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Apple firms up lead in global smartwatch market, Huawei 2nd




Driven by strong response to Watch Series 6 and SE, Apple maintained its top position in the global smartwatch market in 2020 with shipping 33.9 million units, a new report said on Friday.

Chinese brand Huawei with 11.1 million smartwatch shipments was second while Samsung with 9.1 million units came third, according to Counterpoint Research’s ‘Global Smartphone Shipments Tracker’.

Overall, Apple saw a 19 per cent growth while Huawei registered 26 per cent growth (despite US sanctions) in the global smartwatch segment last year.

In a year where annual smartwatch growth inched forward at only 1.5 per cent, Apple maintained its number one position and increased its market share by 6 per cent from 2019, helping shift the overall market closer to the premium segment.

The Apple Watch Series 6 and SE did exceptionally well, shipping 12.9 million units and accounting for 40 per cent market share in the festive quarter (Q4) alone.

“Price band dynamics during Q4 2020 indicate ASPs (average selling prices) are on the rise. The 2019’s biggest segment ($101-$200) shrank by 7 per cent, while the more premium $300-plus segments grew by 8 per cent, helped tremendously by Apple, which enjoyed a dominant market share of over 70 per cent in this category,” informed senior analyst Sujeong Lim.

Samsung increased its share by 1 per cent (YoY), rebounding in the latter half of the year with the launch of Galaxy 3 Watch.

Honor, newly spun off from Huawei, also did well, with shipments doubling from 2019. Other Chinese brands such as Amazfit and Xiaomi also performed well, enjoying double-digit growth.

The smartwatch market is being driven by three premium brands — Apple, Samsung and Huawei.

“Over a three to four years’ timeframe, we see budget players like OPPO and realme gaining a significant share, intensifying overall competition and bringing down the prices,” said Lim.

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Premium segment at highest spot, 5G phones at 32% market share in India




 Premium segment (Rs 30,000 and above) contributed 11 per cent to India’s smartphone shipments and 35 per cent to overall market revenue in 2022, the highest ever.

Samsung led the market in 2022 in terms of shipment value share with a 22 per cent share, followed by Apple, in the country, according to Counterpoint Research.

However, in terms of shipment volume, Xiaomi led the market in 2022 with a 20 per cent share, closely followed by Samsung.

Xiaomi slipped to third position in Q4 2022 with Samsung and vivo capturing first and second spots respectively.

5G smartphones captured a 32 per cent share in 2022. Samsung became the top-selling 5G brand in 2022 with a 21 per cent share.

Apple continued to lead the premium smartphone segment, with the iPhone 13 emerging as the top-selling model. Apple also led the market in Q4 2022 in terms of shipment value.

“Consumer demand started declining from the second quarter when the global economy was crippled by multiple macroeconomic issues like all-time high inflation, rising unemployment and geopolitical conflicts, affecting India’s economy as well,” said senior research analyst Prachir Singh.

Inventory build-up across channels after the second quarter led to lower-than-expected shipments throughout the second half of the year.

“We believe that the inventory and demand situation will continue to affect the market in the first half of 2023 before improving in the latter half driven by the festive season and upgrades to 5G devices,” Singh added.

India’s smartphone shipments declined 9 per cent YoY to reach over 152 million units in 2022, according to the report.

The decline, which is the second ever in India’s smartphone market, can be attributed to the decline in entry-level and budget segments which faced supply constraints at the beginning of the year and then witnessed lower demand throughout the year.

“While entry-tier and budget segments were most affected, the premium segment remained immune and showed double-digit growth. OEMs’ increased focus, consumers upgrading for premium features and, most importantly, availability of various financing schemes,” said research analyst Shilpi Jain.

Overall, India smartphone market revenue remained flat despite a 9 per cent YoY decline in shipments.

OnePlus grew 50 per cent YoY in 2022 driven by the OnePlus Nord CE 2 series.

It focused on diversifying and expanding its product portfolio across different price points and increasing its offline presence to drive sales, the report mentioned.

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WhatsApp working on new software that uses Apple Mac Catalyst




 Meta-owned WhatsApp is working on a new Mac app that uses the Apple Mac Catalyst development environment to make better use of system resources.

According to AppleInsider, WhatsApp currently provides a web-based Electron app for Mac users in addition to its web app via browsers.

Electron and Catalyst are software development frameworks that help developers create desktop apps.

The new app has been in a closed beta for a few months, but now anyone can download the file on macOS Big Sur or later on the WhatsApp website, according to the report.

Following installation, it will display a QR code that users can scan with their iPhone to link their accounts using the WhatsApp iOS app.

The Mac app’s three-panel interface provides access to archived chats, starred messages, phone calls, and settings.

The Catalyst app includes features not available in the Electron version, such as file drag-and-drop and a spell-checker, the report mentioned.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has reportedly rolled out some new shortcuts for group admins to quickly and easily perform actions for a certain group participant, on iOS.

The new shortcuts simplify interactions with group members as now the platform supports large groups of up to 1,024 participants, reports WABetainfo.

The new update will help group admins quickly manage and communicate with such a large number of participants in private.

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Mumbai: No jumbo block on Western Railway on Sunday




There will be no jumbo block on Sunday, January 29 over Western Railway’s (WR) Mumbai suburban section, the WR announced today.

Major block to dismantle Gokhale bridge

Earlier last week, the Western Railway had enforced a major 4.5 hour block on the down slow lines from 12.15am to 4.45am on the intervening nights of Jan 19-20 and Jan 20-21 to carry out dismantling work of the Gokhale road overbridge at Andheri.

As a result, a number of local train services were affected.

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