BusinessTechnology

Smartphone Trends & Competition Report for 2019

People using their smartphone in hand

 

By Soumya De, Unmesh Phule and Anushka Joshi

Contents

1       Introduction. 3

2       Consumers’ desire for smartphone brands in India. 4

2.1         Samsung vs Xiaomi 4

2.2         Indian companies. 6

2.3         Smartphone brands thrown out of India. 6

3       A notch up or down. 8

4       Punch hole Display. 8

4.1         Honor View 20. 9

4.2         Samsung Galaxy 10 series. 9

5       The Foldable Display. 10

5.1         Samsung Galaxy Fold. 10

5.2         Huawei Mate X Fold. 11

6       5G technology making inroads into the country. 12

6.1         Nokia. 12

6.2         Infosys. 13

7       Tapping into a $700 billion market is a bit difficult. 14

8       Conclusion. 15

1          Introduction

Market analysis is as crucial for businesses as the idea of the product or service itself. The reason behind this philosophy is that without a thorough understanding of the market, there is no possibility of a good business.

In the past, there have been uncountable instances when there have been amazing ideas and resources to even execute them. However, lack of knowledge of the market, blurred image of the market’s demand & supple and lack of idea regarding its sustainability led to the failure of those businesses shortly after closing.

Having said that, the new businesses are not the only ones in need of knowing the market dynamics. The existing players too need to spend time and resources in knowing the changes happening around the market to sustain for a long time. The market is not stable at all times; thus, the existing players need to keep reviewing their positions in the market. New players keep entering most of the market on a regular basis and the old players could be replaced very easily as the customer preference can change any moment depending on various controllable and uncontrollable factors.

Smartphones are one of the most crucial innovations in the entire human history. It has completely changed the way entertainment is consumed and the information is processed and transferred. The advent of the internet was revolutionary enough but it was still out of the reach of billions of people across the globe. Smartphones have empowered people around the world to connect to the source of information from anywhere and anytime. It also allows its users to capture the small and large moments of their lives that are very precious to them. Moreover, the users can then share them with their near and dear ones via their smartphones and a stable internet connection.

The world has changed significantly after the arrival of smartphones. Most of the uses have been beneficial and some of it was for malicious purposes. However, this happens with almost all new technologies. The human mind is complex machinery that works differently for every person alive.

The report presents the aspects of the smartphone market that will dictate the coming future. There are innovations that are transforming the industry big time. The reigning champions have been challenged and defeated in some even cases. New players are showing character and leadership qualities that they can lead the transformation. The markets all over the world are quickly reaching saturation points and that is why we can see a downfall in most big markets. However, countries such as India and Nigeria are still growing and new market opportunities are opening up in the developing parts of Africa.

The following areas have been covered in the report:

  • Trending display technologies
  • Foldable design
  • Price wise segregation – premium and entry level
  • Their performance and anomalies
  • Price sensitivity
  • Online vs offline channels
  • Impact of the new FDI and E-commerce policy by the Indian government
  • Impact of the Indian telecom players especially Jio
  • Smartphone & internet based businesses boosting sales
blue smartphone in hand
[Unsplash]

2          Consumers’ desire for smartphone brands in India

According to a research by Market Trends Research Foundation, the top three mobile phone brands that Indian consumers want to buy the next time they buy a new smartphone are Apple, OnePlus and Xiaomi. The percentages for these three are 24%, 20.5% and 17.8% respectively, while Samsung ranked fourth, accounting for 14.3%.

In fact, Samsung is currently the No. 1 in total sales in the Indian market (feature phones+ smartphones). However, due to the fierce competition in the Indian mobile phone market and the strong influence of other brands, especially Chinese, Samsung is facing tremendous pressure. Chinese brands occupy the highest market share in India.

India is the second largest smartphone market in the world after China. Cheap Internet access and affordable smartphone prices are driving the rapid growth of Indian smartphone market.

 

2.1        Samsung vs Xiaomi

Xiaomi, India’s biggest smartphone seller broke the record with ease. It entered at a very critical time in India. Its entry was coupled with the 4G revolution and the whole country was going through demonetization. This marked the exit of Micromax from the sub-10,000 market and we saw the rise of the Chinese companies in India. Chinese companies were often seen as cheap and low-quality phones but Xiaomi along with Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus have managed to tarnish that image altogether.

The Xiaomi phones are now looked at the quality for low prices. This is how the company works and they have their own strategy to cut down on prices. They work on their strategies, improving and doing things their own way. The company is trying to do what they do best and have succeeded. It surpassed Samsung in 2018 and are looking strong at the start of 2019. The Chinese phone-maker is yet to have a major release in 2019 and is lining up Note 7 pro. Apparently, people are waiting for it.

Samsung, on the other hand, has its own strategy. One thing is pretty sure that Samsung is not the one to back down and is lining up a series of phones that is going to take India by storm. The Korean company is looking at the launch of Galaxy S10 and many versions of it in a week’s time but it has different strategies to tackle the Xiaomi in India.

Samsung had apparently left the budget market space in India. It was concentrating on premium phones and in that space, Xiaomi took over the Indian market with its range of budget phones. However, the Korean company entered the budget phone market with M series which is doing well as of now. The two phones are doing well as of now but it is too early to judge. That said, the company is coming out with multiple A series of phones in India. It has quoted a market sell target of $4 billion from A series. The phone prices will range from INR 10,000 – INR 50,000.

That said, the two companies are indisputable champions in India. Although Xiaomi holds the number one position with 28.9% of market share and Samsung comes in second with 22.4% of market share. The numbers are provided by IDC (International Data Corporation). These two companies have a market share of more than 50% in India. They are the winners in India followed by Oppo and Vivo.

Four out of five companies in the top five are Chinese. This tells us how influenced the smartphone market in India is by the Chinese companies. That said, this is good for competition but Xiaomi has worked extremely well to get where they are. It will be a huge challenge for Samsung to win their crown back but they have a huge advantage right now. The advantage lies in offline stores. The company has about 160,000 offline partners with 2,000 dedicated stores and given that the new FDI policy has taken effect, Samsung will look to exploit its reach in India.

India loves Samsung and it is about time the company showers some love back. It has already re-entered the sub-INR 12,000 markets in India. The M series has been pretty successful in India even though it is still early days for the numbers to call a success yet.

The company’s M series was marked for the online market and will cater to the people wanting to buy phones online. Although Samsung has a huge presence in the offline market in India, thanks to their experience, the company did not shutter its offline stores but added to the number in recent years. The company has around 180,000 outlets in the country and around 2,000 brand stores as well. The company is going to exploit this huge number over the next few months.

Samsung has pledged that it is going to launch new phones every month beginning from March till June. The company is gearing up for the worldwide launch of its Samsung Galaxy S10 phones which is just a week away from now. Apart from that, the company has many plans for India as it is planning to drop it’s A series in India. The company is gearing up for the multiple launches of these phones as well. It is going to look flood the market with Samsung phones.

The price range of the A series is going to start from INR 10,000 to INR 50,000. This price range is huge and the phones will compete with every company in a different price range. The company is expected to create a market worth $4 billion through this single series and that is the amount they expect to make by selling these phones. The M series focused on the online market, the A series will focus on the offline market amending the FDI policy which is relatively new.

The new FDI policy has played it into the hands of Samsung which led the country before Xiaomi and e-commerce revolution. It had phones in all the price ranges then and it is going to have a similar strategy now and will look to snatch the crown back from Xiaomi.

Xiaomi, on the other hand, is also looking to create an offline presence in India. However, it will take time for the company to make things happen. In the meanwhile, Samsung might just swoon the Indian consumers with A series and grab the market by its neck. It is just a matter of time that Samsung wins back its beloved Indian market and everyone knew this, it was just the question of how they will do it. We know a lot about that as well now.

[Image source: Trapp.in]

2.2        Indian companies

Smartphones in India is a different story altogether. It is away from the reality the other world is in and is in its own dreamland at the moment. The country is going to be in dreamland for the coming several years according to many researchers. There is still a huge part of India that is yet to be exploited by smartphone makers. The entire world is sinking when it comes to smartphone sales and India is the only one whose boat is sailing unflinchingly.

The market in India is just huge and there are major companies which are dominating it. The smaller companies and most importantly the domestic companies have found it extremely hard to just exist in this hyperactive and hyper-competitive market. It is extremely hard to sell phones when there are better quality phones at a price range they once used to conquer. That said, domestic companies are fighting for their survival in India.

Micromax, Intex, Karbonn, Lava, and many other companies have been made to push their price range back. The companies half a decade back used to make phones that were sold at sub-INR 10,000 rupees. Then the Chinese invasion happened and the price tag was pushed back and now it has reached a sub INR 7,000. They are selling phones in this market and if they increase their price tag then it will be game over for them.

This is the situation of the smartphone market. The reason for this is demonetization and the overnight change in the 4G sector brought by Reliance Jio. Companies like Micromax, Karbonn and Lava were set on fire because of this as they had no phones in the market which would accommodate a 4G sim card and their price range was such that most of the people would buy their phones in cash. This is how demonetization and Reliance Jio sunk these companies to the low they are currently at.

That said, the better-doing companies amongst these domestic entities, Micromax, Karbonn, and Lava are going to exploit the foreign market. There are countries in the continent of Africa and also countries like Russia with Europe also in the picture which have a huge market for $100-200 smartphones. Micromax is already looking to foray into the African market and also looking at the Middle East and also in Russia. The Indian company, which once was the biggest smartphone seller, is going to invest in their products including the TVs along with smartphones.

Lava, on the other hand, is eyeing the African market apart from Uzbekistan and Russia. The company has already sidelined a sum of INR 150 crores to enter those markets. Many researchers believe that the international market is something that can offer these companies a relief and a chance to exist in today’s market.

 

2.3        Smartphone brands thrown out of India

The smartphone market in India is the only market that grew exponentially. All the other major countries saw a dip in shipments and sales but India is a country which grew and how. There are many reasons for this and one is that India has just matured as a market and the second reason which is most important is that there are still millions of Indians without a smartphone. The metro cities and the tier 2 and 3 cities are majorly exploited by the smartphone companies and this is the minority of the population in India.

To strike you with another fact, there are 500 million Indians who use feature phones even in this day and age. When the world is moving on to flatter and larger screens with no bezels, India is still trying to escape the reality of feature phones. This is why companies which make feature phones still exist in India. Another reason why the companies cannot tackle this is that people are not literate enough in the deeper groves of India to understand how the smartphone works. So no matter how much Marcus Brownlee says that this phone is better than that, these people won’t care, not that they know who Marcus Brownlee is.

That said, there are five major players in the Indian market, Xiaomi, the leading company when it comes to smartphones, Samsung, the fallen king of smartphones in India, OnePlus, the rising star, Apple, the phone-makers for the riches, and Oppo, the innovation master. These are the five companies along with the likes of Vivo, Itel, Micromax, and Motorola have dominated the Indian market to such an extent that smaller companies have succumbed to the hyper-competition amongst these massive brands.

There are around 200 smartphone makers in India, yes 200 and to shock you with another fact, there were around 300 smartphone makers before the arrival of Chinese companies. This is how dense and diverse the market is. The problem lies with the domination of the giants such as Xiaomi and Samsung. The duo shares more than 50% of the market in India and makes all kinds of phones; from premium to budget.

Then there is OnePlus, which is a flagship killer in a true sense. It gives you everything that a flagship phone has and at a price which is not a flagship like. There are other companies which are trying to be like OnePlus but they have a lot of loyal consumer base in India and people are shifting from Samsung and Apple to OnePlus because of the quality their device possesses.

In 2018, over 40 brands shuttered in India. They decided to give up because of the hyper-competition. The number is already reached 10 in 2019 and we are just 40 days into the year. To that number of 41 exits in India, there were only 15 entrants. In 2017, this number of exits was down to 13 and entries were at 9 companies. In 2016, it was 5 exits and 13 entries while in 2015 it was only 2 exits and 15 entries.

The above numbers tell us that the Indian smartphone market has gone from being totally unstable to unstable. As the people’s ability to accept new brands is lowering by the year and they are settling for devices they know and trust. This was not the case before, the price-sensitive market, which it still is, has now turned into a trusting and loyal market, which it wasn’t.

This is a major change and those numbers are only playing evidence to that. That said, there are going to be a lot of new entries in 2019 but it will hard for them to break the concrete base Xiaomi, Samsung and OnePlus have created in India. Unless and until they have something extraordinary up their sleeve, India is just going to throw out those companies.

 

3          A notch up or down

Samsung is a company, which totally depends on its innovation and execution. It has always led the battle of newness in the smartphone market. While stretching the boundaries for bringing in newer technology they have managed to maintain the quality of their products. The company has always considered Apple as their biggest rival and no one has really managed to beat the smartphone business of Samsung. They have always led the way in all the departments of innovations.

Samsung was the first device in the world to bring the concept of infinity display to the consumers. They had created a phone, which was mesmerizing and was outlandish for all of us at the time. Then followed a series of smartphones from different companies trying to mend their devices and recreate the thing. The infinity display is what the companies are still craving and not many have achieved it. Samsung also has a bezel on the upper side and it was more than happy with that bezel instead of a notch.

That said, making fun of Apple and building on that has always been Samsung’s game. It first came into the picture with its Galaxy phones by advertising it by casually making fun of Apple’s iPhone. That said, it is still doing it, the day Apple launched their phone was the day Samsung plotted the launch for their next one. They made fun of the notch, they said that they were happy with a small bezel and never implemented it in any of their phones.

Notch was followed by almost every smartphone maker out there, Samsung is an exception. It was the trend of 2018 and no one left that stone unturned. There were fewer bezels, screens were larger, headphone jacks were off the chin and many other things changed in the smartphone business but Samsung never introduced a notch of any kind.

However, Samsung has defied itself this time around. It recently announced a ‘Millennial’ series for the people who became adult after the turn of the century. The M series as it is supposed to be called is going to don a teardrop display. Samsung is going to launch three of these phones and all of them are going to have teardrop displays and which is actually a notch. They are going to call it an infinity-V display in line with its infinity-O display, which will be instilled on their newest flagships.

They may call it a different type of infinity display but Samsung will boss a notch after all. It was the only company to be devoid of the famous notches but now will have one on its latest edition in 2019. The M-series will be launched in India and is here only to dislodge Xiaomi of their first place. That said, the punch-hole display is going to cause a storm in 2019 and will be seen in many phones in the upcoming year. It might be better than the notch but it will only depend on how the consumers take it.

Honor's new punch-hole display shown in their latest entrant View 20
[Honor]

4          Punch hole Display

The trends smartphones have and the ideas smartphone makers have are beyond our understanding. Sometimes the ideas are too futuristic and then the makers have to wait for technology to catch up.

The same thing has happened with the infinity display. Samsung brought a phone in the market with its infinity display, which had bezels but still looked fabulous. This was followed by Apple’s iPhone X which had a notch. The notch, that became a phenomenon in the smartphone industry. By the end of 2018, almost every phone had a notch. Samsung made fun of Apple for having a notch and termed it as ugly but has prevailed and now has introduced a teardrop display on its M-series.

So notches have been there to accommodate the camera and sensors. It was the trend of 2018 but now that makers move towards total display and no interference, there are concepts, which have been implemented and one of those concepts is the punch-hole display. Now some people might not be aware of the technology but Honor came out with a smartphone named View 20, which changed everything.

4.1        Honor View 20

Now, Honor brought home the punch-hole display is basically a replaced notch. Notch, which broke the screen midway on the top and held the front-facing cameras are nowhere to be seen on View 20, instead, there is a small black dot on the screen which looks like a punched hole on a paper. That is why it is called a punch-hole display. A brilliant idea and is executed equally brilliantly. This smartphone is going to take home a lot of bucks but the idea is priceless. Now, this can be the trend of the year. The punch-hole display is already making way to Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and might just make it to every smartphone until the end of 2019.

Just like this, the trends of 2019 might be very different from that of 2018. We might see quad cameras instead of dual and also wireless charging might enter with AI being around the corner as well. However, only time will tell us about the same and it will be only interesting to see how the year pans out for smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy S10+
[ReviewTech]

4.2        Samsung Galaxy 10 series

Samsung followed suit and released three phones with notches. The most premium among them is the Galaxy S10+. The phones are amazing and the fanciest thing is the screen. The screen is just downright marvelous. The cameras are pinned in the screen which makes it look stunning. The screen of S10+ is a bit larger than S9+ but the size remains the same. The bezels are smaller or non-existent to be fair to Samsung.

Samsung claims that this is the most color accurate screen ever in a smartphone. The screen looks out of this world and the feel of the phone is also something unique and premium. That said, the screen is called the Infinity-O display which is just another name for the punch-hole display. The screen can integrate 16 million colors at 100% color volume which is insane. The screen is also HDR10+ certified. It is the world’s first Dynamic AMOLED display.

That aside, the display also has an in-built fingerprint scanner. The scanner is also one of the firsts. It is an Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, which is not just the name but also has some use. The ultrasonic sensor will sense the fingerprint with sound waves which will work under any condition and does not need the user to apply extra pressure. There are also anti-spoofing algorithms used as there can be fingerprint spoofing.

The cameras on the phones are also a first. There are a total of five cameras on the phones. The two on the screen or on the screen to be specific and three at the back. There is a special wide-angle lens which is used. There are standard 12 MP cameras and also a telephoto camera with 16 MP ultra-wide sensor. However, the ultra-wide sensor has a fixed focus of f/2.2. The cameras are also given and assisted by Neural Processing Unit. This has special abilities and allows the camera to recognize many different scenes. The number can reach up to 30 scenes.

The chip in the phone is also one of the latest, sharpest and most powerful one Samsung has ever made. The 7nm Exynos 9820 SoC with 12GB Ram and an impossible 1TB storage. This chip is one of the strongest in the market yet and might just be the most powerful. The Galaxy S10+ is the sharpest phone out there right now and that is because of the chip it has.

The prices are also a bit higher than the previous year. The S10 will be available for about INR 63,900. The S10+ will cost about INR 71,000 and S10E is the cheapest with its cost around INR 53,300. These are all converted prices and the Indian prices may differ a bit but will be in this range.

Samsung's Galaxy Fold wins hearts at the launch event
Source: TrustedReviews

5          The Foldable Display

After the trend of notch displays, the time has come for the trend of a punch-hole display. Huawei’s sub-brand Honor launched this new technology and now it has caught the attention of the people. Even Samsung is now copying Huawei for their technology.

5.1        Samsung Galaxy Fold

Samsung recently launched a plethora of phones. The company has also done a lot of new launches in the subcontinent of India to try and win back from Xiaomi. However, it has not let the premium users down as the Galaxy launch event was a bomb in all the positive ways. It was one of the finest launch events in the history of launch events and there were many devices launched to dazzle the ever so hungry tech community.

Samsung launched its premium smartphone line with Samsung S10, S10+, and S10E. These smartphones truly gained all the attention. Everybody was startled with amazing screens and dazzling cameras. There were many other things which were announced with the phones and one of those things absolutely stole the show. It was the Samsung Galaxy Fold. The foldable phone from Samsung won all the hearts. The demo was outstanding and the software on it was just out of this world.

The 7.3-inch display which it offer=s when fully expanded is one of its kind. It has an insane six cameras on the phone. It has three cameras on the back, a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor, 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera. There are two cameras on the inside as well; a 10-megapixel camera and an 8-megapixel RGB depth camera. The last one is on the front; a 10-megapixel sensor on the front.

This where the Samsung won over Mate X, the Huawei’s foldable phone. However, when folded the Samsung’s Galaxy fold is an only 4.6-inch screen with 1960×840 resolution. The software on the phone is just outstanding. It runs on Android 9 with optimized OneUI. The user interface is so well crafted that once you open the phone to its full capacity it will totally change the UI in a seamless 7.3-inch screen. The phone also allows you to multitask with three things at once. It is one of those brilliant ideas that has been turned into reality.

When the device opens up it is again one of the stunning displays Samsung has provided. It is a 2152×1536 Infinity Flex tablet display. Infinity Flex is the official name of the display. The phone is a 5G capable phone and with that, it uses a 10nm chip. It is one of the rarest occasion a chip of that calibre is used. It has 12 GB of RAM to go with that powerful chip.

That said, this foldable phone is breakthrough without a doubt but with the notch and a small display when folded makes it a bit less attractive when it is compared to Mate X. The price of this phone is, however, a bit lesser than Huawei’s Mate X. This device will go on sale in April for around $1980. This is where it gets super premium and hard for a normal consumer to buy a product of this kind.

 

5.2        Huawei Mate X Fold

Foldable phones are a thing to watch out this year. There are many companies with a breakthrough in this segment of phones. This is one of those technologies which will get better with innovations. This feels like the rebirth of smartphones, it has to go through the entire cycle that smartphone went through and only then it will be totally acceptable and the consumers will pounce on it. However, there are companies which want to skip this process by innovations and ideas.

Huawei, leading smartphone seller in China and the second to just Apple in the world, has better and bigger ideas. The company has put up a stellar show with its phones, its subsidiary is also doing a fantastic job. Huawei went through a lot of controversies in recent times and it has had a tough time. However, the company has come out with a lot of devices. The most innovative and eye-catching of them was Huawei Mate X, the foldable smartphone.

The phone was shown off during the pre-MWC conference in Barcelona. The foldable phone is outstanding to look at. It has a brilliant display or rather two displays. The FullView Displays are on two sides of the outer body. This helps the phone to transform into a solid 8-inch tablet. The transition to the smartphone and also to the tablet from a smartphone is smooth and there are no glitches on the screen. The displays are OLED and once turned into a tablet are seamless. There is nothing to complain about the displays.

There is a two in one camera on the foldable phone. This camera has Leica Optics and that is one of the reasons this might stand out from the other foldable phones in the market. The software is also top notch and it flips to the tablet mode in a blink. That said, the Mate X runs on Android 9, Pie. Over the Android Pie, there is an EMUI 9.1.1 interface. The phone has the dual-SIM feature as well. The folded device offers a display of about 6.6 inches and when opened it becomes an 8-inch tablet.

The Huawei foldable phone, Mate X has no notch even when folded. It has two screens, even when it is folded and this becomes usable. The back screen can be totally used to get selfies with the rear main camera. This is one of the best features of the phone.

That said, the phone runs on one of the most powerful chips around. It runs on HiSilicon Kirin 980 SoC. The big news is also that it supports 5G to deliver higher internet speeds. The company offers Falcon wing design and its seamless Fullview display steal the show.

The price of this phone is revealed and is around EUR 2,299 which can be roughly translated to INR 209,400 for 8GB RAM and 512 Storage variant. This will go on sale in a few months from now and most probably from June 2019. It also competes with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and we are going to review it shortly.

 

6          5G technology making inroads into the country

The world is always looking for the next step. There is always a ‘what next’ waiting for our curiosity and this will never stop. Progress is the evidence of life and without progress, we can literally stagnate the world altogether. There are many technologies currently looking to find that next step. There are funds available, their businessmen investing in businesses of the future and then there are companies that are working to take this world to the next step.

Another technology that is gearing up to enter the next chapter is the internet. The world is waiting in anticipation for the 5G network and how it is going to be faster than the previous generation. That said, countries like USA, Australia, Japan, South Korea and all of Europe is ready for the 5th generation. However, India is a country which will have to wait before it experiences a faster network.

There are phones coming out in the market already, keeping in mind the 5G technology. There are chipsets made by chip-makers like Snapdragon, Samsung, and even Huawei. That said, the phones are future ready but India might not be. There are talks that India might have to wait until late 2020 for the 5G networks to be launched. There are people talking that phone companies are working closely with telecom partners to bring their phones in line with the 5G network plans.

Nokia Board on a street at night
[ReviewTech]

6.1        Nokia

Nokia is one of those companies that is going to take an active part in the 5G network testing that will take place all around the country. The testing of the 5G network or the field testing as it is known will take place in the latter half of this year. Currently, the companies are busy with lab testing of the technology and there are many telecom partners which are behind on the 4G network and 5G remains a distant dream for them.

That said, the company that is the readiest to welcome 5G is Reliance Jio. It is the only telecom partner that can switch to 5G if the spectrum is available. Talking about spectrum, the field testing of 5G will have to take place with the help of Department of Telecommunication (DoT). DoT will provide spectrum for only 90 days and it will be for field testing and nothing else. This goes according to the current rules in India.

The government, on the other hand, remains confident that 5G will be in India by 2020. It will work in sync with the world and will not lag behind. However, the scenario looks different. It is also coming to terms with the market and the economic impact of the 5G revolution. The economic impact could reach $1 trillion in the country.

This is the reason the government is taking special efforts to speed up the process of 5G. Nokia market Head of India, Sanjay Malik realizes the same. He made the picture clear and told ET about the current plans. He said that the field trials, planning, and spectrum will be available in the second half of 2019 and not before that. Nokia is working with Airtel for the same.

Infosys is offering 5G solutions to major companies
[Infosys.com]

6.2        Infosys

5G is one such technology, which is going to require many problems to be solved before it is stabilized as 4G has. That is the reason it is estimated to reach all the countries with the infrastructure by the time we hit 2020. It will take time to get this kind of technology out in the open. That said, Infosys has a lot of technologies that go on the line of 5G and that is going to help the company be one of the leading solution providers in that sector.

Infosys has identified the problems and is now going to provide solutions in the 5G sector. It is going to help the companies set up their 5G networks and this is going to start in five cities globally. The cities are Bengaluru, Melbourne, Indianapolis, Richardson, and Frankfurt.

Infosys, India’s second largest IT Company has expanded all over the world. It has managed to spread so rapidly and greatly that it is going in the direction of world-leading IT Solutions Company sooner than later. The company has a specific plan and it works accordingly. It is known for its execution skills and it has always flourished by taking many other companies with them to the top. The company has a long history of influencers who have been leaders of a kind. That said, the company has a plethora of businesses but it is still entering newer regions and exploring the world of opportunities.

The company will thrive from its experience with the telecom partners. Infosys has a long history of working with the telecom partners and it will use that experience to help the other companies get their 5G technologies out as fast as possible. The Indian IT Company has its 5G labs working on various technologies as well. The company released a statement during press-time and said that the labs have managed to amalgamate best of Infosys innovative technologies and into the areas like AI, AR, IoT, and many such things.

“The global network of Infosys 5G Living Labs are designed to help enterprises imagine and curate game-changing ideas driven by 5G, and rapidly prototype them to life. The labs combine the best of Infosys emerging technologies expertise in areas like (IoT), AR, VR, and AI, design thinking is driven approaches and a diverse partner ecosystem that is deeply invested in 5G technologies,” read the statement.

The 5G labs of Infosys offer something, which not many companies in the world can offer. Infosys offers solutions to which will help companies provide an ecosystem so that they could nurture the offerings and then deploy them on a large scale. This is what Reliance Jio did with 4G.

The President and deputy chief operating officer of Infosys, Ravi Kumar S said that 5G is going to blow the world in a different way than 4G did and Infosys’ experience in the majority of fields will help the companies to a great extent.

“5G is opening an array of opportunities for communication service providers (CSPs) and Enterprises in the digital era. Infosys’ suite of 5G offerings is powered by our extensive experience of working with major telecom service providers and enterprises globally in transforming their business and technology landscape. Our expertise in areas such as SDN-NFV, Media OTT Platforms, and IoT, together with industry collaborations among network solution providers, network OEMs, and CSPs will help custom”, he was quoted saying in a press release.

 

7          Tapping into a $700 billion market is a bit difficult

Technology is something, which is discrimination-free and does not look at people in any other way than it should. Humans can actually learn a lot from technology but that is another debate for another day. Technology, when thought, invented and made is never for one single group of ethnic people or one single race or one single gender, technology is thought for everyone alike. However, today, there is one such technological problem, which has risen in the recent past.

Smartphones, when made, are not made for a specific gender they are made for everyone. However, there is a huge gap amongst smartphone users when it comes to men users and women users. This problem is majorly in the Asian regions and then leads on to the Middle East. There is a significant gap between male users and women users with the reason being multiple. However, this gap has given rise to a multi-billion dollar opportunity for businesspersons to grab.

The market is as huge as $700 billion as there are many technological advances, which have not been addressed by one of the genders. This is because there are countries with low or middle-income families as the majority and the women in these families are mostly not used to using a smartphone or a phone at all. They are not aware of the Internet or any other social media applications and this is the reason there is a huge business opportunity here. The number mentioned above is estimated by GSMA.

This opportunity is not only for the smartphone or phone-makers but also for the telecom partners as they could totally cash in on the $140 billion increase in the market if women and men all use internet and phones.

To break this market, there has to be a company that is ready to break all the barriers. The barriers are mountain-like and it will be very hard for any company to break those in one go. It will take a lot of effort and a lot of time to do so. The barriers like literacy rate and low budget cannot be comprehended and understood in just one survey. The fact that this problem is huge and needs addressing is also another opportunity in itself.

The gender gap in mobile ownership is huge in South Asia. This area is the most hurt as the chances of women using a phone is 28% less. The sub-Saharan region is also a huge business opportunity as the chances of women using a phone is 15% less likely. The Middle East is where it improves a little bit with 9% less likeliness of women using a phone while in Europe there might be more women using a phone than men. This is where literacy plays a part and also the income range of people. The income range of people goes on increasing as the likeliness of women using a phone also goes on increasing.

This is not an easy market to grab but there is a market. The survey is here from region to region but there needs to be a way of tackling age-old problems like money and literacy rate.

 

8          Conclusion

The complex Indian market has been a challenge for most of the global brands. However, the brands that have invested in understanding the market inside out and made efforts towards offering better products and services have succeeded. In recent times, smartphone brands such as Samsung and Xiaomi have been very successful.

As far as features are concerned, the regular developments in the chipset and speeds are going on, as usual, however, the network speeds will be a major upgrade this year with the advent of 5G technologies. Most of the developed market will start rolling out the 5G spectrum and the smartphone brands are all ready to launch their 5G capable smartphones there.

The screen is a crucial part of any smartphone. This is the first thing a user notices on a device. Smartphone technologies have come a far way since its inception in 2007 but the screen technology has remained more or less the same. The resolutions have increased constantly but nothing new came out until Apple released its notch display. In later parts of 2018, Huawei introduced their punch-hole display and 2019 will be flooded with this technology. Notch had a love-hate relationship with most users but the punch-hole display has received less criticism and widespread acceptance from the users globally.

In the MWC going on in Barcelona, companies such as Samsung and Huawei have launched their new devices with the punch-hole display. Most of the premium devices this year will come with a punch-hole whereas the mid-range and the entry-level devices might still carry the notch display.

Unlike the previous times, the innovations are now happening in the east. Chinese companies who were earlier looked down upon are now bringing out new technologies and features unheard of. Their manufacturing qualities have also skyrocketed and premium devices from these companies really feel and perform better most other global smartphone brands.

It is advised to shed biased views and act rationally as far as technology is concerned. 2019 will be a great year for the developing smartphone markets such as India and most of Africa but developed markets such as China, Europe and North America will witness a downfall certainly.

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