Demonetisation: Rs. 500, 1000 Notes Should Be Allowed for Purchase of Mobiles, Says ICA

Demonetisation: Rs. 500, 1000 Notes Should Be Allowed for Purchase of Mobiles, Says ICA
HIGHLIGHTS
Domino effect on the distribution trade and manufacturing
Cash crisis expected to pull down smartphone shipments by 17.5 percent
Mobile phones at the centre of digital payment economy
Mobile phone industry body Indian Cellular Association has asked the government to allow use of old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes for the purchase of handsets and claimed that their sales have come down by 50 percent due to cash crunch post demonetisation.

In a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the association said, “The mobile handset sales have crashed and the sales are down in the brick and mortar channel, which is more than 80 percent of our turnover… the daily collection of our trade and industry, which should be around Rs. 350-400 crores is down by 50 percent.”

The cash flow has got affected and it is having a domino’s effect on the distribution trade and now manufacturing, the association said.

“The sales are down to 40-50 percent and the fall will even deepen in the coming days because of the sowing season, the limited cash is obviously essential like labour, seeds, fertiliser etc,” ICA National President Pankaj Mohindroo said.

As per market research firm IDC, the ongoing cash crisis is expected to pull down feature phone shipments sharply by 24.6 percent and that of smartphone by 17.5 percent during the quarter compared to the previous three-month period.
(Also see: Demonetisation, Seasonality to Keep Indian PC Market Sluggish, Says IDC)
Smartphone and feature phone shipment stood at 32.3 million units and 39.9 million units, respectively in the July-September 2016 quarter, as per IDC.

ICA has requested government to allow use of old currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 against a valid ID proof such as Aadhaar or election card for a period of 30 days.

The industry body said that purchase of mobile phones against valid ID card can be tracked using IMEI number. ICA said that government is making effort to promote India as digital payment economy and mobile phones are at the centre of this endeavour.

Mohindroo said that purchase of mobile phones will enable people move towards digital payment and ease pressure on cash transactions.

Government has allowed payment of some essential service in a limited manner like pre-paid mobile recharge, water, electricity bill, highway toll through old currency notes.

Tags: Demonetisation, Indian Cellular Association, ICA, Smartphone, Mobiles, Mobile Purchase, Mobile Shipment, IDC, India

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Xiaomi Says It Sold Over 2 Million Smartphones in India in Q3 2016

Xiaomi Says It Sold Over 2 Million Smartphones in India in Q3 2016
HIGHLIGHTS
Xiaomi claims over 2 million smartphones sold in India in Q3
Redmi 3, Redmi 3 Note are some of the popular phones from Xiaomi
Xiaomi claims it achieved over 150 percent year-on-year growth
Xiaomi has claimed that it has sold over 2 million smartphones in India in the third-quarter of 2016. The Chinese company revealed the news via a tweet. Xiaomi also claimed that it achieved over 150 percent year-on-year growth from Q3 2015 to Q3 2016.

The figures claimed by the Chinese company are impressive considering that the third-quarter is yet to be over. In October, the company sold 1 million smartphone units in just 18 days. This was announced by CEO Lei Jun in an open letter to employees.

A recent IDC report had claimed that the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and the Redmi 3S series “fuelled the online shipments” to a large extent for the company. The IDC report had also claimed that Xiaomi for the first time made it to the top five smartphone vendors list based on shipments. The research firm had said that Xiaomi grew over 2.5 times over the same period last year.
Xiaomi soon after its Diwali sale had announced that it managed to sell half a million smartphones in just three days. The Redmi 3S (along with Redmi 3S Prime), on the other hand, was also the top-selling product on Flipkart during its Big Billion Days Sale while Redmi Note 3 was the best-selling smartphone of Amazon’s Great Indian Festival sale.
Recently, Flipkart, one of the online retail partners of Xiaomi, had claimed that it managed to sell one million Redmi 3S and Redmi 3S Prime smartphones in India. The smartphone was launched in the country in August this year, and was made available on Mi.com and Flipkart online.

Tags: Xiaomi, Xiaomi Mobiles, Mobiles, Android, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Xiaomi Redmi 3S

[“Source-Gadgets”]

U.S. Internet Connection Speeds Triple but Still Lag Behind, FCC Says

internet connections

Time and again, American enterprises have blamed slow Internet speeds for hurting their business. Luckily, the situation seems to be improving now — even though the United States has a lot of catching up to do.

According to the FCC’s 2015 Measuring Fixed Broadband America report, Internet speeds have tripled between March 2011 and September 2014, jumping to 31 Mbps from 10 Mbps. While the growth is impressive, it pales in comparison to what consumers in many other countries get. The United States ranked 25th in broadband speeds out of 39 countries sampled in 2013, and lags behind countries like France, Canada and Luxembourg.

Key Findings

Apart from revealing the rise in Internet speeds in the U.S., the report presents some other important insights such as:

  • Among major Internet Service Providers, Cablevision Systems Corp. led with average download speeds of 60 Mbps, followed by Verizon Communications Inc and Charter Communications Inc each with around 50 Mbps.
  • Consistency of speed is more important to customers who frequently use applications that are both high bandwidth and sensitive to variations in actual speed, such as streaming video.
  • Video accounts for more than 60 percent of the U.S. Internet traffic.
  • Maximum advertised speeds increased from 37.2 Mbps in September 2013 to 72 Mbps in September 2014.
  • Actual speeds experienced by most ISP subscribers are close to exceeding the advertised speeds.

What This Means for Your Business

Emphasis on boosting high-speed Internet in the U.S. has gained momentum in the past few years. The situation has assumed importance especially because of the increasing competition from countries such as South Korea and Japan where Internet works faster. Businesses in these countries have benefited enormously from high-speed broadband, whereas their American counterparts have suffered due to slow net connectivity.

Last year when the FFC adopted the new Net Neutrality rules, many expected broadband connections to get faster. Net Neutrality regulations, however, did not make ISPs deliver faster Internet to consumers. In fact, broadband companies argued that with the additional regulatory requirements, they may have to slow down on their investments in new and existing networks.

Despite this, consumer demand for faster net connection has been on the rise, and the industry is stepping up its efforts to meet these expectations.

Google and AT&T are offering up to 1,000 Mbps in several cities. Following in the footsteps of these two giants, Comcast is testing its own 1,000 Mbps service in Philadelphia.

The U.S. may have a long way to go before it can match the high-speed Internet connectivity available in other parts of the world. But he FCC data still shows positive sign that the country is moving in the right direction.

Network Cable Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Is the Mobile App Already Dead? comScore Says We’re Nearing “Peak App” (INFOGRAPHIC)

Is the Mobile App Market Already Dead? comScore Says We’re Nearing “Peak App” Moment

Barring Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and other hugely successful names, many apps are actually rarely used or even downloaded by mobile device owners. Yet many businesses spend considerable time and resources creating apps to engage customers.

A new study from comScore now says we’re nearing the “Peak App” moment, which suggests businesses should revisit their mobile app strategy.

Highlights of the comScore Report

Astonishingly, the comScore (NASDAQ:SCOR) study reveals 49 percent of smartphone users do not download any apps per month. About 24 percent of users install one or two apps over the same period.

Those who install more than five apps a month are more likely to be males aged between 18 and 44 years old, and they live in cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Houston.

Interestingly, the comScore report isn’t the only recent study to highlight the declining popularity of mobile apps. Another study by app tracker SensorTower has also revealed an average 20 percent drop in downloads in the U.S.

What This Change in the Mobile App Market Means for Your Business

Declining popularity of mobile apps doesn’t come as a surprise. Think about it. How many apps do you install and actually use on your mobile device?

It’s also a choice that many users are making today because installing too many apps is inconvenient and unnecessary. So if you want to go ahead and build an app, you have to give your customers a very good reason to install it.

Vik Patel, CEO of Detroit-based Future Hosting says, “If we were to ask users to install an app, there would have to be a very good reason. Good reasons include a genuine need for access to on-device features like the camera or accelerometer, or a requirement for graphical capabilities available only to native applications.”

Building an app requires both time and money. It’s therefore important for you to explore all options before making a decision. Does your business really need an app? Is it enough for you to just optimize your website for mobile? Can you instead focus more on engaging customers on social media?

These are some questions that you must answer before making  a decision to invest in creating a mobile app.

At the same time, a mobile app can work really well for your business if you have the right strategy in place. If you are a small store owner, for instance, you can leverage your mobile app to implement loyalty programs or push notifications to drive footfalls.

“The total number of people using your apps and the time they are spending on average, those two combined is how you should measure the potential of an app to generate a lot of revenue down the line,” advises Fabien Pierre-Nicolas, VP of marketing at app analytics firm App Annie.

See more stats on apps from the coomScore report in the infographic below:

Is the Mobile App Market Already Dead? comScore Says We’re Nearing “Peak App” Moment
Download Report and Infographic

Image: comScore

[“source-ndtv”]

Fujitsu Says It Is in PC Merger Talks With Lenovo

Fujitsu Says It Is in PC Merger Talks With LenovoJapan’s Fujitsu said on Thursday it was in talks to merge its struggling PC business with Chinese computer giant Lenovo, sending its shares soaring as the company also announced a recovery in profits.

The talks come as Japanese personal computer makers work to scale back their businesses as consumers shift to smartphones and tablets.

Tokyo-based Fujitsu said it and Lenovo, the world’s largest PC maker, are “exploring a strategic cooperation in the realm of research, development, design and manufacturing of personal computers for the global market”.

The two firms, which are yet to reach an agreement, are also talking with government-backed Development Bank of Japan for financial and strategic support.

Fujitsu shares rose by 7.8 percent on news of the merger negotiations to close at JPY 599.3.

In a separate announcement, the company said its net profit for the six months to September came to JPY 11.8 billion ($113 million or roughly Rs. 755 crores).

The recovery marks a reversal from a net loss of JPY 15.9 billion during the same period last year, thanks to cost-cutting efforts particularly in the PC and mobile phone operations.Operating profit stood at JPY 25.9 billion, up from an operating loss of JPY 12.4 billion the year before, while sales fell 7.0 percent to JPY 2.08 trillion (roughly Rs. 1,32,869 crores).

Fujitsu also slightly revised down its annual sales forecast to JPY 4.5 trillion, JPY 100 billion lower than an earlier forecast due to revised exchange rate assumptions, but kept annual net profit projection at 85 billion yen.

Tags: Fujitsu, Lenovo, PC Merger, PC, Laptops
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Exploding smartphones pose risk of exposure to toxic gases, says study

Photo: iStockPhoto: iStock

The recent controversy involving Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was a harbinger of the various hazards Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries, used in billions of smartphones, can expose users to. Most of these Samsung phones started leaking out smoke and eventually caught fire, causing first degree burns to several users across the world. Samsung isn’t the first phone maker facing the battery issue. Nokia phones powered by Li-Ion battery started exploding in 2007, forcing the Finnish company to replace batteries in over 46 million devices. US based Dell had to recall some 4.1 million laptops in 2006 for similar reasons.

Also read:

Samsung to kill off Galaxy Note 7 after second round of battery fires

Samsung, it’s high time to close the Galaxy Note 7 chapter

The risk of exposure to hazardous gases

A recent study carried out by researchers at NBC Defence and Tsinghua University, China claims that fire caused by overheating, damage or using a disreputable charger with Li-Ion battery can produce more than 100 toxic gases including carbon monoxide. The study was published in international journal Nano Energy Volume 27.

Researchers exposed two types of commercially used Li-Ion batteries to high temperature in a combustion chamber made of steel glass panel. A hole was created at the top to provide an outlet to the gases. A chemical identification system was used to separate and identify the gases that were released due to the combustion. Besides carbon monoxide, the researchers found traces of sulphur dioxide, naphthalene and propylene oxide in the fumes.

Researchers point out that in real life usage overheating or damage to Li-Ion batteries can expose it to such high temperatures.

It was also found that a fully charged battery is more likely to release more toxic gases compared to a battery with 50% charge. The capacity of a battery to release charge can also affect the concentrations and release more toxic gases. This means batteries with bigger capacity pose greater risk than smaller batteries.

Lead researcher Dr. Jie Sun said, “Dangerous gases such as Carbon Monoxide have the potential to cause serious harm within a short period of time if they leak inside a small, sealed environment, such as the interior of a car or an airplane.” Read more here.

The issue with Li-Ion batteries

Part of the problem lies with Li-Ion battery itself. The liquid inside a lithium ion battery is highly inflammable. Any damage to the outer layers of the battery can cause a short circuit which in turn can cause fire and explosion. While the Li-Ion technology is not the safest it is the most convenient and compact option available to phone manufacturers right now. A single charge lasts a day, while the usable life is 2 years or 1000 charge and discharge cycles.

Alternative sources

Solar cells, Aluminium ion and Fuel Cells are some of the alternatives that have been considered by manufacturers. However, they have not been able to make them small enough so they can fit into a smartphone.

US company Apple is working on bringing fuel cells into mainstream. It applied for a patent for a portable Fuel Cell system from US Patent and Trademark office in March 2015 and was awarded the patent in September 2015. What has caught Apple’s attention is the ability of Fuel Cells to hold charges longer than Li-Ion batteries. A single charge is likely to last 4 to 5 days. It is also clean and more eco-friendly. It is widely used as APUs (Auxiliary Power Units) in electric cars, such as Toyota Prius. A Fuel Cell generates power through a chemical reaction involving hydrogen and oxygen

A British company Intelligent Energy is working on a Fuel Cell powered smartphone. In February 2016, it announced that its working with an OEM to develop an embedded hydrogen fuel call system that can keep a smartphone backed up for a week. However, initially it will co-exist with the smartphone’s Li-Ion battery.

[“Source-Gadgets”]

GoDaddy Says Its Latest Feature Will Make it Much Easier to Launch Your WordPress Site

The new GoDaddy WordPress Website wizard will enable small businesses to build their own WordPress website more easily then before.

WordPress is used by 26.9 percent of all the websites in the world, and GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY) just announced a new service called WordPress Website that will make launching more of those websites on WordPress even easier.

The New GoDaddy WordPress Website Wizard

GoDaddy said this will be the easiest way for small businesses to build their own WordPress website. And according to the company, the new exclusive WordPress Quick Start Wizard is what is going to make it possible.

With so many websites being created using the WordPress content management system (CMS) every day, GoDaddy has made an effort to make the integration even easier.  That’s not surprising considering more than 50 percent of the platform’s hosting customers use WordPress.  GoDaddy’s newest feature began with the acquisition of ManageWP, a WordPress site management tool, last month. The combined technologies has made the company a single destination for WordPress site creation, management and hosting.

The WordPress Quick Start Wizard builds on GoDaddy’s existing solution for this CMS so small business owners can create professional websites. It includes free high-quality images for every industry imaginable, professionally built premium themes and a Visual Page Editor for easy drag and drop customization.

Everything your small business needs is readily available to quickly create a blog, photo gallery, contact form or other integrations with the most popular social media sites, the company says. During the tool’s beta release, the average time to publish a site was reduced by 73 percent. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, the number of customers that successfully published a site increased three fold.

Other features include an email signup form integrated with GoDaddy Email Marketing, an SEO Wizard and more.

The WordPress Websites is available now with three different tiers, starting at $7.99 per month for Basic, $9.99 per month for Business, and $14.99 per month for Ultimate.

Image: Small Business Trends

More in: Breaking News

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Many Small Businesses Aren’t Marketing to Millennials, Says Manta Report

millenial

Small business owners are missing out on a potentially big piece of the action by not marketing to millennials, a key consumer demographic, according to a recently released survey.

Only 15 percent of small businesses across all industries are marketing to millennials, the survey resultsreveal.

As a result “the vast majority are missing out on a large and powerful segment of the consumer population,” says Manta, which released the data. The company polled 791 of it small business members to produce the report.

Targeting Millennials is difficult. The market is fragmented, for one thing, with some preferring the “yuccies” label (for Young Urban Creatives) versus the larger “hipster” Millennial group that some companies gear their marketing efforts towards.

Small business respondents offered a list of reasons why 85 percent of them are not marketing to millennials. (Manta polled 791 small business owners this past April via online survey for the results.)

Most (26 percent) say they lack the budget. Almost as many (25 percent) simply don’t believe Millennials are significant consumers.

Still, marketing products to this consumer group is well worth the effort, according to Manta, which notes that 80 percent of small business owners who do market to them see positive results.

The majority (55 percent) of businesses polled that focus on millennials do so via social media, primarily using Facebook, the dominating platform by far.

Manta notes:

“A closer look at small business owners’ social media efforts to reach Millennials reveals that … Facebook still dominates the social network arena, with 63 percent of social communication between business owner and Millennial customer, followed by LinkedIn with 18 percent.”

Some small businesses — particularly online-based entities offering convenience services – certainly cater to Millennials in other ways, if not by marketing to them as consumers.

Considered “the most tech-savvy generation,” millennials tend to spend a lot on online services such as Uber and TaskRabbit. This is why more than half (57 percent) of small business owners have changed or are planning to change their products and services to better cater to this generation.

For those interested in learning more about millennials and how to target this overlooked generation, Manta is offering access to a free on-demand webinar featuring Millennial marketing expert Brendan Shaughnessy.

Young Professional Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Evernote Says Small Number of Mac Users May Have Lost Notes, Offers Premium Subscription

Evernote Says Small Number of Mac Users May Have Lost Notes, Offers Premium SubscriptionEvernote Says Small Number of Mac Users May Have Lost Notes, Offers Premium Subscription
HIGHLIGHTS
The company says it was only able to restore some lost notes
Users with lost notes can attempt to manually restore them
Premium users can use the gift code for an additional year of service
A small number of Evernote for Mac users are being sent an email by the company that apologises for a bug that caused data loss in certain types of notes – those featuring images or other attachments. Text notes are said to have remained unaffected. The company is making up for the issue by offering Evernote Premium, which also helps restore missing date from notes by using the premium Note History feature.

The email to users states that a small number of users running versions of Evernote for Mac released in June and September were affected, which is a rather vague description for those worried users who may have lost data in hundreds of notes. However, the company confirmed to TechCrunch that specific versions 453991 (which was available directly from Evernote servers) and 454042 (available from the Mac App Store) were the ones affected, under “specific conditions”.

Evernote in its email tells users to update immediately to the latest version – v6.9.2 (454158 from Evernote and 454159 from the Mac App Store) – to avoid the issue and also prevent any “further loss of data”. The company added that as soon as it discovered the issue it “worked quickly to implement a solution and attempted to restore all lost data”, however, it did not succeed in some cases.

(Also see: Evernote ‘Can Overwhelm Some People,’ Admits Ken Inoue, GM APAC and Japan)
Those users that lost data can manually restore the data by using the Note History feature available to Evernote Premium subscribers, which as we mentioned was also being provided to free users that were affected by the issue via a redemption code. Those users already on Evernote Premium can use the code to buy another year of premium services, or save them as Points to be used at a later point.

The company is telling users to update their Evernote for Mac app via the menu, from where they can navigate to Help > Check For Updates… It adds that users who do not see the option should visit the Mac App Store or the Evernote website to download the latest version of the app.

Of course, the entire debacle is very embarrassing for a note-taking service. Evernote told TechCrunch however that once its recently-begun migration to the Google Cloud platform is complete, such issues will be a easier to prevent and resolve. The full email, with the subject “We’re sorry. Please update Evernote for Mac”, can be seen below.

We have identified a bug in some versions of Evernote for Mac that can cause images and other attachments to be deleted from a note under specific conditions. We believe you are one of a small number of people impacted by this bug.

Please update Evernote on your Mac to the latest version as soon as possible:

From the menu, go to Help > Check For Updates…

If you do not see this menu option, update through the Mac App Store or from our website

The bug can occur in the version of Evernote for Mac released in September, and less frequently in versions released since June. In these versions, certain sequences of events, such as skimming quickly through a large number of notes, can cause an image or other attachments to be deleted from a note without warning. Text in notes is not affected.

Once we identified the problem, we worked quickly to implement a solution and attempted to restore all lost data. Unfortunately, some of your attachments couldn’t be automatically restored. However, you may be able to recover your attachments using Evernote’s note history feature available through Evernote Premium.

We are giving your account one free year of Evernote Premium to make amends and give you access to priority customer support via chat or email. If you already have Premium, the gift code can be used to extend your subscription for one additional year, or banked as Points to use for later.

If you run into any difficulties redeeming your code, follow ….

We understand how important your notes and attachments are, and we apologize. Again, please update your app as soon as possible to prevent any further loss of data.

The Evernote Team

Tags: Evernote, Evernote for Mac, Note Taking Service, Note Taking App, Apps, Apple, Internet

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Is the Mobile App Already Dead? comScore Says We’re Nearing “Peak App” (INFOGRAPHIC)

Is the Mobile App Market Already Dead? comScore Says We’re Nearing “Peak App” MomentBarring Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and other hugely successful names, many apps are actually rarely used or even downloaded by mobile device owners. Yet many businesses spend considerable time and resources creating apps to engage customers.

A new study from comScore now says we’re nearing the “Peak App” moment, which suggests businesses should revisit their mobile app strategy.

Highlights of the comScore Report

Astonishingly, the comScore (NASDAQ:SCOR) study reveals 49 percent of smartphone users do not download any apps per month. About 24 percent of users install one or two apps over the same period.

Those who install more than five apps a month are more likely to be males aged between 18 and 44 years old, and they live in cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Houston.

Interestingly, the comScore report isn’t the only recent study to highlight the declining popularity of mobile apps. Another study by app tracker SensorTower has also revealed an average 20 percent drop in downloads in the U.S.

What This Change in the Mobile App Market Means for Your Business

Declining popularity of mobile apps doesn’t come as a surprise. Think about it. How many apps do you install and actually use on your mobile device?

It’s also a choice that many users are making today because installing too many apps is inconvenient and unnecessary. So if you want to go ahead and build an app, you have to give your customers a very good reason to install it.

Vik Patel, CEO of Detroit-based Future Hosting says, “If we were to ask users to install an app, there would have to be a very good reason. Good reasons include a genuine need for access to on-device features like the camera or accelerometer, or a requirement for graphical capabilities available only to native applications.”

Building an app requires both time and money. It’s therefore important for you to explore all options before making a decision. Does your business really need an app? Is it enough for you to just optimize your website for mobile? Can you instead focus more on engaging customers on social media?

These are some questions that you must answer before making  a decision to invest in creating a mobile app.

At the same time, a mobile app can work really well for your business if you have the right strategy in place. If you are a small store owner, for instance, you can leverage your mobile app to implement loyalty programs or push notifications to drive footfalls.

“The total number of people using your apps and the time they are spending on average, those two combined is how you should measure the potential of an app to generate a lot of revenue down the line,”advises Fabien Pierre-Nicolas, VP of marketing at app analytics firm App Annie.

See more stats on apps from the coomScore report in the infographic below:

Is the Mobile App Market Already Dead? comScore Says We’re Nearing “Peak App” Moment
Download Report and Infographic

[“source-smallbiztrends”]