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Galaxy and S9 helped Samsung top the Q1 of 2018, Apple came third

The iPhone-maker had a weak start in India as demand for its iPhone 8 and X series declined sequentially in India, said the report

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The Samsung device will sport dual camera system (12MP+12MP) with dual optical image stabilisation (OIS) at the rear -- with 2 times more powerful optical zoom and up to 10 times powerful digital zoom -- and an 8MP front shooter. Wikimedia Commons
The Samsung device will sport dual camera system (12MP+12MP) with dual optical image stabilisation (OIS) at the rear -- with 2 times more powerful optical zoom and up to 10 times powerful digital zoom -- and an 8MP front shooter. Wikimedia Commons
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Riding on the success of its flagship devices like Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy A8+ and the newly-launched S9 and S9+, Samsung climbed back to the top in the premium smartphone segment in India with over 50 per cent market share in the first quarter of 2018, a new report said on Friday.

Samsung captured half of the premium segment with 16 per cent Year-on-Year (YoY) growth driven by flagships S9, S9+, Note 8 and “online exclusive” Galaxy A8+.

OnePlus remained at the second position with 25 per cent market share and Apple at the third spot with 20 per cent in the premium smartphone category, said market research firm Counterpoint Research.

Samsung brought Galaxy S9 and S9+ to the country on March 16.
Apple Mobile, Wikimedia commons

Samsung, OnePlus and Apple contributed to 95 per cent of the overall premium smartphone segment.

“Galaxy S9 series promotions were strong both in offline and online channels with offers ranging from cashback, exchange, upgrade and data bundling plans across all major operators,” said the report.

Samsung brought Galaxy S9 and S9+ to the country on March 16.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Apple led with a 46.9 per cent share of the premium segment, while OnePlus and Samsung trailed with 24.9 per cent and 17.6 per cent respectively.

The iPhone-maker had a weak start in India as demand for its iPhone 8 and X series declined sequentially in India, said the report.

“Additionally, the Cupertino-based giant had to battle rising import tariffs due to lack of ‘Make In India’ domestic manufacturing capabilities for its portfolio,” the report added.

The import tariffs have increased thrice in the past five months, leading to an increase in the price of already expensive iPhones in India during the quarter.

Apple’s share in the premium segment fell as the volumes dipped by a massive 55 per cent due to decline in shipments for its iPhone 8 and X series.

Also Read: Apple iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus RED Special Edition Now in India 

The increase in import duty on CBUs to 20 per cent during the quarter, led to increase in prices of already expensive iPhones.

OnePlus was the fastest growing brand (over 192 per cent) in the segment.

“OnePlus has been maintaining its second spot in the premium segment which it is has been holding since Q3 2017. OnePlus 5T was the best-selling model during the quarter, driven by its limited edition variant launch and expansion in the offline segment,” Counterpoint said.

The premium smartphone segment remained flat (YoY) but declined 13 per cent sequentially due to drop in promotions post festive Q4 2017. (IANS)

 

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Apple Appoints Ashish Chowdhary as its India Operation Head

Apple is currently assembling iPhone 6S in India with its partner Wistron

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Apple appoints Nokia veteran Ashish Chowdhary to lead India operations. Flickr Commons

In a fillip to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s big future plans for the Indian market, Apple has appointed Ashish Chowdhary, Chief Customer Operations Officer at Nokia Networks, as its India operation head, reliable industry sources told IANS on Tuesday.

Chowdhary will join as Apple India head from January next year, the sources confirmed.

The decision to hire Chowdhary is a testament to the fact that Apple is aiming for a really long-term growth in a price-sensitive market where Apple is an aspirational brand and usually bought by those who have high spending power or can go for older generation phones for affordability.

In line with the development, Nokia also announced on Tuesday changes in the composition of its group leadership team, declaring that Chowdhary will “leave Nokia at the end of 2018 after 15 successful years.”

“Chowdhary will continue to lead Customer Operations and remain a member of the Nokia Group Leadership Team until the end of 2018. He will then leave Nokia to take a leadership position in another company,” said Nokia.

According to industry sources, Apple has roped in Chowdhary — who has a sound global as well as local knowledge of the industry — to get a bigger slice of a market that has nearly 450 million users and is one of the fastest growing, after China and the US.

Apple India is currently under Michel Coulomb who took over from Sanjay Kaul in December last year.

Chowdhary has 25 years of international experience in the enterprise and telecom sectors. As Chief Business Officer, he was responsible for Nokia Networks’ sales and operations globally.

He has held various leadership positions, including Head of Asia Middle East and Africa and prior to that, Head of Global Services Business Unit.

Both these units contributed nearly half of the company’s revenues and were key to the successful transformation of Nokia.

Apple
An Apple store in Woodbridge, Virginia. (VOA)

The appointment comes at a time when the iPhone maker is seeking tax relief and other incentives from the government to begin assembling more handsets in the country and its proposal to set up a manufacturing unit is also being evaluated.

Breaking his silence on Apple’s India presence, CEO Tim Cook admitted on November 1 that his business was flat in the country in the fourth quarter amid weak currency trends.

Cook, however, stressed he is still a big believer in the Indian middle class.

The Apple CEO also said that he has had really great productive discussions with the Indian government.

“We’ve had really great productive discussions with the Indian government, and I fully expect that at some point, they will agree to allow us to bring our stores into the country,” Cook responded to a question during the analysts’ call.

Apple is currently assembling iPhone 6S in India with its partner Wistron.

Also Read- Google Probing ‘Malicious’ Attack on its Internet Traffic

“I am a big believer in India. I am very bullish on the country and the people and our ability to do well there,” Cook said.

Cook is also aware of the tremendous growth opportunity in India.

“There’s a huge number of people that will move into the middle class. The government has really focused on reform in a major way and made some very bold moves.

“I applaud them for doing that and I can’t wait for the future there,” Cook told the analysts over call. (IANS)