As the market for cheaper smartphones becomes wider, more and more users are moving to smartphones for the first time. The percent of people in India using smartphones has gone up by 15 percent since 2018. This brings the approximate total number of smartphone users in the country to over 50 crores. The growth can be attributed to brands like Xiaomi and Realme which continue to bring new users to the ecosystem, a new report said on Thursday. Also Read - Indians spend a third of their waking hours on a smartphone each day, study reveals
According to market research firm techARC, India had 502.2 million smartphone users as of December 2019. This points to 77 percent of the country using the internet. Further, people are now also accessing wireless broadband through smartphones. Also Read - Indians binge watch for over 8 hours a week: Report
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Korean brand Samsung led the smartphone market in India with 34 percent market share in the calendar year 2019. It was followed by Xiaomi at 20 percent, Vivo at 11 percent and finally Oppo at 9 percent. “After a slow migration rate from feature phones to smartphones for a couple of years, it’s good to see that the market has started to expand again,” said Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, at the research firm told IANS. Also Read - Fitbit data claims that Indians are second most sleep deprived and least active
The smartphone market in India can start for as low as below Rs 5,000. However, it was observed that most users who are new prefer to start with an upper-budget device. This refers to phones priced between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. This is likely due to a basic sense of specification awareness. Interestingly, people want better specifications now, even in the in the lower segments.
Further, brands like Realme, Vivo and OnePlus led the market in terms of brands that added more numbers in the user base. While Realme increased its user base by 49 percent, Vivo went up by 44 percent and OnePlus by 41 percent. Moreover, other major brands including Samsung, Xiaomi and OPPO added 9 percent, 25 percent and 36 percent, respectively in 2019.
“Factors like availability of good-quality affordable smartphones, expansion of online as well as offline channels, expansion of 4G/LTE networks by the operators are among the key reasons driving the smartphone user growth,” said Kawoosa.
What about smartphone revenue?
At present, smartphone brands are able to generate $0.5-$1.5 (around Rs 100) a month. This depends on users and what services they are offered, including advertising. “Even if a brand is able to generate $1 revenue per user per month, with a base of 50 million users to be there for an average of 3 years, this means a revenue potential of $1.8 billion from services alone,” showed the findings.
Another strategy is to offer more accessories to users. This could also be further extended to connected electronic devices like smart TVs and smart speakers. Brands like Vivo, OPPO and Realme are venturing more into such markets. According to techINSIGHT the userbase of these brands will grow the most in 2020.
“Realme could enter in top five brands by installed user base displacing Lenovo MBG (Lenovo + Motorola) brands. Xiaomi will continue to exhibit growth in user base while Samsung could start showing off decline in its user base or grow with a low percentile,” the report added.
(With inputs from IANS)