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Xiaomi.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi shipped 11.7 million units and became the top brand in the Indian market with 27.3 per cent share in the third quarter this year, with Samsung at second spot, the International Data Corporation (IDC) said on Thursday.

According to the IDC “Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker”, the smartphone market in India reached an all-time high of 42.6 million unit shipments in the third quarter (ending September 30), registering a 9.1 per cent year-on-year (YOY) growth.


This is the first time when the smartphone market is at par with the feature phone market, each contributing 50 per cent to the overall mobile phone market.

With the growth in the smartphone segment came a warning.

“With the duty hikes in place and the dollar fluctuation, smartphone vendors are expected to raise prices of devices in the coming months rather than absorbing the cost or clocking it under cash backs and financing schemes,” said Navkendar Singh, Associate Research Director, Client Devices and IPDS, IDC India.

In the wake of the depreciating rupee and rising input costs, Realme and Xiaomi have already increased prices of some of their handsets.

Xiaomi increased the prices of its budget smartphones Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A, along with Mi Powerbank 2i and Mi TV (32-inch Pro and 49-inch Pro variants).

Online-focused Chinese smartphone maker Realme increased the prices of its two popular budget handsets in India. The Rs 6,999 Realme C1 is now priced at Rs 7,999 while Rs 8,990 Realme 2 (3GB variant) is priced at Rs 9,499.


This is the first time when the smartphone market is at par with the feature phone market, each contributing 50 per cent to the overall mobile phone market, wikimedia commons

According to Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Channel Research, IDC India, shipments in the third quarter were primarily driven by the eTailer channel in run up to the festival season.

“eTailers continued to drive affordability with multiple financing options such as zero or low-cost EMIs (equated monthly instalments), buyback guarantees and cashback on debit/credit cards,” Joshi said in a statement.

Xiaomi grew to a new high on the back of its successful Redmi 5A and Redmi Note 5 Pro series and refreshed Redmi 6/A/Pro portfolio, said the report.

“Samsung registered an annual growth of 4.8 per cent in 3Q18 at the back of its ‘Infinity’ series model ‘Galaxy J6’ followed by Galaxy J2 (2018), J8, J4 and the recently launched Android Go Model Galaxy J2 core with a middling demand,” the IDC report added.

Vivo continued at third position with a growth of 35.4 per cent.

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The offline segment registered a slower annual growth of 6.6 per cent in the third quarter.

Commenting on the premium end of the market (above Rs 30,000), Joshi said that OnePlus climbed to the leadership position at the back of OnePlus 6, surpassing Samsung and Apple in the third quarter.

With a 2.1 per cent (YoY) growth, the feature phone market registered shipments of 43.1 million units in the 3Q 2018. Shipments for Jio Phone continued to decline as the vendor focused on clearing existing channel inventory, said the report. (IANS)


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Tamil Nadu will host the national blind football tournament for men and women.

Tamil Nadu will host the national blind football tournament for men and women from October 27-30. This is the first time the state is playing host to the national blind football tournament.

The state has formed a blind football team for men only in 2018, and, in 2019 the Tamil Nadu blind football association commenced functioning.

The founder of the TN Blind football association, GR Bharathiraja, while speaking to IANS said, "While we were late in establishing a team and forming an association, we have not lagged behind in training, and a good team is now arranged. We are hosting the national football championship for the blind in both men's and women's categories from October 27."

This is the first time a national-level women's blind football tournament is being conducted while this will be the sixth national blind football tournament for men.

The teams are coached by Francis Sebastian who is an acclaimed blind football coach and he said that the tournament was slated for 2023 but the associations put pressure on the national office-bearers and have made the tournament possible in 2021 itself.

Sebastian, while speaking to IANS, said, "While both the men's and women's teams are performing extremely well, we need more support from sponsors as well as the general public. In the northeastern states of the country, blind football is popular in villages and we are planning to make it popular among the masses of Tamil Nadu, and for that, we need more support and patronage."

The state association, as a first step, is planning to introduce football in every blind school of the state and to train coaches for the same. The blind football association also wants to divide the state into five zones with each zone comprising of some districts and to decentralise the coaching programme so that the game is introduced across the state.

Bharathiraja and Sebastian have said that infrastructural problems are plaguing the game and that the team does not have a playing ground of its own, but the passion for the game is pulling the organisers, players, and coach forward. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Football, Sports, Blind Tournament. national blind football tournament, Tamil Nadu blind football association


Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Japan launched its new satellite, QZS-1R.

Japan has successfully launched a new navigation satellite into orbit that will replace its decade-old navigation satellite.

The satellite, QZS-1R, was launched onboard an H-2A rocket that lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 10.19 p.m. on Monday night, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said in a statement.

The company builds and operates H-2A rockets the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

QZS-1R is a replacement for Quasi-Zenith Satellite System 1 satellite first launched in 2010. “It was a really beautiful launch," the company said in a tweet after a successful lift-off.

"H-IIA F44 flight proceeded nominally. Approximately 28 minutes 6 seconds after launch, as planned, the payload separated from the launch vehicle," the statement said.

The official QZSS website lists four satellites in the constellation: QZS-1, QZS-2, QZS-3 and QZS-4, Space.com reported.

The QZSS constellation will eventually consist of a total of seven satellites that fly in an orbit passing through a near-zenith (or directly overhead) above Japan, and QZS-R1 is meant to share nearly the same transmission signals as recent GPS satellites, according to JAXA.

It is specially optimised for mountainous and urban regions in Japan, JAXA said.

Mitsubishi's H-2A 202 rocket launch system has been operational since 2003 and has sent satellites to locations such as Venus (Akatsuki) and Mars (Emirates Mars Mission).

The latest H2-A rocket launch is the first since November 29, 2020, when Japan launched an advanced relay satellite with laser communications tech into orbit, the report said. (IANS/JB)


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Photo by Mike Enerio on Unsplash

Fireworks light up the night sky

Everyone loves firecrackers, even the most environment-friendly advocates cannot hide their joy when they see these delightful lights colour the skies. India celebrates Diwali in the true spirit of her culture and heritage by spraying the navy-blue skies with sparkling hues of gold, silver, red, and green. Firecrackers are not just a tradition in this country, they are a legacy.

The original connotation one makes with fireworks in China. The elaborate Chinese celebrations with dragons and zapping firecrackers have left their mark in human memory, but the use of fireworks is not limited to heralding the Chinese New Year. All over the world, fireworks have come to symbolise the ultimate celebration. During Diwali in India, this spirit is re-ignited every year.

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