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Impact on Indian smartphone market if Apple officially starts selling refurbished iPhones?



Before commenting on what could possibly be the influence on the Indian smartphones market due to the entry of refurbished iPhones entry in India, it is important to look at the following facts and figures:

Factors influencing Indian customers purchase decision

· India is a price sensitive market and 70% of the smartphones sold in India are priced in the range $100-$250.

· The smartphone customer sector consists of a huge middle class, relatively large rich class and a small economically weak class.

· Consumers prefer the branch with which they are familiar, have price going well with their pockets, available service centers, proximity to brand stores, brand name and trust, physical appearance and peer reviews.

· Indians are value driven and seek out the desired functionality like camera, sound quality, dual SIM features and good processor, high RAM, high internal memory, good physical appearance and other features specific to the person in the limited price range.

Current Smartphone trend in India

· Samsung currently occupies 25.7% smartphone market share followed by Micromax (14.3%), Intex (9.6%), Lava (6.8%) and Lenovo (5%) while Apple occupies a very small share of this market i.e 1.9 %

· India’s smartphone volume has grown by 23% in the Q1 2016. The number of smartphones is expected to grow over 650 million by 2019

· The spending on smartphones is anticipated to more than double by 2025.

· Average selling price of Samsung is $173 while that of Micromax being $86. Compared to this, the average cost of an Apple iPhone is $612.

· 86.5% of all the smartphones shipped in India last year were priced under $200 according to Llamas, research manager at IDC while 70% of the smartphones sold last year cost under $150.

· Around 7% of the Indian crowd spends $300 or more on smartphones.

Points in Favor of Apple:

· Apple is the very definition of luxury in India and no other smartphone brand can beat it over its prestige appeal.

· Apple EMI schemes and buyback schemes have considerable boosted sales in India. According to Counterpoint Research, 800,000 iPhones were shipped to India in the October-December quarter while the total sales for year 2017 stood at 1.7 Million, whopping 47%, which is a big number.

· Apple’s share rose from 11% in 1Q15 to 29% in 1Q16. In the same period Samsung shares dropped from 66% to 41%

· Sales of 4G-enabled handsets increased to 15.4 million units in quarter ending March 2016. Apple offers some distinct features possible with 4G-LTE speeds as per Tim, CEO Apple. It is possible that when Indians realize what it can do, they are willing to pay more.

· The refurbished phone to be sold in India will cost around $260-$350 as per the price range of year old iPhones in the western markets. Indian middle class is already spending around $150-200 on smartphones. These figures reflect a high possibility of Indians tending towards the purchase of iPhones.

· A report by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) suggested that at the current rate of growth, average household incomes in India will triple over the next two decades. This is another promising statistics which supports iPhone sales in near future till the desire of middle class people to own an iPhone saturates out which is far too long way to go.

Challenges for Apple in penetrating the Indian Markets

· iPhones are priced relatively high compared to other premium smartphones offering better functionality

· Apple currently plays in the high end of the market which is only 7%.

· India’s “Make in India” and strong opposition from competitors would not allow importing refurbished phones to India.

· Strong competition with Chinese, local and other global brands that introduce new models every now and then at reduced prices compared with apple who introduces new model once in a year or two. On an average, a smartphone user in India sticks with one handset for around 14 months.

· Apple needs to launch direct retail stores to be able to give customers the desired experience that would do the necessary marketing. Currently it only has 1% presence in the market.

· Lack of dual SIM functionality, ability to extend the phone ROM, bad experience of the customers with iPhone on upgrading the OS, Apple pay, Apple news, problems with Maps, iTunes, need of computer to set up the phone with older OS’s, lack of language flexibility, lacking local content are other factors which need to be addressed if it needs to create long term value for Indian customers.

· Further the specialties of iPhone include its long battery life, higher screen resolution, video editing features, and access to wide range of apps through app store majority of which are not of interest to the wide percentage of smartphone users.

Expected changes in Indian smartphone market due to refurbished iPhones

To be able to thrive in Indian markets, Apple has to design the iPhone as per the user requirements and cut down its cost. If the refurbished handsets are allowed in India following are the expected consequences:

· Stiff competition with other local producers would mean the prices of the smartphones in the market for the same functionality with rapidly fall.

· 4G connectivity will show a boost and this would mean the existing Androids supporting 4G would be available at cheaper prices

· No doubt iPhone sales are expected to rise since it would be an excellent opportunity for the Indian middle class to have the much wanted iPhone in their budget range

· Relaxation of the 30% production in India move could attract other luxury brand to make their presence in India and that would not be good for “Make in India” initiative. In that case government might withdraw the relaxation offered and that would mean Apple has to set up its production units in India.

· Apart from this, Apple will require hiring Indian talent to better understand the needs of the Indian smartphone customers, understand Indian market and design iPhones as per that.

It could clearly be seen that all these changes will take time and huge investment. Considering the Apple’s sole objective of high margins per sale, it is hard to say if it will be able survive for long in India provided it sticks with its marketing approach. Further, considering the major segment of the Indian smartphone market being middle class, it is unlikely that Apple will be able to make them stick to their brand for the long time where the other players who well understand the market will adapt very quickly.


Ram Mandir Opening For “Darshan” In 2023



Ram Mandir Opening 2023 | News Aur Chai

The Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is expected to allow visitors by December 2023, with the completion of construction only in 2025.

Sources in the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra have revealed that the colossal project of building the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, will be opening for devotees towards the end of 2023. In contrast, the project’s entire construction completion is expected towards the end of 2025. The sanctum sanctorum (Garbha Griha), along with the mandir’s first floor, will be ready by December 2023. Devotees will be allowed to visit the long-awaited mandir soon after the construction is completed.

An ANI report said, “The grand Ram Mandir being constructed in Ayodhya will be opened for devotees from December 2023. Sources told ANI that Garbhagriha, all five mandaps and the first floor will be ready by December 2023 and the mandir will be opened for devotees”.

The sanctum sanctorum will be as high as 161 feet and built using Rajasthani marble and stones. Engineers and architects are taking all measures to ensure the longevity of this enormous project. The second stage of construction is expected to begin in December this year. Currently, the structure is at a standstill as a result of monsoons. Another reason for the delay is the coronavirus pandemic that depleted the force with which the mandir’s construction was expected to go on.

The announcement of the mandir being opened to visitors in 2023 has brought up questions about the political agenda. It is believed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) aims to use the mandir to catapult themselves into a position of advantage during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Opening the mandir to devotees in December 2023 will give the BJP an easy 6-month gap to the general elections in 2024.

The opening of the long-awaited Ram Mandir in Ayodhya could be the factor that diverts the public, at least the Hindu’s in favour of BJP. Thus, securing them a vote bank based on religious sentiments upheld by the party in their previous tenure as the ruling party.

The Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir will be 360 feet long, 235 feet wide, and 20 feet high mandir will be completely ready by the end of 2025. The project will include amenities and structures like museums, archives, research centre, Sant Niwas, gau and Yagya shala, Etc. The main attraction is the Ram Mandir.

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How SEBI’s New Margin Rule Is Affecting Retail Traders?



SEBI Margin Rule | News Aur Chai

Securities and Exchange Board of India has introduced new margin rules for traders. Traders and Brokers are not happy with the new regulations because they will have to invest a large amount of cash in fulfilling margin requirements for trade.

SEBI had introduced the new margin rule in the year 2020 for intraday traders. It is being implemented in a phased manner. Traders were supposed to maintain 25 per cent of the peak margin in the first phase; the margin was raised by 50 per cent in the second phase. In the third phase, as per the new margin rule, intraday traders will have to pay a 100 per cent upfront margin. According to new norms, the margin requirements will be calculated four times during every trading session because the money margin must be greater than the need.

As per the new rule, brokers must collect margin from investors for any purchase or sale, and if they fail to do so, they will have to pay the penalty. Thus, brokers will not receive power of attorney. Brokers cannot use power of attorney for pledging anymore.

Those investors who want to make use of margin will have to create margin pledges separately. As per the new rule, investors will have to pay at least a 30 per cent margin upfront to avail a margin loan. Shares brought today cannot be sold tomorrow. Funds from shares sold today cannot be used for new trades on the same day.

The market experts said that there must be proper adjustments for implementing new rules, or it may create chaos, trouble and disturbance to the market participants. The CEO and founder of Zerodha broking firm, Nithin Kamath tweeted that, “the day when the new rules came into effect was the dreaded day for brokers, exchanges, intraday traders”.

Traders Are Not Happy:

Changes in rules have evoked strong reactions from traders because they will have to invest a large amount of cash in fulfilling margin requirements for trades as per new margin rules. Even the trading in futures and options will become more expensive. Traders are disappointed because they will have to pay up more money to bet in stock markets. As per new margin rules, Traders are also liable for the penalty if the rules are not followed during the trading session. If a trader wants to buy Nifty worth Rs 10 lakh, he will have to pay a 20 per cent margin of around 2 lakh. If the margin of the trader does not meet the need, he will be penalized. Traders will have to pay the minimum amount for opening the Multilateral Trading facility account, and they have to maintain a minor balance at all times.

Why Gas SEBI Introduced A New Margin Rule?

SEBI has introduced new rules to protect retail investors from purchasing difficulty. The intended goal of SEBI behind new margin rules is to bring down the difficult market situation and avoid huge fluctuation in stock markets during extreme stress. The new margin rules are likely to bring transparency to the market; it is expected to strengthen the market’s safety.

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Escalation Of COVID-19 Cases Across The Globe



COVID Case Spike 2021 | News Aur Chai

The United States, India, and Brazil have the most confirmed cases, followed by France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Turkey. There are very few locations that have remained undisturbed.

Since the middle of last year, confirmed cases have been increasing. Although the actual scope of the first outbreaks in 2020 is unknown because testing was not generally available at the time. The 100 million COVID-19 cases were discovered at the end of January, over a year after it was first diagnosed. As of 6:30 p.m. CEST on July 30, 2021, WHO has received reports of 196,553,009 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 4,200,412 fatalities. A total of 3,839,816,037 vaccination doses has been delivered as of July 28, 2021.

After reaching a record high of over 0.9 million cases on April 28, 2021, new daily instances of the coronavirus continued to decline, reaching a low point on June 21, when over 0.3 million cases were reported. Since then yet, there has been a global increase in cases. On July 15, 0.53 million daily cases were reported, and over three million new cases were reported in the second week of the month. As of July 15, 188.9 million patients have been recorded worldwide. The transmissive Delta form accounting for most infections in 111 countries. Most instances were recorded in Brazil, India, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and Colombia in the last week. With the steepest increases in Zimbabwe (72%), Indonesia (44%), the United States (38%), Bangladesh (35%), and the United Kingdom (30%). Many Asian nations, including Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan, have reported many daily cases. However, the spread was under control.

The number of new cases in Indonesia has been on the rise, with each day seeing a significant increase over the previous day. Indonesia is now the new Asian epicentre, with 56,757 cases recorded on July 15; India reported 39,000 patients on the same day. COVID-19 fatalities are high, according to WHO. After decreasing for nine weeks, with the highest increases in Africa and Southeast Asia. COVID-19 fatalities worldwide surpassed four million on July 7. The last million deaths occurred in under 90 days, the lowest time interval for every one million deaths ever recorded.

High vaccination coverage has been shown in the United States and much of Europe to lower fatalities and even hospitalizations. For example, United Kingdom rises in incidence. There has been fewer hospitalizations and deaths over 87% of the adult population, as they are vaccinated with one dose and over 67% with two doses. In the United States, the increase in cases is concentrated in states with low vaccination coverage, with unvaccinated people accounting for most deaths. Over 55% of Americans have received one dosage, and 48% are completely immunized. It shifts the focus back to improving vaccination coverage and achieving global vaccine equality to avoid fatalities and the spread of dangerous strains. Some nations debate a booster dosage. Even though many African countries’ healthcare professionals have not been completely vaccinated, booster injections have begun to be given to patients with weakened immune systems in Israel.

In comparison, booster shots have been ruled out in the United States for the time being. With vaccine shortages reported in many Indian states. Even among the vaccinated, rigorous adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour is the only option to postpone and mitigate the consequences of a third wave.

This spring, India and Latin America have seen a significant drop in new cases in the hardest-hit areas of the world. But the global numbers continue to grow. The Delta variety leads them to well-vaccinated regions such as Western Europe and the United States, low but rising infections. This spring, India and Latin America have seen a significant drop in new cases in the hardest-hit areas of the world. Vaccine doses have been given to over 4 billion individuals globally (52 for every 100 people), yet the discrepancy is striking. More than 80% of the population had at least one shot in some wealthy nations. In contrast, the proportion is as low as 1% in many of the poorest.

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