The research also points towards the fact that India was the fastest growing smartphone market in 2018. The number of smartphones users in India has surpassed 430 million
The market for feature phones grew faster than that of smartphones in 2018, a research by Counterpoint has claimed. Counterpoint Research also pointed out towards Xiaomi as the leading smartphone brand in India and towards Jio, as leader in feature phones, and overall handset market.
Commenting on the findings, Karn Chauhan, research analyst at Counterpoint Research said, “India is the second largest smartphone market in the world after China. It has just surpassed 430 million smartphone users.”
India still not penetrated with smartphones
Karn pointing towards the under-penetrated Indian market in terms of smartphones added, “This accounts for just 45 per cent of the potential total addressable market for smartphones; India is under-penetrated relative to many other markets. This was one the key reasons for its growth in 2018 where not only new users shifted towards smartphones but there was a healthy upgrade within price tiers, especially from entry-level smartphones to the mid-tier segment.”
The research also takes curtains off from the fact that India smartphone market is a very big opportunity for smartphone brands. As a matter of fact, the large growth of feature phones led by Jio, simply states that the use of internet in feature phones is increasing as well.
It is a strong possibility that feature phones users may very soon look towards upgrading to smartphones. Smartphone manufacturers offering devices in under Rs 5,000 segment may be able to establish a good market share for their brand in the upcoming times.
Room for new players
While its a simple fact that many smartphone players exited Indian smartphone market, a new smartphone brand, Realme, was able to join the club of top five smartphone brands within months of its business operations in the country.
Anshika Jain, research analyst at Counterpoint Research said, “The competitive landscape has changed significantly in the last year. We saw key players gaining share while smaller brands exited the market as competition intensified. However, this doesn’t mean there is no room for new players. Realme, which started operations in Q2 2018, entered the top five brands in 4Q 2018, reaching more than 4 million users faster than any other brand. Going forward, we expect brands to consolidate their positions by driving multi-channel and aggressive product strategies in a bid to target users beyond Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.”
It is to be noted here that several new players including the likes of Yuho Mobiles, Voto Mobiles and Mobiistar are gaining good momentum in the market. More new players may also enter the Indian smartphone market within this and the next financial year.
Features phones still very relevant
Tarun Pathak, associate director, highlighting the still important feature phone segment, added, “This is the first time the feature phone market grew faster than the smartphone market. India remains the largest market in terms of global feature phone volume.”
Several big brands including the likes of HMD Global Nokia are still keen on launching new feature phones in the market. The brand had recently introduced Nokia 106 feature phone in the country. Others including Intex and itel have also been aggressively introducing new features phones in India. However, the market of feature phones in India, is dominated by Jio Phone with 38 per cent share.
Tarun added, “Reliance Jio captured 38% of the feature phone segment in just over year with its compelling value proposition compared to normal 2G feature phones. Additionally, the Jio Monsoon Hungama offer focusing on upgrading 2G feature phone users, helped it to drive sales during the second half of 2018.”