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How Gionee Aims to be Among Top 5 Smartphone Brands in India

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After a brief hiatus, second-tier Chinese handset maker Gionee is geared up for a big splash in India with new smartphone launches amid a revamped strategy to be among the top five players in the country, a senior company executive has said.

The smartphone maker confirmed its restructuring plans last month, saying it will adopt a new business model under which distributors across the country would do their own marketing to enhance sales.

“India is becoming the second-largest mobile phone market globally and, for Gionee, it is as important as China or the European market. It is our commitment to invest further in this market to bring major change,” David Chang, Global Sales Director, Gionee India, told IANS in an interview.

Gionee
The Chinese handset maker is in talks with the government to set up its own manufacturing unit in Faridabad, Haryana. Wikimedia Commons

 

“Setting up a manufacturing plant will help us in making all our phones by ourselves,” Chang added.

“We are aiming to get into the top five smartphone brands in the second half of 2018. In the first half of 2019, we will target to be among the top three players in the Indian smartphone market,” said the Gionee executive.

Buoyed by the response of its first bezel-less display smartphone — the “M7 Power” which was launched in November 2017 — the smartphone maker is set to introduce a series of full-view display devices.

Gionee
The company said it will launch its first smartphone for 2018 as early as next month. Wikimedia Commons

 

This will be followed by several other bezel-less smartphone launches within the price bracket of Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 — essentially either selfie-focused or battery-centric devices.

In an attempt to take on its rivals, the handset maker is also exploring the in-display fingerprint scanning technology.

Gionee
“We are working on this new technology. We are working on a smartphone with under-the-display fingerprint scanner which would be launched globally,” Chang noted. Wikimedia Commons

The company will also introduce wireless chargers by the end of this year.

Acknowledging that its online distribution channel is not up to the mark, Chang said: “We started investing more in online channels beginning October 2017 and we believe online and offline channels are equally important. Now, we want to be more involved and would invest more in our online partners.”

“We have our exclusive stores, but right now we will focus more on building relationships with retailers directly,” Chang noted.

Gionee
The handset maker is also mulling to restructure its strategy for online channels. Wikimedia Commons

 

“Gionee would be partnering with Amazon India, Flipkart and Paytm for introducing our new devices on their platforms.

“We will choose our best-selling models to be showcased online. We’ll also make sure there is no difference in price of the product that is available both online and offline,” Chang said.

Gionee, which has more than 600 service centres in India, said it will also work towards further strengthening its after-sales services in the country. IANS

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Google Home: Your best friend who instantly heeds commands

At this price point, Google Home is a good choice as it saves time while performing some key daily tasks for you

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Google Home.

“OK Google, wake me up at 8 a.m. and book an appointment with the hair stylist at 10 a.m.,” went the instruction to Google Home — the voice-activated speaker powered by Google Assistant.

“Sure, your alarm is set for 8 a.m. and the appointment has been fixed for 10 a.m.,” came the instant reply from Google Assistant — the new lady in my home who, according to senior company executives, has received over 4.5 lakh marriage proposals from India.

The logo of Google

Following the launch of “Amazon Echo” smart speaker in India last year, Google has now brought its “Home” speaker range to the country. Google Home and Home Mini speakers — priced at Rs 9,999 and Rs 4,499, respectively — can help people with their commute, play their favourite songs and videos, plan their daily schedule and lots more.

Let’s see how Google Home fares in the Indian context.

The speaker is capable of understanding the thick Indian accent thanks to two microphones on either side of the LED lights that light up when the device recognises the opening “OK Google” voice command. The two microphones utilise the neural beam forming technique to enable accurate voice recognition. The curves of the device resemble a wine glass. The lower part holds the speakers and the upper part is the main body with the touch-sensitive top.

When the volume is increased or decreased, the device responds with the shimmering ivory-coloured light ring.

Google has trained the Assistant in English and has promised Hindi support later this year.”Play ‘Firestone’ by KYGO,” went another voice command and lo! the device checked the Google Play music subscription — the company is giving six-month free Google Play music subscription when you buy the device — and instantly played the song.

The device also works with music streaming platforms like Saavn and Gaana. The music output was good for a medium-sized room. “OK, Google, play Arijit Singh songs.” She returned with the hit number “Enna sona kyun rab ne banaya”.

If you want to chat or listen to her in an another room, pair another Home device or a Bluetooth speaker with Chromecast support. Another option is to attach a Chromecast Audio device to a speaker. Google Assistant told us the correct score of Delhi Daredevils while it chased the Mumbai Indians’ total in one of the IPL matches.

However, to a question on happenings in Syria, she played a 30-second news bulletin from BBC News. Google has simulated hundreds of thousands of noisy environments and applied Machine Learning (ML) to recognise patterns that allow it to filter and separate speech from noise. Google Assistant understands several languages and can translates sentences into Spanish, French and more.

Also Read: Google Will Take Action If Apps Violate Its Policies

Not only multimedia, Google Home can also control smart devices such as connected Internet of Things (IoT) device “Philips Hue” in your drawing room. We set up Google Home to control a light bulb which was connected via “Philips Hue”. We asked the device to dim, turn off and turn on the light and got the desired results.

What didn’t work?

While playing music, Google Home at times did not receive the command in one go. We had to raise our voice twice or sometimes thrice to get the command through the noisy environment. One important takeaway: Never keep your Google Assistant-enabled smartphone near Home device as the voice command does wake up Assistant in the smartphone too and could ruin the whole experience.

Conclusion: At this price point, Google Home is a good choice as it saves time while performing some key daily tasks for you. It is not the replacement of your better half yet, but does help you with daily chores. Take it home. IANS