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India now the leading market of smartphones in Asia


New Delhi: With an increase of 28.8% in 2015 as compared to the year 2014, around 10.36 crore smartphones have been shipped to India, thus making it the fastest growing smartphones market in the Asia Pacific region.

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), “Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker”, 2.46 crore smartphones were shipped in India in the fourth quarter of the year 2015.An increase of 15.4% as compared to 2014 when 2.22 crore units were shipped in the country during the same period.

“The online share of smartphone shipments continued to ramp further as the fourth quarter of 2015 saw online mega sales from major e-traders like Flipkart, Snap deal and Amazon,” said Karthik J, senior market analyst, client devices.

“Online share spiked to 37.3% in the fourth quarter of 2015, growing 2.5 times over the same period last year with almost half of the contribution coming from online exclusive models,” Karthik added.

The report said the smartphone market in China has begun to slow down and most vendors especially the Chinese, are now looking for avenues to leverage on India’s growth potential in the smartphone market.

“Chinese vendors’ smartphone shipment spiked with 71% growth in the fourth quarter of 2015 over last year,” added Jaipal Singh, market analyst, client devices.

Singh further added that “good quality, big discounts by e-traders and higher specification at lower prices are few key factors for which Chinese smartphones are preferred over others especially in $100-$300 (Rs 6840-Rs 20523) price band.”

With the advancement and success of the “Make in India” campaign, Singh said that almost one in two smartphones shipped in the fourth quarter of 2015 were manufactured in India with Samsung leading with the highest shipments.

Similarly, 4G smartphones shipment spiked to 1.39 crore units accounting for more than half of the market in the fourth quarter of 2015.

“4G-based smartphone shipments surpassed 3G volume for the first time during the last quarter of the year, primarily led by Samsung and Lenovo together accounting for more than half of 4G volumes,” Karthik noted. (IANS)

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Pentavalent vaccine: Doctors raise red flag

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive

the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
India's PV to be reexamined because of its harmful effects. .
  • Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in India six years ago
  • It is since then have been a cause of many deaths
  • Doctors want it to be reexamined before continuing its use

Pentavalent vaccine (PV), that was introduced by India a little over six years ago, doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine, according to a new study that calls for a “rigorous review of the deaths following vaccination with PV”.

Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons
PV has been cause of many deaths in past years. Wikimedia Commons

Government records show that there were 10,612 deaths following vaccination (both PV and DPT) in the last 10 years. There was a huge increase in these numbers in 2017, which the Health Ministry has promised to study. “The present analysis could be a starting point in the quest to reduce the numbers of such deaths,” authors of the new study say.

The study by Dr Jacob Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, and Dr V. Sreenivas, Professor of Biostatistics at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), both in New Delhi, is published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal of Dr D.Y. Patil University.

PV is a combination of the DPT vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India’s immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.

Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons
Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons

But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern. Puliyel, Sreenivas and their colleagues undertook the study to find out if these deaths were merely coincidental or vaccine-induced.

The authors obtained data of all deaths reported from April 2012 to May 2016 under the Right to Information Act. Data on deaths within 72 hours of administering DPT and PV from different states were used.

For their study, the authors assumed that all deaths within 72 hours of receiving DPT are natural deaths. Using this figure as the baseline, they presumed that any increase in the number of deaths above this baseline among children receiving PV must be caused by this vaccine.

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According to their analysis of the data provided by the government, there were 237 deaths within 72 hours of administering the Pentavalent vaccine — twice the death rate among infants who received DPT vaccine.

Extrapolating the data, the authors have estimated that vaccination of 26 million children each year in India would result in 122 additional deaths within 72 hours, due to the switch from DPT to PV.

“There is likely to be 7,020 to 8,190 deaths from PV each year if data from states with the better reporting, namely Manipur and Chandigarh, are projected nationwide,” their report says.

It is important to make sure that these vaccines are reexamined peroperly. VOA

The authors note that while the study looks at the short-term increase in deaths (within three days of vaccination) it does not calculate the potential benefits of PV on infant mortality, for example by protection against lethal diseases like Haemophilus influenza.

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. “These findings of differential death rates between DPT and PV do call for further rigorous prospective population-based investigations,” the study concludes. IANS