First half of 2014 has seen significant growth in the number of smartphone launches in India. Indian brands have shown a major growth in terms of the number of mobile phones launched this year with most focus going to budget phones (INR5k- INR15k). The Indian mobile sector has been a battlefield between the new entrants and the existing big players.
While the first half of 2013 saw 401 phones being launched in India, there were 855 new phones launched in the first half of 2014. This is an increase by more than two times over a year. While the mid range (15k-25k) segment grew three times, the high end segment (25k-35k) saw a 160% growth over last year.
Indian brands like Micromax, Karbonn, Spice, Celkon, iBall, Intex, Lava, Spice etc. launched many new phones in the entry level phone section (<5k). Compared to last year, this section saw a 166% increase with 508 new models being launched as compared to 191 models launched last year. The budget section (5k-15k) saw an 85.41% increase over the previous year with 178 phones being launched as compared to 96 last year. Notable change was in the mid end section (15k-25k) with 20 phones being launched in H1 2014 by Micromax, Lava and Karbonn while there were no phones launched in this section last year.
International players shifted focus towards the mid end (15k+) segment which grew by approximately 100%. While only 17 phones were launched in this segment last year, the numbers doubled to 35 new phones being launched in this segment in 2014. High end (25k-35k) segment also saw an equal increase with 13 phones being launched this year as compared to 7 launched last year.
User base for Indian make phones seems to have increased over the last year as 82.6% of total phone launches in H1 2014 were from Indian brands as compared to 71.8% in H1 last year. Maximum number of new phones was launched by Intex (64) while iBall released the lowest number of new models (26).
In the entry level segment, Indian models dominated the market with Lava releasing 30 new phones. The lowest number was 7 new phones by Spice. Nokia also launched 9 new models in this segment in H1 2014. In the budget segment, Micromax was the only Indian brand to launch 6 new phones. Samsung launched the most number of phones in this segment (7) while Huawei launched the least number of new phones (3).
H1 2014 also saw many new entrants and many re-entries in the mobile segment. Companies like Phillips, HP, Oppo and Motorola launched new models with only Phillips venturing in the entry level segment. Brands like Panasonic and Alcatel also started heavy promotions for their brands in India.
Considering the launches by the various mobile manufacturers, Samsung had no launches below the 15k price tag. Mid end segment saw 2 new launches, high end segment saw 1 new phone and the premium segment saw 3 new launches from Samsung.
Nokia however taking advantage of the smartphone demographics in India launched 17 new phones under the 15k price tag with 8 phones in the entry level segment and 9 new models in the budget segment. Only 1 new model was released above the 15k price tag. After Microsoft’s takeover, many high end phones have been released in USA but not so in India.
– Sony released 2 models in the budget segment, 3 new models in the mid end segment an 2 premium models.
– HTC released new models mainly in the mid and budget segment. Budget segment saw 2 new phones from HTC, 3 new models were released in the mid level segment and one each in the high end and premium segments.
– Indian company Micromax launched 24 new models in the budget segment and 16 new models in the entry level segment. 5 models were launched in the mid level segment as well, but Micromax does not seem have any user base in the high end or premium section and hence no phones have been released above the 25k price tag.
Based on the buying intent of users, Micromax, Motorola and Gionee had 13% each of users visiting the respective online stores followed by Gionee at 12%. Nokia ended up last on the list with only 8%.
The 10 most popular smartphones in India as listed by 91mobiles.com shows Nokia XL top on the charts followed by Samsung Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2. HTC Desire 816 ended up last on the list.
Most popular smartphone in the budget segment is Nokia XL, in mid level segment is Galaxy Grand2, high end segment is Gionee Elife E7 and in the premium segment is Samsung Galaxy S5.
As to what to expect from H2 2014, trends reveal that it is time for the dawn of budget phones. Companies like Motorola, Lava, Micromax, Xolo, Karbonn, Spice etc have launched their lineup of smartphones in India.
A lot of new affordable mid level phones are also expected from players like Obi, Jolla, Mi, Asus and OnePlus. With Airtel rolling out 4G in many major cities in the country, brands have also launched phone that have 4G compatibility. This include phones like LG F70, HTC One, LG G2, Oppo FIND7a and many more.