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By VARINDIA    2017-11-21

The Fate of '8'

2017 has been nothing short of an exceptional year for smartphones as the year saw a hype in new exciting technologies and features like Infinity Display, facial recognition security, dual sight video capability hitting the market, while on other hand specs like finger print security and dual camera were seen becoming a humdrum due to its easy availability in budget phones. But the real hype however was with the number ‘8’... 


The Race to launch model 8... 

2017 is almost coming to an end! If we talk about the launch of smartphones and their latest technologies, we have seen a bevy of them getting launched this year.  Undoubtedly the year 2017 has been a pretty crucial year for the Smartphone Industry as most of the leading players released their by far best groundbreaking technologies in their devices. 


The Indian market in the past few months has seen the launch of some of the most incredible products. If we are asked to select the best smartphones launched this year, the Samsung S8, Galaxy Note 8, Nokia 8 and iPhone 8 plus would indeed be the ‘Newsmaker’ launches of 2017. 


Amidst these launches this year, other than the technology there was one more element which was common among these devices - the Number ‘8’.  The Top leading Smartphone brands like Apple, Samsung, and Nokia have introduced their ‘model 8’ devices, all in quick succession. Here, it won’t be wrong to say that 2017 has indeed been the year of ‘number 8’, especially for the Indian mobile industry. Whether we talk about iPhone8, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or for say Nokia 8, the number 8 had been an extra common element apart from its technologies. 


Which is the best 8?


If we look at the current situation of the Indian Smartphone market, it continues to be dominated by brands like, Samsung Xiaomi, Lenovo, Vivo, Oppo etc. Samsung and Xiaomi are both sharing the top spot in the chart with a market share of 23.5% each in the Indian Smartphone shipments.  . 


While in context of the India premium segment (>Rs. 30,000/US $465 retail price), the market has recorded a growth by 180% YoY during Q3 2017, as suggested by Counterpoint’s latest report.  It reported that the three brands - namely Apple, OnePlus and Samsung together controlled 98% of the total shipments in the premium segment. However, Apple retains its position as the premium brand. 


Commenting on the present landscape of the Indian smartphone market, Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research said, “Samsung and Xiaomi together contributed to almost 45% of the smartphone market. This is the first time since 2012 that the top two brands have reached this level of combined share, signalling that key brands are ramping up their presence in India. Additionally, the quarter was marked with return to growth for local handset players such as Micromax and Lava in the smartphone segment.”


This year the No. 8 has been noticed as a prominent common trend in almost all the phones apart from the Dual camera and fingerprint technology. Though the finger-print sensor technology and dual camera feature have become almost ubiquitous, but the Magic of 8 is visibly seen as a common thread between all the major brands. 


If you are a believer of numerology and a person who considers number 8 as a lucky number and thinking to upgrade your current smartphone, then you can try your hands on these devices. According to numerology, the number 8 symbolizes dominance, growth and achievement due to which it is considered to be lucky especially in Asian countries. 


It’s hard to whittle down the best device from the rest, but we can certainly tell you the best and the exclusive technology each product carries that make these devices different from the rest. 


Talking about Nokia8, the dual sight video capability is definitely the unique feature of the brand. The device also packs the Snapdragon 835 SoC for better performance. The brand is pinning its hopes on its bothie effect to act as the big USP for the product.


While on other hand, Samsung in it’s both launches has added its new Bixby feature which has been optimized to understand English in Indian accents. The latest additions to Samsung portfolio also comes with an Infinity Display, and an improved S Pen that acts as a personal translator and convertor which appear as a big selling proposition for the brand. 


The latest iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus comes with features like wireless charging, while its vastly improved cameras and Portrait Mode make its camera as one-of-a-kind experience. In comparison to the Model-8 devices of Samsung, Apple and Nokia, Lenovo’s 4000mAh battery and reasonable price is its biggest USP for its devices. The price of Lenovo devices makes it popular among the midrange phone segment. There is also a TheaterMax VR mode and the advanced dual camera, 3 GB Ram and expandable memory of upto 128 GB makes the latest products of the brand premium at this price.


Honor 8Pro phone packs 128GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 128GB and is powered by a strong 4000mAh battery. Comparing to other products, the device gives the most storage and also is slightly less expensive than the rest which makes it a sought after product of the brand. 


Apart from these mega launches, there is also another remarkable launch that hits the market in 2017 - again with the number 8 - Google’s announcement of its next version of mobile OS ‘Oreo 8’.  As a technology that definitely stands out as an exceptional launch, some of the highlighting features of Oreo 8 includes picture in picture (multi-windowing mode) which lets users to see two apps at once, a new redesigned notifications system, new ‘adaptive launcher icons’, improved sound quality and battery life, multi-display support with a number of fresh improvements and new APIs for developers.


If we closely look into all these models, except Lenovo, almost all other devices come under the premium price range. But it’s difficult to say who will beat the rest and prove itself as a successor for their respective brand. According to the market pundits, currently due to the number of launches the market has become very competitive. Because these premium range products also need to compete with the latest 4G capable feature phones of Reliance and Airtel. One definitely knows that both fall into 2 different price segments and caters to 2 different customer segments, but if we see the overall sales, it will be interesting to note as who will be able to manifest itself among the leading competitors.

To sum up, it is indeed hard to choose the best, solely based on the hearsay statements as all the latest launches are equipped with the best technology. However, the market figures will tell in future as to which product has ruled the market. Till then we leave it for customers to decide and allow them to contribute to the overall sale of their most favourite devices.