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Tuesday, November 13, 2018
iPhone sales set to drop for first time in 4 years

iPhone sales set to drop for first time in 4 years Apple’s India love affair is falling apart with sales dropping by a one-fourth with fans moving to Chinese competitors for their next smartphone. “Apple iPhone volumes are set to drop by as much as 25 per cent this fiscal as the new iPhones are exorbitantly priced while the old ones are still being sold without enough discounts,” Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research, told BusinessLine.

Counterpoint estimates Apple will be able to sell only 2-2.3 million iPhones this calendar year compared with over three million last year. This would be the first drop in iPhone sales in four years.

In terms of revenues, Counterpoint Research estimates that if Apple is able to sell high value models such as iPhone X, XS or XR in the current quarter, it may end the year flat but that’ll remain a challenge.

In favour of Android
“Even in the annual e-commerce sales this year, iPhones didn’t sell well. The market is rapidly shifting in favour of Samsung and OnePlus for higher value phones. Apple will face a tough time trying to avoid a drop in iPhone revenues this year,” said Shah.

The biggest reason for the drop is Apple’s change in India strategy. While the iPhone maker was seen heavily discounting its older models last year to penetrate a market with high latent demand for the Apple brand, earlier this year, Apple took a U-turn in favour of maintaining a premium brand image.

The company consolidated its distributors, cut down on offers and kept the price of the newly launched iPhones at about 40 per cent higher than last year’s flagship device, the iPhone X.

Weak rupee
Currency weakness is a part of the challenge but the bigger issue is Apple’s resistance to start local manufacturing, except for just one old model, to get tax advantage.

Since nearly every iPhone sold in India is imported from the US, it attracts 20 per cent duty as compared to 10 per cent last year. Apart from Apple, every other smartphone maker manufactures phones in India.

According to analysts, iPhone sales in the quarter ended September 30 fell by half, to 450,000 units in India compared with 900,000 units last year. This also led to the company’s marketshare drop by more than half to just about 1 per cent.

The upcoming quarter is not likely to offer any respite for Apple. While typically third and fourth quarters are the best quarters for Apple’s iPhone sales, this festival season has showered its blessings on Chinese smartphone makers instead of the iconic Apple brand.

“Typically Q4 (October-December) is the best quarter for Apple in India. Last year, they sold about 1.1 million units but this year, we expect them to sell at best 750,000 units in Q4,” said Shah.

Telcos divided over spectrum pricing, timing of auctions

Telcos divided over spectrum pricing, timing of auctions  Vodafone Idea, Bharti AirtelNSE 2.91 % and Reliance Jio Infocomm are sharply divided over the timing of spectrum auctions and the pricing of airwaves, setting the stage for intense lobbying as the Department of Telecommunications prepares the roadmap for the next sale.

Jio wants all available bandwidth to be offered immediately and has no problems with the prices recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Second-ranked Bharti Airtel wants a “swift” auction but only of 4G airwaves in the year ending March 2019 at reduced starting prices and it backed a 5G spectrum sale only in FY20. Market leader Vodafone Idea does not want any auction until 2020 and has called on the government to fix the health of the telecom sector in the interim.

The government hasn’t set any clear timelines, with telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan saying only that the 5G spectrum sale is expected in the second half of 2019. DoT officials privately say that an auction is unlikely in FY19, given that the industry is burdened with debt of over Rs 7 lakh crore, but don’t rule out a staggered sale, especially if it’s needed to cater to the government’s fiscal needs in an election year.

Mukesh Ambani-owned Jio, which started services a little over two years ago, rejected any move to delay a sale.

“We are interested in acquiring more spectrum and expect the government to auction spectrum available with it at the earliest,” Mathew Oommen, president of Jio, told ET.

He added that the government should auction airwaves regularly so that telcos are able to optimise their networks and ensure the highest quality of service.

Jio’s eagerness is understandable, given that the company has to cater to surging demand, mainly for data, from its rapidly increasing subscriber base. It has added users at a record pace – over 13 million in September – to close the month with over 252 million users. The same month, its two main rivals lost close to 9 million users.

While Oommen didn’t respond to ET’s query on pricing, sources said Jio accepts the rates recommended by Trai.

In August, Trai recommended the auction of airwaves across seven 4G bands, besides 5G spectrum. The regulator slashed the base price of the premium 700 MHz band by 43% to Rs 6,568 crore a unit and set Rs 492 crore per unit as the minimum rate for 5G.

Bharti Airtel is keen on buying 4G airwaves in this financial year, but wants a reduction in prices, the telco said in a statement to ET.

“We would request Trai and DoT to review the reserve price of spectrum in sub-GHz bands,” the company said.

Airtel also sought reserve prices for spectrum across all circles since harmonisation of airwaves – or making airwaves available in continuous blocks – and taking back spectrum from those that have shut operations could lead to availability of bandwidth in all service areas.

Jio’s Oommen rejected Airtel’s contention for a 5G sale to be deferred. The practice of auctioning all spectrum, whenever available, as endorsed by the Supreme Court and Trai and consistent with the National Digital Communications Policy 2018, “is a prudent policy and will go a long way in ensuring certainty, transparency and policy stability,” Oommen said. According to SS Sirohi, a former senior DoT official who was part of the Telecom Commission, the government is bound to auction all available airwaves immediately. “The Supreme Court has told the government to auction whatever spectrum is available with it and the government also gave an undertaking to the apex court to do so. It can’t hoard spectrum,” said Sirohi. He said airwaves lying vacant with the government meant loss of money to the exchequer. Vodafone Idea, with debt of over 1 lakh crore and in the midst of a costly and time-taking integration after their merger, is in no mood to buy additional bandwidth. “Telecom service providers are currently spectrum-sufficient and focused on optimising 4G and making their networks 5G-ready. Once the 5G ecosystem and enabling hardware is suitably developed and India-specific use cases successfully piloted, the need for more quality spectrum will arise. This is likely to take up to 2020,” the company said in a statement to ET. The telco asked the government to make spectrum “affordable and available.” (Source: Economic Times)

National Public Procurement Conclave 2018 New Delhi Press Release

National Public Procurement Conclave 2018 New Delhi Press Release Matrix Comsec is to participate in the NPPC (National Public Procurement Conclave) 2018 to be held in New Delhi from 30th to 31st October 2018. We will be exhibiting our recently launched communication and security solutions along with other enterprise grade solutions. From the Telecom domain, we will be exhibiting our newly launched Pure IP Solutions for Modern Enterprises - PRASAR UCS and the Smart Video IP Deskphone - SPARSH VP710 at the event. We will also be exhibiting SARVAM UCS and Media Gateways.

Solution experts for our People Mobility Management solutions will be demonstrating our Aadhaar enabled biometric attendance system at the event. They will also be giving a brief on our well-engineered Access Control solutions to be displayed at the event. Our experts are to exhibit COSEC Panel Lite Standalone Access Control solution, which is a site controller that implements advanced Access Control features and restricts unauthorized entry. We will also be talking on COSEC ARC - an I/O Controller which provides the flexibility to control and monitor a range of hardware devices that are integrated with the controller. Additionally, we will be displaying our COSEC PATH series door controllers, which are fingerprint and RFID card based devices.

From the Video Surveillance domain, solution experts will be talking on the recently launched Extreme series of Network Video Recorders. These recorders are equipped with features like Cascading, H.265 Compression, 4K Decoding, RAID 5, 10 Support, High Storage, and 512Mbps Throughput. We will also be exhibiting our IP cameras that are furnished with Intelligent Video Analytics that enhance security of enterprises.

Learn more about our solutions by talking to our solution experts at the NPPC (National Public Procurement Conclave) 2018 event, Stand No. 43-44 from 30th to 31st October 2018.

E-comm firms bleed red ink as increasing revenues are no match for soaring expenses

E-comm firms bleed red ink as increasing revenues are no match for soaring expenses Even as their revenues skyrocket, Indian e-commerce firms continue to see their losses mounting. Flipkart, the largest homegrown e-commerce marketplace, witnessed a whopping 750 per cent increase in its losses at ₹2,064 crore in FY18 as it intensified its battle to take on the local unit of global behemoth Amazon. Last fiscal, Flipkart’s losses had stood at ₹244 crore. Paytm Ecommerce’s losses increased 150 times to ₹1,800 crore even while its revenues rose 100 times to ₹775 crore.

Amazon India is yet to file its 2018 earnings report. But its largest seller, Cloudtail (a joint venture between Amazon and Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures), saw its losses increase four times and expenses rise 26 per cent though it posted 27 per cent revenue growth for FY18 at ₹7,149 crore.

Flipkart, in which global retail giant Walmart Inc made a $16-billion investment in August, saw a 40 per cent jump in its revenues to ₹21,600 crore in FY18, according to information sourced from business intelligence platform Tofler on its annual filings with the Registrar of Companies. This is the total amount of sales the company garnered during the fiscal as people thronged the platform forhefty discounts and cash-backs offered through its mobile wallet PhonePe.

The company, however, saw expenses, at ₹23,700 crore, go beyond its revenues, as it adopted a cash-burn strategy to acquire more customers, built more fulfilment centres and warehouses and pursued acquisitions. In April 2017, it bought the India unit of eBay for $500 million in cash.

Changing scenario
“Most of the companies are relying heavily on consumer durables and electronics, as that is the fastest moving category in the online space and requires a different kind of physical infrastructure compared with apparels. Each distribution centre requires an investment of a few hundred crore rupees. I expect the losses to grow for the next three-four years,” said Arvind Singhal, founder of retail consultancy firm Technopak. In the coming years, the losses will come from categories such as food and grocery, he added.

Singhal further said the increased losses are due to the continued investment by the companies to expand the market, acquire more customers, and enhance distribution, logistics and physical infrastructure as they seek to reach smaller towns and rural markets.

The e-commerce companies have not even touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of reaching customers,” said brand consultant Harish Bijoor. “They understand that it is best to ramp up advertising and reach large numbers and create indispensability,” he added.

“I think there is too much capital available to buy marketshare, as if it is the fight-to-finish for the Indian consumer’s wallet,” said Devangshu Dutta, founder of research and consultancy firm Third EyeSight. “The companies are trying to grow their revenues at rates that well exceed the market growth rates and they are still sacrificing margins for that reason.”(The Hindu BusinessLine)

Telecom equipment makers commit over Rs 4,000 cr investment at IMC 2018

Telecom equipment makers commit over Rs 4,000 cr investment at IMC 2018 Major investment commitments have come from Ericsson, Samsung, Sterlite Tech, Cisco, Nokia and Intel. Telecom gear makers have committed to investing more than Rs 4,000 crore at the India Mobile Congress, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said Saturday. “We were expecting an investment of Rs 2,000 crore but companies have committed an investment of over Rs 4,000 crore during our discussions at the India Mobile Congress,” Sinha told reporters here.

The minister said major investment commitments have come from Ericsson, Samsung, Sterlite Tech, Cisco, Nokia and Intel. “The National DigitalCommunications Policy has just been announced and these are the first set of investments flowing in,” Sinha said.

He said discussions and announcements at the IMC show India is ready for the emerging 5G services. The 5G technology would facilitate machine-to-machinecommunications and has multiple usages. “The investments will be made over a period of next one-two years,” Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said.(Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

Behold The Electrifying Launch by Ecosmob Technologies of Project Initiated with Next-Gen Technologies

Behold The Electrifying Launch by Ecosmob Technologies of Project Initiated with Next-Gen Technologies Trending disruptive technologies reality holds a variety of promising applications be it for SME businesses or a large enterprise, and the industrial automation is rapidly changing into a lot each day. Ecosmob showcased their launch on some very interesting and innovative projects on some of the most trending technologies. Ecosmob flaunted around their expertise in VoIP solutions, IoT, AI, machine learning and AR/VR.

Ecosmob Technologies embraces the advance new trending disruptive technologies offerings. Ecosmob’s VoIP solutions are masterminded with the purpose to assist companies to expedite the impact to their bottom line.

Since founded, Ecosmob has embraced a customer-centric path to serve its world business and has with success self-addressed diverse business needs with premium quality VoIP, Mobile, and next-gen technologies.

Having indulged into a decade of experience in VoIP and technologies solutions Ecosmob team has earned great reputation and respect with the industry leader and stakeholders since 11 years. “We anticipate in future Indian and European enterprises to be a great platform wherein we will have various opportunities to unveil our offerings that have helped many industries so far. Our products have been designed to collaborate remote communications, that have benefited call centers, healthcare, e-commerce, auto, insurance and so on,” said Maulik Shah, Director.

Ecosmob Technologies is one among the preeminent names within the IoT solution development arena. Given the present scenario, every enterprise wants a piece of this cake and not get left behind in this tech- marathon. Ecosmob essentially branched out with IoT, Machine Learning and AI solutions for clients with a variety of web and application developments.

Ecosmob team are excited to propel Machine Learning and AI solutions to customers from this quarter onwards with effortless and secure communication beyond all platforms. Machine Learning and AI applications are presented to customers as a full solution.

Ever evolving team and a being a well-established IT service provider globally Ecosmob is taking these concrete steps to step up their standards and challenge the benchmark record. We anticipated a rich segment of clients amongst industry veterans and privilege opportunities for one-to-one discussions justifying their means to ROI using advanced technologies.

PR - Hodusoft Launched Ominification of Your Communications across Platforms with fully loaded solutions like HoduPBX, HoduConf, HoduCC, HoduBS, Hoduswitch.

PR - Hodusoft Launched Ominification of Your Communications across Platforms with fully loaded solutions like HoduPBX, HoduConf, HoduCC, HoduBS, Hoduswitch Hodusoft is one of the leading companies offering master class business VoIP software to a massive number of international clients across the globe. They offer robust solutions with cutting-edge technology which are reliable, client-centric and cost-effective communication software. Easy and affordable, our VoIP products make your business communication effective.

Hodusoft proposes HoduPBX with new installment reconciliation highlight which is particularly simple to utilize and work and furthermore to a great degree financially savvy. The safe VoIP IP PBX administrations to meet your prime organization basic installment correspondence requests in an exceptionally productive way.

Hodusoft releases customized VoIP software solutions sparing numerous superfluous costs with shrewd coordination for an installment door. Having a skilled, master and devoted organization, Hodusoft provides fully customized solutions as per your business specific needs.

Your Business needs are one of a kind so ought to be your pick of the correct VoIP software solution. We have been incorporating with the best in the business by giving the most dependable, savvy and client driven answers for communications and coordinated effort software. Basic, savvy, versatile and reasonable.

Mr. Kartik Khambhati, Business Head of Hodusoft is the key managment team member who has contributed significantly to maintain and enhance the profitability of Hodusoft operations he quoted “In today’s economic situation, businesses are instantly realizing the significance of collaborative VOIP solutions that empower businesses along with saving on communication expenses. However, the level and type of collaboration needs diversify, depending upon location, industries and establishment size and the intent behind its implementation.”

HoduPBX also offers the best customized FreeSWITCH based IP PBX software. Pivotal and testing customizations are our strong point. Hodusoft offers HoduPBX with a month to month membership subscription which guarantees your prosperity with a restricted spending plan as well. Having the best VoIP solution for your business doesn't mean you should purge your pockets.

Hodusoft is one expert Web-based SMS and MMS broadcasting software to give advertisers and organizations the adaptability to dispatch, oversee and track their very own SMS campaigns.

We offer SMS broadcasting solutions which allow organizations, colleges, non-profits making associations, and various enterprises enhance their correspondence, marketing plans like Retail, Government, Security, Emergency Services, Medium, Travel, Political Campaigns, Banking Services, Education, Health-care, Transportation.

Expect three more quarters of losses for telecom industry: COAI

Expect three more quarters of losses for telecom industry: COAI The telecom sector is likely to experience three more quarters of losses, hurt by high levies and "unsustainable tariffs", a top official of industry body COAI has said. "Under the current scenario, I see at least another three plus quarters of losses. Why? Because personally, I do not think the present tariffs are sustainable for long term health of the industry...," COAI Director General, Rajan Mathews told. Stating that the high incidence of levies -- licence fee and spectrum usage charges -- compounded by upfront payment for radio-waves have added to the operators' woes, Mathews noted that 2018-19 will certainly be a "tough year" in terms of financial performance of the industry.

"Already we have been through two quarters of losses (this fiscal). So something dramatic has to happen in the next two quarters and we know that is not going to happen. Clearly, 2018-19 will be a tough year in terms of financial performance for the industry but the beginning of fiscal 2019-20 will see clarity (emerging)," he said.

In 2016, Reliance IndustriesNSE 0.20 % launched Jio, a new fourth-generation wireless service that disrupted the telecom industry by offering free calls and cheap data on mobile phones. Jio's entry set off a brutal tariff war, forcing older players such as Airtel, Vodafone and Idea (now Vodafone Idea LtdNSE 0.42 %) to cut tariffs, denting the industry's financial metrics and deepening the impact of regulatory decisions like cut in termination charges.

Asked if he expects the mobile rates to fall further or stabilise, Mathews said, the tariffs are already at affordable levels.

"It is difficult for me to see how much further the tariffs can drop," he said, adding that continuous deterioration of revenue stream would be detrimental for the industry as networks will need investments in new technology and wider, better coverage.

For the June quarter, Bharti AirtelNSE -0.48 % had reported the loss of Rs 940 crore from its mainstay India business, as it bled to retain market play, in the face of free voice calls and dirt cheap tariffs from Reliance Jio. Airtel, however, reported aRs 97 crore net profit on a consolidated basis in the April-June period after taking into account revenues from its Africa business.

On July 30, announcing its last financial result before merger with Vodafone India, Aditya Birla Group firm Idea Cellular reported total comprehensive income of Rs 263.5 crore for June quarter - helped by one-time gain from sale of mobile towers. (Source: Economic Times)


Google in talks with Flipkart, Paytm, other companies to launch its ‘shopping’ tab in India

Google in talks with Flipkart, Paytm, other companies to launch its ‘shopping’ tab in India Search engine giant Google will soon launch its ‘Shopping’ tab in India, allowing users to search for products to buy and directing them to merchant websites or ecommerce platforms for product listings, two people familiar with the company’s plans told ET. In the works for several months, the Shopping tab will be piloted soon, prior to a fullfledged launch before the end of the year, one of the persons said.

Confirming the development, a Google spokesperson in an emailed response said, “We are always exploring options to help consumers find the products they want to buy more quickly and efficiently from local merchants.”

Google is already in talks with ecommerce players such as Flipkart, Paytm Mall and Snapdeal to partake in the company’s shopping tab initiative, according to one of the persons cited earlier. ET could not independently verify the same. To be sure, multiple sources ET spoke with clarified that Google will not, for the moment, fulfil online shopping, either through its payment product or otherwise.

Likely to Tap Into SMEs
Besides large ecommerce websites, Google is also expected to tap into its large network of registered small and medium enterprises or SMEs — from neighbourhood kirana stores to high-end handicraft stores — to help users discover products they want. These merchants need not necessarily list on platforms like Amazon or Flipkart.

“They (Google) will partner with retailers of all sizes — it can tell the user where the product is available, is it available online, etc.,” said another person in the know. For now, this service is being provided free of cost.

Some experts see the Google shopping tab as a precursor of the internet giant eventually setting up an ecommerce marketplace. “It is like how Amazon launched price comparison website Junglee.com before foraying into ecommerce full-fledged after they got consumer data,” said one of the persons cited above. “Google will also first understand Indian shopping trends through the Shopping tab.”

DECLINING AD REVENUES
Google’s foray into product search comes at a time when the tech giant is said to be losing market share to Amazon on product searches in the US, which translates into declining ad revenues.

The US online retail market is dominated by the powerful network built by Amazon through its Prime programme, which analysts believe is difficult to overcome by any other tech company.

“In the US, 50-60% product search begins at Amazon, bypassing Google and cannibalising its market,” said Arpan Sheth, a partner at consulting firm Bain & Company. “Google is losing online shoppers because of this and it is taking a hit at their advertising revenue.”

Earlier this year, media reports said that Flipkart and Amazon had reduced their ad spending on Google by as much as 30%.

Google’s annual ad revenues are over $40 billion. Amazon’s annualised ad revenue is much lower at over $6 billion, but it’s growing at around 132% quarter-on-quarter.

PRODUCT SEARCH
Akin to the ‘News’ or ‘Images’ tabs on Google search page, the ‘Shopping’ tab allows users to sift through different merchant listings of the product they are looking for.

At present, online shoppers generally go to an ecommerce website directly to search for a particular product.

While Google already lists products through its ‘product listing ads’, the Shopping tab will give users a lot more control. For instance, users can filter the product they are looking for based on price or any other attributes, while also getting more details of the product by going to the ‘details’ page.

On the merchant side, anyone with a product feed can plug into Google’s merchant centre to be listed on the shopping tab, said the second person cited earlier.

“The idea is that of an open ecosystem. Google wants partners of all sizes and shapes — offline, online, pureplay, omnichannel,” the person said.

With 80-85 million online shoppers, India is an important market for Google.

Google currently runs a Shopping tab in over 30 countries, and company sources said it has seen a high degree of conversion, because of strong user intent. On the user side, the tab has also seen high rates of engagement, largely due to the specificity that product search allows (filter by attributes like colour and shape.

Earlier this year, Google invested in omnichannel fashion commerce company Fynd, which provides an online platform for brands to display their store inventory, besides backing hyper-local delivery service Dunzo.

ET had reported last week that the search giant plans to launch an online storefront for its branded hardware products next month. (Source: Economic Times)

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