market drops 1.9% in 2015

GartnerWorldwide semiconductor revenue was US$333.7 billion in 2015, a 1.9 percent decrease from 2014 revenue of US$340.3 billion, according to Gartner.

The top 25 semiconductor vendors’ combined revenue increased 0.2 percent, which was more than the overall industry’s growth. They also accounted for 73.2 percent of total market revenue, up from 71.7 percent in 2014.

“Weakened demand for key electronic equipment, the continuing impact of the strong dollar in some regions and elevated inventory are to blame for the decline in the market in 2015,” said Sergis Mushell, Research Director of Gartner.

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Samsung Gear VR available in Singapore

Samsung Gear VRPowered by Oculus technology, Samsung Gear VR will be available for S$148 from November 28 in Singapore. The headset is fully optimised and compatible with the latest Samsung flagship smartphones, including the Galaxy Note 5 4G+, Galaxy S6 edge+ 4G+, Galaxy S6 edge 4G+, and Galaxy S6 4G+.

It leverages each device’s SUPER AMOLED display to provide the colour, clarity and performance needed for a virtual reality (VR) experience. Along with access to an ecosystem of content options, the ergonomic design and ultra-high resolution display of the Gear VR allow users to enjoy an immersive and cinematic VR experience.

An improved and refined version targeted at the everyday consumer, the Samsung Gear VR is 19 percent lighter than its predecessor. This new edition also includes a new foam cushioning that makes the device more comfortable to wear. It features an improved cross-shaped touchpad which provides users with greater ease of control while enjoying the extensive selection of film, gaming, 360-degree video and experiential content available on the Samsung Gear VR.

Smartphones account for 1/3 of mobile phone sale in India in Q3

IDCSmartphone sale is rising in India with 28.3 million shipped in Q3, according to IDC. That’s a 21.4 percent increase from 23.3 million units for the same period last year.

In Q3, 4G enabled devices have witnessed almost a three-fold increase in unit shipment over the previous quarter.

“The growth in the smartphone market was helped by rising demand for affordable 4G smartphones,” said Karthik J, Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC.

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