Companies & Sectors
Global smartphone growth to further slow down: IDC
The global smartphone growth is expected to slow further, said a latest mobile phone forecast. It adds that smartphone shipments are expected to grow 11.3 percent in 2015, down from 27.6 percent in 2014.
 
This could be the first year smartphone growth in China will finish behind the global market which could affect Google's Android mobile operating system, the International Data Corporation (IDC) said in a statement.
 
"China has been a critical market for Android smartphone shipments in recent years, accounting for 36 percent of total volume in 2014," said Ryan Reith, programme director with IDC's “Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker”.
 
“As reported earlier in May, smartphone shipments in China actually declined year over year in the first quarter of 2015, showing that the largest market in the world has reached a level of maturity where rapid growth will be harder to achieve,” Reith said.
 
As Chinese original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) shift their focus from the domestic market to the next high-growth markets, they will face a number of challenges, including competition from “local brands”.
 
IDC expects this year to bring two notable milestones. 
 
First, this will be the first year in which China's smartphone growth, forecast to be 2.5 percent, will be slower than the worldwide market. 
 
Second, and somewhat related to the China forecast, Android smartphone growth is also expected to be slower than the worldwide market at 8.5 percent in 2015. 
 
Both trends will persist throughout the forecast period which now goes to 2019.
 
While overall smartphone growth will continue to slow, many markets will experience robust growth in 2015 and beyond.
 
The worldwide shipment volumes are forecast to reach 1.9 billion units annually by 2019, IDC noted.
 
Apple faced a similar situation in 2012-14, when its year-over-year growth rates were slightly below the worldwide market.
 
But its recent shift in product line to bigger screen models with a broader country reach has had an immediate impact on volumes.
 
IDC expects iOS smartphones to grow 23 percent in 2015 and remain above worldwide market growth rates throughout the forecast.

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Panel set up to recommend PPP model revision
The government on Tuesday set up a committee to recommend measures to "revisit and revitalise" the public-private partnership (PPP) mode of infrastructure development as union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his budget speech, a statement said.
 
The committee will be headed by National Institute of Public Finance and Policy chairman and former finance secretary Vijay Kelkar and will comprise of members from banks, transport authorities, economists, lawyers and others.
 
The Infrastructure Development Finance Company will be providing secretarial assistance to the committee, which will analyse the risks involved in PPP projects in different sectors to suggest optimal risk sharing mechanism and propose any modifications to the contractual arrangements in place.
 
Its functions will also include recommending measures to improve capacity building in the government for effective implementation of PPP projects and review the experience of the policy.
 
The minister, in his budget 2015-16 speech to the parliament said the major issue involved in the revision of the PPP model is rebalancing of risk.
 
The government has given the power to the committee to consult various stake holders in the private sector, government sector, legal experts, banking and financial institutions and academia while firming up its recommendations. It has to submit its report within three months of being st up.
 

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A dormitory for ladies at Bengaluru railway station
The South Western Railway (SWR) here on Tuesday opened a dormitory exclusively for transit halt of lady passengers at the city's main station.
 
Touted to be the country's first such amenity for women passengers, the dormitory with 16 cubicles on the first floor of the station's city building has been carved out of the 30-bed dormitory common for men and families.
 
"We have decided to provide a separate dormitory at the city station for lady passengers in response to such a demand from them online and offline," SWR general manager P.S. Saxena told IANS here on the occasion.
 
The dormitory will be manned by women staff and housekeeping by women attendants.
 
"Besides a bed, a small table, a chair and a locker, the dormitory has a common washroom and an attendant for help or service," the official said.
 
To ensure safety and security of women passengers, a sentry will be on duty in two shifts and a closed circuit TV camera in and around the dormitory will monitor movement of commuters and others.
 
A cubicle will be charged Rs.125 for 12 hours and Rs.200 for 24 hours. Accommodation will be available on first-come, first-served basis and stay can be extended by 12 or 24 hours subject to availability.
 
The cubicle can be taken on arrival at the station or booked in advance online system after making train reservation to the city station.
 
"We will assess response for 90 days and decide to continue the all-women dormitory. We will expand capacity if demand is high and reduce cubicles if not many takers for it," Saxena noted.
 
Being among the 200 A-1 class stations in 68 divisions across the country, the Bengaluru main station in the city centre is one of the busiest, operating about 70 trains to ferry over a lakh passengers daily.
 
"Several women passengers from other parts of Karnataka and outside the state travel in train to the city on short visits for various reasons, ranging from work, studies, tourism or transit halt to changing trains. 
 
"As the station is centrally located and much safer, a dormitory is a secure place for them to stay," Saxena added.

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