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India smartphone shipments forecast down to 170M units in 2021

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The current Covid wave has hit the smartphone players in India and the market is likely to see a decline of nearly 12 million units from 182 million to 170 million — for the year, a new report forecast on Thursday.

India’s smartphone market will definitely witness a significant dip of more than 30 per cent in the ongoing second quarter (April-June period) and the festive season and pent-up demand are expected to drive the market in Q3 and Q4, according to Counterpoint Research.

Consumers will prefer online channels for buying smartphones due to Covid-19 fears.

India’s smartphone shipments grew 23 per cent (on-year) in Q1 to reach over 38 million units.

“The current COVID-19 wave will have an impact on the coming quarters, with Q2 2021 being impacted the most. We have cut our Q2 2021 forecast by more than 30 per cent compared to the previous forecast,” the report showed.

“The uncertainty will prevail in the market till June or July before we see demand coming back strongly during the festive season in late Q3 and early Q4,” it added.

The demand for smartphones has already been impacted in April (and now May) due to a surge in COVID cases and restrictions/lockdown in various states.

“We believe that the shipments will witness a dip of 35-40 per cent of the BAU (business-as-usual), which corresponds to 7-8 million shipments in April. With the COVID rate, still not declining, it is not likely that the market would return to a business as-usual state before Q3 2021,” said Counterpoint Research.

“We have reduced our smartphone forecast for Q2 2021 to 26 million units from 39 million units, our previous forecast”.

Overall, the Indian smartphone market is estimated to grow by 12 per cent (YoY) to reach 170 million units in 2021.

“The online segment grew in 2020 despite the overall market registering negative growth. Online channels will be leveraging the festive season sales to drive the market. Device affordability will be a major factor in driving up the volumes,” the report said.

The year will also see the adoption of 5G devices in India.

“In 2021, the market for 5G devices will grow by over 8 times to reach 31 million units in 2021 which will make up 18 per cent of the overall market,” the report added.

The price of entry-level 5G devices has come down by 40 per cent in the last six months and the cheapest phone with 5G now cost almost Rs 15,000.

“We expect this price to go below Rs 15000 by Q3 2021,” the report said.

source: The Statesman

Business

Consumers spared of hike; petrol, diesel prices unchanged on Thursday

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Consumers have been spared another increase in auto fuel prices with oil marketing companies (OMCs) deciding to keep petrol and diesel rates unchanged on Thursday.

This is second consecutive day of fuel price pause and follows slight softening in global oil market over demand concerns prime markets in Asia seeing rising cases of coronavirus.

With fuel prices spared of another increase, the price of petrol continues to remain at Wednesday’s level of Rs 92.85 a litre and diesel Rs 83.51 per litre in Delhi.

Across the country as well the petrol and diesel price remained static on Thursday but its actual retail prices varied depending on the level of local levies in respective states.

Before Thursday, OMC was revising fuel prices on every alternate day for last one week rather than undertaking changes on a daily basis as has been practised. Accordingly, Wednesday’s price hold came after there was an increase in prices on Tuesday. There was no price increase on Monday as well.

Also, on Sunday while petrol and diesel prices were raised by 24 and 27 paisa per litre respectively, there was no price revision on Saturday. Similarly, while fuel prices were raised on Friday, they remained unchanged in the previous day.

Under daily price revision, OMCs revise petrol and diesel prices every morning benchmarking retail fuel prices to a 15-day rolling average of global refined products’ prices and dollar exchange rate. However, in a market where fuel prices need to be increased successively, alternate day price revision seems to be the flavour.

It is worth noting that with 10 price increase in May, the retail price of regular petrol has already reached over Rs 99 a litre in Mumbai. Petrol prices are already over Rs 100 per litre in several cities in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Premium petrol has been hovering above that level for some time now.

Petrol prices have increased by Rs 2.30 a litre Delhi in May in the 10 increases so far. Similarly, diesel prices have risen by Rs 2.78 per litre in capital this month.

IANS had written earlier that OMCs may begin increasing the retail price of petrol and diesel post-state elections as they were incurring losses to the tune of Rs 2-3 per litre by holding the price line despite higher global crude and product prices.

With global crude prices at around $ 67 a barrel mark (lower than $ 70 it touched last week), OMCs may keep a watch and freakin’ from any further increase in fuel prices for some time now.

source: The Statesman

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Business

Sony expands E-mount lens lineup in India

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Sony India on Thursday unveiled the newest addition to its E-mount lens lineup with the introduction of the FE 14mm F1.8 GM -a compact, large-aperture, ultra-wide-angle lens.

Priced at Rs 162,990, the company said that it allows users to capture the world with new perspectives, especially when shooting landscapes, architecture, starry skies and interiors.

“The latest Sony lens from the G Master series, the FE 14mm F1.8 GM, offers extraordinary resolution, fast and quiet autofocus and is remarkably compact,” Mukesh Srivastava, Digital Imaging Head at Sony India, said in a statement.

“We are constantly innovating and working towards bringing technology that fulfils the needs of our customers so that they can realise their creative vision and deliver what they desire,” Srivastava added.

The new lens features a compact optical design, measuring just 83mm x 99.8mm and weighing just 460g (approx.), with advanced optical technology that delivers superb resolution and stunning contrast.

Users can render light point sources thanks to a maximum aperture of F1.8, making it possible to capture astrophotography or shoot in other low-light environments without having to use extremely slow shutter speeds.

When shooting in challenging lighting conditions, Sony’s original Nano AR Coating II technology maximises clarity by subduing flare and ghosting.

The new lens also features several advanced and versatile control options including, a focus hold button, a focus mode switch and a focus ring to ensure smooth, efficient operation in a wide range of shooting environments, the company said.

source: The Statesman

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Business

NEFT transfers will not be operational on May 23. Here’s why

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday said that due to NEFT system upgrade, this service will not be available from 00:01 hrs to 14:00 hours on Sunday, May 23, 2021.

“A technical upgrade of NEFT, targeted to enhance the performance and resilience, is scheduled after the close of business of May 22, 2021. Accordingly, NEFT service will not be available from 00:01 hrs to 14:00 hrs on Sunday, May 23, 2021. The RTGS system will continue to be operational as usual during this period,” the RBI tweeted today.

Member banks may inform their customers to plan their payment operations accordingly.

A similar technical upgrade for RTGS was completed on 18 April 2021.

NEFT is available 24X7 that happens in batches of half an hour. There is no maximum limit on the amount that one can transfer through NEFT, but different banks have various limits on the amount that can be transferred.

source: The Statesman

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