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Government mandates support for Indian Languages in all Mobile Phones from July’17

Using the regional languages in mobile phones have been opposed by the Indian Cellular Association

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Representational image. Flickr

New Delhi, October 28, 2016: The Centre has decided to support for Indian languages in all the mobile phones that will be sold in the country from July 1, 2017. The Ministry of Electronics and IT has mandated a standard that is required by the phone companies to support a third (regional) language along with the usual English and Hindi.

According to PTI report, this step of the government has been opposed by the Indian Cellular Association. The new standard will meet the objectives of Digital India.

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“Although there is expected to be an increase of 10% in the cost of the phone and there would be certain challenges in developing requisite testing facilities, it is suggested that we may mandate the standard with effect from July 1, 2017, as proposed,” said an official to PTI.

The mention of the support required to input text in any one of the Indian languages in mobile phones by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in August had already sent a wave of tension among the phone manufacturers.

In opposition, the companies have argued that though this movement is well intentioned but it is difficult to implement it especially when it comes to feature phones because the companies decide the logistics and inventory are planned and decided on a global level and will have to be specially customized for India- in fact for each state with regard to the new standard.

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As per the given rough estimate- there are approximately 1 billion mobile phone connections in the country, out of them around 70% are feature phones and the remaining are the Smartphones.

“It was felt that vernacular language support will help further penetration of mobile phones in rural areas, where the people may be more literate in their vernacular languages than English,“ said the official to PTI.

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NITI Aayog has advised the ministry to rethink their decision because there are several challenges with the new standard which have been noted by the ministry which will increase the cost of the phone for the citizens. For instance, the RAM capacity of the phone will have to be heightened and several design changes also will have to be done to support the third language.

– prepared by Chesta Ahuja, NewsGram.  Twitter: @ahuja_chesta

 

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Sony Mobile Exit India Market Owing to Hyper- Competition

Sony Mobile would continue to monitor the market situations and business feasibility in the country

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Sony Mobile, India
the pressure from Chinese brands and Samsung in the major price segment resulted in continuous decline of sales for Sony. Pixabay

Facing stiff competition from Chinese and South Korean players, Japanese conglomerate Sony Corporation has announced to quit the Indian smartphone market.

Sony had less that 0.01 per cent of the total Indian smartphone market share in the first quarter of 2019, according to Counterpoint Research.

Sony Mobile, however, said that it would continue to monitor the market situations and business feasibility in the country.

“Our focus markets are Japan, Europe, Hong Kong and Taiwan to drive profitability and future prospects in the 5G era,” Sony Mobile said in a statement on Wednesday.

Sony Mobile, India, Market
Sony Corporation has announced to quit the Indian smartphone market. Pixabay

“We have ceased sales in Central and South America, the Middle East, South Asia, Oceania, etc. in FY 18,” it added.

The company assured that it would continue its customer support operations including after sales support and software updates for existing customers in India.

The India smartphone market is currently dominated by Chinese players like Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo and OnePlus among others, besides South Korean tech giant Samsung.

According to Shobhit Srivastava, Research Analyst, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems, Counterpoint Research, the pressure from Chinese brands and Samsung in the major price segment resulted in continuous decline of sales for Sony.

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“With declining sales in India and other markets, Sony took the right decision to focus on the high ASP (average selling price) markets such as Japan,” Srivastava told IANS.

Sony India in July last year brought its flagship “Xperia XZ2” smartphone for Rs 72,990 to India that turned out to be its last launch.

“In a cut-throat market like India where Chinese smartphone brands rule the roost with industry-leading specs and having over 60 per cent market share, it’s tough for other brands to garner a meaningful revenue share. Sony has had a very miniscule market share in India,” Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, told IANS.

For Sony, the performance of its mobile business has lacked the sheen, and has been a clear outlier compared to its other divisions.

Sony Mobile, India, Market
Sony had less that 0.01 per cent of the total Indian smartphone market share in the first quarter of 2019. Wikimedia Commons

“It makes sense for it to cut its losses and refocus on other verticals,” Ram added. (IANS)