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Samsung takes back smartphone crown from Apple; Xiaomi surges

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By Aakriti Bhalla

(Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd snatched back the crown from Apple as the world’s biggest smartphone producer, accounting for a fifth of overall global sales in the first quarter, market research firm Canalys said https://www.canalys.com/newsroom/canalys-worldwide-smartphone-market-Q1-2021.

China’s Xiaomi Corp clocked its best quarterly performance ever, with shipments surging 62% to 49 million phones and market share to 14%, taking it to the third position after Samsung and Apple.

Overall, global sales surged 27% to 347 million units in the first quarter as the Chinese economy opened up after the pandemic and a swift vaccine rollout in the United States raised hopes of an economic recovery.

South Korea’s Samsung shipped 76.5 million smartphones in the quarter to grab a 22% share of the market, Canalys said. The company on Thursday reported a 66% surge in quarterly profit in its mobile business, thanks to robust sales of its flagship Galaxy S21 smartphone series.

Canalys said Apple shipped 52.4 million iPhones in the January-March period, falling to the second spot with a 15% marketshare, after it wowed Chinese shoppers in the December quarter with its new 5G-enabled iPhone 12.

People upgrading to the new iPhone still drove sales, though, and the company said on Wednesday that overall sales to China nearly doubled.

Last year, people shopped for smartphones and gadgets as they stayed indoors because of the coronavirus pandemic, fuelling a global shortage in semiconductor chips that has roiled industries including autos and white goods.

“Supply of critical components, such as chipsets, has quickly become a major concern, and will hinder smartphone shipments in the coming quarters,” Stanton said.

Apple said on Wednesday that the chip shortage could cost the company $3 billion to $4 billion in revenue in the April-June quarter, affecting primarily iPads and Macbooks.

March-quarter smartphone shipments for China’s Oppo and Vivo brands also surged, Canalys said.

China’s Huawei, the former No. 1 that remains shackled by U.S. sanctions, took the seventh place with 18.6 million units after selling its Honor brand last year.

(Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Editing by Sayantani Ghosh and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/samsung-takes-back-smartphone-crown-apple-xiaomi-surges/14287

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Know About the Emerging Uses for Blockchain Technology

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The technology which started with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin has emerged and gained full potential and is spreading immensely in the other industries too.

Yes, you are right “Blockchain Technology” is what we are talking about. Blockchain is the distributed, decentralized, and virtual ledger, which is capable of logging all digital transactions like verifying and recording without the requirement for the financial intermediary. In simple terms, it’s a new way of logging information and/or transmitting funds.

Many firms have adopted blockchain tech to drive the get better transparency across the digital information ecosystem. The popularity of Bitcoin gave rise to this technology application in various other industries. Let’s look at the innovative ways where the firms are using the power of blockchain.

The Blockchain Technology comes in particularly handy and also has great potential to monitor supply chains. By eliminating the paper-based trials, the business could easily point out the inefficiencies within their supply chains more effectively and quickly. They can also locate the items in real-time. Not just this, this technology also enables businesses as well as consumers to view how the products performed in terms of quality. This decreases the fraud and also increases the transparency and authentication among the transactions.

The blockchain tech is best used for transferring funds from one party to another. The role of banks will be eliminated here and there will ongoing 24/7 validation of transactions. This technology offers transactions to be processed at high speed i.e., within seconds the transactions take place and are totally secured too.

This technology has helped retailers highly to revolutionize the retail experience by offering gift cards and other loyalty rewards. By making a token-based system, which rewards consumers, and storing those tokens within a blockchain, will incentivize the customers to return to the specific store for their shopping needs. There are only fewer middlemen are required to process the issuing of cards and sales transactions, this will result in fraud prevention as well as the wastage that is caused by cards and papers. This also a cheaper, efficient, and secured way for the loyalty rewards programs.

The enhanced levels of this technology will also offer unique verification capability and eliminates illegitimate users from getting stolen accounts.

The blockchain tech applications can enhance the track, record, transfer the land or property titles, liens, and more, and supports to ensure that all the documents are accurate and verifiable. Another major benefit is to remove paper completely out of the equation. Instead, of using paper this technology will store the titles in its network, this results in the transparency of any kind of transfers. One can expect that the legal ownership is totally crystal-clear.

Globally, the medical sector has already shifted from using paper, especially for recordkeeping needs. The Blockchain Technology gives the best convenience and extra safety. Not just storing the patient records, the patient will have the key access to these digital records and will be in control of who to give access to that information. This is the best way to safeguard the patient’s privacy.

The cloud computing services need huge computational resources as well as data storage capacity that can be inefficient while launching IoT products. With the help of the blockchain, they can get more decentralized cloud services, better security, enhanced connectivity, and better computational power. The blockchain cloud storage solutions enable wide protection so there will be no data loss, less prone to attacks, which causes damage.

The blockchain offers complete potential when it is combined with other technologies and applied in the real world.

Image Credit: https://www.enterpriseedges.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Blockchain1.jpg

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/the-impact-blockchain-technology-banking-sector/14561

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Walmart’s Flipkart in early talks to raise $1 billion – ET

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BENGALURU (Reuters) – Walmart Inc-owned Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart is in early talks with investors to raise at least $1 billion, the Economic Times reported https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/funding/flipkart-plans-a-big-billion-day-with-new-investors/articleshow/82533913.cms on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Flipkart’s fund raise plans come at a time when the company is considering an initial public offering (IPO), while it battles players including Amazon.com’s local unit and billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Retails’ JioMart amid a pandemic that has seen demand for online services skyrocket.

Reuters first reported in September that Bengaluru-based Flipkart was preparing for an IPO overseas as early as 2021, which could value the firm at as much as $50 billion.]

Flipkart raised $1.2 billion in fresh funding last year, with Walmart as its lead investor. That round valued Flipkart, which counts China’s Tencent, U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global, and Microsoft among its investors, at $24.9 billion.

“The capital raise is not being positioned as pre-IPO but for expansion,” an executive involved in the process told the Economic Times, adding that the capital raise could go up to $2 billion.

Flipkart did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/walmarts-flipkart-early-talks-raise-1-billion-et/14560

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Walmart’s Flipkart in early talks to raise $1 billion – ET

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BENGALURU (Reuters) – Walmart Inc-owned Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart is in early talks with investors to raise at least $1 billion, the Economic Times reported https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/funding/flipkart-plans-a-big-billion-day-with-new-investors/articleshow/82533913.cms on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Flipkart’s fund raise plans come at a time when the company is considering an initial public offering (IPO), while it battles players including Amazon.com’s local unit and billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Retails’ JioMart amid a pandemic that has seen demand for online services skyrocket.

Reuters first reported in September that Bengaluru-based Flipkart was preparing for an IPO overseas as early as 2021, which could value the firm at as much as $50 billion.]

Flipkart raised $1.2 billion in fresh funding last year, with Walmart as its lead investor. That round valued Flipkart, which counts China’s Tencent, U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global, and Microsoft among its investors, at $24.9 billion.

“The capital raise is not being positioned as pre-IPO but for expansion,” an executive involved in the process told the Economic Times, adding that the capital raise could go up to $2 billion.

Flipkart did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/walmarts-flipkart-early-talks-raise-1-billion-et/14560

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Exclusive: Foxconn iPhone India output drops 50% amid COVID surge-sources

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TAIPEI (Reuters) – Production of the Apple iPhone 12 at a Foxconn factory in India has slumped by more than 50% because workers infected with COVID-19 have had to leave their posts, two sources told Reuters.

The Foxconn facility in the southern state of Tamil Nadu produces iPhones specifically for India, the world’s No.2 smartphone market.

Tamil Nadu is one of the worst hit states in the second coronavirus wave engulfing India. Officials imposed a full lockdown in the state from Monday, closing public transport and shuttering shops, to try slow surging infections.

More than 100 Foxconn employees in the state have tested positive for COVID-19 and the company has enforced a no-entry ban at its factory in the capital of Chennai until late May, one of the sources said.

“Employees are only allowed to leave but not to enter the facility since yesterday,” the person said. “Only a small part of output is being kept.”

More than 50% of the plant’s capacity had been cut, both sources said, declining to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

They did not specify the plant’s capacity and it was unclear how many workers were at the facility, which provides dormitory accommodation for employees.

Taipei-based Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics maker and a major supplier to Apple, said a small number of employees at one of its facilities in India tested positive for COVID-19 and the company was providing them with support, including medical assistance.

“Foxconn places the health and safety of our employees as our highest priority and that is why we have been working closely with local government and public health authorities in India to address the challenges that we and all companies are facing in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis,” it said in a statement to Reuters. 

Foxconn declined to comment on factory output or specific staffing levels. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

India has benefited from Apple’s move to shift some areas of production from China to other markets as it navigates a trade war between Washington and Beijing, with Apple announcing in March it had started the assembly of the iPhone 12 in India.

While Apple’s share of the budget phone-dominated India market is small, CEO Tim Cook said in January that India business doubled in the December quarter compared to the previous year, helped by an online store launch.

Foxconn similarly said strong smartphone sales contributed to a stronger-than-expected performance in the fourth quarter amid the work-from-home trend.

Market research firm Canalys said that growth in India extended through the first quarter, with Apple shipping more than a million iPhones. Demand for the iPhone 12 was supported by local assembly and attractive finance offers, Canalys said.

COVID-19 CRISIS

However, the outlook has been dimmed by the coronavirus crisis engulfing India, where COVID-19 cases and deaths have surged at a record pace in recent weeks. The country has recorded around 22.66 million infections and more than 246,000 deaths, with experts saying the true figures could be far higher.

Foxconn is not the only producer affected. Nokia and Chinese smartphone maker OPPO last year suspended production at factories in India after workers tested positive for COVID-19.

Taipei-based tech research firm TrendForce on Monday trimmed its global smartphone production growth forecast to 8.5% from 9.4%, citing the coronavirus impact in India on major vendors including Samsung and Apple.

“Smartphone brands are therefore expected to closely monitor their inventories of whole devices and adjust their subsequent production plans accordingly,” TrendForce said in a report, adding it could revise the forecast lower still if the outbreak continues to hit local production and sales in the second quarter.

(Reporting by Taipei newsroom and Yimou Lee; editing by Jane Wardell)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/exclusive-foxconn-iphone-india-output-drops-50-amid-covid-surge-sources/14557

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