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Central Bank of Sri Lanka released its annual report for the year 2013 revealing statistics about the economic and the industry conditions of the country. As per the statistics provided by Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the gross inflows to the computer and information services sub sector increased by 7.2 per cent in the year 2013 which means that the industry has been growing at a significant rate. The annual report also reveals that the gross inflow from the IT, BPO and KPO industries account for USD 604 billion indicating that there is lot more to be done, in terms of achieving the industry revenue target of USD 1 Billion by 2016.

Nevertheless, the annual report of Central Bank of Sri Lanka acknowledges that Software and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) such as BPO and KPO  have emerged as a sector with high growth potential in Sri Lanka, generating significant inflows in 2013 compared to the previous year. Further, it also states that Sri Lanka has been able to win the ‘Outsourcing  Destination of the Year’ by the National Outsourcing Association (NOA), UK in October 2013 as a result of increased inflows to the country. In addition to these factors, Sri Lanka is recognized for having the ability to produce skilled human resources needed for Information Technology (IT),  BPO and KPO sectors.

Considering the activities of the government to support the IT, BPO and KPO industry,  the government has put  forward a proposal to facilitate corporate entities engaged in BPO services while offering a 5-year half tax holiday for the new companies who are establishing operations. In addition to this, a project proposal was made to develop an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Zone at Hambantota as the emerging ICT Hub of South Asia.

Download the full report here

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Last month we reported how 2013 became the year that saw annual smartphone sales surpass that of feature phones, globally. Well, that may not be reflected in the Sri Lankan market yet, but smartphone sales are surely on the rise in Sri Lanka, according to the latest quarterly Sri Lanka Mobile Handset Market Review by leading Market Intelligence and Advisory firm CyberMedia Research.

As of today, there are already more LTE-based devices shipped into Sri Lanka than India!

Compared to 2012, smartphone sales (percentage of number of units) in Sri Lanka have seen 80% year-on-year growth, according to the report. There are multiple reasons for this exceptional growth. More and more people are moving to smartphones. Communication, Social Networking and workplace productivity play a huge role in this move. This is fueled by the increasing number of “affordable” smartphones available in the market now. Mobile service providers are also investing more on launching and promoting smartphones with special offers and services, especially on the “data” front. The chart below will give you an idea on the changing trend in mobile phone sales in Sri Lanka. The rise in smartphone sales have clearly contributed to the decline of feature-phone sales, even though feature-phones still maintain the highest number of sales in the local market.

Nokia is still king of feature-phones

According to the CMR’s report, Nokia ended the year 2013 with 27.3% of feature phone market share which was enough to retain the top spot. Nokia was followed by global market leader Samsung in the second place and Micromax in the third spot. Interestingly Samsung had a bigger competitor in Micromax in the local market, when it comes to feature phones. The market share margin between the two brands was less than 1%. This is also evident by the fact that Micromax actually sold remarkably higher number of feature phones than Samsung in the 4th Quarter of 2013. Micromax had 21.4% market share in Q4 2013 (up from 16.1% in Q3 2013) compared to Samsung’s Q4 2013 market share of 12% (down from 17.4% in Q3 2013).

Samsung remains market leader of smartphones

When it comes to smartphones, Samsung showed its global dominance in the local market too, by leading the list with a comfortable 37.7% of market share. But one should also note that Samsung’s  Q4 2013 share (21.2%) is noticeably lower than its Q3 2013 share of 39%. We are not aware of the exact reason that could have affected the sales, but we guess it’s due to availability of larger number of smartphone options from different players at highly competitive price points. Huawei followed Samsung in the second spot with 11.9% of market share while Micromax, with 10.3% share ended up at the 3rd place. But if you take Q4 2013 alone, it’s E-Tel which took the 3rd spot (16.1%) beating Micromax. Introduction of multiple Android powered smartphones at relatively cheaper price points might have contributed to the success of E-Tel.

The future looks bright for smartphones

As you can see in the charts, quite a large amount of market share was dominated by brands/vendors who could not make it to the top 3 list. For instance, Nokia has been promoting affordable Windows Phone devices as of late. Launch of Android powered Nokia X series will also give Nokia a chance to shine in the smartphone department in 2014. It should also be noted that a large number of Sri Lankans use Apple iPhones. Recently Dialog Axiata became an authorized seller for iPhones. Even though we could not find any reliable data on Apple’s market share in Sri Lanka, we can be certain that it is fast becoming one of the widely used smartphones in Sri Lanka. Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S5 and LG’s G Flex are also expected to launch in Sri Lanka, in days to come.

According to CMR’s analysts, “the share of entry level smartphones in the Sri Lankan market is expected to increase, along with a matching uptake in 3G and 4G data consumption”. They also expect more Indian handset brands to enter Sri Lankan market this year. To quote a more interesting fact from the report – “as of today, there are already more LTE-based devices shipped into Sri Lanka than India!”. CMR’s analyst said that “this reflects the technological advancement achieved by the island nation’s market”

Source: CMR’s Sri Lanka’s Mobile Handset Market Review – 4Q 2013, March 2014 Release and 3Q 2013, December 2013 Release

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Good news for Javascript enthusiasts in Sri Lanka!

JavaScript Sri Lanka has come up with cmbHack.js, a 32-hour hackathon that brings the best out of coders, designers and entrepreneurs who have a passion to architect the internet with Javascript. It will be an intense 32-hour contest where the participants will be fine tuning concepts, testing out their code and masterminding elegant and user-friendly interfaces.  In the end, the best of ideas that are executed immaculately will be judged winners and be crowned champions.

Date, Time and Place

April 05th 7.30 AM to 06th 6.00PM at Orion City.

32-hours is all you got!

cmbHack.js is open to both students and professional developers. Participants are expected to:

  • Pitch your latest and greatest ideas to your fellow participants. You have 30 seconds to grab their attention, so be prepared.
  • Meet, recruit and join like-minded Javascript geeks into making that idea a reality, right then and there.
  • Hack away! Internet, meals and tech support will be provided. The best implementations will be judged and only the best will make it to the top.

Who is it for?

  • Developers, students and anyone who has a knack to code.
  • UX designers with great CSS / HTML skills.
  • PHP, Python, Ruby developers with JS skills.
  • Android and iOS gurus who believe in JavaScript on the Mobile.

What should I build?

The organizers are adamant to witness something fresh and something remarkable being accomplished at the end with the help of Javascript.

  • A single page web application/mobile application built on JS or uses heavy JS
  • A JS framework that can be used by JS/Web developers
  • A JS-based mashup of other apps/APIs/tools/services
  • A server side JS API/package for web developers
  • Anything awesome that challenges JavaScript as a technology!

Why should I participate?

It will be a great opportunity for you to work with fellow Javascript enthusiasts who are passionate about coding just like you. You will also get a chance to pitch your ideas and work on great ideas of others.

Count me in! But what should I bring?

The organizers want you to bring the following, to make your life much easier during the hackathon.

  • A laptop
  • An internet dongle is recommended
  • Pen and paper
  • A toothbrush for overnight hacking
  • Bring Rs. 500 for registration

Organizers reiterate the fact that Internet access, power, food and drinks are at your disposal!

Also organizers would love if the participants are aware of the rules and guidelines that are set to make this event fair and fun for all. So please focus on the following:

  • Don’t bring something that’s already been built. You have to build something from scratch.
  • JavaScript must be an integral part of the end solution.
  • Stay within legal limits. Do not misuse the facilities that are provided to you.

So register now for cmbHack.js.

diGIT is extremely proud to be the Online Media Partner for this event. We will bring you the latest and breaking news around cmbHack.js. So stay tuned!

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FUTURES is a platform for social innovation which brings together selected group of people representing the private sector, public sector, not-for-profit organisations, community groups and consumers to develop innovative ideas for products, services, business models and policies that address emerging social issues and needs in Sri Lanka. The social sectors in focus for this year (2014) are:

  • EDUCATION
  • HEALTH
  • WATER

More info on the Event can be accessed here and here as well.