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Mobile phone sales dip 0.5n Q1 of 2016: Gartner
ujjwal on 08/18/2016 at 2:34pm (UTC)
 CHENNAI: Global sales of smartphones to end users totalled 344 million units in the second quarter of 2016, a 4.3ncrease over the same period in 2015, according to Gartner Inc.
Overall sales of mobile phones contracted by 0.5ith only five vendors from the top 10 showing growth. Among them were four Chinese manufacturers (Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and BBK Communication Equipment) and South Korea's Samsung.
"Demand for premium smartphones slowed in the second quarter of 2016 as consumers wait for new hardware launches in the second half of the year," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.
In addition, the decline in sales of "feature phones" (down 14bolstered the decline in overall sales of mobile phones in the second quarter of 2016.
All mature markets except Japan saw slowing demand for smartphones leading to a decline in sales of 4.9 In contrast, all emerging regions except Latin America saw growth, which led to smartphone sales growing by 9.9 "The top five smartphone manufacturers together continued to gain market share in the second quarter of 2016 — up from 51.5 o 54 ear on year, led by Oppo, Samsung and Huawei," said Gupta.
In the second quarter of 2016, Samsung had nearly 10ore market share than Apple. Samsung saw sales of its Galaxy A and Galaxy J series smartphones compete strongly with Chinese manufacturers. Its new smartphone portfolio also helped Samsung win back share it recently lost in emerging markets.
Apple continued its downward trend with a decline of 7.7 n the second quarter of 2016. Apple sales declined in North America (its biggest market) as well as in Western Europe. However, it witnessed its worst sales decline in Greater China and mature Asia/Pacific regions, where sales declined 26 Apple had its best performance in Eurasia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe regions in the second quarter of 2016, where iPhone sales grew more than 95 ear on year.
Among the top five smartphone vendors, Oppo exhibited the highest growth in the second quarter of 2016 at 129 This is due to strong sales of its R9 handset in China and overseas.
"Features such as an anti-shake camera optimised for selfies, and rapid charge technology, helped Oppo carve a niche market for itself and boost sales in a highly competitive and commoditised smartphone market," said Gupta.
 

Why banks in India are pushing 'touch and pay' card play
ujjwal on 08/18/2016 at 2:30pm (UTC)
 MUMBAI: Banks, which dominate the payment card space, are making big bets on contactless cards even as they wait to see acceptance of mobile wallets in face-to-face transactions. This follows RBI's decision to allow transactions of up to Rs 2,000 without a PIN or a signature for contactless cards, which use the near field communication (NFC) technology. The RBI move will make transactions with "tap and pay" cards much faster than cash payments.
SBI and Axis Bank have been early movers, while HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank have also firmed up their plans in contactless card space. Close to one lakh merchants are now taking these cards and the advantage is that PoS (point of sales) machines can accept contactless payments through phones, magnetic swipe and chip cards.
SBI has issued over two million cards and 30,000 merchant establishments are accepting payment from contactless. Axis Bank has installed over 40,000 terminals that accept contactless payments and is now rolling out the facility for savings account customers. ICICI Bank has enabled contactless payments on its mobile application and HDFC Bank is upgrading its PoS terminals with merchants.
 

Alibaba eyes deal with ShopClues
ujjwal on 08/18/2016 at 2:29pm (UTC)
 BENGALURU: Chinese internet behemoth Alibaba, which aims to enter the domestic e-commerce market by early next year, has held discussions to acquire online marketplace ShopClues, which is valued at over $1 billion. Alibaba wants to merge the marketplace of Paytm, in which it has a stake, with the much bigger rival ShopClues, as it is prospecting several acquisition targets to firm up an India entry against rival Amazon, people familiar with the matter said.
The Gurgaon-based ShopClues counts GIC of Singapore, Tiger Global, Nexus Venture Partners and Helion among its investors and has raised about $250 million till date. ShopClues is positioned as an online flea market, selling cheaper and mostly unbranded merchandise to value shoppers. The company, which is one among the top takeover targets in Indian e-commerce, is said to be reporting a revenue run-rate of $750 million based on the gross merchandise value of the goods sold.
Investment bankers have taken multiple deal proposals to Alibaba in recent months. The Jack Ma-led Chinese giant is looking to sew up consolidation moves to challenge Amazon, which has already emerged as the country's second-largest online marketplace and is seen threatening Flipkart's leadership. This includes picking up a substantial stake in Flipkart and merging smaller Indian rivals with it, or scaling up investments in Snapdeal in which it is currently a small shareholder.
 

Wipro chairman Azim Premji -- an incredible 50 years
ujjwal on 08/18/2016 at 2:28pm (UTC)
 Azim Premji has just completed 50 years of leading Wipro. In 1966, on the news of his father's death, the then 21-year-old Premji returned home from Stanford University, where he was studying engineering, to take charge of what was then a hydrogenated oil manufacturing firm. Premji went on to diversify the company to bakery fats, toiletries, lighting products, and hydraulic cylinders. And finally to IT products and later IT services, which is today a $7.7 billion company, with Premji holding nearly 75take in it. On the occasion of his 50th year in office, close friends and associates speak about him.
 

IBM sets up high-power computing facility at IIT Bombay
ujjwal on 08/18/2016 at 2:27pm (UTC)
 MUMBAI: Tech major IBM and IIT Bombay has announced the opening of the first OpenPOWER Research Facility (OPRF) at the institute to help drive further education, innovation and research with the country's National Knowledge Network.
The network aims to interconnect all institutions of higher learning and research with a high-speed data communication network, facilitating knowledge sharing and collaborative research and innovation.
Open POWER Foundation was born out of a collaboration by IBM, Nvidia and Mellanox, and supports open development on the POWER architecture.
OPRF has been established to provide the country's large research and development community with technical assistance and infrastructure to further indigenous research.
 

Skype will not run on these Android and Windows smartphones
ujjwal on 08/15/2016 at 6:06pm (UTC)
 Microsoft-owned Skype has announced that its transition from P2P to cloud is nearing completion. And so the company will be dropping support for some older versions of Android and Windows phones. The deadline set is October 2016.
To run the latest version of Skype for Android (Skype 6.2 and higher), users will need to have Android OS version 4.0.3 or above. For those running Android OS 2.3 and above, they can run Skype 4 for Android.
Also those users using Windows Phone 8 or older versions will not be able to run the latest version of Skype.
In a blog post, Skype chief chief Gurdeep Pall, said, "The transition has been ongoing for a while and isn't complete quite yet. The team is working hard to ensure that our users can continue to use Skype smoothly throughout the transition. At times, unforeseen issues have cropped up, like messages not syncing across devices, or delayed notifications. Knowing the impact of these issues for our users, we fix these issues as quickly as we can. We do ask all our users to update Skype to ensure they benefit from our latest fixes and improvements and to enable a smooth transition to the cloud."
Claiming it to be a tough decision, he wrote, "These decisions are hard to make, but they are necessary as Skype moves forward so we can deliver new experiences on devices that have the capability to support them. As such, we will begin to implement these changes over the coming months. You can check our support site to find out which devices and operating systems Skype will support in the future, but as an example we will continue to support Windows 7, 8, XP and Vista, Yosemite on Mac, iOS 8 and Android 4.03 operating systems."
Pall said that by focusing efforts on the devices and operating systems where the majority of our users are, the company bwill be able to better concentrate its efforts on what's most important such as call quality and new features. "Our focus will be on the newly released lighter, faster and more responsive UWP app for Windows 10, Skype for iPhone, iPad and Android as well as a web-based native version of Skype for other supported platforms like previous Windows operating Systems, Mac and Linux, which will benefit from the latest ORTC or WebRTC technology that we've been working on for the last year," he wrote in the post.
 

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