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eTailer Aggression Drives the Smartphone Market in India in 3Q2018: IDC India

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According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone market reached an all-time high of 42.6 million unit shipments in 3Q18, registering 9.1% 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% to the overall mobile phone market.

With the onset of festive season, shipments in 3Q18 were primarily driven by the eTailer channel in preparation for the multiple sale events in the run-up to the Diwali festival. eTailers continued to drive affordability with multiple financing options such as zero or low-cost EMIs (equated monthly installments), buyback guarantees, and cashback on debit/credit cards. Additionally, strong online exclusive portfolios driven by brands like Xiaomi, Honor, Realme, Asus, OnePlus, etc. resulted in quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth of 37%, taking the online share to 39% in 3Q18,” says Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Channel Research, IDC India.

Realme with its new Realme 2 and Realme 2 Pro series and Asus with its Zenfone Max Pro series entered the top 5 online brand list. In the US$400+ price segment, OnePlus clocked its highest ever shipments in a quarter, pushing the overall smartphone ASP in the online space to US$166 in 3Q18 from US$156 in 3Q17, adds Joshi.

Xiaomi grew to a new high, shipping 11.7 million units on the back of its successful Redmi 5A and Redmi Note 5 Pro series and refreshed Redmi 6/A/Pro portfolio. Xiaomi also made an aggressive entry in the mid-premium segment of US$300 to US$500 with its Poco series, targeting upgraders with the experience of a flagship at pocket-friendly price.

The offline segment registered a slower annual growth of 6.6% in 3Q18. Some of this can be attributed to the impact of eTailer aggression, high decibel marketing, and exclusive models in the mass segment preferring to choose online over retail. Having said that, the offline channel continues to dominate with around 60% of the India smartphone market; it cannot be overlooked for its sustained importance and wide consumer reach in the smallest cities and towns of India.

“With Diwali coming in the first week of November, the offline channel gained some momentum in the month of October as it prepared for the consumer purchase around the festive days with exciting offers on retail counters”, adds Joshi.

Commenting on the premium end of the market (US$500+), Joshi further adds, “OnePlus climbed to the leadership position at the back of OnePlus 6, surpassing Samsung and Apple in 3Q18. With its dedicated community building activities and high decibel promotional activities on social media platforms, the vendor has been gradually scaling up in volumes. The newly launched iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max were unable to create much demand in the opening quarter due to its high pricing in the India market.”

With a 2.1% YoY growth, the feature phone market registered shipments of 43.1 million units in 3Q18. Shipments for Jio Phone continued to decline as the vendor focused on clearing existing channel inventory. However, the 2G/2.5G feature phone market saw some traction as it grew by 19.6% QoQ after declining for the previous two quarters. This was largely because of higher shipments of vendors like Samsung, HMD, and Lava leading this segment.

Company Highlights: 2018Q3

Top 5 smartphone vendor highlights

Xiaomi continued to dominate, growing YoY by 27.0% in 3Q18. The brand’s hit models Redmi 5A and Note 5 Pro continue to be the fastest selling smartphones in India with a combined shipment of more than 5 million in two consecutive quarters. It maintained a lead in online channels too with a share of 48.9% while continuing to grow its retail shipments.

Samsung remained at the second position but continued to lose share from previous few quarters owing to rapid growth of other China-based players like Xiaomi, vivo and OPPO. Samsung registered an annual growth of 4.8% 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.

vivo too continued at 3rd position with an impressive YoY growth of 35.4% in 3Q18. The newly launched Y81 and Y83 Pro picked up significant demand along with its top-selling model Y71 and the recent flagships- V11 and V11 Pro. Owing to huge investments in marketing and promotional activities and attractive channel partner schemes, vivo was able to maintain its high shipments.

Micromax entered the top 5 vendor list after declining for straight 7 quarters, as it climbed to 4th position. Micromax, in partnership with Reliance Jio, had won a state government tender with the Chhattisgarh government to supply smartphones to underprivileged women and students. IDC expects the shipments for the vendor to decline afterwards.

OPPO slipped to 5th position, as shipments declined by 7.1% annually in 3Q18. Owing to fewer promotional activities and non-availability of attractive channel and consumer schemes, it continued to lose its ground. The newly launched F9 and F9 Pro were unable to create much demand. However, OPPO is gaining attention for its high-end flagship devices like Find X.

IDC India Forecast:

“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 etc. Moreover, offerings like device AI, full-screen displays with notches, and higher memory configurations are expected to drive volumes from low to mid-range devices, carving out an affordable premium segment, especially for the upgraders,” says Navkendar Singh, Associate Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India.

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ASUS ROG Announces ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports Tournament

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ASUS ROG will host its first ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports tournament from March to April 2021. Due to COVID-19 pandemic affecting travel around the region, the tournament will be conducted entirely online, with quarterfinal to final matches livestreamed.

The ROG Masters tournament will feature Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) as the official game title will provide opportunity to teams with enthusiastic players to pitch their skills against each other, as well as the best professional teams from their market and in the region.

Tournament Structure

The tournament will see various teams from 15 markets across the region vying for the chance to be crowned as the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific Edition CS:GO Champion. 

The tournament will be played in three stages played over the course of 2 months:

  • Country qualifiers
  • Country finals
  • Asia Pacific finals

Country qualifiers matches for India will start in the second week of April 2021; 8th April and the finals to be held on the 10th April. The India finals to find the top three teams to represent the country will be livestreamed live on 10th April.

Professional teams from across the region will be automatically placed into seeded positions in the country finals. This gives a greater chance for non-professional, enthusiast teams from India to get through the qualifiers and meet the pro teams in the country finals. 

Country Champions will then go on to experience battling winning teams from other APAC markets in the finals that will be livestreamed during 22nd to 25th April 2021.

Prizes

3 qualifying teams from India finals will stand to win US$800 for first place, US$400 for second place, US$200 for third place. They will then go on to the Asia Pacific finals with the chance to win the following prizes for the championship:

ROG Masters APAC ChampionshipAPAC Finals (USD/ team)
1st$10,000
2nd$3,500
3rd$1,500

Registration and Official Tournament Website

Registration for the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific tournament opens on February 8, 2021 at the tournament’s official website.

Registration closes on February 28, 2021 Further details, match schedules, pro team information as well as rules and regulations can also be found on the tournament website.

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Garena Launches Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars

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Garena has announced the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Free Fire’s first-ever esports tournament for the South Asia region. Taking place on 6 February, the tournament will feature some of the gaming community’s favourite Free Fire streamers and personalities from India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

The Free Fire community has continued to expand in South Asia and across the world, with the mobile battle royale game the most downloaded mobile game globally in 2020, according to App Annie. Through the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Garena will look to continue its efforts to excite and delight its fast-growing South Asian community with exciting Free Fire content, and to support and develop the incredible online community in the region.

Tournament Format

The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature a total of 12 teams. Each team will be led by one of the top 3 streamers from each of the 4 participating nations – chosen by public voting – in this epic clash to determine the best in the region. 

The 12 teams will compete in the Battle Royale Squad mode for a slice of the 1 million diamond prize pool. The ultimate winner of this star-studded tournament will receive 500,000 in-game diamonds; the first and and second runners-up will be awarded 300,000 and 200,000 diamonds respectively. 

Invited Teams

The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature some of the most popular streamers and personalities from across South Asia. 

The team captains for each nation are: 

India

  • Total Gaming (19.4 Million YT Subs)
  • Desi Gamers (7.8 Million YT Subs)
  • Two-Side Gamers (6.85 Million YT Subs)

Bangladesh

  • Gaming with Nayeem (1.6 Million YT Subs)
  • Illusionist YT (479K YT Subs)
  • Gaming With Zihad (698K YT Subs)

Nepal 

  • Sooneeta (3.26 Million YT Subs)
  • Bshow Mgr (399K YT Subs)
  • Tonde Gamer (2.37 Million YT Subs)

Pakistan

  • RKG ARMY (1.77 Million YT Subs)
  • Unusual Gamer (81K YT Subs)
  • The Skinzo FF (75.5K YT Subs)

Broadcast Details:

Fans can witness all the high-octane action by tuning in to the live broadcasts of the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars. These will be hosted on Free Fire Esports India YouTube and Facebook, Free Fire Bangladesh Official YouTube and Facebook, as well as on BOOYAH!. 

To cater to the diverse South Asian community, the matches will be streamed with live commentary in 5 languages – Bengali, English, Hindi, Nepali and Urdu.

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Top Gaming Accessories for Ultimate Gaming Experience

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Witnessing the consumer behaviour being impacted drastically last year, the year 2021 has welcomed an immense lifestyle change for gamers. Gaming has been one of the sectors that witnessed a spike like never before. From casual gamers to professional gamers, the segment realised immense growth in a matter of a few months. A lot of people opted for gaming for the first time with more time in hand, while amateur gamers worked on their skills to shift to pro-level. Owing to ‘isolate and chill’ mode to beat the anxiety and paranoia, a lot of people moved to ‘Play@Home’ and for many, it was rekindling their old gaming habits with the bountiful time in their grasp.

While gaming serves as a boosting engagement, it is important to have the kit and accessories to ensure the seamless and immersive experience of gaming. Especially for those who have just adopted gaming as a new hobby and do not want to invest steeply in buying the expensive accessories, we bring a perfect start-up kit to you that is sure to pave your path to the next level

Logitech G331: Enjoy the whole experience of all your favorite games with Logitech G331 gaming headset that produces big sound to get you into the game. Experience the thrill of a complete gaming experience where you hear everything and everyone hears you. The 6 mm mic ensures that your squad-mates can hear you clear and distinct. It also has an option of Flip-to-mute boom that silences you when you don’t want to be heard. The headphone is all set to work with your PC or Mac or with gaming consoles including PlayStation 4™, Xbox One™, Nintendo Switch™, and mobile devices via 3.5 mm cable. In fact, everything about these headphones is about comfort: The deluxe lightweight leatherette ear cups and headband are made to keep pressure off your ears that is available at Amazon.in at an offer price of INR 5995 .

Logitech G213: Sitting at your gaming desk in front of your gaming monitor might be the way for most PC gamers, but unless you’ve got a killer set-up with a solid keyboard, it may still not satiate your gaming soul. With a RGB color spectrum illumination lets you easily personalize up to 5 lighting zones from over 16.8 million colors to match your style and gaming gear, the Logitech G213 ensures you have a great customisable gaming experience. The G213 comes with a  performance that is up to 4x faster than standard keyboards and features keys that are specially tuned to deliver a superior tactile experience. The dedicated media control allows you to quickly play, pause, skip and adjust the volume of music right from the keyboard. the brilliant color spectrum. The G213 also offers 12 function keys with custom commands and more with free Logitech gaming software. This keyboard is available at Amazon.in at an offer price of INR 4995

Logitech G102 LIGHTSYNC: It is of paramount importance to have an exact grip and size while using a gaming mice. With LIGHTSYNC RGB lighting across, Logitech G102 is designed to work seamlessly in any system to enhance your gaming experience. The classic six-button design provides both comfort and confidence that can be customised across 16.8 million colours so you can explore, cast spells, and play just like you want. With 8,000 DPI sensor – The gaming-grade sensor responds precisely to your movements. But if you’re looking to fine-tune controls, free-to-download customization software is easy to use and set up with Logitech G HUB software. it is a complete customization suite that allows you to personalize lighting, sensitivity, and button commands on your G102 mouse. It is available in Amazon.in at an offer price of INR 1985.

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