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Paytm launches Digital Gold with MMTC-PAMP

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New Delhi, April 27: Mobile payment and commerce platform Paytm on Thursday announced that it has collaborated with MMTC-PAMP to launch Digital Gold, which will enable its customers to buy gold online and store it in MMTC-PAMPs secure vaults free of charge.

The customers can also request for their gold to be delivered at their home in the form of minted coins or sell it back online instantly, a company statement said here.

“Gold is the preferred form of investment for Indians, and we are making it easier for our users to invest in gold digitally. With this product, our customers can buy and sell international quality gold at market-linked prices instantly. The goal is to offer complete flexibility in deciding the amount they want to invest, and enable consumers to develop habit of saving regularly in digital gold for long-term wealth creation,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and CEO – Paytm.

“As India’s first and only internationally accredited gold and silver refinery, we are proud to be placing India in its deserved leadership position in the global bullion market. Our partnership with Paytm provides every Indian access to high quality, 24k 999.9 pure gold in a convenient and transparent manner,” said Mehdi Barkhordar, Chairman at MMTC-PAMP India.

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More people prefer iPhone 8 over iPhone X in the US: Report

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San Francisco, April 25: More and more people are buying iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus than the “super premium” iPhone X in the US, a new survey has revealed.

According to the research group Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), iPhone 8 made up 23 per cent of iPhone sales in the first quarter of 2018 and iPhone 8 Plus registered 21 per cent.

“The iPhone X trailed at 16 per cent, down from 20 per cent the previous quarter,” CNET reported on Tuesday, citing the survey’s findings.

The survey also showed a trend among respondents toward buying past years’ iPhones.

“During the same months of 2017, the brand new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus accounted for nearly 70 per cent of iPhone sales. This year, a lot more people are buying iPhones from one, two and even three years ago,” the report noted.

Apple will announce its next quarterly earnings report on May 1.

In March, a top analyst with asset management firm Piper Jaffray said that unlike what Apple had expected, the response to iPhone X has been lukewarm as many existing users believe that the device is too expensive.

“According to Apple news site PED3.0, Michael Olson, a senior researcher with Piper Jaffray found that 44 per cent people who didn’t upgrade said that they baulked at the idea because their current ‘iPhone works fine’,” Fortune reported.

More than a third of the respondents said that the iPhone X, which starts at $999, is too expensive.

“And eight per cent said they would have upgraded if the new phone had a larger screen,” the report added.

Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with KGI Securities, said in March that the Cupertino-headquartered company would cease production of iPhone X mid-year.

Apple is reportedly gearing up to introduce three new iPhones in 2018 and one of them will be more popular than the others, according to Kuo.

IANS

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Huawei ‘P20 Pro’ smartphone with first triple rear camera in India

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New Delhi, April 24: Chinese electronics major Huawei, currently facing a disadvantage in the US as top intelligence officials have told people not to buy its devices, on Tuesday brought its flagship “P20 Pro” with world’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered triple rear camera system to India.

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Its earlier avatar, P10, never made it to India. The last ‘P’ series device that arrived in the country was “P9” in 2016. Since then, Huawei has vigorously promoted its sub-brand Honor which has created a distinct space in the crowded smartphone market.

Priced at Rs 64,999, Huawei “P20 Pro” features the world’s first Leica triple rear camera system which received highest overall scores by “DxOMark” in the premium smartphone segment, defeating Apple as well as Samsung devices.

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“DxOMark Rankings” is a trusted industry standard for camera and lens image quality measurements and ratings.

“Huawei brand mainly works on providing state-of-the-art technology and top-of-the-line innovation. P20 Pro is the first smartphone with three cameras at the rear. We saw a great momentum on social media when we launched the device in Paris. I am confident it will appeal to our consumers in India as well,” P. Sanjeev, Vice President, Sales, Huawei Consumer Business Group, told IANS.

The company also launched a lighter version “Huawei P20 lite” that will be available for Rs 19,999. Both the devices will be available on Amazon from May 3.

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“This is a milestone launch for us wherein we present the best technology with the most innovative features enriching the user experience,” Peter Zhai, CEO, Huawei India Consumer Business Group, told reporters here.

Zhai said that the company has been present in the country for the last 18 years and as part of its India strategy, Huawei has been consistently investing in the country to expand its footprint.

“With a clear focus on design, innovation and superior experience, Huawei is expanding its influence globally as well as in India,” added Sanjeev.

Huawei P20 Pro includes AI advances to better overall smartphone experience.

P20 Pro’s camera system comprises of a 40MP RGB sensor, 20MP monochrome sensor and 8MP sensor with telephoto lens for sharpness, colour accuracy, focus and contrast.

The device has 5x Hybrid Zoom for long-range photography, supports six-axis stabilisation and 960fps super-slow motion. It has 15.49cm OLED screen with ultra-thin bezels and screen-to-body ratios

Huawei P20 Pro comes with Kirin 970 processor and EMUI 8.1 based on Android 8.1 for smooth user experience. The device is embedded with a 4,000mAh battery.

Huawei P20 lite is a mid-range smartphone with 24MP front camera and a 16MP dual rear camera with an all-glass design.

P20 lite comes with a 14.83cm Full-HD Plus screen. Packed with Kirin 659 chipset, 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, the device includes 3,000mAh battery.

In the first quarter of 2018, Huawei’s sub-brand Honor entered top five smartphone brands for the first time in India, said Counterpoint Research.

Honor registered an unprecedented growth of 146 per cent owing to strong performance of its recently launched smartphones across online channels. The brand captured the fifth position with 3% market share in the Indian smartphone market.

“We will keep the momentum going and establish ourselves among the top 3 brands in the Indian market,” Sanjeev told IANS.

In the US, top intelligence officials have reportedly warned Americans not to use smartphones from Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE over data privacy concerns.

In a statement to CNBC, the company said that “Huawei is trusted by governments and customers in 170 countries worldwide and poses no greater cyber security risk than any ICT vendor, sharing as we do common global supply chains and production capabilities”.

IANS

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Xiaomi, Jio top India market

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New Delhi, April 24: Xiaomi continued to lead the Indian smartphone market with 31.1 percent market share while Reliance Jio topped the feature phone market with a massive 35.8 percent share in the first quarter of 2018, a new report has said.

Xiaomi was the leader with 25 per cent market share in Q4 of 2017.

According to Counterpoint’s “Market Monitor” service, Samsung with 26.2 per cent share was second, followed by Vivo at 5.8 per cent share in the smartphone segment.

Driven by the feature phone segment which doubled owing to strong shipments of Reliance JioPhone, India’s overall mobile phone shipments grew 48 per cent (YoY) in Q1 2018.

Honor (Huawei) entered top five smartphone brands for the first time. Honor (146 per cent), Xiaomi (134 per cent) and OnePlus (112 per cent) were the fastest growing smartphone brands.

“Q1 2018 started off with some brands sitting on inventory post the festive season in Q4 2017, which continued throughout the quarter as industry moves to a Full View display portfolio,” Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst, said in a statement.

Furthermore, the quarter was also marked with less than normal smartphone launches as very few brands refreshed their portfolio, except for Xiaomi and Samsung which benefitted from the new launches.

“However, we expect the demand to start picking up from early Q2 2018 onwards, driven by faster replacement rate of existing 2G and 3G smartphone users upgrading to 4G mobile phones,” Chauhan added.

This is the first time that the top five smartphone brands accounted for more than 70 per cent market share in a single quarter.

“Xiaomi and Samsung alone captured 58 per cent of the total smartphone market. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 and 5 Pro were the most popular models for the Chinese brand, whereas Samsung Galaxy J7 NXT and J2 (2017) drove volumes for the Korean vendor,” said Anshika Jain, Research Analyst.

The performance of Chinese brands remained strong, accounting for 57 per cent of the total smartphone market in Q1 2018, up from 53 per cent during Q1 2017.

“The demand for JioPhone continued through Q1 2018 as Reliance Jio’s feature phone market share raced from 0 per cent last year to 36 per cent in Q1 2018. This demand was catalysed by the introduction of a cheaper data plan,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director.

China based Transsion Group (the holding group of Tecno, Itel and Infinix) has become the fifth largest player with four per cent market share in Q1 2018 (combined for all three brands).

The race for the fifth position is quite close between Lava, Micromax, Honor, Nokia (HMD) and Lenovo (+Moto) brands.

Itel is the third largest player in the feature phone segment with 17 per cent growth (YoY).

IANS

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