KARACHI (Web Desk) HTC, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, today announced the launch of new range of smartphones for Pakistan market, namely, HTC One A9, Desire 728 Dual SIM (LTE), Desire 626 Dual SIM (LTE), Desire 626G and Desire 526G+. HTC also announced the appointment of Muller & Phipps as the national distributor for Pakistan.
We are pleased to launch our range of smartphones in Pakistan market. All the HTC devices are stunning, intuitive and advanced in technology. Our new HTC Desire models deliver the best of both worlds, combining fresh youthful design with powerful processing capabilities. HTC wants to empower the masses and put a good phone in everyone s hands, without compromising on features and specifications. said Mr Faisal Siddiqui, President HTC South Asia.
We are pleased to be partnering with HTC as an Official Distribution Partner. HTC is a pioneer in smartphone industry with a wide array of 4G and 3G handsets.
HTC is known for introducing high quality smartphone and premium design and we want to Introduce there complete range in Pakistan . We will be committed to provide high level and superior After sales service to our customers with 1 year warranty , with our Vast reach on retail level and multiple distribution points we will ensure availability of HTC products in all major cities and towns of Pakistan, , said Mr Kamran Nishat, CEO & MD, Muller & Phipps Pakistan Pvt Ltd. All the smartphone models will be available with leading mobile operators and major retailers in Pakistan from next week onward.
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It looks like the very first smartphone that runs on the Android mobile operating system from BlackBerry, the BlackBerry Priv1, is all set to be on the receiving end of yet another Marshmallow beta update. Is this significant? In some ways, yes, taking into consideration that this would be the fourth beta build that has been introduced for said device, and when it comes to the latest Marshmallow beta update, it would be best to make sure that your BlackBerry Priv has at least half of its battery full, or better yet, remain plugged in to the power outlet, as the update would arrive at a whopping 1.8GB.
Similar to the past, this particular update will not arrive for all variants of the BlackBerry Priv, as this time around only models STV100-1 (which are those picked up from ShopBlackBerry or Amazon), STV100-3 (Canadian carrier variants as well as those that can be found within the Asia-Pacific region), and STV100-4 (available in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) will be the ones that will pick up this spanking new beta build. Do take note, however, that BlackBerry has already rolled out the general Android 6.02 Marshmallow update to the BlackBerry Priv, so you would not miss out on much if your handset happens to fall outside of those mentioned categories. Filed in Cellphones3.
Gartner has released their smartphone market share data for Q1 2016. The numbers follow after Microsoft s own results last month and therefore carries no surrprises, but do place them in the context of the rest of the smartphone market. According to Gartner s research global sales of smartphones to end users increased to 349 million units in the first quarter of 2016, up 3.9 percent YoY. Growth was were driven by demand for low-cost smartphones in emerging markets and for affordable 4G smartphones, led by 4G connectivity promotion plans from communications service providers (CSPs) in many markets worldwide.
In a slowing smartphone market where large vendors are experiencing growth saturation, emerging brands are disrupting existing brands long-standing business models to increase their share, said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. With such changing smartphone market dynamics, Chinese brands are emerging as the new top global brands. Two Chinese brands ranked within the top five worldwide smartphone vendors in the first quarter of 2015, and represented 11 percent of the market. In the first quarter of 2016, there were three Chinese brands Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi and they achieved 17 percent of the market.
Oppo had the best performance in the quarter, moving into the No.
4 position with unit sales growth of 145 percent. Like Huawei and Xiaomi, Oppo saw strong growth in China, taking share from players such as Lenovo, Samsung and Yulong. Huawei saw strong smartphone demand in Europe, the Americas and Africa, while Xiaomi and Oppo saw their smartphone sales in emerging Asia/Pacific rise by 20 percent and 199 percent, respectively. In the first quarter of 2016, Samsung extended its lead over Apple with 23 percent market share. Samsung s Galaxy S7 series phones and renewed portfolio positioned it as a strong competitor in the smartphone market, and more so in the emerging markets where it has been facing fierce competition from local manufacturers, said Mr. Gupta.
Lenovo disappeared from the top five smartphone vendor ranking as well as the top 10 mobile phone vendor market in the first quarter of 2016. Lenovo had another challenging quarter with its worldwide smartphone sales declining 33 percent, said Mr. Gupta. Its smartphone sales fell by 75 percent in Greater China, where it faced strong competition from local brands. Lenovo is also struggling to bring synergies with Motorola s device business, managing lower costs and overheads of the two brands.
In terms of the smartphone operating system (OS) market, Android regained share over iOS and Windows to achieve 84 percent share. As mature smartphone markets are reaching saturation, Google is pursuing new revenue growth opportunities by expanding the reach of its platforms in cars, wearables, connected homes, immersive experiences and more, said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.
Despite the Android platform s advancements and its dominant market share, the challenges of profitability remain for a number of Android players. This will have an impact on the vendor landscape where new or more innovative business models will increasingly become key to succeed.
Apple had its first double-digit decline year on year, with iPhone sales down 14 percent. Apple s upgrade program in the U.S. has helped sweeten its flagship iPhone 6s and 6s plus model pricing to drive sales in its largest smartphone market. Apple is also exploring ways to refarm second-hand iPhones coming through the program in emerging markets.
Nokia s announced return to the smartphone and tablet markets will not be an easy mission, said Mr. Gupta. In today s market it takes much more than a well-known brand to sell devices. Making good hardware won t be an issue for Nokia, but users need a compelling reason to remain loyal to the same brand. Furthermore, that the smartphone market is slowing down makes it difficult for mobile phone vendors to reach previous levels of growth.
New company HMD is entering the market at a less prosperous time, making it even more difficult for the vendor to do well in the short term, said Mr. Gupta. Microsoft, who is making a hard swing to the much smaller enterprise smartphone market, has earlier said they expect Windows Phone sales to deteriorate further in Q2 2016, meaning Microsoft may soon vie with Blackberry for which major smartphone operating system has the lowest market share.
The number of mobile applications will grow to more than 210 billion generating nearly $57 billion in direct revenue in 2020. IDC expects to see slower growth in both application install volumes and direct revenue over time largely driven by market maturation. Mobile application install volume will experience a five year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3 percent. Direct revenue from mobile applications will experience slower growth by the end of 2020, though the five year CAGR will be 10.6 percent.
Apple s App Store captured nearly 58 percent (+36 percent) of direct app revenue in 2015. Apple s share of app install volume was 15 percent, down nearly 8 percent. Google Play captured about 60 percent of install volume and nearly 36 percent of direct revenue in 2015. Growth of Google Play s downloads and direct revenues were lower than in previous years.
Apple is expected to continue outperforming Google Play in terms of revenue generation.
Facebook and Google continue to dominate mobile ad spending thanks to the scale and sophistication of their network effects, with Facebook s moves to incorporate news and other interests into its experience will likely pull traffic and install volumes away from discreet apps, said John Jackson, research vice president, Mobile and Connected Platforms at IDC.
The IDC report noted that the emergence of bots, which seek to automate interactions in a contextually infused way, are another in a series of examples of value being created above the OS layer and even above the app.
The Indian unit of the Korean consumer electronics giant LG Electronics is putting together an online strategy / policy to be able to make its products easily accessible on the various e-commerce platforms in India. The management is hoping to complete this exercise within the current fiscal. Kim Ki Wan, managing director, LG Electronics India told dna that the company has never had a policy for online sales (in India).
“We are shaping our internal policy (for online sales) and are studying marketability and growth of online among other things. Within this year I will finalise our online strategy,” said Wan, adding that the contribution from online/e-marketplaces was still very small for the company. This development by LG Electronics India is a crucial one considering, the company had in October 2014, issued an advisory clearly stating that it has not authorised any e-commerce company/web portal to sell LG products television and audio products, home appliances, air-conditioners and mobiles in India for and/or on behalf of the company.
The company had said it does not take responsibility for the genuineness of LG products sold through any of the web portals in India, and retained the right of not extending additional services/warranties to such LG products. Those looking to buy LG products online, it said, can book the products online directly from the company’s website (www.lgbrandstore.com/in). In fact, a section of dealers had very prominently displayed the advisory inside their respective showrooms to dissuade consumers from buying LG products online. While the company’s ‘not so appealing’ approach to dealing with online sales had gone viral on social media it was also widely debated by consumers and e-marketplace operators alike.
Wan said, “It’s (online sales) not by us but some dealers. They supplied (LG products) to online. It’s our headache but we have to protect consumers because they are not guilty (of buying from e-marketplaces). While I am working on solving it we are also firming up our policy for online sales strategy. It’s not that easy. We also have to protect our offline retailers. There are many ways of doing this. In fact, we have successfully transformed in markets like the US and Europe.
Taking that reference we will soon make an India specific online strategy.”
In terms of overall India business and growth strategy for coming years, the company will be going aggressive on selling mobile phones and is of the view that handsets will be the next growth driver. “The market is huge in India and we see a lot of potential for mobile phones. Unfortunately, because of some internal reasons we have not been very successful with this category in India for the past several years. However, after conducting an in-depth study, we have started local production of mobile phones to expand our market coverage and market share gradually,” said Wan. On the internal reasons for mobile phones sales not picking up, Wan said that the company ignored the Indian consumers for this product category. When certain mobile phones were launched globally, they were not made available in the Indian market leaving consumers disappointed. “We have been arrogant for mobile phones so I changed it after taking over last year. In a very humble manner and modest approach we researched Indian consumers for mobile phones and have recently launched two models K7 and K10 in the country. The new handsets are very nice products and are reasonably priced making it affordable for Indian consumers,” said Wan, adding there will be continuous action in this space going forward.
Flat panel display (FPD) televisions (TVs) is another category wherein LG was forced to tweak the pricing of its new LED TVs last year after Videocon’s launch of competitive products at a much lower price. Sharing his views on the assessment of the market situation then, Wan said, “We have not been serious about that. I don’t know why they played like that but I must also tell you, marketing is not that simple a job. An in-depth understanding of the consumer’s buying behaviour and sensitivity to prices is very crucial to make an attractive proposition for a product in the Indian market.”
On product diversification with new launches in the form of water purifiers and air purifiers in the Indian markets, Wan said these were completely based on the consumer insights. “We looked at two aspects when adding the new products to the bouquet. One is innovation-enabled energy saving and second is growing health consciousness among consumers.
In fact, all our innovation and technology will be utilised to meet the two demands from the consumers. In fact, if you look at our refrigerators, while they look same like the competitors’ from the outside but they are very different inside. And that’s what differentiates LG products from the competition,” said Wan.