Dazeinfo https://dazeinfo.com Amazing Insights of I.T. Sat, 29 Apr 2017 05:19:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 The Race For Augmented Reality Is On: May Mean The Death Of The Smartphone https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/28/augmented-reality-death-of-smartphone/ https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/28/augmented-reality-death-of-smartphone/#respond Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:03:45 +0000 https://dazeinfo.com/?p=76796 To say that smartphone industry is big would be an understatement. With approximately 2.1 billion users worldwide and a global sales value of nearly US$429 billion in 2016, the smartphone industry is one of the biggest in the world. So much so, that a sizeable share of the world’s economy is contingent on the production and […]]]>

To say that smartphone industry is big would be an understatement. With approximately 2.1 billion users worldwide and a global sales value of nearly US$429 billion in 2016, the smartphone industry is one of the biggest in the world. So much so, that a sizeable share of the world’s economy is contingent on the production and sales of smartphones. Companies like Google and Apple were the trailblazers who shaped the smartphone as we know it today and are now reaping its benefits. However, nothing in the world of technology is permanent, and companies are now preparing for the inevitable death of the smartphone and what is to come after. The industry is now betting that Augmented Reality (AR) is going to be the next chapter in the tech revolution.

Augmented Reality: The Next Frontier

A new buzzword that has been gaining traction with some of the biggest tech companies today is Augmented Reality (AR). The basic idea behind AR is to provide a composite view by superimposing information and images over the real world via a digital interface. This concept has been around for a while. It first debuted with Google’s Glass headset in 2014. The Glass, however, was mired in issues related to the early adoption of new tech and privacy concerns. It was ultimately discontinued in 2015 by Google.

However, it seems that the industry has not been deterred by the failure of the Google Glass. Giants like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Snap and Magic Leap are now chasing the AR dream. Many believe that Augmented Reality may well be the next chapter in personal computing, and for good reason. Digi-Capital forecasts predict the AR consumer market revenue to hit $108 billion by 2021. In the short term, CSS Insights pegs AR headset sales to bring in $1.2 billion in revenue in 2017 alone.

Interest in AR development is an all time high. Angel lists 955 Augmented Reality startups worldwide at the time of writing, with an average valuation of $4.7 million. The most prominent of these is AR startup Magic Leap, which is valued at $4.5 billion. In 2016, a record $2.6 billion were invested in VR/Ar startups.

Facebook Enters The Race For AR

Besides the usual suspects of Microsoft, Apple and Google, Facebook is investing heavily in AR. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg recently unveiled his plans to “mix the physical and digital in whole new ways” using AR. As pioneers of modern social media, Facebook has built a wildly successful $415 billion ad business. However, this business is built upon an infrastructure laid by Google and Apple in an ecosystem owned by them.

Facebook is betting big that AR will spell the death of the smartphone in coming years. In fact, Facebook’s Michael Abrash believes that this will occur by 2022. In order to be first to the top of the AR mountain, Facebook has created a top secret division called “Building 8”. Researchers in Building 8 are reportedly working on Augmented Reality, consumer drones, brain scanning, skin sensing technologies. This is all part of Facebook’s larger effort to diversify into hardware and create the dominant AR software ecosystem of the future. The premier highlight of this division is their work on a BCI – Brain to Computer Interface. Research on input and interface technologies will be critical in overcoming the hurdles currently holding AR back.

As the acceptance of AR will rise in the market, analysts believe that the mix of various technologies led by AR will replace the smartphone for a better future. The on-the-move communication channels are bound to go through major reforms in the next few years and AR will play an instrumental role in it.

Current State Of The AR Market

AR may be poised to rule the future, but the industry is still in its infancy right now. Even with a negligible revenue share in 2016, it is set for explosive growth in the next few years. We got the first glimpse of AR’s potential last year with Niantic’s AR based mobile game Pokemon GO. It became the worldwide phenomenon and the fastest mobile game to rake in $600 million revenue by doing it in 3 months. Despite this Goldman Sachs predict AR adoption to be slow, it’s large potential notwithstanding.

Digi-Capital-ARVR-Forecast-1024x576

 

The AR race, however, is only getting started. Apple has entered the field in typical Apple fashion; by buying AR startup Metaio. Microsoft is betting big on their HoloLens technology, which is already being used by NASA. Despite their failure with Google Glass, Google has doubled down on AR with Tango. Snapchat is pioneering AR in the social media space, with their new rear camera lenses representing an impressive display of AR technology. There is also the bevvy of AR startups, led by the Google-backed Magic Leap. The interest in Augmented Reality is slowly building to critical mass, and it is only a matter of time before this technology becomes available for widespread consumer adoption.

Takeaways

  • The AR market is set for incredible growth in the next few years. It may well become the most popular personal computing platform in the near future, making the smartphone obsolete.
  • Facebook are investing heavily in AR in order to create the dominant AR ecosystem in the future. This is part of Facebook’s attempt to diversify from their ad based revenue model to hardware and software platforms.
  • Adoption forecasts for AR predict slower adoption rates than for smartphones. However, the potential for this industry remains huge. Companies investing in AR ecosystems right now may find themselves in a very strong position in the future.
  • Widespread AR adoption is still some years away. This is primarily due to limitations with input interfaces, battery and seamless internet connectivity. While AR may rule the future, the smartphone is here to stay for the time being.
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Facebook Attempts To Endear Themselves To Indian Audiences As Snapchat Fatlers https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/27/facebook-camera-effect-india-snapchat/ https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/27/facebook-camera-effect-india-snapchat/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 12:57:46 +0000 https://dazeinfo.com/?p=76863 Social media giants Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) recently held their “A Place To Connect” event in New Delhi. The event was mainly headlined by Facebook showcasing their family of products and apps. It was primarily a community engagement exercise, however, Facebook made some fairly pertinent announcements which give us greater insight into the social media giant’s […]]]>

Social media giants Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) recently held their “A Place To Connect” event in New Delhi. The event was mainly headlined by Facebook showcasing their family of products and apps. It was primarily a community engagement exercise, however, Facebook made some fairly pertinent announcements which give us greater insight into the social media giant’s ventures in India and their plans to tackle the competition.

One of the most significant features of the event was the announcement of certain new India specific features for Facebook.

Facebook Is Indianizing Itself

On Wednesday, Facebook announced their plans to roll out new camera effects and interface specifically for Indian users. These custom effects include capturing geo-specific experiences in Delhi, Mumbai, Goa and some other places. On the face of it, this might not seem like a big deal. However, this is just another step in a larger effort to gain a stranglehold on the Indian market by Facebook.

It started with Facebook launching the Facebook Lite app in India back in 2015. At the time the idea of a Lite app version was extremely unusual. However, the app was specifically catered to markets such as India which were characterised by poor wireless connectivity and speeds. The Lite app was optimised to provide a smooth experience on slower connections and lower end devices, while still providing all the basic Facebook features. The app was an incredible success, crossing 200 million users worldwide in 2017 and registering a 100% growth in 1 year. The success of the app can be attributed to emerging, high volume markets like India. India has been a highly lucrative market for Facebook, with nearly 184 million active monthly users.

At the recent event, Facebook went one step further by announcing exclusive camera effects for Indian users. Facebook also announced that they would add the incredibly popular “Reactions” feature to the Facebook Lite app. These announcements only emphasise Facebook’s continued commitment to their Indian users. This comes in stark contrast to other popular social media platforms like Snapchat who have been facing criticism in India of late.

Facebook Goes To War With Snapchat

Facebook, which is set to hit 2 billion active monthly users in 2017 is undoubtedly one of the biggest social media companies in the world. Their market capitalization now exceeds $400 billion. Snapchat, on the other hand, is a relative newcomer to the social media scene. Since their launch in 2011, Snapchat now stands at 160 million active monthly users. Snap Inc, the parent company of Snapchat attained a market capitalization of $28.3 billion after their IPO in March. Despite the gulf in size between the two rivals, Facebook is wary of Snapchat and have taken the fight to them.

Facebook has been systematically borrowing features from Snapchat for a while now. One major instance of this is when Facebook introduced “Stories” to their Instagram app. Snapchat was first to offer such a feature, however now Instagram Stories has become more popular with nearly 200 million people stories every day. This is more than Snapchat’s entire user-base. Similarly, Facebook imitated other Snapchat features by introducing Quick Updates, One-Hour Messages, Bolt etc. The one big advantage Facebook holds here is their larger user-base and extended ecosystem. Facebook have other popular platforms such as Instagram, Whatsapp etc under their wing, whereas Snapchat does not have the same luxury. Facebook have also been helped by Snapchat shooting themselves in the foot. Recent reports have claimed that Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel said “This app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain”. This has undoubtedly hurt Snapchat in a potentially very lucrative mass market such as India. Reviews of the app dropped to 1 star in the App store and Snapchat has only managed to gain a paltry 4 million users in India.

At their F8 developer conference, Facebook also recently announced the launch of its Camera Effects platform. This is to aid developers in adding AR effects to Facebook Camera. Once again this is in direct competition to Snapchat, who have long been offering AR based effects to their users. Ultimately, with such similar feature sets, the question of who emerges victorious will come down to the quality of execution.

Takeaways

  • Facebook are making concerted efforts to appeal to the Indian demographic. A mass market like India affords incredible avenues for growth and we can expect Facebook to make India a priority.
  • The Facebook Lite app was a phenomenal success across emerging markets. With markets such as the US saturating, it is vital for Facebook to create a foothold in emerging markets.
  • Facebook are directly competing with Snapchat by copying features and leveraging the advantage of their larger user-base and ecosystem. If they manage to implement these features in a better way, it may mean the end of Snapchat.
  • Snapchat’s missteps relating to India may cost them dearly as Facebook may completely overwhelm them in a key strategic market like India. We may find Snapchat abandoned by Indian users.
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Why Is Xiaomi Not Going to Venture Into The US Or UK Anytime Soon https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/26/xiaomi-us-uk-market-debut/ https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/26/xiaomi-us-uk-market-debut/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:24:16 +0000 https://dazeinfo.com/?p=76833 Founded in 2010, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi’s meteoric rise has been unprecedented in the smartphone industry. Xiaomi has evolved from just another Chinese company manufacturing budget friendly smartphones to one of the most valuable startups in the world. However, a most curious facet of Xiaomi’s story so far is their conspicuous absence from western markets, most notably […]]]>

Founded in 2010, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi’s meteoric rise has been unprecedented in the smartphone industry. Xiaomi has evolved from just another Chinese company manufacturing budget friendly smartphones to one of the most valuable startups in the world. However, a most curious facet of Xiaomi’s story so far is their conspicuous absence from western markets, most notably the United States and the United Kingdom. Why has Xiaomi shunned the lucrative western markets so far? And can we expect them to enter these markets anytime soon?

Despite witnessing and unprecedented growth and skyrocketing sales in China, India and many far-east countries, Xiaomi is yet to be known by smartphone users in the western world. This leads to some food for thought, Why has Xiaomi shunned the lucrative western markets so far? And can we expect them to enter these markets anytime soon?

Let’s dig deep into it!

Xiaomi: The Story So Far

In its short existence, Xiaomi has seen more than its share of ups and downs. Initial periods were characterised by aggressive growth culminating in Xiaomi becoming the 3rd largest smartphone manufacturer in the world in 2014. Growth was primarily driven by sales in China, where Xiaomi displaced Samsung as the largest smartphone vendor. However, Xiaomi has since run into a few hiccups. Reports of stagnating sales abound and Xiaomi dropped out of the top 5 global smartphone manufacturer list by Q1 2016. They also made the decision to stop releasing official sales figures after failing to meet sales targets in 2015.

In such circumstances, expanding to new, and potentially lucrative markets might seem like the obvious solution. The situation, however, is not quite as straightforward as it seems.

Xiaomi Avoiding US And UK Markets For Now

  • Xiaomi’s Profit Model – Xiaomi has built its fame by providing high-end spec smartphones at relatively lower prices. The company has built their business around the mid-range and budget smartphone segment. This means that Xiaomi has typically operated on razor-thin profit margins. Such a business model is more suited to mass markets like China and India where the potential user-base is higher. On the other hand, markets such as the US and UK are typically dominated by the premium smartphone segment. The premium iPhone dominates both markets with a 43.1% subscriber share in the US and 46% share in the UK. This, combined with the relatively smaller potential user-base means that Xiaomi’s current business strategy would likely be ineffective.
  • Lower Growth Potential – The smartphone market in the US and UK are saturated. Smartphone penetration reached 81% in the US as of 2016. The UK has similarly high levels of smartphone penetration at 76.6% in 2016. This means that the margins for acquiring newer smartphone users are very thin indeed. Xiaomi would have to compete with established titans like Apple and Samsung to capture existing smartphone users.
  • Focus On China – After conquering the Chinese market initially, Xiaomi has since been forced to relinquish the throne. Recent sales in China have been disappointing, with Xiaomi falling to fifth in terms of smartphone shipments, with 41.5 million shipments in 2016. Xiaomi is surely looking to regain the numero uno position in their home country before expanding to the US and UK markets.
  • Focus On India – Just like China, Xiaomi have recently turned their focus on India in a big way. Xiaomi is in a strong position in India, where they have a 16% market share and the preferred smartphone brand for the Indian users’ next purchase. Estimates predict India’s smartphone penetration to increase from 29.8% in 2016 to 39% in 2019. This affords a tremendous opportunity for growth. The budget heavy nature of the Indian smartphone market also suits Xiaomi’s business model perfectly. In fact, Xiaomi expects growth in India to drive their overall revenue to $14.5 billion in 2017.
  • Xiaomi Are Being Cautious – It is highly likely that Xiaomi has taken note of fellow Chinese smartphone company LeEco’s misfortunes. It would seem that Xiaomi is taking LeEco’s plight as a warning and are being cautious about making any big risk moves. Xiaomi also doesn’t want to be stretched too thin and risk facing supply constraints yet again.
  • Patent Issues – During their relatively short tenure, Xiaomi have often been accused of copycat tactics and patent infringement. Xiaomi has avoided any legal action by giants such as Apple and Samsung so far by sticking to Eastern markets. However, moving to the US and UK markets could cause friction with established players who may sue Xiaomi.

But, the Question Looms Large:

Will Xiaomi Ever Enter The US And UK Markets?

Back in August 2016, the former Vice President of Xiaomi, Hugo Barra, announced plans for the company to enter the US market in the near future. However, current VP Wang Xiang claims that there are no plans to expand to the US or European markets anytime soon. Xiang also emphasised the company’s current focus on mass markets. Nevertheless, it does seem likely that Xiaomi will enter the playing field in the US and UK at some point. Xiang says this will happen once the company is fully prepared to do so and has set up a robust distribution and after-sales network.

Meanwhile, this delay on Xiaomi’s part may cause them to lose the market to their rivals. Local rivals, Oneplus and Honor, have been making significant inroads into the US and European markets in recent times.

Takeaways

  • Xiaomi has been struggling with meeting sales targets and stagnating growth, especially in China. This has likely put a full stop on further expansion plans for the time being.
  • On the other hand, things look very optimistic for Xiaomi in India. They enjoy a sizable market share in the Indian market and growth estimates for the future are positive.
  • The growth potential for Xiaomi in the US and UK markets is slim due to market saturation and tough competition. Xiaomi may find it difficult to crack these markets.
  • It looks like Xiaomi is not going to expand to the US or UK in the near future as they focus on mass markets more conducive to their business strategy. Xiaomi may well have to change up their strategy for elite markets like the US or UK.
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iPhone Sales Are About To Explode As Apple Prepares For The Biggest Upgrade Cycle Ever https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/26/iphone-sales-apple-prepare-upgrade-cycle/ https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/26/iphone-sales-apple-prepare-upgrade-cycle/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 06:46:31 +0000 https://dazeinfo.com/?p=76729 2017 is a crucial year for smartphone giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The consequences of this year will be far-reaching and be felt for years to come, especially on the sales of iPhone. As we reported earlier, 2017 marks a departure from the norm for Apple in more than one way as Apple gear up to […]]]>

2017 is a crucial year for smartphone giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The consequences of this year will be far-reaching and be felt for years to come, especially on the sales of iPhone. As we reported earlier, 2017 marks a departure from the norm for Apple in more than one way as Apple gear up to release not two, but three flagship smartphones. And, that could lead Apple to have record sales of iPhone in its next fiscal year (Oct 2017 – Sep 2018).

While the latest data from Comscore sheds light on why Apple could record the exploded sales of the upcoming iPhone in the US, few other sources and analysts have claimed that the scenario in other markers would not differ much. This leads to few head-scratching questions:

  • How could Apple keep the ball rolling in the US, despite the fact that smartphone market in the US is on the verge of saturation?
  • Will the upcoming iPhone receive a  warm welcome in many other countries, especially China and India, despite reportedly tagging the upcoming iPhone with the exaggerated price?
  • Will Android users jump off the ship by getting fascinated of the upcoming iPhone?

Let us get in deep into the new data and what it suggests for the future.

Is Apple iPhone Market In the US Stagnating?

Last year was bittersweet for Apple at the global level. After playing catch up for the past 5 years, Apple finally beat chief rivals Samsung in terms of smartphone shipments in Q4 2016. Of course, they had some help from the infamous Note 7 debacle which ended up hurting Samsung quite a bit. However, Apple’s own smartphone sales fell well below expectations. In 2016, Apple sold 212 million iPhones globally, which is down 8% from 2015. Many consumers levelled accusations at Apple for being “boring” and failing to innovate with the iPhone 7. Apple also courted controversy and user backlash over their decision to remove the 3.5 mm headphone jack from their newer phones.

Smartphone market by OEMs in the US

In terms of smartphone market share in the United States, things have been pretty stagnant over the last few years. The smartphone market in the US has almost reached a stagnation point with 81% penetration. Traditionally, the US has been a dominant market for Apple, and the trend continues. Since December 2013, the iPhone’s market share has only increased by a solitary point, from 42% to 43% in December 2016. Meanwhile, Samsung improved by 3% point during the same period and now stand at a 29% market-share, still leaving Apple with a sizable lead.

The story is the same on the software side. Apple’s iOS commands a 43% share in the US market in December 2016, up from 42% in December 2013. Meanwhile, Android appreciated by 3% to go from 51% to 54%.

smartphone platform market share

This, however, does not mean that the sales of iPhone have stagnated despite the saturating smartphone market in the US. In fact, iPhone ownership in the United states has reached an all-time high, with nearly 85.8 million users in Q4 2016.

Apple User-Base Growth Trends in the US

By the end of Q4 2016, iPhone ownership in the US reached a record high. The growth was mostly driven by sales of the of the newer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. There are some interesting trends that emerge from the latest sales data:-

User Growth Is Stagnating

Since the June of 2015, the number of iPhone users in the US has been stagnating. This is hardly surprising in a mature market like the US. Comscore’s data shows that smartphone penetration has reached 81% in 2016 in the US, with 94% penetration in the 18-34 age group. Avenues for further growth are slim, with the 55+ age demographic the only viable option. However, this demographic is notorious for lack of affinity to technology, and any growth is liable to be extremely accretive. However, stagnant sales in a saturated market would suggest that Apple has managed to cultivate self-generating upgrade cycles.

smartphone penetrtaion by age segment in the US

Larger Displays Driving Sales:

Comscore’s report points out the increasing popularity of larger displays on smartphones in the United States. From September 2014 to December 2016, smartphones owners in the US with <4.5-inch screens have fallen by around 66%. Meanwhile, users with 4.5+ inch screens have grown by around 166%. Apple’s sales figures seem to be flowing the same trend. In December 2014, after the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, sales were primarily driven by the iPhone 6. 7.9 million iPhone owners decided to go with the iPhone 6, whereas only 3.7 million went with the larger iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone users in the US

The story was quite different in December of 2016, where the split is evener. 7.5 million of users sport the iPhone 7, while 5.1 million went with the larger iPhone 7 Plus. Before the launch of the iPhone 7 Plus, sales of the iPhone 6/6S Plus were growing at a healthy rate too.

The trend towards larger screen devices is reinforced by the relatively poor sales of the smaller iPhone SE, which experienced incremental growth and only has a 3 million strong user-base.

The most significant feature of the report by Comscore lies in the breakdown of device ownership of Apple users. As of December 2016, iPhone 6 series users mark the largest demographic among US iPhone owners. Around 48.4 million users are on the 6 series and 17.8 million on the 5 series. These users, along with the 3 million iPhone SE users are a ripe target for the upcoming upgrade cycle.

iPhone Sales Are About To Explode Worldwide

By now, it’s been established that in the US Apple is strengthening its presence as well as making the users fall for the latest version of iPhone every time. Either through existing customer base or by luring premium customers of Android devices, Apple is able to keep users hooked on the new version of iPhone every time. The global scenario of Apple iPhone is not much different from the US. As of April 24, 2017, nearly 57.2% of currently active iPhone users are using either two-generation or older iPhone. This is all time high. To put things in perspective, in April last year the figure was just 42%.

iPhone usage monitor worldwide

With above figures, it’s clearly evident that Apple has got a big window of opportunity with the upcoming iPhone to mark the 10th anniversary more memorable. Besides the US, which accounts for nearly 40% of global iPhone sales every quarter, China and India are the two important markets for Apple. Nearly 20% of quarterly iPhone sales take place in China, while the figure is India is also quite sizable, albeit in single digit. In nutshell, 60% of iPhone sales take place outside the US market every quarter and these are the markets where people are still hooked on the obsolete version of iPhone.

But, this is not the first time when Apple may witness to the biggest shift in smartphone users’ behaviour. The iPhone 6 was a very innovative product for its time. It marked the first time when Apple adopted the trend of larger screens. Along with sweeping design changes and spec enhancements, the 6 series also offered users two upgrade paths with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus for the first time ever. The upcoming upgrade cycle for Apple, however, may shatter all existing records.

“The iPhone 6 was responsible for the biggest upgrade cycle in history”, according to BGR’s Yoni Heisler.

The iPhone’s current install base will be nearly 80% larger entering the iPhone 8 cycle than it was back during the launch of iPhone 6. BGR estimates a 25% iPhone upgrade rate for existing users. These numbers would suggest that Apple is about to experience sales in the US and worldwide like never before. Analysts at Morgan Stanley are expecting a 20% increase in unit sales for 2018, worldwide.

Besides, the improved battery life could also be helpful for Apple to have record sales of the upcoming iPhone. Apple’s implementation of a stacked logic board design and power-efficient OLED displays in its upcoming iPhone 8 should do wonders for its battery life. Macrumors believe these battery life improvements, along with other innovations may push older iPhone owners to drive further upgrades.

That is not to say that Apple’s way forward is hurdle-free. The iPhone 8’s reported $1,000+ price tag could seriously affect the upgrade cycle and result in sub-par sales. Considering its closest competitor, the Galaxy S8, is priced closer to the $750-850 mark, the price differential could be key.

Actionable Insights

  • Apple’s new user growth in the United States has stagnated as the smartphone market in the US is quite saturated. Apple’s is failing to add new users to iPhone’s overall userbase. This makes Apple’s ventures in emerging markets such as India all the more important.
  • It is clear that smartphone users today prefer larger screens. Expect to see iPhone Plus models eat into the sales of the regular models.
  • Despite lower than expected sales in 2016, Apple’s huge install base means that the upcoming upgrade cycle is likely to push massive sales growth.
  • Pricing will be key to Apple’s ambitions. A $1000+ price tag for the iPhone 8 may put off many users who may choose to turn to rivals Samsung instead.
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Unification of Communication is The Next Big Deal In Cloud Telephony Space: Shivku, CEO – Exotel https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/26/cloud-telephony-interview-shivku-ceo-exotel/ https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/26/cloud-telephony-interview-shivku-ceo-exotel/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:38:29 +0000 https://dazeinfo.com/?p=76873 The exploded growth in mobile adoption and ongoing massive enhancement in internet infrastructure in India have helped some of the market leaders in cloud telephony, also known as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), to push the envelope. Companies offering cloud telephony services have started showing a great degree of commitment to their customers in the fast […]]]>

The exploded growth in mobile adoption and ongoing massive enhancement in internet infrastructure in India have helped some of the market leaders in cloud telephony, also known as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), to push the envelope. Companies offering cloud telephony services have started showing a great degree of commitment to their customers in the fast changing environment of communication. eCommerce, radio taxis, online healthcare are driving the growth of cloud telephony in India.

After the initial challenges, cloud telephony market in India looks promising. The industry is estimated to record a double-digit YoY growth until 2021. Despite, cloud telephony is still in its nascent stage in India. Unlike developed markets like the US, Cloud telephony technology in India will have to go through various shifts before it matures and becomes more acceptable and widely adopted by Indian companies. This is also highlighted in the recently released report from Frost & Sullivan that analyses the current scenario of cloud telephony in India.

To understand the current market scenario, challenges, growth and future opportunities Dazeinfo Team team recently interacted with Mr. Shivakumar Ganeshan, a.ka. ShivKu, CEO of Exotel, one of the Southeast Asia’s largest cloud telephony companies.

Exotel registered a 161% increase in revenue to Rs 27.8 crore in fiscal 2016. The Bengaluru-based startup, which was founded in late 2011, counts new-age companies including Ola, Flipkart and Quikr among clients.

“Technology performs the best when it disappears,” Shivku believes. 

Why a Cloud Telephony Startup?

“When I first visited JustDial office, I didn’t find myself comfortable due to the commotion. I wanted to build a call centre without a centre. Let everybody be wherever they are, all they need is a phone. The idea was, perhaps, to let people talk to each other in a most simplistic way. I wanted to build a solution that’s easy to adopt and scalable. In the ear of WhatsApp and Facebook, I still believe voice is the natural form of communication, there is no other better way for two people to communicate with each other,” says Shivku.

The advent of futuristic voice driven products, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home Loop, have created a big window of opportunity for Exotel.

We are Building A Runway

“Leveraging on the wealth of conversational and taxonomical information available with us, Exotel could play an instrumental role in developing path-breaking voice based products. But, in a country like India where a person speaks more than 2-3 languages, it’s not easy to make computers understand the different accent and languages. Can we create a computer system that could understand what Indians naturally speak, and what role Exotel could play in it? These are very futuristics problems to solve, and therefore it’s important for us to build a runway in India before we start rubbing shoulders with some of the global players.” explains Shivku.

Is it a right time for cloud telephony industry to thrive In India?

“As business models are emerging, companies are actively looking for call centre solution which can cater to their today’s need. This could be well understood by comparing a traditional shopping process offline vs online. A person goes to a shop buys a product, pays the price and in the case of any dissatisfaction, he can reach back to the shop owner. In online case, however, there are multiple parties are involved before a transaction gets completed. In such a complex environment the role of call centre becomes more vital. To connect a customer with different people from a different department on the go is quite challenging. Such situation can’t be handled effectively in the absence of cloud telephony. With the flourishing scenario of startups and SMBs in India cloud telephony market will grow leaps and bounds in the next few years,” answers Shivku.

Is Cloud Telephony Eclipsing Call Centre?

The growing adoption and promising future of cloud telephony are questioning the existence of traditional cal centres. Companies have slowly started shying away from plans to walk on the road to traditional call centre support system. Does that mean that the future of traditional call centre business si bleak and cal centres are doomed to die?

“No, call centres will not go away. Having said that, the cloud telephony will have push cal centres to become cheaper and improve their service quality in a bid to compete with cloud telephony. benefits offered by cloud telephony, like onboarding cost of call centres, operating cost, improved call quality, cheaper data price, and anywhere accessibility, are some of the major elements that will make call centre solution more adaptable and affordable,” explains Shivku.

The Next Big Thing in Cloud Telephony in India

“Unification! Right now there are many artificially created regulations on how calls need to be taken. Norms like IP calls can’t be mixed with PSTM calls, mobile calls can’t be mixed with landline calls, mobile numbers has to have a different pattern than landline numbers, must go away. Communication must become very seamless. Dependency on technologies and devices must be least, and that going to be a big deal,” says Shivku.

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Reliance Jio Opts For Quantity Over Quality: Has Lowest 4G Speeds Despite Maximum Coverage [STUDY] https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/25/reliance-jio-4g-speed-quantity-quality/ https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/25/reliance-jio-4g-speed-quantity-quality/#respond Tue, 25 Apr 2017 10:04:04 +0000 https://dazeinfo.com/?p=76763 2016 was a revolutionary year for the Indian Telecom Industry. The usually stable and languid industry was thrown into chaos by Reliance Communications Ltd. (NSE:RCOM). The launch of Reliance Jio metaphorically threw the among the pigeons. Since then, all of the major telecom providers in India have been scrambling to retain customers and maintain their […]]]>

2016 was a revolutionary year for the Indian Telecom Industry. The usually stable and languid industry was thrown into chaos by Reliance Communications Ltd. (NSE:RCOM). The launch of Reliance Jio metaphorically threw the among the pigeons. Since then, all of the major telecom providers in India have been scrambling to retain customers and maintain their market share.

Now that the dust has settled a little bit, various institutions have started releasing their reports and data listing the best 4G network providers in India. These reports, however, have triggered a tug of war between network providers due to the discrepancy in data and claims. Most of them, especially Airtel and Reliance Jio, has locked horn in a bid to claim the numero uno position in 4G space.

Therefore, it is a good time to analyse all the reports, their claims and the state of telecom networks, both in terms of quality and quantity, to understand which network emerges as a clear winner.

Is Reliance Jio The Most Ubiquitous 4G Network In India

One of the biggest promises that Reliance Jio made during its launch window was regarding how their network would penetrate every corner of India. Mukesh Ambani said that Reliance Jio would cover 99% of India’s population by the end of 2017. If the latest data by OpenSignal – one of the leading sources of insight into the coverage and performance of Mobile Operators worldwide – is anything to go by, Jio is well and truly on track to do just that. Testers were able to connect to Jio’s LTE network 91.6% of the time, nationally. This number is astounding, and more than 30 points above Rio’s nearest competitor. Vodafone and Idea both managed only 59% whereas market leader Airtel languished at a paltry 54.7%. This would suggest that Airtel, Vodafone and Idea are still relying on their 3G networks to a large extent unlike the 4G only Jio.

Jio’s coverage depth is even impressive on a global scale. According to OpenSignal’s own State of LTE report, Jio’s achievement of over 90% availability is only matched by very few operators globally.

However, Jio’s dominance in network coverage is not wholly surprising. Jio’s extensive network along with their penetration in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities is the driving factor behind their dominance. Reliance has laid out nearly 350,000 km of fibre optic networking, as opposed to market leader Airtel’s 49,000 km.

Jio Opts for Quantity Over Quality

Unfortunately, Jio’s overwhelming superiority in network coverage has come at a steep cost. While Jio has managed to offer its services to a large number of users, as a result, their network quality has deteriorated. In OpenSignal’s 4G speed tests, Airtel flexed its muscles with an average 4G (LTE) download speed at 11.5 Mbps. Reliance clocked in at a very poor 3.9 Mbps. Both Vodafone and Idea managed moderate speeds of 8.59 Mbps and 8.34 Mbps, respectively.

This situation is made even worse for Jio if we factor in 3G speeds. Airtel and Vodafone’s 3G download speeds clocked in at an average of 4.77 Mbps and 4.30 Mbps, respectively. These speeds are actually higher than Jio’s average 4G download speeds. These numbers would suggest that Airtel and Vodafone’s 3G networks are actually faster than Jio’s 4G!

Of course, download speeds are not the only adjudicating factor when it comes to network quality. Latency is an important measure which decides the quality of VOLTE, video calling and general snappiness of the network. Lower latency score is generally a sign of a more responsive network. Once again, Reliance Jio fared poorly here. Jio’s network was found to have the most latency. Vodafone managed to dethrone Airtel and Idea and won the latency award by scoring the lowest 54.3 milliseconds in 4G ping tests and 83.7 milliseconds in 3G ping tests.

It is clear from these numbers that Reliance’s network quality is nowhere near its competitors. Despite their extensive infrastructure and reach, the network was put under enormous pressure due to the free introductory offer with unlimited data. Once Reliance Jio fully transitions to a paid subscription model with data caps, network quality should improve. Expect Reliance to bounce back in this respect in the near future.

TRAI’s MySpeed Data: An Alternative Perspective

However, the data from Opensignal doesn’t quite add up to TRAI’s MySpeed data. This data puts Reliance Jio’s download speeds at 16.48 Mbps for the month of February. This is nearly double than what was offered by rivals Idea (8.33 Mbps) and Airtel (7.66 Mbps). In fact this was the subject of a big clash between Reliance and Airtel, eventually ending with the ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India) asking Airtel to remove the fastest network in India tag from their advertising. There is a lot of ugly fighting going on between the major operators in India. Each party is attempting to spin the facts in their favour to influence public opinion.

TRAI’s data shows a remarkable inconsistency in Jio’s speed ratings. Jio’s speeds skyrocketed in November and December of 2016 but fell quite dramatically in January of 2017. This can be attributed to Jio’s very unexpected business strategy so far. Nearing the end of the free introductory offer, speeds went up in Nov-Dec because of a possible exodus of subscribers from the Jio network, resulting in higher speeds and lower stress on network infrastructure. However, the announcement of the extension of the free offer around the new year may have driven many users back to Jio causing the subsequent drop in speeds.

This would suggest that as Jio enters its paid subscription model permanently, we can expect a substantial increase in speeds.

Takeaways

  • OpenSignal’s data suggests that Jio’s network continues to buckle under the pressure of its enormous subscriber base. The poor network quality on offer may cause many users to jump ship to Airtel, Idea or Vodafone.
  • Jio’s network is unsuitable for VOLTE and video calling applications due to its high latency.
  • However, Jio remains the only 4G option for many parts of India due to their extensive coverage. Due to a lack of universal national presence of many major operators, Jio may reign supreme in the more remote parts of India.
  • TRAI’s MySpeed data seems to contradict OpenSignal’s findings as it places Jio firmly in the lead when it comes to 4G download speeds.
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Smartphone Users in India Prefer Better Selfie Camera Over Battery Life [STUDY] https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/20/smartphone-users-india-preferences-camera-battery/ https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/20/smartphone-users-india-preferences-camera-battery/#respond Thu, 20 Apr 2017 07:30:58 +0000 https://dazeinfo.com/?p=76709 When the iPhone 4 launched back in 2010, it was a revolutionary device. It introduced a slick new industrial design, a high-resolution “retina” display and all new A4 processor. However, it also introduced one new feature which was somewhat glossed over at the time – a front facing camera. Since then the front-facing camera or “selfie […]]]>

When the iPhone 4 launched back in 2010, it was a revolutionary device. It introduced a slick new industrial design, a high-resolution “retina” display and all new A4 processor. However, it also introduced one new feature which was somewhat glossed over at the time – a front facing camera. Since then the front-facing camera or “selfie camera” has evolved from being a gimmick to one of the most important features in a smartphone.

Over the period of last seven years, smartphone users and smartphone OEMs have developed a keen interest in mobile camera, and the market is flooded with smartphones that are challenging the professional quality camera images. India is no exception, and all eyes are on the market considering China is a walled garden for many. In the last few years, almost every major smartphone manufacturer has tapped the India smartphone market in a  bid to grab a sizable chunk of the pie. The market dynamic, however, have been changing fast due to a cut-throat competition where every smartphone manufacturer is trying to lure Indian smartphone users by offering more powerful chipsets, premium build quality, longer battery life and high-end mobile cameras capable of producing professional quality images.

So, what are the features or factors that make a potential smartphone buyer in India fall for it?  And what are the driving factors behind the exploding sales of smartphones in India? Let’s dig deep into it!

What Do Indian Smartphone Users Value Most?

New findings from Counterpoints Research have recently unveiled some interesting facts about the Indian smartphone user. The data shows that smartphone upgrade cycles in India are shortening. Users are replacing their smartphone within 20 months now. This is primarily because of exploding 4G adoption, which is largely driven by Reliance Jio. However, a most interesting finding was that nearly 33% of users were prioritising a better selfie camera or fingerprint sensor for their next smartphone purchase.

This is surprising and a departure from the traditional list of most desirable smartphone features such as longer battery life, water resistance, etc. According to Statista, users in the United States valued battery life the most, followed by shatter proof screen, water resistance, camera, hands-free technology. It is evident from these findings that Indian users value different features in their smartphones.

This fact is amply represented in India’s mobile preferences. Apple, Samsung and LG reign supreme in the United States. In contrast, India displays a more diverse preference in terms of manufacturer distribution. Many of the leading smartphone manufacturers in India have centred their marketing around their selfie cameras and its features and reaped the benefits of doing so. This would suggest how much importance the Indian consumer places on this feature.

The craze of the selfie cameras in smartphones mirrors the success of smartphone manufacturers in India. Riding on the back of selfie craze, Oppo, Vivo and Gionee have witnessed unprecedented growth in demand in a record time frame. In Q4 2016, the meteoric rise of Oppo and Vivo in India was a clear indication of users’ preferences and likeness. While all Chinese vendors, including Xiaomi, Lenovo, accounted for 46% of shipment share in CY Q4 2016, it was Oppo and Vivo who stole the show. Both, Oppo and Vivo, recorded 30% and 51% YoY growth in quarter shipment share – the highest as compared to any other smartphone vendors in India.

Driving Factors Behind The Popularity Of The Selfie Camera

  • Rise Of Video Calling On Mobile – Video Calling on mobile became a mainstream reality when Apple launched Facetime alongside the iPhone 4. Now people could also see the people they talk to. However, this created a vacuum and gave rise to a new need. A front facing camera was pretty much a necessity for a face-to-face video call. As video calling became more commonplace with an integration of services like Skype in smartphones, front-facing cameras gained more importance.
  • Advancements In Smartphone Camera Tech – We expanded previously on how advancements in smartphone camera technology were leading to declining digital camera sales. Over the last few years, manufacturers have been applying similar upgrades to front-facing cameras too. Nowadays in many phones, the front-facing camera is almost as good as the rear camera. In fact, some manufacturers have gone one step further and actually offered a superior front-facing camera than the rear camera.
  • Exploding Popularity Of Social Media On Mobile Apps – We reported earlier on the massive growth in popularity of messaging and social media apps on mobile. These platforms are generally a very popular outlet for photo sharing, and selfies are one of the most commonly shared. The integration of these apps with mobile has made the selfie-sharing process easier than ever and has definitely encouraged the new “selfie culture” in India. Another aspect of this has been the rise of the “commutainment” phenomenon. Commutainment is the practice of communication through entertainment activities. Popular social messaging app Snapchat is the embodiment of this phenomenon. Some of the increasing popularity of selfie cameras can definitely be attributed to Snapchat and other similar apps.
  • Cultural And Generational Factors – This is the era of the selfie. There are over a million selfies taken every day globally. The younger generation propagates this trend. Framesdirect claim that millennials spend nearly 1 hour per week taking selfies alone. The penchant of the newer generation for selfies is definitely a major driving factor behind growth.

Takeaways

  • The Indian smartphone consumer has different priorities compared to users in the US. Manufacturers who cater to these unique requirements are more likely to find success in the Indian market.
  • Smartphone manufacturers are increasingly focusing on the front-facing camera than the rear camera as their USP. This reflected the fact that many OEMs are offering better selfie cameras than rear ones.
  • As the megapixel wars are dying down, OEMs are looking to enhance the selfie experience with software offerings such as filters, skin smoothing software, etc.
  • Social Media on Mobile is one of the biggest benefactors and beneficiaries of the selfie revolution. The ease of use and integration has made commutainment based apps very lucrative.
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Employ These Splendid Customer Retention Tactics to Improve Your Sales https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/19/customer-retention-tactics-improve-sales/ https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/19/customer-retention-tactics-improve-sales/#respond Wed, 19 Apr 2017 14:15:40 +0000 https://dazeinfo.com/?p=76701 Getting past customers to purchase again is several times cheaper than acquiring new clients. This statement is especially true for a crowded eCommerce market where ads, clicks and conversions constantly rise in cost.  That’s why online entrepreneurs should pay as much attention to retention as they do to an acquisition. Let’s take a look at […]]]>

Getting past customers to purchase again is several times cheaper than acquiring new clients. This statement is especially true for a crowded eCommerce market where ads, clicks and conversions constantly rise in cost.  That’s why online entrepreneurs should pay as much attention to retention as they do to an acquisition.

Let’s take a look at 6 simple tactics you can use to keep shoppers coming back for repeat purchases.

Establish A Compelling Brand

Simon Sinek once said on TEDTalks:People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. In other words, customers don’t just buy goods or services; they buy stories.

Determine a philosophy, a strong principle or an important goal of your business and ensure that customers can relate to it emotionally. Choose an idea that can cut through the noise and separate your brand from competitors.

TOMS Shoes Charity is a great example of how a natural desire to make the world a better place drives a successful business. They donate a pair of shoes to those who are in need for every pair you purchase.

For retention to stick, motivate customers to buy from you, not from somebody else.

Advocate Your Values

You probably have more than one value proposition, since the concept of value itself is subjective; every customer segment you serve benefits from a different facet of your offer. You should be able to summarise all the unique perks of your store in 30 seconds – the so-called elevator pitch.

As soon as you can put it in a nutshell, start educating clients about what makes your company special and how your products make them special. Don’t go into bold advertising, share knowledge instead. For instance, create live streams or webinars; share showcases to demonstrate how your goods help to solve problems.

Become a passionate missioner of your business: share your stories, build up trust and authority. Customers will stick with you for who you are.

Establish A Dialogue

Communication is crucial for attracting shoppers’ attention. Don’t rush to launch a scheduled email campaign or start a new promotion in social media. Paint a picture of an ideal buyer. Collect general information like location, language, age, occupation and income. Also gather some psychographic data like areas of interest, concerns and reasons for buying. It sounds complicated, but creating a valid buyer persona is worth the effort. On one hand, this imaginary profile provides something to what your customers can relate. On the other hand, it helps you to develop brand’s style, a tone of voice and a set of business traits that shoppers would appreciate.

During the investigation, you would also learn what means of communication are the best for your audience. You might find out that you should concentrate on Facebook or spend more time on Twitter or even start sending SMS. Customers are busy with their own lives and every moment devoted to your store is precious; so deliver your messages in the most convenient way.

Use Personal Approach

As a business owner you need to come up with some generalised characteristics in order to segment your audience, but on a personal level everybody wants to feel special, so personalise your website content wherever it’s possible. For example, offer a starting quiz to get the visitor’s name and preferences, so the next time he/she stops by, the system would generate a personal welcoming message and a unique set of recommended products. Something as simple as a custom thankyou note after purchase also can make a client fall in love with your brand once and forever. 😉

Image source: Reddit

Gamify to Boost Loyalty

Though gamification is not a new word in e-commerce, not many business owners know how to implement it properly. Invest some time and effort to get this strategy under your belt, and you’ll win customers’ loyalty.

These are the three main aspects of gamification:

  • Motivate shoppers to jump in the game – pick a prize. Think about a good call to action to raise excitement.
  • Make the rules short and clear.
  • Meet the expectations and give out the promised trophy. Praise the winner – announce his or her name in social networks and send an email with congratulations.

A few elements of gaming can turn regular shopping into a fun and memorable experience!

Revamp your sales funnel

Nowadays people became savvy online shoppers, and the power has shifted from businesses to consumers. Focus on re-engaging customers. Offer an exclusive, interesting and personalised shopping adventure. Develop a strong brand that sticks in the buyers’ mind and becomes a part of their lifestyle.

These customer retention tactics would help you gain more sales and boost your revenue. If you are already using some of the listed strategies, please share your experience in comments below.

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iPhone 8 Is The Key To Return To Visionary Roots For Apple; May Launch 3 Versions of iPhone in 2017 https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/19/apple-iphone-8-versions-launch/ https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/19/apple-iphone-8-versions-launch/#respond Wed, 19 Apr 2017 13:00:33 +0000 https://dazeinfo.com/?p=76674 The usually competitive smartphone market is becoming even more cutthroat. We have already witnessed the incredibly successful launch of the LG G6 and the massive hype surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S8 announcement. However, arguably the best is yet to come with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and their standard setting upcoming iPhone lineup. The hype regarding the […]]]>

The usually competitive smartphone market is becoming even more cutthroat. We have already witnessed the incredibly successful launch of the LG G6 and the massive hype surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S8 announcement. However, arguably the best is yet to come with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and their standard setting upcoming iPhone lineup.

The hype regarding the upcoming Apple iPhone 8 has been growing since the beginning of this year and has now reached critical mass. We are getting inundated with leaks and new information every day. Recently, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman added his own contribution to the rumour mill. Citing information from “people familiar with the matter“, Gurman claims the new iPhone 8 will adopt a curved OLED display akin to the Galaxy S8. However, he also claims that the display will span the entire front of the phone, compared to 83% coverage for the Galaxy S8. It means Apple iPhone 8 could be the first bezel-free full glass screen smartphone ever. The phone will also feature a stainless steel design and more advanced camera.

Let us analyse the rumours and what they entail for Apple and the smartphone industry at large.

Why Is Apple Releasing Three iPhones This Year?

One big question regarding this year’s iPhones centres around rumours that Why is Apple releasing not 2, but 3 flagship iPhones? For a while now, Apple has traditionally released 2 flagships every year. It would seem that Apple is deviating from the norm this year in a bid to capture a sizable sales share of all premium smartphone segments.

  • One primary reason for this change could the accusations of the boring design philosophy that have been levelled at Apple as of late. The iPhone 7 shares a very similar design to the iPhone 6S, which in turn was very similar to the iPhone 6. The reign of Tim Cook as Apple CEO has hardly been characterised by the innovation that Steve Jobs was so famous for. The iPhone 8 could be Apple’s attempt to return to their visionary roots.
  • Apple is highly dependent on the iPhone for revenue. In fact, 60% of the company’s overall revenue comes from the iPhone. Therefore Apple needs to stay competitive and innovative in the smartphone space to thrive, especially when competitors like Samsung is keen to dethrone it.
  • Apple iOS has been lagging behind Android in terms of market share for a while now. With Android now invading the premium segment with phones like the Pixel, S8 and LG G6 the iPhone 8 could help them get a leg up over the ever expanding Android premium segment.
  • 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone. The original iPhone changed the face of the smartphone industry when it launched. It makes sense that Apple would want to commemorate this anniversary with a truly special product, which could be the ultra-premium version of iPhone, dubbed as iPhone Edition by many sources.

Apple iPhone 8: May Be The Best Smartphone Ever

Samsung, Apple’s chief rivals hit a home run earlier this year with their flagship Galaxy S8. However, if the rumours are to be believed, the iPhone 8 may even surpass that. The leaked schematics point towards some revolutionary changes by Apple. The leaks suggest that Apple is embedding the front camera, microphone, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor and rumoured 3D sensor inside the display itself. Moreover, we also reported on rumours on Apple ditching Touch ID for a brand new fingerprint sensor embedded inside the display. The new sensor would be based on Authentic algorithms and Privaris glass tech.

These innovations would allow Apple to create a truly edge-to-edge display with minimal bezels. This would represent a triumph over the compromises Samsung made with the S8 by putting the fingerprint sensor at the back of the phone and retaining the top and bottom bezels. Apple is also planning to integrate an all new 3D sensor for advanced facial recognition.

The market also seems to believe that the iPhone 8 will be a major game changer. Credit Suisse has increased its stock price target for Apple to $170. RBC Capital markets also increased their estimates to $157. Apple shares are currently trading at $141, up from $115 in October 2015. This is despite the fact that nothing concrete has come out or announced till now. The exploded rise in value and estimates is riding on expectations of the iPhone 8 in large part. Analysts expect Apple to be worth at least $824 billion by the end of 2017. And, if Apple acquires Disney, it could easily surpass the valuation of $1 trillion to becomes only the second company, after Saudi Aramco, having a valuation of US$ 1 Trillion.

However, all these new innovations mean that the iPhone 8 could likely be delayed. Suppliers are reportedly encountering technical issues related to OLED display lamination and integrating the new 3D sensing system. Digitimes believes the new iPhone could experience a delayed launch in October-November due to this.

Takeaways

  • The premium version of the next iPhone may be called the iPhone “Edition” or “iPhone X” instead. Calling it as the “iPhone 8” could antiquate Apple’s other offerings – the iPhone 7s and 7s plus.
  • Apple’s stock price is expected to rise to new highs in anticipation of the iPhone 8.
  • Apple may create the first truly edge-to-edge display by embedding sensors inside the display itself.
  • The iPhone 8/Edition will likely be delayed due to production and technical issues. The iPhone 7s and 7s plus are expected to launch on schedule.
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Paytm May Acquire Freecharge After Raising $1.5 Billion From SoftBank https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/19/paytm-raise-fund-softbank-acquire-freecharge/ https://dazeinfo.com/2017/04/19/paytm-raise-fund-softbank-acquire-freecharge/#comments Wed, 19 Apr 2017 07:40:12 +0000 https://dazeinfo.com/?p=76689 After Flipkart’s largest ever round of funding, other Indian unicorns have apparently set their eyes on raising billions of dollars in their next round of funding. Mobile Wallet platform Paytm, the most aggressive player among all, is reportedly in talks with Japan’s SoftBank to raise anything between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion. If the deal […]]]>

After Flipkart’s largest ever round of funding, other Indian unicorns have apparently set their eyes on raising billions of dollars in their next round of funding. Mobile Wallet platform Paytm, the most aggressive player among all, is reportedly in talks with Japan’s SoftBank to raise anything between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion. If the deal goes through, SoftBank will become one of the largest shareholders in the Paytm.

The successful round of investment will make Paytm valuation soaring to nearly $7 billion to $9 billion, making it the second largest startup after the poster boy of Indian e-commerce revolution, Flipkart.

Flipkart recently raised $1.4 billion from Microsoft, eBay and Tencent at a valuation of $11.6 billion.

People familiar with the deal have said that paytm has planned to spend a majority of the new investment in buying its mobile wallet rival Freecharge from struggling e-commerce major Snapdeal. This will not only help Paytm to strengthen its market presence in digital wallet space but would also push the digital wallet industry to a consolidation and correction. It’s important to highlight that Softbank is a current investor in Freecharge-owned Snapdeal.

With the infusion of $1.5 billion, SoftBank will become the only investor making the single largest investment in any Indian startup.

The investment will also reduce the controlling power of Alibaba on Paytm, relaxing Indian government’s concern about growing influence of Chinese investment companies in Indian unicorns.

This is not the first time when SoftBank is evaluating Paytm for investment. In 2014, SoftBank was deeply involved in possible investment discussion in Paytm. However, SoftBank saw Snapdeal much more promising bet than Paytm and passed on. Later, in 2015, Paytm raised $1 billion from Alibaba and Ant Financial.

Quite recently, Paytm was valued $6 billion when some of the existing small investors, including Reliance Capital, exited Paytm by selling off their stakes to Alibaba and Any Financial.

The digital wallet business attracted the eyeballs of big fishes of the investment community after the demonetization. The exploded adoption of smartphone and mobile apps fueled the interest further. Government’s push to digital payment has worked well for Paytm.

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