Singapore: Smart-phones will make up over half of Asian mobile phone sales by 2015, with 477 million units likely to be sold, reports PTI quoting an industry report.
Consultancy Frost and Sullivan said smart-phones would account for 54% of the Asia-Pacific mobile market in five years, up sharply from 5% in 2009.
The sharp take-up rate for smart-phones will be a huge revenue boost for telecom operators as it means a surge in demand for data services, the consultancy said.
The consultancy said data usage from smart-phones would generate over $38 billion for the region's telecom operators by 2015, from slightly over $1.3 billion last year.
Smartphones are high-end mobile devices providing faster access to data connections such as e-mail and Internet browsing than so-called feature phones, which have less computing ability.
Subscribers usually pay more for mobile data services, translating into higher average revenue per user (ARPU) for operators keen to make up for flat or declining earnings growth from feature phones.
"Smartphones are critical to every operator's mobile broadband business case, as a smartphone user's ARPU typically increased by 25% to 100% after adoption depending on the market," said Marc Einstein, the consultancy's industry manager.
"The Asia-Pacific market is particularly interesting for smart-phones as there has been significant uptake in emerging markets like China, India and Indonesia, even among prepaid users," he said in the report.
Apple's phenomenally popular iPhone and Research in Motion's BlackBerry, a favourite with corporate users, are largely credited with sparking consumer interest in smart-phones in the last few years.
Despite the upbeat assessment, telecom operators still need to overcome a few hurdles, Frost and Sullivan said.
"Eighty per cent of Asian mobile users use prepaid cards, and in fact in many markets are as high as 97%, making smartphone subsidies impossible for most users," said Mr Einstein.
"Furthermore, there is a lack of public Wi-Fi, particularly in emerging markets, which has been a smartphone saviour in the US and other developed markets.
New Delhi: The government plans to introduce the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) Bill, that will replace the archaic Income Tax Act, in the current Monsoon session of Parliament, reports PTI quoting a key finance ministry official.
"We do expect the DTC to be introduced in Parliament in this session," revenue secretary Sunil Mitra told reporters on the sidelines of a CII event.
The current session of Parliament ends on 31st August.
Mr Mukherjee in his Budget speech had indicated the Centre's intention to implement the DTC from 1 April, 2011.
After holding discussion with the industry and other stakeholders the government came out with a revised DTC draft in June.
The DTC, on which the government had invited public comments twice, will replace the archaic Income Tax Act, 1961.
DTC and Goods and Services Tax (GST) are the two major tax reforms that the government is aiming to introduce by 1 April, 2011.
DTC aims at reducing tax rates, but expanding the tax base by minimising exemptions.
Last month finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had said the government would introduce the DTC Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament.
He said that the new direct tax law, which seeks to substantially change the direct taxes regime, will make "Indian trade and industry globally competitive.
The regulator wants to make sure that fund houses are not distributing commissions from investors’ pockets
Market watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has once again turned the heat on mutual fund distributors. The regulator has sought details of commissions paid out to distributors over the last 10 months from asset management companies (AMCs). Some fund houses have already submitted this information to the regulator while others are in the process of doing so. According to industry sources, the regulator wants to ensure that AMCs are complying with SEBI's recent diktat which disallowed fund houses to disburse upfront commissions from the load account. AMCs had to comply with this rule from 1 April 2010.
"We are not paying commission from the load account. The problem is peculiar with fund houses which are in existence since the last 7-10 years. Their load accounts will be heavy. AMCs which have entered the business recently will neither have many schemes nor much money in their load accounts," said an official from a mid-sized fund house. Typically, it is Unit Trust of India that can pay a lot of money from its load accounts.
Equity schemes come with a lock-in period of one year while equity-linked saving schemes (ELSS) have a three-year lock-in period. If an investor exits the scheme before this lock-in period, the fund house charges 1% exit load. This money is stored in the load account and is utilised for investors' benefit. SEBI has been asking fund companies to carry out investor education programmes with this money.
There are variants of incentive structures like age-wise (tenure of investment holdings) and target-wise commission (among others) which are offered to intermediaries. Big fund houses that are ready to push their funds by going that extra mile are paying money from their own pockets. The distribution of schemes is carried out by filtering the top performing schemes. The schemes which have a consistent track record are pushed. Some industry players say that national distributors are only pushing schemes of a few fund houses which are ready to pay a handsome commission in return for sales.
Distributors are now paid 45 to 75 basis points (bps) trail commission depending on the fund house. Moneylife had earlier reported on how fund houses were offering upfront commission to the tune of 2%-3% under ELSS.