Some 800 models compete for mind and wallet share of the $16 billion Indian smartphone market, according to the latest research by Strategy Analytics. The report identifies online as the preferred channel for the next smartphone purchase by most Indian smartphone owners.
The report, which uses on-device polling from the AppOptix consumer telemetry platform, finds that battery is the dominant driver of smartphone purchases for 45% of Indian replacement buyers followed by camera quality. 4G/LTE is growing in importance, at 18%. The on-device survey, completed with Strategy Analytics’ panel of Indian smartphone users, found that two-thirds prefer online channels for their next smartphone compared to 25% who actually bought online in 2015.
According to Strategy Analytics, Micromax has the greatest exposure to replacement sales, with 38% of its owners very likely to replace their device. In contrast only 16% of Xiaomi owners are very likely to replace their device in the next 6 months.
David Kerr, Senior Vice President at Strategy Analytics, commented “Micromax, currently the number two vendor in India, is under intense pressure as its customers look to upgrade their devices. Stronger offerings from Chinese vendors Oppo, Vivo, LeEco, and Lenovo, along with upcoming local players such as Reliance Jio, will make the Android smartphone market even more volatile in the second half of 2016.”
Rajeev Nair, senior analyst Handset Country Share Tracker India, commented “Improving battery performance along with continuing to promote camera quality and video experiences will be key, especially in the mid and entry price-tiers (US$ 35-190) which together account for over 75% of the Indian smartphone market.”
Yiwen Wu, senior analyst for smartphones, added “India is a critical market for Chinese vendors with aspirations to be top-five globally as the domestic Chinese market matures. Only 1 in 4 Indians have smartphones today, so the upside opportunity is huge. However, establishing the correct mix of product, channels and price-tier support represents significant challenges for Chinese OEMs who need stronger understanding of the local Indian needs.”