Facebook offers free mobile talk time in India

Facebook is giving away Rs. 50 worth of mobile talk time (minutes) to new mobile users in India. This pilot scheme was launched last week and offers the give away as part of a referral program. Many have suggested that this may lead to a flood of fake Facebook profiles – however, it seems that there are sufficient preventive measures in place. Instead, this is a clear play by Facebook to increase its penetration of the nearly 1 billion mobile user population in India and comes on the back of earlier offers of free Facebook access. Will it work? This is a long term play – don’t expect a bump in share price due to this in the short term.

 

facebook free talktime offers

via fivepoint5.com

 

  • Scheme is only for new users and not for existing people on Facebook and is valid for registrations through mobile only.
  • New user has to registers himself/herself to Facebook through mobile using the URL – m.facebook.com/tt.
  • After registration he/she has to provide his mobile number on the Facebook Talktime page.
  • Once you sign up and confirm your accounta talktime of Rs. 50 will be credited to his/her account within 3 days.

via http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/2012/10/18/127-Register-on-Facebook-mobile-and-get-Rs-50-talktime-for-free.html

Apple: finally making a play for riches at the bottom of the pyramid?

Apple’s iPhone 3GS is now available in India for less than 200 USD (Rs. 9999).

Image via Wikipedia

This represents a price reduction of 50% over the past year or so and might signal a change in strategy. Apple might be finally moving to tap the riches at the bottom of the pyramid and trying to gain a foothold in the fast growing smartphone market of India. As this article correctly points out, the iPhone 3GS is still a superior when compared to the low-end Android phones offered to the Indian consumer. Coupled with its ability to upgrade to IOS 6, Apple might finally have a winner.

Or this might just be another ‘inventory clearing exercise’ as Apple readies for the launch of the iPhone 5. Either way, one hopes that increased iPhone sales in India will lead to an improvement in the Apple Experience and service coverage available in India.

Free 3G connection with Android phones sold in India

Reliance Communications, India‘s second largest telecom operator, has announced that all Android smartphones sold in India for the next two years, will come with a free bundled 3G connection (albeit, with a 1GB limited download capacity). This marks the first major competitive move by a telco in this fast growing market segment, to grab market share by providing free connections. This will help moving consumers from the slower and cheaper 2G data connections (which cost 2$ a month for 2.5 gb) to the more pricier 3G connections (which cost $15 a month for 3 gb).

Android currently rules in India’s small, but fast growing smartphone segment. With its large installed base of cellphone subscribers, it offers a huge market opportunity, which Google seems determined to tap.

Image via Economic Times

 

RCOM and Google have entered into a two-year deal according to which all Google-endorsed android mobile devices from companies like Samsung, HTC, Sony Ericsson and LG will come with the telco’s third generation, or 3G, mobile connection with 1 GB of free downloads for the first six months.

 

Read more at Google-endorsed Android smartphone will come bundled with a Reliance Communications connection – The Economic Times.

Mobile Trends

The below infographic, by culturelabel.com, provides a summary of key mobile trends, which include

 

 

 

Image by CultureLabel.com

 

See the original infographic at Mighty Mobile! [Infographic] | CultureLabel Blog.

The iPhone trails in China (too)

Samsung SGH-i400 smartphone

Image via Wikipedia

Close on the heels of a report that suggests that Apple is loosing the smartphone battle in India, Gartner reports that the iPhone has less than a third of the marketshare of Samsung in the much bigger smartphone market of China.

as Apple tries to build on its 7.5 percent share of the country’s smartphone sales. Samsung controlled 24.3 percent of the market for phones that can play videos and games, according to Gartner Inc.

 

When one considers that China is projected to become the world’s largest smartphone market next year, this should be a cause of worry.

Succeeding in China is important for Apple as shipments of smartphones in the country are projected to jump 52 percent this year to 137 million units, overtaking the U.S. for the first time as the world’s biggest market.

 

While analysts suggest that Apple’s low market share is due to its exclusive partnerships with the smaller two of three major carriers, this does not take into account the price differential between Samsung’s Android based offerings and the iPhone. One could expect that the reasons why the iPhone doesn’t rule in India also hold true in China.

Apple’s partnerships with China’s second- and third-largest carriers give it access to about 34 percent of the nation’s 988 million mobile users, while Samsung targeted the whole market.

 

As I wrote a six months ago, demographics alone can give Apple $68 billion in additional sales from emerging markets – but this is just the tip of the iceberg!

 

In the next 3 years, 400 million people are expected to buy cellphones in India alone. If Apple can get a large chunk of these consumers onto its ecosystem, the future cross-sell and up-sell opportunities will be immense.  There lie considerable riches at the bottom of the pyramid.

Moral of the story – The Exploitation of existing certainties has a potential $68 billion upside, but this pales in comparison to the potential of the Exploration of new opportunities. An ambidextrous approach could see Apple revenues grow many fold!

 

Read more at IPhone Fails to Gain China Share as Samsung Lead Triples: Tech – Bloomberg.

India Mobile Handsets Market in November 2011

CyberMedia Research has found that mobile phone shipments in India reached 166 million units during January to November, 2011. Multi-SIM phones dominate the market with over 54% of total shipments in November 2011. Nokia leads this segment with 19% market share. Total 3G phone shipments touched 15.5 million during this period. Even more surprising was the news on the smartphone front -

Smartphone shipments in India crossed 10 million units for the first time in 11 months of ended November 2011, account for over 6% of total market

Table 2. India Mobile Handsets Market: Shares of leading Vendors in Smartphones during November 2011*
* Source: CyberMedia Research India Monthly Mobile Handsets Market Review for November 2011

 

Apple iPhone 3GS, Motorola Milestone and LG GW60

Image via Wikipedia

Read more at India Mobile Handsets Market in November 2011.

History of Mobiles

The history of mobile phones, stretching back the last 30 years, is presented in this infographic by Savings.com. The gives visual credence to the common perception that over time, mobile phones have shrunk while features have increased, and phone prices have dropped while service plan prices have sky rocketed.

 

Image via Savings.com

 

Read more and see the original image at Mobile Phone Technology Trends: More Features, Lower Cost.

Emerging markets drive mobile device sales to 441 million

Demand for low-cost and dual sim mobile devices in emerging markets has driven Q3 worldwide mobile device sales to 441 million units.

Mobile phone evolution

Image via Wikipedia

Gartner’s latest report has some other interesting facts:

  • Nokia still leads the field, but Samsung is catching up fast (24% vs 18% of market share)
  • Smartphone sales reached 115 million, representing 26% of the mobile device market
  • Android was on 53% of all shipped smartphones

Read more at Gartner Says Sales of Mobile Devices Grew 5.6 Percent in Third Quarter of 2011; Smartphone Sales Increased 42 Percent.

5 billion mobile broadband connections in 2016

Ericsson‘s Traffic and Market Data report predicts that mobile broadband connections will reach 5 billion, thereby driving a 10-fold increase in mobile data traffic. While the report says that the bulk of this growth will be due to mobile video, the ‘internet of things’ will also be a key catalyst.

Image via Ericsson

Read more at Ericsson predicts Mobile Data Traffic to grow 10-fold by 2016 – Ericsson.

The Empire (Nokia) Strikes Back with Asha

Nokia has announced the launch of a new line of 3G capable smartphones. Christened Asha (‘hope’ in Hindi), the phones are aimed at emerging economies (read India). India, where Nokia currently outsells the iPhone by a ration of 1:18, represents a huge market and opportunity, with its current 866 million mobile connections and growing smartphone sales.

The Asha line of phones will start at a price point of rupees 4000 (~$80). This will make internet access a possibility for millions of people in India, thus helping to bridge the digital divide. With such an aggressive pricing strategy, Nokia hopes to attract value-conscious customers and thus hit the sweet-spot between cheaper mass-market phones (where is currently dominates) and high margin smartphones.

The Asha 303 has a touchscreen, a QWERTY keyboard, 3.2 mp camera and will cost ~8000 rupees.

The Asha 300 (touchscreen and numeric keyboard) will cost ~6000 rupees and have a 5 mp camera .

The Asha 201 (dual sim) and Asha 200 will cost around 4000 rupees.

Read more at Nokia introduces Asha, new lineup of phones for emerging markets – TNW and Nokia’s Asha has potential to bring the Internet to the masses in Asia.