Apple Dominates 4G Market Share in India
According to Nokia’s study, Cupertino based tech giant, Apple owns the highest share of the 14.8 Million 4G-enabled active devices in India across all frequencies. Going by the product range in India, iPhone 5S and 6 lead the pack, followed by iPads. It is worth noting that Android’s market share in the country is more than iOS devices, however the premium smartphone maker has left other giants behind.
Currently, iPhone 5S and 6 can operate at a frequency of 1800 MHz amongst others, and occupy 10.46 per cent and 8.9 per cent shares respectively, as per the report. Keeping aside iPads, the two phones take about 20% of the market share already, which shows the reach of iPhones in India. Does this mean iOS is leading Android in the market? No. But this does indicate that due to defragmented Apple environment and future proof devices, Apple holds the biggest piece of the pie in the 4G circle despite so much competition.
Current scenario of 4G in India
Providing services in India in 1800 MHz band, Airtel launched 4G services in April 2012, starting from Kolkata and subsequently expanding to 14 cities. However, the number of 4G activations were not as high as expected and Airtel was struggling in getting the 3G spectrum right. Last year, Airtel slashed the 4G rates in the country due to competition from other Telecom companies.
This year in August, Airtel introduced 4G LTE services in 296 cities across the country strengthening its foothold. Many ridiculed the advertisements and 4G services in India, however at least they’re faster than the ever-so-bad 3G services. Due to operations on same frequency, Apply is leading the market share, while other OEMs plan out their device functionalities accordingly.
Other service providers Vodafone and Tikona are yet to launch their 4G services in India, however they have laid out their roadmap for 2016. Reliance Jio was also supposed to launch its services before Diwali, however the plan seems to have been delayed. Telecom companies can provide 4G services at 850 MHz band, 1800 MHz band and 2300 MHz band. The 2100 MHz band can also be used by the telecom companies in future, however at present it is being used for 3G services. It is interesting to note that the 4G LTE penetration in India is extremely low and 1800 MHz band enabled devices outnumber 2100 MHz band enabled devices.
Devices other than Apple employing 4G LTE services
Reliance Jio plans to utilize the 850 MHz spectrum, which is also supported by the iPhones. According to the studies, it was noted that there were cheaper phones also featuring in top 10 with the likes of Lenovo A6000, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Micromax Yu Yureka and Samsung Galaxy A5. iPhone 5 also figures in the list, which shows that a smartphone launched in 2012 is future proof to some extent and also actively contributing to the revenues.
Samsung has recently launched the On5 and On7 budget 4G smartphones along with 4G-centric J2 smartphones in India which will help Samsung increase their 4G market share in India. These phones operate in all the above 4G frequencies.
Motorola has launched the Moto E with a 4G option in India, which is priced very attractively and offers similar bands. Xiaomi and Asus have become aggressive with their marketing and are launching superb 4G smartphones with high-end specs at relatively low prices. Other smartphone makers are also trying to launch more 4G enabled smartphones to quickly gain the market share.