Mobility Monthly Magazine
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What has been exciting in 2016: For the Industry of Handsets, Accessories and the Top Brands?
What has been exciting in 2016: For the Industry of Handsets, Accessories and the Top Brands? EDITORIAL 6 News 8 Launchpad 10
Editor : Swapan Roy Chief Editor : Manoj Jha Associate Editor (Tech,) : Jayanta Ghosh Asst. Editor : E.J. Jawahardatham Art Director : Anit Kumar Creative Head : Karmendra Singh Negi Acct. & Finance : Sandip Sarkar Marketing Manager : Tridip Dey Marketing Executives : Sujit Goswami, Pratap Biswas S. Dutt Raj Kumar Circulation Manager
Ashish Ghosh Ashok Kumar Paul
5G Subscriptions to Reach Half a Billion in 2022 Globally: Ericsson Mobility Report
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Mobile wallet benefits & challenges for the providers and the consumers
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What has been exciting in 2016: For the Industry of Handsets, Accessories and the Top Brands?
interview 28 With new aggressive offline channel strategy, Lephone is ready for the big LEAP
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Mobility DECEMber 2016
Increasing trend of digital payments to boost mobile phones usage As the curtains are about come down for 2016, it is a tumultuous year for the Indian industry and for IT & telecom industry in particular. This month’s cover story gives a roundup of the views of different mobility industry doyens who briefed on their achievements in 2016. For most brands, 2016 has been an eventful year. The big milestone for India is the country became the second largest smartphone market. Then, on Nov 8, government announced the ground-breaking demonetization shaking the very foundations of black money and its patrons. We at Mobility wholeheartedly support the government’s demonetization drive. Though it causes temporary pain, we see a long-term gain for the country.
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Government is also encouraging cashless digital payments to discourage cash transactions that are basic drivers of black money. The digital payments will indirectly propel the usage of mobile phones.
nubia N1 with new battery technology nubia N1 is equipped with new battery technology - NeoPower, which combines a 5000 mAh battery, excellent system optimization, low power consumption and high performance hardware to achieve a battery life of 3.1 days for normal usage and 1.9 days for heavy users. The nubia N1, the ultimate tool of long-lasting power and a perfect companion for a generation which is always on the go. Mobile Photography Expert - 13MP front and rear camera - 5.5” FHD screen makes a big difference. The 32GB ROM allows you to simultaneously store: 2500 16MP photos + 1000 high-res songs + 2.5 hours HD videos.
Mobility DECEMber 2016
Government of Telangana Inks MoU with Microsoft
The Government of Telangana has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Microsoft Corporation India Private Limited. Under the MOU, Microsoft will help the Government explore cloud, machine learning and mobile based solutions to improve citizen services, education, healthcare and agriculture in the state. Mr. Jayesh Ranjan IAS, Secretary, ITE&C, Government of Telangana, said, “Through this partnership with Microsoft, we are confident about bringing in advanced solutions pertaining to our initiatives under Digital Telangana program.” Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt. Ltd., said, “We believe technology should empower every Indian, and today’s MOU will take us further in that journey.”
YMS Mobitech Partners with Mi India for Offline Acce
LeEco Appoints new APAC President and Secures US$600 Mil Funding
LeEco has swiftly implemented its upgraded strategy by appointing Anthony Gao (Gao Jun) as President of LeEco APAC and CEO of LeEco Hong Kong. Responsible for operational management and meeting various business targets, Mr Gao will report directly to Mr. YT Jia, Founder and CEO of LeEco Global. Mr. Gao has extensive experience in the technology industry. Before joining LeEco, Gao spent 17 years in Huawei in various senior executive positions including CEO of Huawei Device in China, President of Global Sales and Technical Service Department, and President of Global Strategy and Marketing Department. Gao currently heads LeEco’s VR and AR company as well as MFL (Made for LeEco), LeEco’s initiative for open smart hardware ecosystem. His leadership in these businesses will remain.
Lava Leads Indian Mobile Handset Vendors in VoLTE-Enabled 4G Smartphones
YMS Mobitech Pvt. Ltd, a tech-based distribution start-up, has joined hands with smartphone manufacturer, Mi India to distribute its range of accessories in key states of Eastern India. The partnership will focus on offline distribution of Xiaomi accessories including Mi In-Ear Headphones, Mi Capsule Earphones, Mi Bluetooth Speaker, Mi Band 2, Mi Power Bank and other accessories. YMS Mobitech will make all Xiaomi accessories available to 2000 stores immediately across West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Assam, Sikkim and all North Eastern states. Ajay Laddha, Co-founder, YMS Mobitech said, “YMS Mobitech has been consistently working with an aim to disrupt the distribution landscape in India through its pioneering e-distribution platform. We are happy that a leading technology player like Xiaomi has placed their trust in us.”
Lava International Limited, one of the leading Indian multi-national companies in the mobile handset industry today, is betting big on the growing demand for VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution)-enabled devices by offering VoLTE on 77% of its smartphones out of the 22 4G smartphones in its product portfolio. Through this, Lava has gained a leading position amongst the Indian handset vendors having maximum number of VoLTE enabled smartphones. VoLTE has become highly critical in realizing the true potential of 4G smartphones. Lava with its vision to make reliable technologies accessible, has introduced VoLTE on all its recently launched smartphones. Further, all Lava smartphones which were launched even 9-12 months back will be upgraded to VoLTE in a few months’ time.
UC Browser crosses 100 Mil Monthly Active Users in India
India’s first free customer care calling app Aino Operations Launch
UCWeb, an Alibaba Mobile Business Group company, announced that its flagship product, UC Browser, has crossed 100 Million Monthly Active Users (MAU) in India. The mobile browser has a 57% market share in India (as per Stat Counter) and with an increase of 25% of MAUs in 2016 itself (reaching the 80 million MAU mark in June 2016), UC Browser is the largest mobile browser in India. Speaking at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) in Bengaluru, Kenny Ye, General Manager of Overseas Business, Alibaba Mobile Business Group spoke about the milestone achieved by UCWeb saying, “India has been an incredible market for UCWeb. By crossing 100 million MAUs, UCWeb envisions itself as powerful as Google and Facebook and bring the global mobile internet to an era of ‘GUF’ (Google, UCWeb, and Facebook).”
Mobility DECEMber 2016
Designed to bridge the gap between consumers and customer care departments, Aino- India’s first unified voice-driven platform launched a helpdesk application. The application enables efficient customer query resolution and facilities better brand interactions with multiple service providers through a single platform. Aino also helps brands in decreasing their call abandonment rates, reducing Average Handling Time (AHT) by a minimum of 40 seconds, and saving up to 10% on customer service budget. Available on both Android and iOS, the simple, effective, and efficient application enables its users to add a brand to their dashboard in order to post queries, book requests, or register a complaint.
Broadband India Forum Holds International Summit
Broadband India Forum (BIF) held its International Summit ‘Accelerating Broadband in India: Complementing Fiber Optics with Wireless Fiber” at Hotel Imperial, New Delhi. The Summit deliberated on the deployment of Wireless Fiber technologies in the E & V band to expedite penetration of affordable Broadband in India, especially in urban, dense urban areas and also in the remote areas where it either not feasible or possible to extend optical fibre to reach the end customer’s premises. The Summit deliberations also covered policy and regulatory issues to drive deployment of new innovative technologies in the E & V bands in support of national socioeconomic programs such as Digital India, Make in India and Broadband for all.
itel Mobile Leader in Major Indian Geographies: CMR report
itel Mobile has been named as the market leader in eight major Indian geographies in a recently released Cyber Media Research report. The brand has emerged as the top favourite amongst consumers in the markets of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, and Jammu & Kashmir ahead of competition. With its value-driven offerings available at competitive price points, itel Mobile has witnessed immense growth and consumer adoption since its India launch earlier this year. Having sold more than 5.4 million handsets till date, the brand has secured the 6th position in the feature phone category and captured 2% market share in less than a quarter as per the Q3 2016 CMR report. Speaking on the announcement, Sudhir Kumar, CEO, Itel Mobile India, said, “Aggressive, out-of-the-box marketing strategies offered on itel mobile products have driven great growth for the brand in a short span of 6 months. itel achieved yet another target by selling 1.6 million handsets in just October.”
Gov Policy to Drive Broadband, Digital Economy for a Flourishing APAC
Huawei and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) jointly hosted the first Asia Pacific Exchange on Broadband Regulation and Policy. They also released the White Paper on Broadband Regulation and Policy in Asia-Pacific Region: Facilitating Faster Broadband Deployment. Speakers at the exchange called for more comprehensive broadband policies to guide development and speed the rollout of national broadband networks, as the basis for growth in the digital economy. Houlin Zhao, secretary-general of the ITU, made opening remarks at the exchange. He pointed out that the ICT technologies and broadband infrastructure have become core economic competencies, critical for national competitiveness.
Intex Technologies Opens its 100th Smart World Store in Jaipur
Intex Technologies opened its 100th Intex Smart World store within 18 months of the roll out of its exclusive brand outlets. The 100th store opened in Jaipur, is the 2nd for the city and 5th in Rajasthan. The state currently has five Smart World stores with Jaipur having 2 and Bikaner, Bhilwara and Kota having one each. In its 18 months journey, started in April 2015, Intex Smart World has spread pan-India covering 80+ cities across 23 states. The 100th Intex Smart World store in Jaipur was inaugurated by Narendra Bansal, Chairman & Managing Director, Intex Technologies. Also present on the occasion was Mr. Vishal Malik, Head – Branded Retail, Intex Technologies and other senior Intex officials. Narendra Bansal said, “Intex Technologies will continue with the momentum and expand footprints to reach out to the end consumer.”
DataWind Inaugurates Hyderabad Manufacturing Facility
DataWind formally inaugurated its Hyderabad facility by K.T. Rama Rao, Minister of IT and Industry, Telangana and Nadir Patel, High Commissioner of Canada. DataWind had earlier this year signed a MoU with the Telangana government when Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne visited Hyderabad to setup its second facility in India. Keeping its promise the company today launched its second State of the art manufacturing facility at GMR Complex of Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad.
Over 38 Million BSNL Users Can Now Pay Their Bills With Mobikwik
MobiKwik, India’s independent mobile wallet, announced its partnership with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the government-owned telecommunication service provider for cashless payment of bills. The tie-ups will enable customers to pay their phone bills without standing in queues and using cash currencies or cheques. A large number of people across cities will be benefitted as BSNL serves 38 million users. This initiative willalso enable customers to tide over the current currency shortage due to demonetisation of high-value bank notes. Mrinal Sinha, Chief Operating Officer at MobiKwik said, “Our association with BSNL is another step to serve landline users after demonetisation of high-value currency notes.
Mobility DECEMber 2016
Lenovo launches K6 Power
Lenovo India announced the next generation of its popular K series, Lenovo K6 Power, an all-round performer best suited for young millennials looking for nonstop entertainment. With blazing fast speeds made possible
by Qualcomm Snapdragon Octa-core processor, 4G LTE connectivity and the Android Marshmallow operating system, the smartphone comes with a vibrant full HD display, fast performance, enhanced connectivity, and the flexibility to do everything you want without slowing down. The K6 Power will support all 4G LTE bands in India as well as VoLTE.
ASUS ‘ZenBook 3’ now Available in India
ASUS announced the availability of its premium flagship ultra portable Zenbook 3 in India. One of the first ultrabooks to be equipped with the latest 7th Gen Intel Core processors with Kaby ZenBook 3 is the world’s most prestigious laptop with unprecedented performance. ZenBook 3 delivers unprecedented performance with up to an Intel Core i7 p r o c e s s o r, 16GB of 2133MHz
RAM, up to a 1TB PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSD, a next-gen USB Type-C port, and powerful quad-speaker audio by Harman Kardon. Its high-resolution 12.5-inch display has a wide 72% NTSC color gamut and has an edge-to-edge covering of tough, scratchresistant Corning Gorilla Glass 4.
Mobility DECEMber 2016
Zebronics Launches 2.1 Speakers Cube2-BT RUCF
Zebronics India announces an extension to its 2.1 Speakers category with Cube 2 BTRUCF, setting new standards in its category, to meet the needs of music lovers with power-packed features. These mighty speakers are configured with the massive 40 WattsRMS that not only promises crisp, powerful sound but also delivers it for unbeatable performance paired with inimitable style! Cube2 fulfils audio expectations of consumers seeking excellent sound for music, movies and games in their comfort space. The sub-woofer comes with 12.7cmsbass driver and the satellite speakers are powered by 7.6cms drivers for high performance output.
Syska Accessories launches its ‘Splash resistant’Blade Speaker
Syska Accessories, a brand popularly known for its diverse range of innovative solutions for mobile phone and computing accessories, strengthens its audio portfolio with the launch of its latest IPX4 wireless Speaker
Ziox unveils Zelfie feature phone with Selfie Cam and LED Flash
A curvy beauty that will dazzle its onlookers, Zelfie with its sleek looks and ergonomic design is crafted to perfection. Packed with the most engaging features to keep users entertained, Zelfie sports 2.4’ Bright display to enable a superb photo & video viewing experience. Ziox has integrated dual Cameras with LED Flash support, the rear camera is perfect for capturing and sharing special moments, while the front camera with LED Flash lets you take magnificent selfies even in diverse lighting conditions. Keeping you connected for longer is its enduring 1800 mAh battery. For entertainment and music, this Dual SIM device comes with Wireless FM Radio, MP3 and video player along with several connectivity options including Bluetooth; it also has up to 16GB expandable memory support to facilitate storing endless entertainment content. With 12 months’ warranty, a must have in its category; the phone is already available with leading retail stores in India. The Zelfie is available in Grey + Black, Black + Silver, Grey + Silver and Black + Champagne color options.
iBall Launches ‘MusiTap’ ALL-IN-ONE Headphone
iBall announces the launch of its latest ‘MusiTap’all-inone Bluetooth-enabled Headset, the ideal blend of Sound and Style that ensures an unparalleled powerful audio experience. Designed with High-Grade speaker drivers that deliver high bass and superior sound effects, the iBall MusiTap ensures that everything you hear is in its richest tone and characteristics. Light and comfortable on your ears, the headset features large, spacious leather ear cups that give you extra room for a higher level of listening comfort. The adjustable band gives it a good grip which makes it a desirable travelling companion. The Headset is also integrated with a Microphone that supports Hands-free calling in Bluetooth mode giving you maximum convenience. Stocked with an enduring battery, MusiTap lets you groove to the tunes in multiple ways.
‘Blade’. Built with sturdy construction and robust looks, the IPX4 Splash resistant speaker, protects it from being damaged by splashes. The Perfect choice for a pool party or on the beach, the Blade is enhanced with an innovative 360-degree rotation that allows you to express its powerful sound in any particular direction.
Alcatel Unveils Kid-Focused ‘MoveTime - Track & Talk’ Smart Watch
Alcatel aannounced ‘MoveTime - Track & Talk’ k i d s ’ S m a r t Watch, which allows kids to communicate with preapproved contacts and incorporates GPS tracking, will be available exclusively on Flipkart.com. The ‘MoveTime’ children’s watch helps parents stay connected with their little ones while also giving them control over their children’s communication. ‘MoveTime’ has 370 mAh pack.
New Annual Maintenance Protection Plan for Mobiles from Repaireasy.in
www.repaireasy.in announced the launch of “SHIELD” – an ideal consumer assurance and maintenance program for your lifestyle devices. Now lifestyle
device owners can have their devices like smartphones, laptops and tablets protected from accidental damage or liquid damage excluding theft. Customers can visit the nearest Point of Sale (PoS)/ Centres to get their Gold or Platinum packages. This app driven process reduces the paper work and gives consumer a unique advantage to protect their devices which are up to 2-year-old with an additional 1year warranty. The process is very simple. Right from capturing information on the app to an easy claim process, Shield gives you a hassle-free experience.
Tata Docomo Launches Extra Talk Time Celebration Offer
Tata Docomo announced the launch of its exciting ‘Extra Talk Time Celebration’ offer, for all prepay customers across Tamil Nadu market which will offer users as much as 20 per cent additional talk time during the festive season.
Some of the recharge coupons under the ‘Extra Talk Time Celebration’ offer include RC 65, RC 150 and RC 500, where customers can get talktime worth Rs. 75, Rs. 160 and Rs. 600 respectively. The offer is available to customers only on Tuesdays and Fridays. Mobility DECEMber 2016
Hike Messenger adds New features
Hike Messenger announced it is rolling out a brand new feature- Stories. Stories is a new way for people on Hike to share their lives and real moments with their friends through photos (that you can post immediately starting today) and videos (that also you will be able to post in the next few weeks). Stories are ephemeral and vanish 48 hours after being posted, quite like real life where everyday moments are experienced, and are not etched in history forever. A user who posts a story can see how many people and who all viewed that particular story. Hike also announced that it launched its own Camera built into the app making it extremely quick and easy for people to snap photos right inside of Hike. In addition to that, it announced “Live filters”, a brand new feature that uses Hike’s new camera to automatically detect and recognize a user’s face using Machine Learning and allows people to very easily decorate their faces in photos. Hike has 12 Live filters available at launch, ranging from a cool Black and White Sunglasses, to a Turban and a Moustache and many more.
Portronics Launch All-in-One Versatile Speaker with Built-in Alarm Clock, FM, Mic
Portronics launched a high quality and extremely versatile re-chargeable Bluetooth stereo speaker, “Sublime III” – which is much more than just a speaker. The most awe-inspiring part of this rugged and stylish audio gem is its sheer versatility. You can play it with multiple sources of music, set wake-up alarm, and use it as a speaker phone for calls. Sublime III comes with in-built time display and an alarm clock and offers two powerful 4.5 W inbuilt speakers with great amplifiers to offer unmatched surround sound output. It has a powerful metal grill body of around 650 grams which packs the punch across the audio spectrum. The powerful industry-leading size of 2200mAh lithium Ion battery can play music for more than 6-8 hours on a single recharge. The battery can be recharged in just around 2 hours and the battery indicator LEDs make it easy to know the battery charge status. All this makes it a very compact and highly portable system. The new Portronics Sublime III is priced at a very striking price-point of INR 2999/. It is available in very appealing jet black color. You can buy it for yourself or gift it from both online and offline stores.
Lava Launches Ivory POP tablet with next Gen Experience
LAVA International announced the launch of its latest tablet – Lava Ivory POP. The tablet is designed to provide ‘Next generation experience’ to consumers, powered by Intel quad core processor. Targeted at first time tablet users, mobile gaming enthusiasts and students, Lava Ivory POP is a perfect combination of good looks and powerful performance - to meet the evolving multi-media consumption needs of consumers. At a pocket friendly price point of Rs. 6,299/, the tablet will be available across all national retail stores, multi-brand outlets & online platforms.
Astrum Adds New Durable Cables and Connectors
Astrum Holdings announced the launch of wide range of cables and adapters of exceptional quality. About 60+ different products
spread over 9 different categories; offer one or the other value to customers. While low priced products are far better in quality than its competition, mid-priced products are feature rich. And, high price band products are of superior quality in its segment. Thus, depending on need and wallet any chosen Astrum product ranges are certain to deliver either price or quality advantage or both.
PNY Launches Powerful AK-13K 13200 mAh Power Bank
Nowadays, power bank for mobile phones have become a must have gadget for all smartphone users. Power Banks are a lifesaver when your phone’s battery life depletes and eventually shuts down leaving you stranded and cut off from your import a n t phone calls, m e s sages or appointments. Though smartphones h a v e decent battery life, they come in limited capacities that usually do not last for more than 6-8 hours a day. Carrying a power bank with high battery capacity charges up your phone’s low battery percentage and provides the extra juice to keep your phone working throughout the day.
5G Subscriptions to Reach Half a Billion in 2022 Globally: Ericsson Mobility Report
f all subscriptions 25% will be 5G in North America in 2022, representing the highest market penetration in the world. Mobile broadband to account for 90% of all subscriptions by 2022. Of 29 billion connected devices by 2022, around 18 billion will be related to the Internet of Things (IoT). The latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts that there will be 550 million 5G subscriptions in 2022. North America will lead the way in uptake of 5G subscriptions, where a quarter of all mobile subscriptions are forecast to be for 5G in 2022. Asia Pacific will be the second fastest growing region for 5G subscriptions, with 10% of all subscriptions being 5G in 2022. From 2016 to 2022, Middle East and Africa will dramatically shift from a region with a majority of GSM/ EDGE-only subscriptions, to 80% of all subscriptions on WCDMA/HSPA and LTE. By the end of 2016, there will be 3.9 billion smartphone subscriptions. Almost 90% of these subscriptions will be registered on WCDMA/HSPA and LTE networks. By 2022, the number of smartphone subscriptions is forecast to reach 6.8 billion, with more than 95% of the subscriptions registered on WCDMA/HSPA, LTE and 5G networks. Ulf Ewaldsson, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, Ericsson, says: “Almost 90% of smartphone subscriptions are on 3G and 4G networks today and standardized 5G networks are expected to be available in 2020. We are already seeing a great interest among operators in launching pre-standard 5G networks. 5G will accelerate the digital transformation in many industries, enabling new use cases in areas such as IoT, automation, transport and big data.” The latest Ericsson Mobility Report also forecasts that in 2022, there will be 8.9 billion mobile subscriptions, of which 90% will be for mobile broadband. At this point in time, there will be 6.1 billion unique subscribers. As of Q3 2016, 84 million new mobile subscriptions were added during the quarter to reach a total of 7.5 billion, growing at around 3% year-on-year. India grew the most in terms of net additions during the quarter (+15 million), followed by China (+14 million), Indonesia (+6 million), Myanmar (+4 million) and the Philippines (+4 million). Mobile broadband subscriptions are growing by around 25% year-on-year, increasing by approximately 190 million in Q3 2016 alone. The total number of mobile broadband subscriptions is now around 4.1 billion.
Mobility DECEMber 2016
Mobile data traffic continues to grow, driven both by increased smartphone subscriptions and a continued increase in average data volume per subscription, fueled primarily by more viewing of video content. In Q3 2016, data traffic grew around 10% quarter-on-quarter and 50% year-onyear.
Further highlights from the Ericsson Mobility Report include: Mobile video traffic is increasingly dominant: Mobile video traffic is forecast to grow by around 50% annually through 2022 to account for nearly 75% of all mobile data traffic. Social networking is the second biggest data traffic type after video, forecast to grow by 39% annually over the coming 6 years. Live streaming joins social media: Consumers are increasingly using live video streaming apps to interact with friends, family and followers. Around one in five smartphone users in the US express an interest in live video broadcasting, with twice as many smartphone users in high growth markets like India, Indonesia, Brazil and Oman who are interested in such apps. IoT in focus: Around 29 billion connected devices are forecast by 2022, of which around 18 billion will be related to IoT. Included in the latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report is a deeper look into IoT, with three feature articles with different perspectives on IoT and its transformational potential. Two articles are co-written with operators that have built IoT solutions around their core assets, creating additional business value. The third article explores the cellular networks’ capabilities to support a realistic massive IoT use case scenario. The Ericsson Mobility Report is an industry-leading publication on mobile data traffic, providing in-depth measurements from live networks spread around the globe. The report uses these measurements and analysis, together with internal forecasts and other relevant studies, to provide insights into current traffic and market trends in the Networked Society. The Traffic Exploration Tool, which accompanies the report, can be used to create customized graphs and tables. The information can be filtered by region, subscription, technology, traffic and device type.
Mobile wallet Benefits & Challenges for the providers and the consumers
With mobility becoming daily part of life, apps have become an essential feature. Nowadays, even less educated people are purchasing online. etailing has become now become a common activity with starting with teenagers to middle-aged people. In this regard, some mobile app providers expressed their views in interaction with Mobility magazine. How mobile wallet benefits consumers and businesses Mobile wallets of different providers present different special features and benefits to users to transact in the best possible way. Gaurav Mittal, Regional Director--South Asia, MatchMove, states, “MatchMove provides innovative, end-toend enterprise payment solutions to help startups and large enterprises to easily offer their customers a fully branded, secure mobile wallet solution that includes P2P transfer, Remittance, Top Up channels, Virtual and Physical Payment Cards linked to wallet balance, Loyalty Points & Rewards, Promotions & Offers amongst many other features. Our fullsuite of APIs covers a wide range of features that can be
Mobility DECEMber 2016
easily plugged into the enterprise’s own system or mobile app. Our end-to-end, cloud-based solution does not require any additional hardware set-up, easy to scale with just quick and easy integration.” Ankur Saxena, Director & Chief Mentor, Oxigen Wallet, reveals, “Mobile wallets offer multiple benefits to consumers as well as merchants in terms of ease of usage, convenience of transaction, cost efficiency in operations and safety & security over other modes of payments. In the current situation when cash availability is low, mobile wallets have proven to be one of the major tools of payments. Over the last three weeks since demonetization announcement, there has seen 167% increase rise in daily average usage of our Mobile Wallets which clearly indicates that people are adopting new ways to make cashless transactions.”
How the wallet app providers reach and attract customers
Different mobile wallet providers are offering various features and related services to attract the customers— businesses and their consumers. The mobile valet providers are associating with different partners to reach their services to the customers. In the words of Gaurav Mittal of MatchMove, “We have partnered with a number of enterprises with huge consumerbase like Freecharge, Centrum, Zaggle, Crownit to reach our mobile wallet and many more to the end users. We will continue to work with more partners to make mobile wallet and payment services more accessible to as many people in India.” Ankur Saxena of Oxigen clarifies, “We have a large task force out on the ground educating merchants and customers to use the wallet and to enable smooth transactions. Be it a kirana store, your local vegetable vendor, your corner chemist or hair-cutting saloon, all are being approached. The task in hand is really large, however, the adoption is growing fast as the merchants need a means to transact with the non-credit/ debit card population of India. The petrol companies like IOCL, HPCL and BPCL, as we speak, are trying Oxigen wallet for cashless transactions both, for fuel payments at petrol pumps and for deploying the Oxigen Micro ATM at their points, to first help collect old notes on behalf of the govt, and then deposit them into the Aadhaar linked bank accounts, and then in the future, use it as a Micro ATM. On the ecommerce front, where we hear about declining sales, due to lack of availability of cash for change – in COD payments & restricted reach with PIN code-based delivery of goods, to overcome that we have tied-up with eBay to drive retail assisted e-commerce. Now people can order from a list of products on eBay using their debit, credit card, mobile wallet or even by paying in cash at Oxigen retail touch-points.”
Challenges the wallet providers face
In online purchases still form only a fraction of total sales in the market. That too only mobile phones seem to sell more (over 10%) online, compared to other goods and services.
Mr. Gaurav Mittal
Regional Director--South Asia, MatchMove,
Mr. Ankur Saxena
Director & Chief Mentor, Oxigen Wallet
Demonitization has given a boost to online transactions although it is going to be a temporary condition whose effects are expected to last for a few more months, but providers should prepare for the long-run trends. Gaurav Mittal of MatchMove asserts, “MatchMove works with various partners and vendors across Asia, and the challenge in India, Singapore or any other region is always the same--finding business associates with the same level of professionalism, responsiveness or attention to detail. Having stated that we must say MatchMove is privileged to have partnered with those who bring with them the same enthusiasm and passion as ours, with the same objective to provide the best service in our field.”Ankur Saxena of Oxigen elaborates, “Primarily, the biggest challenge was to educate the potential users and then to gain their confidence. In the current scenario, the awareness is growing at a rapid pace and coupled with the need of cashless transactions, new users are joining the digital payment industry which is an encouraging sign. This development will help in overall growth of the industry. We are working tirelessly to ensure both – functional infrastructure as well as wide network of merchants. We have also conceptualized new services like Micro ATM, which will provide services of Financial Inclusion, Merchant payments and Utility payments in a single PoS device. The Micro ATM will also help in taking an array of banking services to the rural populations in branchless fashion. Micro ATM is a device that allows consumers with Aadhaar linked accounts in any bank to transact from the remotest areas. With introduction of Micro ATM, we see a huge potential in rural as well urban areas where bank branches are located far away.”
Importance of providing unique and different features
When most basic features of the transactions are similar between different mobile valets, every valet tries to present some unique features different from those of others. And these different features make all the difference, how merchants and consumers would like to choose a particular provider. Gaurav Mittal of MatchMove asserts, “Our product is totally agnostic and works on any platform, network and device and it’s interoperable and scalable, no additional
Mobility DECEMber 2016
Safety Tips for users on E-banking and Online Transactions Protect your Passwords: People use common passwords for a number of transactions (including net banking).Here are some of basic password protection tips. • Choose a strong password filled with numbers, symbols and lowercase/uppercase letters. • Change your passwords every 3 to 6 months. The more often, the better it is and safer it is. • Don’t allow your system to store the passwords for shopping and banking sites.
(especially when you drift past the first few pages of links).
Mr. Amit Nath
Head of Asia Pacifitc (Corporate Business) – F-Secure
Always Shop on SSL Protected Websites Look for the lock, you should never ever purchase anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn’t have a pre-installed SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption at the very least. You need to ensure whether a particular site has SSL or not. You’ll know if the site has SSL just by looking at the URL of the site that must start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://). Also shop at a trusted site rather than shopping with a search engine
hardware investment required. One-stop full service solution that is PCI compliant with an extensive list of services.” Ankur Saxena of Oxigen expresses, “Currently, Oxigen has a large footprint of 200,000 retail touch-points and serves over 150 million users in real-time. We are making dual efforts of setting up Oxigen Micro ATMs to offer cash-in/cashout to customer’s Aadhaar linked bank account including acceptance of bank notes, load money into Oxigen wallet, as well as actively acquiring more merchants to enable digital payments through Oxigen Wallet Mobile App download. We are running on ground and online campaigns to educate common man on how to use Oxigen wallet for digital payments. Oxigen Micro ATMs will help people in depositing old currency of Rs. 500 and 1000, new money withdrawal from merchants, balance enquiry, mobile recharges and money transfer to other bank accounts. These Micro ATMs will also enable merchants to offer bill payment services through Bharat Bill payment system using cash or VISA/RuPay cards. Through these Micro ATMs/retail touch-points one can also load their Oxigen Wallet using cash to use at merchant locations. Oxigen recently has also started accepting VISA debit and credit cards also along with RuPay cards at these Micro ATMs which are currently deployed at over 600 locations all over India for cashless transactions/payments. Oxigen plans to deploy over 1 million Micro ATMs in 3 to 4 years time. Oxigen has also launched a unique ePoS system through which one can make payments through their debit or credit cards and online banking using Oxigen wallet app to all the associated and new merchants of Oxigen.”
Mobility DECEMber 2016
Smartphone Specific Safety Since majority of India’s population deal in Internet via the smartphone, software too needs to be updated to avoid exploitation of security loopholes. Here are some other tips: • Use a PIN, password or pattern to lock your phone and download apps only from trusted stores. • Download your bank’s verified application on the mobile device instead of using the browser. If your bank’s app is not available and you have to use a browser, remember to clear your cache after visiting your Net banking account to make sure that no one else views the confidential information. • Banking applications should ask for a login password each time you log in. If you find any unusual behavior, report it to your bank immediately. • Always opt for OTP since an OTP is more secure than a static password, especially a user-created password • Install latest security software - the best way to protect your device from the plethora of malware, spam and spyware on the internet is to use good antivirus software. • Avoid using public computers and wi-fis to do transactions - data leakage is a glaring reality and no system is completely impenetrable. Whenever shopping through public computers, opt for the cash on delivery option, if you cannot avoid it in the first place.
Building consumer trust essential
Online transactions are still not trusted by majority of customers. They still unlike traditional cash transactions, where a customer clearly knows how it happens, online transactions sill look like magic where numbers can change on the way. A 100 could 200 or so while pressing the keys or while messages pass through the channels. And there is no dearth online scams heard in news. In such an atmosphere, wining the customer confidence about the accuracy of transactions is still a daunting task for the app providers and merchants. Gaurav Mittal of MatchMove conveys, “We work closely with our partners to deliver quality products and services to ensure that consumers’ needs are addressed and the user experience is seamless. We are constantly working to offer more innovative and consumer-friendly services to enhance users’ convenience and security.” Ankur Saxena of Oxigen maintains, “For us, consumer trust matters more and we believe in providing reliable, secure and innovative financial solutions to our loyal users. We keep working to enhance their transaction experience which is of paramount importance. At the same time, we also work constantly to address any consumer complaints or queries regarding transaction on our digital payments platform. This aspect reflects in our ‘Code of Conduct’- Oxigen upholds the importance of a fair and transparent approach in everything it does, by adopting the highest standards of professionalism, honesty, integrity and ethical behavior in all its business processes and transactions. We have trained
‘The most distinguishing aspect of modern day economy is e-commerce and mobile or mwallets that are gradually proving to be a boon towards achieving a digitized economy. With m-wallets, the payment method is secure as financial information is transmitted only between banks and customers via tokens, and not the consumer’s account number. Furthermore, m-wallet companies have taken necessary measures to ensure that transMr. Nilesh Jain action undergoes strict security Country Manager checks to avoid breach of private (India and SAARC), information. Trend Micro Most wallet companies allow customers to view their transaction history and get an alert for any activity on their mobile wallet. They also provide 24/7 monitoring and fraud protection services, like disabling the customer’s m-wallet in case their smartphone device is lost or stolen. Similarly, to ensure better security of their digital wallet, customers are advised to use a strong security password & change it from time to time, and refrain from downloading and/or installing such apps from sites which are not credible.
our staff to market our products and services on their own merits and shall not make unfair and misleading statements about competitors’ products and services. All these and many more principles that we follow are aimed at building a loyal consumer base.”
Banks are using UPI technology and how it affects Mobile Wallet
Gaurav Mittal of MatchMove asserts, “UPI technology focuses on movement of funds associated with a bank account whereas mobile wallet encompasses more than funds transfer, it includes loyalty and rewards, promotion and offers and it does not require any one to have a bank account. Mobile wallet delivers and provides more services than UPI technology and both are quite different.” Ankur Saxena of Oxigen shares, “UPI is an infrastructure on top of which end-user apps can build and implement the features offered by UPI. A mobile wallet on the other hand, is a digital form of wallet that you can use to make payments, transfer money and perform most activities that you can with cash. UPI has very similar way of working as Mobile Wallets however the security concern which holds people back from using online banking or debit/credit cards give advantage to the mobile wallets. Also, with our vast offline presence, we see very little impact of the UPI on our product. However, more than competition, we see both working in a complementary way to achieve the common goal of taking India towards a cashless economy.”
The key issues of security and safety of user money & information is of
As a security solution provider, we are working on several fronts to ensure safe financial transactions. For the protection of critical IT infrastructure where the attacks will be of advanced nature and hence difficult to detect, we are applying big data and machine learning methods. Also, we are deploying automation for increasing the speed of incident analysis and response. On the other hand, for the mass-market Mr. Rajat Mohanty segment where there is a need CEO, Paladion to improve security baseline, Networks we have created a cloud-based technology that provides security with low cost and simplicity. There are some near-term remedies such as enhanced level of security monitoring to detect advanced threats and frauds, going beyond simple rule-based system. Also, more real-time assessment of security vulnerabilities across the network is needed. Finally, tying both the enhanced monitorwng and real-time vulnerability assessments to a fast response mechanism that leverages security automation and orchestration technologies makes it much safer.
Ankur Saxena of Oxigen adds, “Oxigen Wallet uses bank grade security, having managed bank’s wallets, such as changing SIM from one phone to another triggers reauthentication through One Time Password, high level of encryption and above all, each Money Transfer transaction is authenticated with password to avoid misuse of wallet balance in case your mobile is accessed by someone for few minutes, etc. This is supplemented with velocity checks on transactions limit of a newly created wallet with loading through payment gateway to reduce cyber fraud risks. For each transaction, confirmation SMS is sent through two independent SMS gateways so that delay of SMS through congestion in telecom does not impact the user experience and the perceived security concern of not receiving transaction confirmation message does not arise.”
Tips to use mobile wallet services more effectively
Ankur Saxena of Oxigen concludes, “Mobile wallets are fully safe and secured and offer a wide range of convenience. To effectively use a mobile wallet, one has to keep updating his wallet and understand various features offered from time to time. For instance, Oxigen Wallet offers prepaid visa card for offline and online merchants to shop, a facility apart from providing regular services like- recharges, bill payment, shopping, gift card creation, money transfer etc. If one needs to send money to his family living in village, he/she can use Oxigen wallet to do so even if one does not have Oxigen Wallet, using the beneficiary’s mobile number only. One can also load Oxigen wallet using cash at any of the Oxigen retail touch points.”
Mobility DECEMber 2016
What has been exciting in 2016: For the Industry of Handsets, Accessories and the Top Brands? With intense competition and increasing number of competitors—both domestic and overseas, the market is getting hot. Prices are coming down and features & functions are increasing in the handsets as well in peripherals.
ndia is currently the world’s second-largest telecommunications market with a strong growth during the last 15 years and that high growth is expected to last for another 15 years or more. The Indian mobile economy is growing rapidly and now contributes substantially to India’s GDP. Year 2016 has been a tumultuous year for Indian industry and particularly for the mobility industry which is highly sensitive to the various factors that influence the economy. And there has been the ground-breaking demonetization drive although its impact is expected to last just another 2 or 3 months. Year 2016 is another milestone for in Mobility industry in India. This year it has been announced that India became the second largest market of smartphone users. Today, for every smart phone and accessories vendor, India is an indispensable destination. With intense competition and increasing number of competitors—both domestic and overseas, the market is getting hot. Prices are coming down and features & functions are increasing in the handsets as well in peripherals. The year 2016 has been a significant year for the telecom industry on a whole with the introduction of 4G technology. There is a paradigm shift in the consumption pattern of customers with data increasingly dominating their daily usage. The government policies have enabled easy market access to telecom equipment and a fair and proactive regulatory framework has ensured availability of telecom services to consumer at affordable prices. The deregulation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms has made the sector one of the fastest growing and an important employment generator in the country. The Indian telecom sector is expected to generate four million direct and indirect jobs over the next five years due to combination of government’s efforts to increase penetration
Mobility DECEMber 2016
in rural areas and the rapid increase in smartphone sales and rising Internet usage.India will maintain high growth rate in the coming years as people switch to smartphones and gradually upgrade to 4G.
How Mobile Handsets and Their Brands Fared in 2016? Executives of some of the top mobile handset brands share their views on how the year 2016 has been important for the industry in general and then for their brands in particular.
OPPO Oppo stated, “Year 2016 has been a phenomenal year for OPPO as we received an overwhelming response from the Indian market for our products. We pushed the boundaries in the Indian market in terms of product, marketing strategies as well as the after sales service this year. Based on our consumer tastes, we began the year with the launch of Selfie Experts--- F1, F1 Plus and the latest F1s. The year also saw us receive great feedback for our specially customized devices for Indian Market, like the ICC edition of F1 and Diwali edition of F1s.
special story All our strategic partnerships - with the ICC during the T20 World Cup held in India, YouWeCan Foundation, celebrities and campaigns with Hrithik Roshan, Sonam Kapoor and Yuvraj Singh, partnership with leading channels like Colors and shows like Bigg Boss, 24, Naagin, Dance + and Koffee With Karan along with the CSR programmes - have given us tremendous opportunity to connect with our audiences in the Indian market.”
ZOPO Sanjeev Bhatia, Founder-Chairman, Advantage Computers (ADCOM), commented, “Year 2016 has seen the rise of ZOPO in India. This is the year we launched the maximum number of products, which were very well accepted by the masses. Moreover, we also witnessed the rise in popularity of our products not only in the metro cities, but also in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. This year ZOPO targeted a radical development and made their growth in the country certain. To achieve that, the company not only launched Speed 8 (first decacore phone) and the F5 (first multi-function finger print sensor), but also extended its efforts in the areas of marketing, distribution channels and service policies. ZOPO strongly hammered the market with its 360 strategies to further accelerate its marketing campaign in Asia Region, with firm focus on developing innovative technologies as well as high quality and iconic products. The company is expanding its offline sales outlets at high pace with 300+ service centres across the country. Additionally, ZOPO has also announced a 365-day replacement period, becoming India’s first Mobile Company with such consumer-centric approach.
Videocon Talking on why 2016 is an important year for your Brand, Akshay Dhoot, Head of Technology and Innovation, Videocon, mentioned, “Year 2016 has been great for Videocon. Several new milestones were accomplished by our smartphones division. We expanded our product portfolio with new offerings and incorporated several features as mandated by the government, much before their deadlines. Such as the ‘Panic Button’ which has been made compulsory for all mobile set manufacturers after January 2017. But we at Videocon have introduced this feature in all our mobile sets much before the deadline. Our main focus for the year 2016 has been for bringing out ‘Make in India’ products, 4G technology and capitalizing the prowess in manufacturing. Videocon was one of the first brands to offer ‘Made in India’ handsets to the customers. We also contributed in the ‘Make in India’ drive by setting up new manufacturing plants and upgrading the existing ones at different locations in the country. Along with indigenous manufacturing, we came up with feature-laden made in India handset models.”
Coolpad India Syed Tajuddin, CEO, Coolpad India, shared, “The year 2016 is an important year for Coolpad as we achieved some key milestones as a brand. We unveiled our first Made in India product - Coolpad Note 3 Lite at the beginning of the year. Coolpad Note 3 Lite was the first product to be manufactured locally at Videocon factory in Aurangabad. The product is a result of the company’s endeavor to contribute towards the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. In 2016, in total we have launched around seven products, which were benchmark products of the industry ranging from affordable pricing to the flagship products. All our products were equipped with power-packed features. We also recently announced that after the success of our offline pilot project in Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai, Coolpad will be expanding its presence in 10 cities over the next three months (October – December). Coolpad aims to cover more than 10 states with 1 million sales volumes by establishing 5000 core shops and 10,000 retail shops by 2017.”
ASUS India Peter Chang, Regional Head - South Asia & Country Manager - ASUS India, mentioned, “In 2016, we introduced products that made smartphone photography a delight for users. Our Zenfone 3 range is the perfect embodiment of the advancements we have made in smartphone photography, our design philosophy and superior engineering. The series fulfils the requirements of today’s users by providing combining powerful camera, luxurious design and high-end specifications.”
Gionee Arvind R Vohra - India Head, Gionee Smartphones, elaborated, “Year 2016 has been the year of completetransformation for Gionee because we have done global re-branding with ‘Make Smiles’ campaign which was one of the biggest announcements for the year. We also signed an agreement with the Haryana government for setting up a manufacturing unit in the state entailing an initial investment of Rs 500 crore. Gionee has launched a number of phones that have done well in the market with respect to its innovation, technology and impeccable design like S6, S6s, S6 Pro, P7 Max, F103 Pro and Marathon M5 plus with exclusive features which addresses the need of the consumers.”
Mobility DECEMber 2016
Honor brand (from Huawei) On why 2016 is an important for their Brand, P Sanjeev of Huawei commented, “A lot of impetus was seen towards larger announcements in 2016 for Huawei. The year witnessed the launch of several devices aimed at different market segments. From the launch of Honor 5x and Holly 2 Plus in January 2016 to the recent launch of Huawei P9 and Honor 8, both Huawei & Honor have come a long way in separating themselves from the rest of the market in terms of both quality and innovation while elevating the brand presence and increasing its sales.Huawei reaffirmed their commitment towards the Make in India initiative, outlining India’s importance to their global ambitions by commencing manufacturing in India. Holly 3 was the first make India Smartphone. Huawei’s commitment towards providing quality products to customers was highlighted by being the first smartphone to adhere to the government’s directive of including a panic button or SOS feature in devices. The feature is available in all Honor smartphones, and all previously sold phones were able to avail the feature by updating the software.”
HTC Faisal Siddiqui, HTC President (South-Asia), commented, “Year 2016 was a year of planned growth for HTC in India focused on expanding our service center network, expanding existing centers as well as opening new service centers. This includes added f o c u s on providing world-class customer service, performance & quality measurement, understanding requirements and proactive communication to address any query or call for support of its customers. Currently HTC has more than 200 service centers covering more than 175 cities in India.”
Ziox Mobiles Deepak Kabu, CEO, Ziox Mobiles, clarifies, “The year 2016 has been a game changer for us; Ziox introduced several new smartphones and feature phones into the Indian market and was considered as one of the most innovative and fastest growing brands in the mobile category. We established our distribution network across pan India that gave us a huge outreach into the Indian market and also during the year we established a wide branch
Mobility DECEMber 2016
office network and system integrators across the country. Ziox Mobiles has gone through an exhilarating transformation during the year 2016 and is aggressively growing in line with its dynamic business model.”
itel Mobile Sudhir, of itel Mobile, stated, “Year 2016 has been a landmark year for itel mobile. Having captured a significant market in Africa, we launched brand itel in the Indian market, which is one of the fastest growing mobile phone markets in the world at present. The Indian consumers embraced itel mobile brand with open arms and on the basis of the faith shown by the consumers, we have been able to garner significant inroads into the market. Quality products, service orientation and value plus offerings have been at the core of the brand. With exceptional camera phones under the Selfiepro series, long lasting battery phones under the Powerpro series and multitasking phones under the Wish/Shine series, we have been able to excite the imagination of the consumers.”
Zen Mobiles Sanjay Kalirona, CEO, Zen Mobiles for your reference, stated, “The year of 2016 has been very interesting for the smartphone industry. India became the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world and also there has been a huge growth in the online sales during this festive season. There is still a high demand for feature phones in Tier 2 and 3 markets and we have been successful in catering to them. As per the latest IDC Report, our device shipments have more than doubled over the previous quarter of 2016. We at Zen Mobile are constantly working towards offering devices that are a perfect amalgamation of features and price which is beneficial to our customers. With 4G devices getting introduced in the market by this year end, we aim to help in digitizing Indian consumers across. So far, our major focus has been on feature phones market but affordable 4G devices will be a game changer catering to the unwavering spirit of today’s youth, what we call is generation 4G.”
Karbonn Mobiles Shashin Devsare of Karbonn Mobiles commented, “At Karbonn Mobiles, we expanded our network of VAS partners, while collaborating with technology partners for best consumer experience. Our target is towards the lower end of the consumer pyramid and our partnerships reflect the same. Vernacularizing the smartphone experience and going beyond language support was one of the key highlights in our product strategy this year. One of the pivotal moves by the brand this year was the K9 Smart which offers users the option to navigate
the device in upto 12 Indian languages and gives the users the flexibility to choose from 21 Indian languages for typing input. Looking ahead, the demand for 4G VoLTE devices has created a pool of opportunities for smartphone players and has already set the tone for the coming days.”
LeEco India Atul Jain, COO, Smart Electronics Business, LeEco India, commented, “Year 2016 has been an important year for LeEco as we entered the Indian market early this year. Our vision was to build a globally recognized Internet ecosystem across content, devices, applications and platforms. Leading the daunting task of building the ecosystem and creating awareness about our potential, we feel that we’ve made a recognizable mark for ourselves in India asa successfulInternet technology debutante. Technological innovations, successful entry into multiple value product categories, unique content proposition, etc have altogether have helped us achieve various industry milestones in 2016.”
Meizu Leon Zhang of Meizu elaborated, “For Meizu, 2016 has been a very successful year particularly in Indian and Chinese markets where we launched 2 new models, M3 Note and M3S. These two models were a huge hit in both the markets with huge positive responses from Meizu fans that made Meizu M3 Note and M3S, the best selling smartphone models of 2016. We were rated 4.5 stars on our e-commerce platform for a whole quarter which is something that rarely happens for a smartphone maker. Apart from this, we also try and incorporate the brand philosophy of Meizu to live up to our fans’ expectations in our products. And from the kind of responses we have received, we believe that we are addressing the need of our consumers by coming up with the right products. We have also hosted multiple bloggers’ and fans’ meet all over the country to gather detailed insights and opinions of our products and brand as a whole from tech experts and aficionados while showcasing our brand philosophy. The whole idea of having these activities was to connect with our consumers and understand their needs which we accordingly try to infuse in our products.”
Roundup of 2016 for Mobile Accessories and Peripherals in India The rapid proliferation of mobile phones has created a burgeoning market demand for mobile phone accessories globally leading to an exponential market growth. The global mobile phone accessories market is projected to register a high CAGR of nearly 7% during the period 2015 to 2025 across the key regions in the world including India. Major trends observed in the market include rising mergers and acquisitions, diversification of product portfolio and product advancement, as well as new product development across the globe.A growing trend of mobile shopping, e-banking, love for portable music devices and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is accelerating the demand for smartphones across the globe, thereby fuelling growth of the mobile accessories market. The global mobile phone accessories market has been segmented on the basis of products into protective case, headphone/earphone, charger, memory card, battery, power bank, portable speaker and others. The market is also segmented by price range into premium, mid, and low; and on the basis of distribution channels into multibrand store (further sub-segmented into organized store and independent store), single-brand store, and online store. Key market drivers and resultant trends include increasing disposable income and growing global population; expanding urban population; proliferation of smartphones; and strong distribution network. Increasing population growth, coupled with growing GDP of developing countries such as Asia Pacific is likely to enhance the growth of the mobile accessories market over the forecast period. Online retailing is becoming a popular distribution channel in the emerging markets such as India. To gain competitive advantage in the mobile accessories market, key providers largely rely on strong distribution channels such as multi-brand distributors and retailers of mobile accessories in order to better cater to customers. Temporary slowdown of sales as a result of demonetization is expected to last up to 3 months after which sales of both mobiles phones and the accessories are expected to surge. In an interaction with Mobility magazine, executives from some of the top mobile accessories and peripherals brands have expressed their views on the industry trends and their brand outlooks for 2016.
Nidhi Markanday, Director & Business Head, Consumer Durable and IT Peripherals, Intex Technologies, “At Intex, we have constantly endeavored to bring new and innovative products to consumers and we have always made efforts in enhancing con-
Mobility DECEMber 2016
sumer engagement and experience. While Intex continues to strengthen its mobiles category, last year, the company also forayed into a new segment – consumer durables with the launch of SMT, fully automatic washing machines, air purifies and currency counting machines. We also introduced Madhuri Dixit as the segment’s brand ambassador who has tremendously increased our brand recall value amongst our end-consumers today.Furthermore, to build the brand, we marked our 100th smart world in Jaipur, syncing with the brand store concept and business model. As a brand, we have already created a name in mobiles, consumer durables and IT peripherals segment and this year we are going to expand these portfolios to contribute to overall company’s revenue.”
products, we at Astrum aim high for the coming year of 2017 and we see this year to filled with success and a lot of fun.”
DOEL International Pvt Ltd
Sudip De, Director, DOEL International Pvt Ltd, stated, “Supported by the knowledge and skills of experienced professionals, DOEL is committed to offer a synergized combination of quality, stan-
ASTRUM, commented, “It’s been a fantastic journey, started off as just a peripherals company and then revamping into a company which offers multiple segment products under one roof. We have a bold vision for the future, a vision where customers will be able to get the latest technologyenabled products at an affordable price range. This is the beginning of a new era for us as well as our customers and partners. With new offerings, Astrum will be one stop choice for customers looking for multiple quality products at a competitive price range. Indian consumer market is driving the global business and hope. It will be a key market for us. Since 2008, we have been a well-established brand with presence in 5 continents and 20 countries. Astrum is a brand synonymous with innovation, cutting-edge and reliable technology. The latest products are designed to address the quality seeking upwardly mobile Indian users. Aligned with the objective of connecting and enhancing the active lifestyle, the products are designed to involve and empower the rural, semi-urban and urban population of India and for the same reason with a lot of new technology and a lot of new
Manufacturers Cut Production Volumes and Lay Off Staff: Demonetization leads to slump in mobile phone sales
Demonetization of high value notes sparked a severe cash crunch in the market that saw sales slump almost 50%, forcing the companies to slash production by half and lay off staff. Mobility DECEMber 2016
dard, reliability, affordability and service support to the customers. DOEL Brings You Future Technology Today. DOEL’s power banks and Doel G2T - eScarf - a Personal AC have gained very good acceptance among the consumers. In the coming months, we will add more innovative products to our portfolio.” -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
tnext brand from Touchline Technologies Private limited
The tnext brand from Touchline Technologies Private Limited offers innovative product lineup with premium quality and best technology to consumers in the digital accessories arena. Regarding the question, why 2016 is an important for their brand, T. Jayakumar, Director, Touchline Technologies, commented, “For us, 2016 is important because our long cherished vision of launching our own brand tnext happened this year. Under tnext brand we will focus more on Digital Accessories with N+1 Technology. Increased acceptance among end-users, and channel community can be termed as a major
Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of mobiles and other gadgets, has asked nearly a fourth of its 8000 factory workers to go on paid leave for two weeks after the recent demonetization of high value notes by government sparked a severe cash crunch in the market and consequent sales slump by almost 50%, forcing the company to slash production by half. The government’s move to ban Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes had a domino effect on the mobile phone industry where a large majority of mobile phones, particularly those below Rs 5000, are bought through cash. Consumer purchase power has been reduced dramatically and sales revival is not looking up, as was perceived earlier. According to reports, leading local players including Intex, Lava and Karbonn are planning to lay off or bench 10-40% of their workforce, as they cut production to control inventory pile-ups in retail channels with consumers delaying cash purchases after demonetization sucked out cash from the market.
impact till now for all our products under tnext brand. All our products are carefully chosen with great responsibility & commitment towards optimal value to our end customers. From our end, we ensure we are offering N+1 technology products with high quality & best-in-class after-sales-support. In about 7-8 months, we will ensure that tnext brand with its quality products will be present across India.” -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lynn of TP-Link asserted, “For TPLink, 2016 is a technology reframing year as we witnessed better implementation in many new concepts such as Virtual R e a l i t y, Au g m e n t ed Reality, IoT, Live Streaming, etc. As all these Technology Trends are related to Internet in one way or the other, we can’t deny the fact that core connection between any device and the Internet is a powerful router. We saw a huge shift among customers from single band N standard routers to dual band AC standard routers. We could see more end users increasingly adopting dual band AC routers and range extenders.” -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trade Bazaar Hometech Ventures LLP
Altec Lansing is an American leading audio specialist having a rich legacy of more than 8 decades and available in more than 100 countries throughout the world for professional, home and multimedia applications. Trade Bazaar has now acquired exclusive brand licensing for Altec Lansing in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. On the impact of 2016 on their Altec Lansing brand and products, Manav Tandon, Partner, Trade Bazaar Hometech Ventures LLP, commented, “We have launched a slew of products this year. We have witnessed Altec Lansing Mini H2O selling every 34 seconds during festival days in October 2016. Our best product of 2016 is Altec Lansing Lifejacket.
The main merits of this product are it is IP67 waterproof, Shockproof, Sand proof, Snow proof …everything proof; The DUAL 2.5” NEODYMIUM DRIVERS + 1 PASSIVE BASS RADIATOR; NFC wireless check-in creates easy pairing and easy on/off with NFC supported devices; the built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery works up to 16 hours at 50% volume with one charge; lets you answer phone calls with voice confirmation; works with Bluetooth compatible devices or through a 3.5mm Aux jack (included); and it has an inbuilt smartphone charger.” ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On their achievements in 2016 in India and the year’s impact, Spokesperson of Garmin, shared, “Every year that passes is a new platform for us to showcase our new product road map. The CES event organized in LA, USA is one of the biggest platforms for us to showcase our innovations. In 2016, Garmin launched its first analog watch with a battery life of over one year, which no other company could claim worldwide. Similarly, Garmin has also launched an activity tracker/ wellness band with inbuilt GPS having an inbuilt running mode and intensity workout mode which was not introduced by any other company before. In India, after the launch of series of wellness and fitness products, Garmin was able to achieve a position in the Indian market by the end of Q3 (as per the reports shared by IDC).”
Lava is shutting down its plant – which employs around 5000 people -for a week starting December 12, while others could soon follow, industry insiders said. Foxconn – which makes devices for China’s Xiaomi, Oppo and Gionee, besides Infocus and Nokia – along with Lava, Intex, Karbonn and Micromax account for around 50% of the handsets assembled in India, say experts. The four plants of Foxconnin Sri City (Andhra Pradesh) are operating at 1.2 million units capacity a month, down from 2.5 million units, according to reports. The company has put about 1700 workers on the bench or on forced to go on paid leave for two weeks. Benching may continue if production – directly
related to consumer demand – does not increase soon. Intex Technologies and Lava are planning similar cuts for their Noida plant. Lava and Intex together produce more than 5 million phones a month and employ more than 10,000 people. Karbonn too may follow the suite and may even lay off 1,200 to 2,000 people soon in Noida and Haryana plants. Micromax has already slowed production in Rudrapur and Telangana facilities. Industry insiders said they expect demonetisation to have two to three months impact on current manufacturing activities. (Source: ET Telecom, December 12, 2016)
Mobility DECEMber 2016
With new aggressive offline channel strategy, Lephone is ready for the big LEAP L
Mr. Huang Mingquan
Global President from Lehpone Group
ephone is a China-based, multinational mobiles company originated in 2005 by Huang Mingquan. Lephone, already present in the Indian market for the past several years, is now all set to strengthen and expand its presence in India in a big way. Huang Mingquan, Global President from Lehpone Group, shares, “In the coming years, the Indian market is going to offer a lot of opportunities for the mobile providers. We have our own state-of-the-art production facilities in China, but most Indian brands have to get their sets manufactured by ODMs in China. We want to leverage on this advantage. In China, we are already an established brand with many successful and running models. So it will not be difficult for us to expand into India. We are in the process of building a dynamic supply chain to reach out to the end customers in India.” Lephone is one of the leading mobile companies in China with over a decade of presence. The brand has pioneered the democratization of technology in China by offering affordable handsets with advanced features and innovations. Lephone is currently one of the top 10 smartphone companies in China. The brand which is close to the heart of the youth, celebrates the vibrancies of life and empowerment. Regarding their channel strategy, Andy Liu, Vice President – Overseas, Lephone, comments, “We are not going by the conventional mode of having National Distributors who will in turn lead the Regional and Local Distributors. Instead, we are appointing direct local distributors and stockists in each state. For example, right now in UP we have nearly 30 local distributors who have good rapo with the retailers and thorough knowledge of the market. We are getting quick and original feedback from the customers through our local distributors. This will help us take prompt corrective actions and be in tune with the customers’ expectations and needs. We also invest significant amounts on R&D. At present, we are focusing on offline channel. Once, we are strong offline, we will launch
Mobility DECEMber 2016
Mr. Andy Liu
Vice President – Overseas, Lephone Group
some limited models online. Supporting the offline channel remains our fundamental policy.” Lephone has highly qualified and experienced professionals working in their state-of-the-art R&D and manufacturing facilities and marketing departments to design, develop and market world class mobile devices and accessories, IPTV set-top boxes, etc. Besides a firm foothold in China, Lephone has presence in nearly 120 countries across the globe. Huang Mingquan adds, “High quality and affordable price will be our focal points. Next, our international business policy is to employ and involve locals in the business as much as possible. That will establish a right connect with the consumers and the market. We have a couple of good models in the specified range. Our target is Rs 5k to 20k segment where the bulk of the business lies and that will help us to get better market share. Then we will have better features like video phone, gaming, etc. Even our entry level smartphone is 4G-ready.” Lephone Brand Concept is ‘To enable users enjoy their lives’ and the Vision is ‘To become the leading communications company all over the world’ and the Mission is ‘To create a wonderful life.’ Lephone promises to offer customers the most competitive price with best services, streamline direct buying and payment process and to deliver goods all over the world with speed & precision. Regarding go-to-the-market strategy, branding, service and product policies, Andy Liu comments, “We already have 8 models in the market: 4 feature phones and 4 smartphones. By Jan 2017, we will be launching some more models and there will 12 to 15 models for the supply chain to deal with and then we will keep launching a new model every month. For branding, initially our focus is on regions in North India and our branding will be in line with what the partners need like in-shop branding, etc. We will decide pan-India branding later. Regarding service, we already have 250 3rd party service centers in 4 states. It is our policy to keep the spares ready at our service centers and stockists so that the service centers can react immediately to service requests from the customers. Next, as we maintain high quality, our failure rates are very low. About the future goals, we want to be among the top 5 providers of mobile phones in India.”
Delta Infotel aims to become No.1 distributor in Rajasthan telcom market prefer to have a smart-phone, rather than a feature phone, as want to watch multimedia content and connect to the Internet. Samsung continues to lead in mobile phones by recording a 22% volume share in 2016. To make the best from these trends, we have added Lenovo & Huawei brands to our list. Q. What differentiates your working from your competitors and what are your USPs? A. Our main selling points are good product quality, top class customer experience, dedicated channel partners, efficient and proficient team, motivating working policy & image that differentiate us from others. Q. What new products do you plan to add to your portfolio on mobility front in the near future? A. Currently, we don’t have any plans to add new products to our current portfolio. In future, if we may add mobile accessories.
Dilip Kalra, Director, Delta
Infotel Pvt Ltd, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Q. Please brief us about the inception of Delta Infotel Pvt Ltd and its vision as a distribution company? Also brief us about the brands and products you are currently dealing? A. Founded in 2005 as Delta Marketing, the company became Delta Infotel Pvt Ltd in 2013. The vision of DELTA is to become a dominant Distribution House in telecom industry with customerfocus approach. Originally started with SPICE, today Delta distributes for brands like Lenovo, Huawei, etc. Q. Which are your current geographic areas of operation? As a distributor of mobile gadgets, how are you presently faring in the market and what is your focus for the coming 1 year? A. Currently we are operating as a National Distributor for Rajasthan state. We offer good business opportunities and an atmosphere of healthier business transactions to the channel partners to grow collectively. In the coming year, we are looking forward to providing state-wide reliable telecom service to serve as an impetus to the social and economic development of the people. Q. What are the latest trends in the mobiles segment, and what are you doing to make best out of these trends? A. Volume sales of mobile phones declined by 14% in 2016 due to a steep decline in sales of feature phones. Today, consumers Mobility DECEMber 2016
Q. What challenges are you facing and how are you meeting these challenges? How online marketing is affecting your business? How GST is going impact your business operations? A. Currently, we are facing some challenges due to online retailers who are selling at highly discounted rates upsetting the MOP. But, we hope this challenge will be overcome once GST comes into force. GST policy will help us become a dominant player in Rajasthan Market because once GST comes into force tax will be same in all states and prices will more or less remain same in all over India. At present multi-taxation is resulting in prices varying from state to state, which is not good for business. Q. What kind of service and warranty support are you providing to the end customers as is service is important in the present day? Do you provide service through the vendor or yourself or through a third part? A. Yes, service plays a major role in mobile – industry. Currently, all the service requests from our customers are met the by brand’s authorized service stations only. We closely coordinate between the customers and the brand’s service centers whenever necessary and ensure that customers will get the best possible warranty, repairs and parts availability. This keeps us and our down-line partners comfortable in the market. Q. How do you motivate and ensure the profitability of your down-line partners and resellers? A. We offer the best value for the money on the products customers purchase. And this creates the consumer pull for our brands and products which increases our sales. And this results in maximizing the revenues and incomes of the down-line partners & resellers. Q. What is your company’s present growth rate? What are your future plans and where do you want to be in the coming 3 years? A. Currently, we are growing at an annual growth rate of 25%. In future, we want to be No. 1 distributor in Rajasthan Market.
Date of Pub: 10th December, 2016 | Postal Dt.: 16th & 17th of same Month/ Posted at NDPSO
R.N.I. No. DELENG/2004/14198
Postal Reg. No.: DL(S)-01/3442/2016-18