- POSTED: 19 Dec 2013 21:02
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A new crop of smartphone-makers in India has emerged, making inroads into the market against international players like Samsung and Apple.
NEW DELHI: A new crop of smartphone-makers in India has emerged, making inroads into the market against international players like Samsung and Apple.
Their success is catching a wave of technology adoption that has seen shipments of mobile devices to the country triple in a year to 9.3 million units between April and June in 2013, compared to the same period a year earlier.
Global market leaders Samsung of South Korea and Apple of the US are getting a run for their money in India.
While Samsung may command 26 per cent of all smartphone shipments to the country, it is under fire.
At the lower price point, the US$790 high-end Galaxy is way too expensive, as is Apple's US$680 iPhone 5C.
So enter the local smartphone, on which one can still browse the Internet, play games and watch videos, but not break the bank.
Sanjana, a customer of Indian smartphone brand Micromax, said: "I really preferred buying Micromax over any other mobile because I found it really attractive.
“The look is very nice and the screen is quite big this time. And the price is also quite reasonable in comparison to any other mobile like Samsung and Nokia.”
International players like Nokia also have a presence in the US$100-US$200 handset segment, and other firms do offer cheaper models, but home-grown Indian brands are now becoming big.
Local manufacturers like Micromax Informatics and Karbonn Mobiles have successfully transitioned from making feature phones to smartphones.
And while the likes of Nokia have similarly-priced low-end models, there is real competition from the home brands.
Deekpak Juneja, a phone dealer, said: "There is a revolution in the market. The phones which are available to customers from Samsung for US$561 are available for US$160 and in fact for US$80 from Micromax."
In a country with about 900 million cellphone users, competitive pricing is emerging as an important factor in whether or not a brand does well.
Indian consumers have a reputation for being budget-conscious while at the same time being eager customers of new technologies.
With the emergence of low-cost phones packing high-tech features, Indian mobile phone users have a golden opportunity to experience both.