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Xiaomi maintains lead in smartphone shipments in Q2, Realme gains: Report

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Chinese handset maker Xiaomi grabbed the top spot in the second quarter (Q2) of 2019 with a 28 per cent share as smartphone shipments in India grew to 37 million units, setting a second-quarter shipment record, a new report by Counterpoint Research said on Thursday.


China’s BBK Group that includes smartphone brands OPPO, vivo, Realme and OnePlus became the leading smartphone manufacturer in India for the first-time ever, capturing a combined share of 30 per cent, according to Counterpoint’s “Market Monitor service” report.



Samsung’s shipments declined by 7 per cent YoY, but, it has shown 30 per cent growth QoQ driven by refreshed A series and M series.


Huawei’s trade ban impacted India market as its shipments declined year on year (YoY), but, the brand continues to be in the top ten smartphone brands category. The India growth was driven by new launches, price cuts on older devices and channel expansion across brands.


“Brands which focused on offline channels expanded to online channels with online-exclusive series. Similarly, brands which entered the market with online-exclusive series are now expanding their reach towards offline channel by forming partnerships with key offline retailers. This strategy is working well for all the leading at-scale players,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research, said in a statement.


“Also, brands are launching multiple series to target or expand into new product tiers. This is helping them to expand their product portfolio to target multiple fast-growing segments and also diversify.”


In the premium segment, OnePlus surpassed Samsung to become the number one player driven by strong demand for its newly launched OnePlus 7 series while Realme, ASUS, OnePlus and Nokia HMD were the fastest growing brands (YoY).


“The top five brands’ contribution to the total shipments volume reached its highest ever level driven by new launches and hybrid channel strategy. Localisation, branding, and innovation will remain to be the next key drivers for growth in a highly competitive market like India.


“The market will continue to become more concentrated with majority of share controlled by a few brands leading to more number of exits among the long-tail brands in the market moving forward,” said Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research.


This is the third consecutive quarter that Realme has grabbed a spot within the top five brands driven by strong performance of Realme C2 and Realme 3 Pro and discount offers rolled out on online platforms.


Realme C2 crossed one million mark within a couple of months of launch. It became the fastest brand to reach 8 million smartphone shipments in India market within one year of its debut.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)




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What does Facebook’s plan to hire scribes mean for media industry?

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Facebook’s plan to hire professional journalists instead of relying solely on algorithms to deliver news is a positive step but is unlikely to shake up an embattled media industry, analysts say.


The social media giant said Tuesday it would build a small team of journalists to select the top national news of the day “to ensure we’re highlighting the right stories.”

It comes as the US media landscape is plagued by job losses and newspaper closures, with organizations trying to figure out how to record profits in the age of free news.



Stories will appear in a section called the “news tab,” which will be separate from the traditional news feed that displays updates and content from users’ friends and relatives.


“In theory I see this as a really positive development. It is something quite promising,” Danna Young, a communications professor at the University of Delaware, told AFP.


Facebook’s journalists will be curating stories from news sites and won’t be editing headlines or writing content.


The California-based company has consistently said it does not want to be considered a media organization that makes major editorial decisions, and this announcement does little to change that, experts add.


“It’s not transformative because it’s not going to change necessarily the behavior of individuals who are referencing stories on their feeds,” said Young.


“That’s where the power comes from — individuals you know and trust putting their tacit stamp of approval on stories by sharing them,” she added.


The tab will be the site’s first news feature using human moderators since it shut down its ill-fated “trending topics” section last year after a scandal over allegations workers had suppressed stories about conservative issues.


Articles not deemed top news stories will still be collated using algorithms based on the user’s history, such as pages they follow, publications they subscribe to and news they have already interacted with.


“Our goal with the news tab is to provide a personalized, highly relevant experience for people,” Facebook head of news partnerships Campbell Brown told AFP in San Francisco Tuesday.


The news tab feature comes as Facebook embarks on a series of initiatives to boost journalism, with traditional media organizations accusing it of benefitting financially from their hard work.


Internet platforms are dominating the internet advertising space making it difficult for established news organizations to transition what were very profitable print advertisements online.


Facebook announced in January that it will invest USD 300 million over three years to support journalism, particularly local news organisations.


It has also funded fact-checking projects around the world, including one in partnership with AFP.


Facebook will reportedly pay some publishers to license news content for the tab but Mathew Ingram, who writes about digital media for the Columbia Journalism Review, doesn’t expect that to trickle down to hard-up organizations that need it the most.


“The companies they are going to choose are ones already doing well I assume. It might give them a little extra cash but I don’t see it driving a huge amount of traffic,” he told AFP.


Print journalism in the US is in free-fall as social media overtakes newspapers as the main news source for Americans.


Around 2,000 American newspapers closed in the past 15 years, according to the University of North Carolina, leaving millions of residents without reporters keeping track of what their local authorities are up to.


“The death of local news has such destructive effects for democracy. It’s a complex issue that Facebook alone cannot fix,” said Young.


The number of journalists working at US newspapers slumped by 47 per cent from 2008 to 2018, according to a Pew Research Center survey released last year.


The total number of journalists in newsrooms fell by 25 per cent, the group found, while consultancy firm Challenger Gray & Christmas says this is going to be the worst year for layoffs since 2009.


It’s a difficult time for Stephen Groves, who recently earned a master’s in journalism at New York University, to be looking for work. When he heard about Facebook’s plans, he was skeptical.


“Facebook is not a journalism company and so before working for Facebook I would want to see their commitment to ethical, robust journalism,” the 30-year-old told AFP.


The digital sector is also in trouble.


When Buzzfeed cut 200 jobs in January, 29-year-old Emily Tamkin was let go from a position she had held for just a few months.


“I’m personally not cheered by the fact that Facebook is swooping in and hiring journalists. If that’s the silver lining then we have a very big cloud here,” she told AFP.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)




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Google ditches its desserts! Android Q’s official name is Android 10

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Breaking the 10-year history of naming Android releases after desserts, Google on Thursday announced it had officially named the next version as just Android 10.


“First, we’re changing the way we name our releases. Our engineering team has always used internal code names for each version, based of tasty treats, or desserts, in alphabetical order,” said Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management, Android, in a statement.



The naming tradition has become a fun part of the release each year externally too, like Android Lollipop or Marshmallows.


“As a global operating system, it’s important that these names are clear and relatable for everyone in the world. So, this next release of Android will simply use the version number and be called Android 10,” Samat explained.


“While there were many tempting ‘Q’ desserts out there, we think that at version 10 and 2.5 billion active devices, it was time to make this change,” he added.


Now, this year is Android 10 and next year will be Android 11, and so on.


Google also changed the logo from green to black.


It’s a small change but Google found the green was hard to read, especially for people with visual impairments.


Google will officially start using the updated logo in the coming weeks with the final release of Android 10.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)




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Bose adds Google Assistant, Apple AirPlay 2 to its smart speakers

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Google on Thursday announced an automatic software update that would bring the Google Assistant to all existing Bose smart speakers and soundbars.


The Google Assistant joins Amazon Alexa for voice control of smart home devices, and instant access to millions of songs and podcasts, help, information, and more.



Bose smart speaker owners can now also use Apple AirPlay 2 for simple streaming from Apple devices.


In addition, there is a small Bose smart speaker on the way. The Bose Home Speaker 300 can be pre-ordered on Amazon.in starting Thursday and would available from August 29.


Weighing a mere two pounds and measuring just over six-inch, the Bose Home Speaker 300’s acoustic package delivers powerful bass along with 360-degree sound – unlike conventional smart speakers that deliver a narrow beam of audio, the company said in a statement.


It would be sold directly from Bose stores, wholesale trade partners and online through Amazon.in for Rs 26,900.


 

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)




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