Here’s Why the Indian Smartphone Market Is Way Too Crowded

So what are the new entrants looking at to woo the ever-demanding Indian consumer?

Tech News
2 min read
Nextbit Robin. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="">Nextbit’s Facebook page</a>)

More than 150 smartphone makers are currently selling their brands in India and over 50 are from one country – China. The fight is slowly being shifted to the Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000 price range and the race to beat the rivals and become the highest-selling brand has become hot, really hot.

More than 20 mobile phone brands are now assembling their parts in India and according to recent reports, India has become the second-biggest smartphone market after US, crossing 220 million users.

So what are the new entrants looking into to woo the ever-demanding Indian consumer? Is it metal design, 4G compatibility, super-selfie camera, a fingerprint scanner or all of the above?

According to Atul Jain, COO, LeEco India, “Indians are looking for smartphones which have metal unibody, a good memory, great looks and, of course, camera.”

With aggressive marketing, Chinese brand LeEco has made deeper inroads within a short span of time in India. Its below Rs 11,000 device, Le 1s, has broken several industry records and has become the highest-selling online smartphone brand.

Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Transsion Holdings unveiled its flagship brand iTel with three smartphones and three feature-phone variants in India in May. The SelfiePro, PowerPro and Wish series devices will be available at prices below Rs 10,000.

Sudhir Kumar, CEO, iTel India, remarks that with the ongoing digital revolution there is an increasing demand for better features and enhanced functionality. No matter how competitive the market is, consumers will always look for products that offer better quality features.

Using Maps on the phone is  becoming increasingly popular. (Photo: iStockphoto)
Using Maps on the phone is becoming increasingly popular. (Photo: iStockphoto)

Ex-Apple India executive Sharad Mehrotra who quit the tech-giant to establish his own handset company Hyve Mobility, thinks that bigger screen is still the best bet.

Most people I think really want a bigger screen. Next is 4G compatibility and faster speed that smartphone makers are currently looking at. Design is a very special element and we have put in a lot of effort on the designing part of our flagship model.
Sharad Mehrotra

Can Word-Of-Mouth and a Better Product Without Massive Marketing Budget Work?

Atul Jain explains that both are important. He stresses that there is a need to go for advertising and do the regular online push, adding that there is need to provide regular phone updates and, at the same time, need to have word-of-mouth publicity, too. But nothing can beat good customer service and a superbly working device at a reasonable price.

Meanwhile, Sudhir Kumar believes “the major focus is on the quality of the product. Word-of-mouth works if your product’s quality and performance is superlative and if the penetration of the product is great.”

(This article has been published in arrangement with IANS.)

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