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To spy on India, China launches two satellites for Pakistan

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Islamabad, July 10 : Pakistan launched two satellites on Tuesday through Chinese rocket Long March-2C from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China ,showing Islamabad’s deep cooperation with its close ally, Beijing in Space technology and to spy on India.

Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite-1 (PRSS-1) and Pakistan Technology Evaluation Satellite-1A (PakTES-1A), were propelled into space through the Chinese Long March 2C launch vehicle.

Satellite PRSS-1 will operate in sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 640 km and would be used for land and resources surveying, monitoring of natural disasters, agriculture research, urban construction and to monitor progress of the strategic $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor “Belt and Road” mega-project.

The satellite is equipped with a high resolution optical payload that will enable Pakistan to meet its imagery requirements in the areas of land mapping, agriculture classification and assessment, urban and rural planning, environmental monitoring, natural disaster management and water resource management and CPEC.

The PRSS-1 is the first optical remote sensing satellite China sold to Pakistan.

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Facebook criticised for search function suggesting friends’ bikini-clad photos

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San Francisco, Feb 16: Facebook has again courted controversy with a search function that allows users to scout for photographs of female, but not male friends, the media reported.

The feature was spotted by Belgian security researcher Inti De Ceukelaire, whose findings led to revelations that Facebook prompts users to search for photographs of female friends in bikini, The Independent said on Friday.

The tech giant originally called it a ‘bug’, only to issue a clarification later to explain that it is not a glitch but simply how the search feature works. A Facebook spokesperson said it is working to fix the issue.

“Facebook has modified its creepy hidden search feature this weekend,” Ceukelaire tweeted earlier this week.

“You can no longer retrieve hidden photographs of your male friends. Women can/may still be stalked. Even more, when you request photographs from your male friends, Facebook assumes you wanted to see pictures of women,” Ceukelaire added.

His tweets prompted responses that Facebook is “sexist” due to the way its internal search feature functions.

Twitter users also noted how Facebook’s search bar automatically suggested photographs of female friends in bikini.

IANS

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88 smartphone brands fight for mere 0.3% market share in India

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While the top five smartphone brands currently enjoy a market share exceeding 75 per cent in India, whatever is left is now being shared by over 88 smartphone brands — leaving a mere 0.3 per cent market share for each player.

Players like Panasonic and Videocon are among those 88 smartphone brands sharing the revenue of nearly Rs 43,560 crore — or Rs 475 crore revenue per brand (on average).

On the other hand, Samsung alone posted sales of over Rs 37,000 crore for its mobile phone business in India in the financial year 2018, followed by arch rival Xiaomi at nearly Rs 23,000 crore.

Oppo Mobiles registered nearly Rs 12,000 crore in revenue while Vivo crossed Rs 11,000 crore in the FY 2018.

The big question is: How many of these 88 brands will be able to survive the hyper-competitive and highly price-conscious Indian market?

“As a result of the increased consolidation among the top five smartphone brands, the available potential sphere of play for other smartphone players has significantly decreased,” said Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG) at the market research firm CyberMedia Research (CMR).

Over the past two years, feature phone to smartphones upgrade has not picked up as anticipated.

“This was primarily due to the spike in refurbished phones/second hand phone market, along with the rapid uptake of 4G feature phones. Coupled with this, the lack of smartphone offerings providing optimal experience under sub-Rs 6,000, is also affecting the upgrades,” Ram told IANS.

Amid massive investment in retail stores, hiring more staff and increasing ad spends as users are spoilt for choices, the pinch would soon affect many of those 88 vendors sooner than later, and most will either shut shops or enter newer businesses.

However, for Chinese brands with deep pockets and a stagnating market back home, India would continue to remain a attractive bet.

“They can afford to bleed, and any profit would be welcome. We believe they would continue to fight in the market,” said Swati Kalia, an analyst at IIG, CMR.

The smartphone market in India grew 14.5 per cent in 2018 with the highest-ever shipments of 142.3 million units, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

Xiaomi with 28.9 market share shipped 41.1 million units while Samsung with 22.4 per cent market share shipped 31.9 million in FY 2018.

Vivo shipped 14.2 million units with 10 per cent market share while OPPO shipped 10.2 million units and captured 7.2 per cent market share.

In such a scenario, the road ahead only gets tougher for the rest of the players.

“For large consumer-durable conglomerates, including the likes of Panasonic and Videocon, it makes more sense to look at broader synergies available from new blue sky opportunities such as Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected home,” noted Amit Sharma, another Analyst at IIG, CMR.

By Nishant Arora

(Nishant Arora can be reached at [email protected])

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Just 2 companies control 50% of India’s smartphone market

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New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) The year 2018 ended with just two companies together controlling around 50 per cent share of the India smartphone market – Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi and South Korean giant Samsung, according to latest data released by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Xiaomi surpassed Samsung to become the market leader in 2018 with 28.9 per cent share in the Indian smartphone market which shipped 142.3 million units last year, according to IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report. Samsung came second with 22.4 per cent share.

In 2017, Xiaomi had 20.9 per cent market share, compared to 24.7 per cent share of Samsung.

In 2018, Vivo (14.2 per cent), OPPO (10.2 per cent) and Transsion (6.4 per cent) were the other three brands that found a place in the list of top five smartphone brands in the country.

Except Samsung, four of the five smartphone brands are based in China.

“Amongst the big highlights of 2018 were the online-focused brands that drove the share of the online channel to an all-time high of 38.4 per cent in 2018,” Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India, said in a statement.

Responding to the report, Xiaomi India Managing Director Manu Kumar Jain on Tuesday credited the stunning show by the company to “100 per cent team work” and love from “Mi Fans”.

“Mi Fans! Thank you for your love and support,” Jain tweeted, adding that in the fourth quarter of 2018, the company emrged as 54 per cent bigger than the second brand.

The results show that Apple, which experienced lower than expected sales of iPhones in some emerging markets in recent times, especially in China, has not been able to make much of an impact in the Indian smartphone market as well.

The premium smartphone segment (above Rs 35,000) constitutes a meagre three per cent share of the overall India smartphone market, despite outgrowing all other price segments in 2018 with 43.9 per cent year-over-year (YoY) growth, according to IDC.

“OnePlus emerged as the leader in $500-$700 segment on the back of the OnePlus 6 and the newly-launched OnePlus 6T. However, in the super premium segment of $700+, Samsung surpassed Apple for the top position with its Galaxy S9 series,” Joshi added.

With the government initiative to push local manufacturing in India, 2018 witnessed further duty hikes on mobile phone components, IDC said, adding that weakened rupee further added to the challenges of the long tail of brands outside the top five.

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