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By Abhishek Baxi
Samsung recaptures the top spot in the Indian smartphone market after two years
by Abhishek Baxi
According to the latest report by Counterpoint Research for the third quarter of 2020, India’s smartphone shipments grew 9% year-on-year to reach over 53 million units. This is the highest-ever shipment in a quarter for the Indian smartphone market.
The Indian smartphone market is on a recovery path because of the pent-up demand due to the lockdown necessitated by the pandemic. Also, due to the pandemic, consumers have ended up saving on leisure activities and these savings are now being funneled into smartphone purchases.
Shilpi Jain, a Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research, commented that while some anti-China consumer sentiments impacted sales of brands originating from China early on - there was a military confrontation between the two countries a few months ago - these sentiments have now subsided.
For the first time after two years, Samsung has once again become the leading brand in the India smartphone market with a 32% YoY growth. Samsung has improved its supply chain, offered a broader portfolio touching various price points, and had an aggressive push in online channels. Xiaomi slipped to the number two position for the first time since Q3 2018 with a 4% YoY decline, mostly because of the manufacturing constraints due to the COVID-19 situation. It remained the top online brand though.
Both vivo and realme grew 4% YoY. The latter also retained its leadership position on Flipkart, the online store that sells the most smartphones in India. Transsion Group brands - Itel, Infinix, and Tecno - regained their market share registering 73% YoY growth and remained strong in Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities as well as rural India.
The overall Indian mobile handset market on the other hand grew 8% YoY in Q3 2020. The handset market constitutes smartphones and feature phones. The feature phone market registered a 5% YoY growth in Q3 2020 with Itel being the number one brand followed by Samsung and Lava.
Source: Counterpoint Research
Ubisoft partners with Netflix for Assassin's Creed live-action and animated adaptations
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
The Assassin's Creed franchise is moving beyond the gaming space again, with Ubisoft and Netflix today announcing a partnership that sees the popular series receiving multiple shows in the future. The deal includes plans for live-action, animated, and anime projects that will land on Netflix.
The live-action series will feature Ubisoft Film & Television’s Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik as executive producers. It may be a while away from materializing though, as a showrunner is still being found.
"For more than 10 years, millions of fans around the world have helped shape the Assassin’s Creed brand into an iconic franchise," said the head of Ubisoft Film & Television - Los Angeles, Jason Altman. "We’re thrilled to create an Assassin’s Creed series with Netflix, and we look forward to developing the next saga in the Assassin’s Creed universe."
Assassin's Creed has previously seen departures from the gaming space before, with the Michael Fassbender starring movie landing in 2016, though it featured an original story. It's not known yet whether the Netflix adaptations will tell new stories within the universe that fit in with the games or go another route.
Ubisoft is currently preparing to launch its latest Assassin's Creed entry, Valhalla, which is slated to land next month across PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Stadia.
Samsung Galaxy S21 might not ship with a charger and earphones in the box
by Rajesh Pandey
It looks like Samsung is also planning on following Apple's footsteps with the Galaxy S21 by not including a charger and earphones with the device. Samsung is seemingly planning on removing the charger and earphones from all variants of the Galaxy S21.
Certain insiders at Samsung do believe that the company will only remove the earphones from the box and continue to bundle the charger. The company already does something similar in the United States where it does not bundle AKG-tuned USB-C earphones with the Galaxy Note20 series. Instead, customers need to reach out to Samsung to get the earphones for free. Perhaps Samsung could end up doing something similar with the Galaxy S21 lineup, though doing this in every single market of the world might end up being a daunting task.
By not bundling earphones and a power adapter with the Galaxy S21 series, Samsung will be able to reduce its production cost that has increased due to the addition of 5G. The move should also allow Samsung to redesign its smartphone packaging to reduce its overall volume that should help it reduce its transportation cost. The move will also be beneficial for the environment as Samsung will be able to reduce its carbon footprint.
There have been mixed views about Apple not bundling a charger with the iPhone 12 and Samsung will likely be subjected to the same criticism. The South Korean company is also unlikely to pass on any savings to its customers, though like Apple, it could end up reducing the price of its power adapter.
Samsung is rumored to launch the Galaxy S21 series a few weeks early in January this year. The entire Galaxy S21 lineup has already leaked in renders.
Source: ChosunBiz | Image: OnLeaks (Voice)
Samsung receives approval from U.S. government to supply display panels to Huawei
by Rajesh Pandey
In a respite for Huawei, Samsung Display has received the necessary approval from the U.S. government to supply the Chinese company with smartphone OLED panels. Samsung Display had applied for a license to the U.S. Commerce Department to supply display panels to Huawei after the latter banned any company using U.S. technology from supplying components to it.
Samsung is the first South Korean company to receive approval from the U.S. Commerce Department to supply any kind of components to Huawei. LG Display, SK Hynix, and Samsung Electronics have also applied for licenses to supply components to Huawei but that has not been approved yet.
The report from Yonhap citing industry insiders claims that the U.S. government might have given Samsung Display the license since display panel are relatively less sensitive products compared to semiconductors. Huawei can already secure OLED panels from Chinese display maker BOE. Huawei is not expected to increase its procurement of display panels from Samsung until it can secure a steady stream of other key components for its future smartphones.
Apart from Samsung Display, Intel and AMD have also received the necessary license from the U.S. government to supply their processors to Huawei.
By Abhay V
Galaxy S21 Ultra specs leak, might offer a 6.8-inch display and retain the 108MP camera
by Abhay Venkatesh
Image credit: OnLeaks (Voice) Renders of Samsung’s upcoming S series flagships, expected to be called the S21 series, have already begun making the rounds on the web. The largest of the trio of offerings, the S21 Ultra, is expected to sport a massive camera bump – akin to the Note20 Ultra – that extends all the way to the chassis. Now, another report sheds some light on the specifications that the top-of-the-line device might be offered with.
Unsurprisingly, the phone is said to be powered by Qualcomm’s yet-unannounced flagship Snapdragon 875 chipset in regions like the U.S. and China, while the rest of the markets will supposedly get the phone running an Exynos 2100. RAM and storage configurations are expected to be similar to the S20 Ultra, coming in at 12GB and 128GB, respectively. Of course, higher storage tiers are expected to be offered.
As for the display, the flagship phone is said to house a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x screen, which is marginally smaller than its predecessor. What is interesting that the source claims that there could be a possibility of the South Korean company equipping a 144Hz refresh rate screen, a step up from the 120Hz screen, making it a viable alternative to gaming smartphones from the likes of ASUS.
Not much was revealed about the cameras, though. The report claims that the device will retain the 108MP main shooter, while housing a 40MP front-facing unit placed in the centered punch-hole. There is no word on the other units at the back. Other rumors suggest that the phone could sport two periscope cameras.
Lastly, the S21 Ultra is rumored to retain the 5000mAh battery capacity, with no upgrades expected in that front. The flagship device should run Android 11-based One UI 3 out of the box. The phones are said to come in black and silver colors. There are murmurs that Samsung might launch the S21 series in January 2021, ahead of its usual timeline. Overall, the updates to the device seem incremental, so it will be interesting to see if the firm packs any surprises for the top-of-the-line offering.
Source: Ishan Agarwal (91mobiles) | Image: OnLeaks (Voice)