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Dogfight expected in emerging markets among smartphone manufacturers

According to Taiwan's handset supply chain, we should expect to see a brutal battle for smartphone market share in emerging markets between Apple and China-based manufacturers. This fight over consumers in markets like India and China is expected to take place this year, just before the launch of 5G. The manufacturers are hoping to impress smartphone buyers before the transition to the next-generation of wireless connectivity. This way, their brand will be the first considered by smartphone buyers looking to replace a 4G unit with a new one that supports 5G.

Apple plans on using price as its weapon in this battle. By cutting costs on components, Apple is hoping to entice buyers by offering lower prices on its new 2018 models. The one exception could be the 6.5-inch Plus unit. The other two iPhone handsets we expect to see later this year include a 5.8-inch iPhone X sequel, and the iPhone 9. The latter is said to carry a 6.1-inch LCD screen and will be the cheapest model among the trio. Once launched, Apple reportedly expects it to be its biggest seller.

The competition, which includes Chinese producers such as Vivo, Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi, have been focusing on adding AI features to their phones. To help manufacturers bring AI to mid-range devices, Qualcomm is adding support for AI to its 700 and 600 series of Snapdragon chipsets. MediaTek plans on building a version of its top-of-the-line Helio P60 SoC for mid-range phones. The Helio P60 includes advanced NeuroPilot AI processing. The chip designer's customers have been demanding a mid-range chip with AI support, so MediaTek recently introduced the Helio P22 SoC, which fits the bill. 

India, the world's second largest smartphone market after China, could be a major battleground. Because of the economic situation in the country, lower priced handsets like older iPhone models and the iPhone SE (which is manufactured in the country) have done well there. Value producer Xiaomi has also taken India by storm thanks to the pricing on its range of handsets. And last month, we told you that Samsung has plans to be more aggressive in India by using its modern "Infinity Display" design and dual camera setups on its mid-range models.

source: Digitimes

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