Why Is India Becoming A Hotbed For Smartphones?

by Shweta Verma    Jul 14, 2014

Among the emerging markets, India has witnessed the fastest smartphone growth over the last few months.


mobile consumers

Last week HTC launched its new set of smartphones in India - Desire 616 and HTC One E8, priced at Rs 16,900 and Rs 34,990, respectively. While the high-end E8 is positioned as an elite product for the fashion-conscious consumers, Desire 616 is targeted for the younger lot who wants the best of features at affordable prices. Even though the company has multiple products to suit the tastes of different consumers, it seems more focused on pushing the mid-range as that is witnessing the highest growth.

In fact, not just HTC, even the other mobile players are now aggressively targeting the mid-range market in India with their newer, slicker versions packed with many more features. On one hand, you have the mobile giants like Samsung offering cheaper variants or Apple trying to woo customers with attractive exchange offers. On the other hand, you find many other players entering the fray. From local mobile companies like Micromax and Karbonn to global PC vendors like Lenovo or the struggling mobile players like BlackBerry, Nokia and Motorola who are trying to reinvent themselves. Everyone seems keen on grabbing a share in the pie.

Why India…

Among the emerging markets, India has witnessed the fastest smartphone growth over the last few months. According to a report from telecom vendor Ericsson, the country added 28 million mobile subscribers during the first quarter, the largest increase of any country.

Chialin Chang, President - Global Sales & CFO, HTC, says the company’s new range with lower price points has been created keeping in mind the needs of the Indian consumer. “India is not only an important market, but also a very strategic one for us,” he says. “The opportunities here are phenomenal. India is one of the countries where products are launched earlier than others,” asserts HTC South Asia President Jack Yang.

IDC data shows that smartphone sales in India have grown almost three times to over 44 million in 2013, and in the first quarter of 2014, 17.59 million smartphones were shipped into India as compared to 6.14 million in the same period of 2013.

Read: Low-Cost Smartphones To Rule India’s Mobile Marketplace

Making the transition

“The next battleground for smartphone market share will be emerging markets, the poorer countries where most people still use regular phones and are slowly making the transition to smartphones,” explains tech writer Steve Kovach in Business Insider.

For developing countries like India with a large population of consumers in the middle class, availability of cheaper smartphones has acted as an inflection point. The consumers here look for value for money and they realize they can now access the latest technologies and feature-rich products without burning holes in their pockets.

More options, more convenience

With the Indian market being almost flooded with newer and better smartphone varieties, today consumers have many more options to choose from. A number of Chinese companies like Gionee and Xiaomi have also joined the fray and are offering top-end specs in the mid-range segment.

Besides, increasing popularity of e-commerce sites like Flipkart and Snapdeal has also made it possible for smartphone companies to reach out to many more locations in a cost effective manner. As a result they are able to offer more discounts and freebies to attract customers, while consumers have the convenience of choosing the best deals at the click of a button.

A win-win situation for both!