Industry insiders expect smartphone sales in the April-June quarter to remain flat or grow at a tepid pace from a year earlier, compared with a 20-22 percent expansion seen in the past year.
This may continue for the better part of the year, they say, as conversions from feature, or basic, phones to smartphones have slowed, because of the affordability factor.
Some experts say basic phone users are waiting also for more affordable 4G phones to hit the market before making a switch.
One of the outcomes of this trend is, established players are refocusing on feature phones, especially in the semi-urban and rural India — segments of the market where there are potential for growth in handset sales as urban areas are more or less saturated. This also means lower average selling prices (ASP) and smaller margins.
By Baishakhi Dutta