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India to have over 700 mn smartphone users by 2022: Counterpoint

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New Delhi, Sep 28: More than a billion smartphones will be sold in India over the next five years, taking the number of users to surpass 700 million by 2022, Counterpoint Research said on Friday.

Mid-range smartphones (roughly Rs 14,000-Rs 29,000), will grow 20 per cent (year-on-year) in 2018 and by almost four times during the next five years to make it one of the most important smartphone segments in India, the market research firm added.

The sales volume sweet spot is moving from sub-$150 (nearly Rs 10,000) segment towards mid-tier as many features and capabilities common among flagship models, progressively diffuse through to these lower price bands, noted Counterpoint’s white paper on “India Mid-Tier Smartphone Segment and opportunity for SoC players”.

“Features such as full-screen displays, dual-cameras, biometric security and support for Artificial Intelligence (AI) are beginning to make in-roads to the mid-range. They will become widespread over the next few years,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research.

Many of these advanced features will be enabled and enhanced through the evolution of the underlying System-on-Chip (SoCs) and other components.

“These features will help OEMs to differentiate their offerings in the mid-tier segment at a time when overall smartphone innovation is perceived to have plateaued,” Pathak added.

India is the second largest smartphone market in the world after China. It has just surpassed 400 million smartphone users.

However, this accounts for just 44 per cent of the potential total addressable market for smartphones as the country is underpenetrated relative to many other markets.

“Part of this lack of development can be attributed to the poor relative development of data-capable mobile networks and high data pricing. Upstart operator, Reliance Jio, has catalysed a rapid shift toward 4G LTE, together with much more accessible data pricing,” noted Research Director Neil Shah.

Looking at the competitive environment, the top five brands contributed to 92 per cent share of the mid-tier segment in India.

Samsung, Vivo, Apple, OPPO and Huawei were the leading brands in the first half of 2018.

“However, we expect competition to increase in the segment as more brands enter including Xiaomi, Asus, Nokia HMD and others,” said the white paper.

The role of SoC players is critical to unlocking the potential of the mid-tier market segments.

If done successfully, we believe the mid-tier segments will grow almost four times in volume over the next five years in India. To enable this growth, cutting-edge solutions such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710 are required on a broad scale.

“Qualcomm already has a strong presence in key brands in the mid-tier. The Snapdragon 710 can further strengthen Qualcomm’s share within key brands in the mid-tier segments as it has in the $100-$200 lower-tier segment,” the white paper added.

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India

PM Narendra Modi Lauds Successful BrahMos Launch

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Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated scientists and engineers for the successful test launch of supersonic cruise missile BrahMos with an indigenous booster from a test facility off the Odisha coast.

“Brahmos Supersonic Cruise Missile has achieved yet another milestone with successful test launch showcasing enhanced operational capabilities and additional indigenous technologies. Congratulations to all the scientists and engineers,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

The BrahMos surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile featuring indigenous booster and airframe section along with many other ‘Made in India’ sub-systems was successfully flight tested for designated range from the ITR in Balasore, marking one more major step in enhancing indigenous content.

The launch has paved the way for serial production of the indigenous booster and other indigenous components of the powerful BrahMos Weapon System.

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CBDT clarifies on 1% TDS on e-commerce transactions

It would also not apply to transactions in electricity, renewable energy certificates and energy saving certificates traded through power exchanges, circular added.

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New Delhi, Sep 29 : Providing clarification on the 1 per cent tax deducted at source (TDS) on e-commerce transactions, the CBDT on Tuesday said that that the payment gateway will not be required to deduct the tax under section 194-0 of the Income-Tax Act on a transaction, if the tax has been deducted by the ecommerce operator under the section concerned of the Act, on the same transaction.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Tuesday issued guidelines for applicability of TCS (tax collected at source) provision which requires an e-commerce operator to deduct 1 per cent tax on sale of goods and services with effect from October 1.

The CBDT circular noted that in e-commerce transactions, the payments are generally facilitated by payment gateways.

It is represented that in these transactions, there may be applicability of section 194-0 twice, once on e-commerce operator who is facilitating the sale of goods or provision of services or both and once on payment gateway who also happen to qualify as e-commerce operator for facilitating service.

“In order to remove this difficulty, it is provided that the payment gateway will not be required to deduct tax under section 194-0 of the Act on a transaction, if the tax has been deducted by the ecommerce operator under section 194-0 of the Act, on the same transaction,” it said.

Elucidating its implementation, the circular said: “If ‘XYZ’ has deducted tax under section 194-0 on one lakh rupees, ‘ABC’ will not be required to deduct tax under section 194-0 of the Act on the same transaction. To facilitate proper implementation, ‘ABC’ may take an undertaking from ‘XYZ’ regarding deduction of tax.”

The CBDT also said that the new introduced TCS provisions would not apply to transactions in securities and commodities which are traded through recognised stock exchanges or cleared and settled by recognised clearing corporation, including recognised stock exchanges or recognised clearing corporation located in International Financial Service Centre.

It would also not apply to transactions in electricity, renewable energy certificates and energy saving certificates traded through power exchanges, circular added.

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Airtel narrowing gap with Jio on 4G in India: Report

While Jio won in 48 cities outright it drew for the first place with Airtel in Coimbatore.

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New Delhi: Airtel has come closer to challenging Reliance Jio which continues to reign supreme on 4G availability and 4G coverage experience in India, says a new report by mobile analytics company Opensignal.

While the average proportion of time that Jio users spent connected to 4G has increased by 0.5 of a percentage point since the last report to reach an impressive 98.7 per cent, Airtel saw its score increase by 1.1 percentage points.

“As a consequence, Jio’s lead has dropped from 3.7 percentage points to 3.1,” said the report.

In regional analysis of 49 cities, Airtel came close to challenging Jio’s dominance on 4G availability in a majority of the cities although Jio continued to win almost all awards, said the report.

While Jio won in 48 cities outright it drew for the first place with Airtel in Coimbatore.

However, for the second report in a row, Airtel has won four of the awards outright — video experience, games experience, voice app experience and download Speed experience, while ownership of the upload speed experience award smoothly passed from Vodafone to Vi.

This is the first report in which Opensignal treated Vodafone and Idea as a single operator — Vi — in line with the combined operator’s new branding that was announced on September 7.

For the report, Opensignal examined the mobile network experience of the four main mobile network operators in India: Airtel, BSNL, Jio and Vi, over a period of 90 days beginning May 1 to see how they fared, and further delved deeper into 49 of India’s largest cities, comparing the experience users received on these four operators.

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