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Mobile Market in 2012, What India bought Online?

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The mobile market in India is expanding quickly and some of the major drivers have been the rise in affordable feature phones and dual sim phones as well as the rapid conversion of users from feature phones to smartphones.

MySmartprice produced this report that takes a look at the typical online buyer interest for mobile phones as well as provides some great insights at which mobiles India bought in 2012. Here are some of the biggest insights from the report.

Major Shuffle in the mobile Market- Micromax beats Apple

The Indian mobile market has had a major shake down. Samsung phones have grown by a whopping 35% while Nokia has moved deep into anonymity with a fall of 60% in interest among consumers. The rise in Android phones (a whopping 40% increase) especially in the Rs 10+ segment (2.7 times growth) may have contributed to the catapult of Samsung into the top.

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Most of Samsung’s phones fit neatly into the price segment of Rs 10k+. Nokia barely managed to save face last year with few high profile Asha phones such as Nokia Asha 305 and Nokia Asha 311. The Lumia range had all but fallen out of grace among users.

Another major upset has been the rise of popularity among Micromax phones. In fact Micromax phones today garner more interest among users than Apple’s iPhone.

However the iPhone by itself has generated great interest during the days of its launch and initial availability in Indian market.

Big Screens are the way forward

Gone are the days when the average mobile phones sported a 2-2.5” screen that served only the purpose to show 2-3 lines of text. The mobile consumers seem overwhelmingly in the hunt for full screen touch phones and that too with increasing dimensions. The most popular screen size seems to be crossing the 4” space. This may be due to the increased interest in Samsung’s Galaxy S2, S3, Note and Note 2 smartphones as well as in similar models from domestic as well as international competitors. image

Big Screen phones have even managed to be some of the biggest winners among consumers this year with even Micromax gaining significant interest from Micromax A100 and Micromax A110 Canvas 2 smartphones.

 

Dual Sim phones are Big

An interesting pattern emerging in 2012 has been the steady increase in demand for dual sim phones. The growth more or less matches the interest in Android phones as well giving one to believe that the rise in dual sim options in Android smartphones in India may indirectly be helping the growth in Android.

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Dual sim phones have long been much sought after in India since the beginning of the decade. Some of the most popular Dual sim models include Samsung’s Galaxy Y Duos, Ace Duos as well as the more recent models, Y Duos Lite and S Duos. The domestic models from Micromax also continue to garner the same amount of interest.

Phones that won the heart of Indians

The average Indian buyer spent more time online researching up high end smartphones than low end feature phones. Probably this alludes to the fact that with feature phones, the major sale happens through push than pull. Users searched more often for the usual suspects such as Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note (in the first half of 2012 Note 2 in second half) . Only one model, The Nokia Asha 311 managed to create interest among users largely due to its television advertising and class leading specifications.

It is clear that online buyers are more interested in smartphones than feature phones. Sadly though, despite the massive attention iPhone 5 gets from bloggers and media, the average user was more interested in the Samsung’s Galaxy range of phones, with 3 out of top 6 models being from Samsung.

The major surprise was the rise in demand for Micromax’s new big screen phone, the Micromax A110 Canvas2. The first edition A 100 had in fact been consistently sold out in almost all the stores. Clearly Micromax has found a big game changer in the Micromax A110.

The Big Let Downs

While Samsung starred in the big winners list, Nokia took the lead with the most anticipated yet the most disappointing phones in 2012 with its flagship Lumia phones. The Lumia 900 and Lumia 800 both fared poorly among users.

Sony’s Xperia S and Xperia U did well online initially but soon lost favour among users as well. HTC might have features in the list as being one of the big losers in 2012 in terms of performance. The HTC One X was perhaps the biggest bet from HTC for top smartphone spot in 2012 and yet failed to create much interest.

Summary

2012 was a marvelous year for Samsung. Not only did Samsung run away with glory in the world mobile space and managed to create 2 mega brands ( S and Note), the phone maker has also managed to create several successful models.

Nokia’s attempt at a comeback has been rather forgettable in 2012. The early range of Nokia Lumia phones have not managed to do much but titillate people. However as Nokia Lumia 510 makes its entry into the lower end of the segment interest seems to be swaying once more in Nokia’s way.

With Nokia Lumia 510 price in India being only Rs 9499, the phone has a real chance to grab more eyeballs in days to come. It has already broken into the top list in December 2012 and should do well in the times to come.

However, for now 2012 will remain as the year Samsung won, Nokia lost and Micromax raised eyebrows and expectations.

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About Ashwin Sreekumar

Ashwin Sreekumar heads Marketing at MySmartprice and is an MS graduate from State University of New York, University at Buffalo. He has avid interest in eCommerce, marketing , technology and smartphones.

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