Redmi 6A gets a big price cut and is now the best cheap phone to buy in India

he Redmi 5A was one of the most popular smartphones when it was in the market. Now when that smartphone has been discontinued, its legacy is being taken forward by the Redmi 6A, which Xiaomi launched in India in August this year. The Redmi 6A was launched at a price of Rs 5,999, which also happened to be the price at which the redmi 5A was sold, but a couple of months later when rupee sharply depreciated against dollar, Xiaomi decided to increase the price of some of its products in India including the Redmi 6A. The new price became Rs 6,999.

This was a minimal price hike, but given that under Rs 10,000 market is very sensitive to price, it affected the perception of the phone. A few months later, the Redmi 6A is back to its original price. Its price has been slashed by Rs 1,000 and this seems like the permanent price cut. In other words, the Redmi 6A now costs Rs 5,999 again and at its new price it is the best cheap smartphone in the country.

This price is for the 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage model. Similarly, the price of the 2GB RAM with 32GB storage model has also been reduced to Rs 6,999.

With the Redmi 6A, Xiaomi targets buyers who want a decent-looking phone that also clicks good pictures and offers lag free-performance along with long battery life. And all of it at a pocket-friendly price. Currently, the under Rs 6,000 price segment market has a number of phones. But I believe none of them is as good as the Redmi 6A.

Currently, under Rs 6000 price segment you get phones from Micromax, Karbonn, Lava, Infinix, and some of other not-so-popular phone brands. Then there’s the Nokia 8810 4G, which isn’t a smartphone. The Nokia 8810 4G is a feature phone and but lets users do some of the basic things like making calls, sending messages on WhatsApp or browsing Facebook or Twitter or Instagram through special variant of these apps. The Redmi 6A is a full-fledged smartphone.

Why Redmi 6A is the best in the price segment

The Redmi 6A comes with a pretty big screen of 5.45 inches with an aspect ratio of 18:9, which not only offers a decent viewing experience but is also bright enough to be used under the blazing sun. This kind of screen is usually a rarity under Rs 6000 segment. So, if a user is looking out for a phone to use for watching movies, web series or browse social media to check out pictures posted by their friends, the Redmi 6A is one of the best to get under Rs 6000.

The Redmi 6A offers way more than just the big and bright screen. The smartphone is also very good looking and capable of handling the day to day task very easily. Xiaomi has designed the Redmi 6A keeping in mind the rough phone users. The Redmi 6A comes with “Arc Design” and a metallic body which makes the phone pretty capable of taking a beating or two. If you’re a power user or use your phone throughout the day for work and messaging or long hours of calls, the Redmi 6A will possibly not disappoint you. Although not as fast or smooth as one of those premium phones, the Redmi 6A is one of the best smartphones available under Rs 6000 in India today as far as the performance is concerned.

The smartphone is powered by 12nm FinFET Helio A22 processor paired with 2GB RAM and 16GB/32GB of internal storage.

Camera is another very important factor for a lot of smartphone users. There are several phones with good cameras available in the mainstream phone market right now, like the Redmi Note 6 Pro or the Mi A2, but they are slightly expensive. The Redmi Note 6 Pro retail for starting price of Rs 13,999 while the Mi A2 for Rs 15,999.

If you’re looking for phone that is available around Rs 5000 to Rs 6000 and also clicks decent enough pictures with fair amount of details and overall looks presentable, the Redmi 6A can be considered. As for the camera configuration, the Redmi 6A includes a 13-megapixel rear camera paired with EIS and a 5-megapixel selfie shooter with AI portrait and beautify mode.

Another aspect that makes the Redmi 6A stand out from the competition handsets is the MIUI 10. To recollect, the Redmi 6A was launched with MIUI 9.6-based on Android Oreo, bit as Xiaomi has previously promised, the phone has now been upgraded to the latest MIUI 10.

Like the other and expensive Xiaomi phones, the Redmi 6A also comes with AI-based face unlock support, dual nano SIM + microSD card slot, and dual VoLTE, dual standby support, which means two 4G network SIM cards can be used at a single time on the phone.


9 Things To Buy On Black Friday That Will Save You Money

Photo by rawpixel on UnsplashPhoto by rawpixel on Unsplash

Most of us are pretty irrational when it comes to our spending habits. We don’t think twice about small daily purchases — but if a price tag crosses a certain threshold, we start to feel uncomfortable about our buying decision.

This mindset is not good for your bank account. Small purchases are usually low-value and have a very short gratification period. Larger purchases, while a bigger investment, usually pay for themselves and continue to improve our lives over time.

With all of the holiday sales starting, now is a great time to start thinking harder about the things you buy.

This Black Friday I challenge you to rate purchases in terms of value and long-term return. Avoid picking up a bunch of cheap things just because they’re a “great deal” and go for items that will improve your life and save you money next year. Here are nine examples of purchases that check both boxes and are even better buys on Black Friday.

1) Restaurant Gift Cards

You probably don’t have every weekend planned out for 2019 but one thing I can guarantee you’ll do is eat at your favorite restaurant.

On Black Friday, many restaurants offer a bonus gift card when you purchase a certain denomination (you’ll see deals like buy a $100 gift card and get an extra $20). This is a great way to lower your food spend in 2019 without changing your eating habits. Just check the fine print as some “bonus” gift cards will need to be spent by a certain date.


2) Fitness Equipment with Live Classes

Fitness classes are a great way to stay in shape. But they can get expensive. A spin class costs $20 on average, and that price can be even higher at some studios. Attending class three times per week means you’re likely spending at least $250 per month or $3,000 per year on spin class.

If attending classes in person isn’t a priority for you, then purchasing an at-home solution can help you meet both your fitness and financial goals.

Fitness equipment with live classes, like a Peloton bike, are often viewed as fancy and expensive but when you break down the costs, they are usually much cheaper. Peloton’s 0% financing options currently allow you to pay $58 per month for their equipment and $39 per month for their membership. That means your all-in cost is about $100 per month — or less than half of what you’d pay at a studio.

3) Blender

That post-workout smoothie from the shop next to your gym might be great for your health but it’s destroying your food budget. Splurge on a fancy blender instead and make your own at home to seriously cut costs.

Even a top of the line blender like a Vitamix (starting at $289.95) will pay for itself in a few months if a smoothie stop is part of your regular routine. As a bonus, owning this new appliance may also inspire you to make your own almond milk or soups and further reduce your food spend in 2019.

4) Cooking Equipment and Meal Kits

Millennials are known for our love of dining out but while fast casual restaurants and delivery services are extremely convenient, they’re often not great for our health or wallets.

Learning how to cook a few of your favorite dishes well can save you tons of money and calories. Plus it’s a pretty useful life skill to have.

A great way to get started on your cooking journey is to opt into a meal-kit delivery service like Sunbasket or Blue Apron, both of which are currently offering $60 off. Their easy-to-follow recipes and home delivery make cooking a breeze for even the most novice of chefs. And if you need basic cooking equipment to get started, there are countless Black Friday deals you can take advantage of.

5) Wardrobe Staples

The avalanche of promotional Black Friday emails from retailers have already started. Most people open those emails, spot a few things they like, and make an impulse purchase. When the item arrives, they maybe wear it once or twice and then forget about it because it wasn’t practical or something that they even really wanted.

Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you should buy it. (Repeat that three times.) Instead, take advantage of low prices by buying high quality wardrobe staples that will constantly be in rotation and can handle the wear.

An easy way to determine if an item is worth buying is its cost per use. Divide the cost by the number of times you think you’ll wear the outfit in a year.

6) Coffee or Espresso Machine

If you love your morning Starbucks run, this is not for you. But if you get annoyed every time you see a $5 latte listed on your credit card statement, then investing in a top quality coffee or espresso machine can save you a ton of money.

You can replicate exactly what the barista is doing at your favorite coffee shop, but for a fraction of the cost. And since you control the inputs, you can even get your daily brew to the point where it tastes exactly how you want it to.

7) Sports Equipment

Repeatedly renting sports equipment like a paddleboard or ice skates can get expensive. If there’s a hobby you enjoy that involves equipment rental, tally up how much you’ve spent on your rentals this year. Chances are that if you rent often, it may be cheaper to buy. And owning may incentivize you to indulge in your hobby even more than you already do which should make you happier.

8) Annual Park Passes

Paying an admission fee every time you want to visit one of your favorite places can add up. Getting a discounted annual pass to your local national park or theme park means you’ll always have a fun place to go and your cost per visit will go down


Smartphones with color and style that you can buy in India


With increasing choice of colors, finish and material used in smartphones, consumers have all the more options to choose from. It is true that some prefer cases, and then there are those who want their smartphone to be outright good looking.

It’s not just the Chinese manufacturers who have opted for brighter or gradient colors in their smartphones, even big companies such as Apple and Samsung also followed the trend with latest devices. Here’s a list of colorful devices that you can purchase in India right now.

Apple iPhone XR

Apple iPhone XR compared to the iPhone XS and XS Max comes in variety of color options. The device is available in six different color finishes of White, Black, Blue, Yellow, Coral and (Product)RED. It is the first time after the iPhone 5c when Apple has offered a wide variety of color options.

Apple iPhone XR is basically a toned down version of iPhone XS with LCD display. The smartphone comes with single rear camera and lower storage option. It comes in three storage variants with the base model offering 64GB for Rs 76,900. The iPhone XR with 128GB storage and 256GB storage are priced at Rs 81,900 and Rs 91,900 respectively. The smartphone is available online from Flipkart and via other Apple authorized retailers.

OnePlus 6T Thunder Purple

OnePlus 6T Thunder Purple is company’s latest addition to the existing lineup. OnePlus has not changed the pricing of the Thunder Purple variant and it will be available for Rs 41,999. Other color variants including the Midnight Black and Mirror Black will continue to be available at the same price in the market.

Image Credit: Rehan Hooda

Talking about the specifications of the device, the device will only be available in 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage option. Other hardware specifications for the Thunder Purple variant will be similar to the regular variants of OnePlus 6T.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Burgundy Red

Samsung’s current flagship Galaxy S9 looks quite stylish already, and recently Samsung India brought vibrant ‘Burgundy Red’ color option to India as well. The variant was first unveiled back in May, for both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ models.

After the new addition, Samsung Galaxy S9+ is now available in five color options in India. Other color variants include Coral Blue, Lilac Purple, Midnight Black and Sunrise Gold. The Burgundy Red is now available via select offline stores, online portals, and the Samsung Shop only.


How To Buy This Chinese Social Media Leader For Less Than 6x EBIT

Weibo is China’s version of Twitter, except that it’s better managed and more profitable. This year, revenues and profits are expected to grow by more than 50% year-over-year; it’s a great business, with a long runway of growth ahead of it. Best of all, we have found a way to invest in Weibo at a 2019 EBIT multiple of less than 6x by purchasing shares of SINA Corporation.

Introducing SINA Corporation

SINA Corporation (“SINA”) is a Chinese technology company founded in 1998 as a web portal. Today, it is best-known for its investment in Weibo, which is one of China’s largest social networks.  Weibo’s business model is very similar to that of Twitter; money is made by placing ads and promoting feeds. Compared to Twitter, Weibo has 20%+ more monthly active users, those users spend more time on the platform per day, and Weibo is considerably more profitable. As a result, Weibo’s EBIT margins are currently between 35% and 40%, whereas Twitter, in comparison, is barely profitable.

Weibo EBIT margins are expected to remain above 35%.Appleseed Capital

Moreover, Weibo continues to grow at a rapid pace. Weibo’s revenues and operating profits are expected to increase by more than 50% in 2018 and by more than 30% in 2019. While investors are clearly and rightly concerned about a trade war between the United States and China and a related slowdown in China, Weibo revenues should continue to grow even through a global recession.

Weibo revenues are expected to increase by more than 50% in 2018.Appleseed Capital


The Weibo background is critical to understand because SINA Corporation owns a 46% stake in Weibo and is also the controlling shareholder in Weibo with 72% of all Weibo votes. While many investors who like Weibo’s business might choose to invest directly in Weibo shares, it seems to be a far more compelling proposition to invest in shares of SINA.

Why SINA Corporation Shares Are So Cheap

Thus far, emerging market stocks are in a bear market in 2018, and some investors would argue that emerging market stocks are currently a great buy. Both SINA and Weibo saw their stock prices plummet by 50% or more since their recent highs on U.S.-China trade war talk and the unexpected rise of Douyin, a Snapchat-like short-video platform that was launched in late-2016 and that has already reached 500 million monthly users.

The market seems to believe that Douyin’s massive early growth has come at Weibo’s expense. However, thus far, Weibo’s operating metrics have barely been influenced by the rise of Douyin; monthly users, daily users, and time spent share all continue to increase. Users appear to be using Weibo and Douyin for fundamentally different reasons, and it seems unlikely that Douyin will take market share from Weibo’s microblogging territory.

As a result of this considerable drop in price, Weibo is now trading at approximately 12.0x consensus FY2019 EBIT, which represents excellent value for a fast-growing, highly profitable business. That said, SINA’s shares represent an even more exciting investment opportunity.

SINA’s market cap currently stands at $4.4 billion. Of this, $1.8 billion is attributable to cash and investments not related to Weibo. Therefore, the market values SINA’s 46% stake in Weibo at $2.7 billion, even though Weibo’s current market cap is $12.7 billion.

While Weibo is likely undervalued, SINA’s stake in Weibo seems significantly undervalued. At the $2.7 billion value which Mr. Market ascribes to SINA’s stake in Weibo, investors are effectively buying shares of Weibo, through SINA, at a multiple of just 5.9x consensus FY 2019 EBIT.

Moreover, SINA’s stake in Weibo deserves a premium because SINA owns Class B shares of Weibo, each of which has three votes, compared to only one vote per every publicly-traded Class A share.

In summary, SINA Corporation investors should have two ways to generate an attractive return:

  1. Should the valuation gap between SINA and Weibo ever close, SINA’s share price should appreciate considerably, even if Weibo never recovers from the recent investor panic.
  2. Should Weibo get its growth-company multiple back and/or reach the median sell-side target price, SINA shareholders should be handsomely rewarded through its investment in Weibo.

Should neither happen, it seems likely that SINA management would buy back shares until the valuation gap disappeared.

SINA Corporation Management

Importantly, SINA’s CEO owns $500 million worth of SINA stock and has a track record of sound capital allocation and returning capital to shareholders. SINA repurchased $303 million of stock as part of a buyback program that expired in June 2018, which translated into a 5% reduction in shares outstanding at an average price of $89 per share. Given the valuation gap between SINA shares and Weibo shares, it seems likely that SINA will continue to repurchase shares at prices which should be accretive to SINA’s intrinsic value.


Given the 50% decline that SINA shares have already experienced, this is not a risk-free investment. Like many Chinese tech companies, SINA Corporation and Weibo are structured as variable interest entities to allow SINA and Weibo to raise capital in foreign markets. Investors in SINA are taking on business risk, technology risk, currency risk, and country risk. Given the attractive valuation of SINA shares, we believe Weibo’s risks have already been discounted.

The 2018 emerging market bargain hunt has begun, and I don’t know how long it will last.  It’s worth taking a look at SINA Corporation, and, while you’re at it, it’s worth taking a look at SK Telecom too.

Disclosure: Adam Strauss owns SINA Corporation and SK Telecom in some of his funds. This article is for informational purposes only and is not a recommendation to buy or sell a security.  The views are those of Adam Strauss as of the date of publication and are subject to change and to the disclaimers of Appleseed Capital.


Domestic business, Bhushan buy boost Tata Steel’s Q2 numbers

tata steel-bccl
Tata Steel could also resort to “portfolio monetisation” to trim its debt.
Mumbai: Taking advantage of favourable business climate, Tata Steel on Tuesday reported a stellar show for the September quarter, beating market estimates.

The company’s financials were way ahead of the street estimates, driven by higher realisations in the domestic business and strong contributions from the
Auto and branded retail accounted for nearly half the total deliveries made in the quarter. “We are ramping up operations at Bhushan Steel and expanding 5 mtpa at Tata Steel Kalinganagar,” said TV Narendran, CEO, Tata Steel.

The company has also signed a definitive agreement to acquire 1 mt-long product steel plant of Usha Martin.

For the September quarter, the company’s revenues stood at Rs 43,554 crore, 34 per cent higher year-on year. EBIDTA grew by 92 per cent to Rs 9,000 crore, while net profit trebled to Rs 3,116 crore.

recently acquired Bhushan Steel. The performance of the overseas businesses though, especially Europe, was lacklustre due to plant shutdowns.

Greater footprint in the more lucrative domestic market, with increasing focus on the less cyclical and higher margin automotive and branded retail segment augur well for the shareholders, who have expressed concerns over the company’s mounting debt.