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India’s premium smartphone segment to grow to 5 mn in 2016: CMR report

Apple will be the big gainer as India's premium smartphone market is projected to grow to 5 million devices for 2016.

By: Tech Desk | Updated: April 7, 2016 4:03:40 pm
Apple, Apple iPhone, Apple iPhone SE India, iPhone SE India growth, iPhone India numbers, iPhone India, technology, technology news Apple could see a big gain in the Indian market as the premium smartphone segment will grow in 2016. (Source: AP )

Apple will be the big winner as India’s premium smartphone market is projected to grow to 5 million phones for 2016, says a new report from research firm CyberMedia Research (CMR.)

According to CMR’s data, 3.3 million premium smartphones were shipped in 2015 of the total 96.4 million smartphones during the period. The company now expects this number to jump to 5 million.

CMR’s data says that it saw a 53 per cent growth in the premium smartphone segment (devices priced at Rs 30,000 and above) in India for the year 2015. It should be noted that even with the 53 per cent growth, these premium devices account for around 3.4 per cent of the total shipments of smartphones in India.

Currently the top three premium brands are Samsung, Apple and Sony Mobile with phablets (5-inch or more) dominating the segment at 63 per cent share.

Watch our video review of the Apple iPhone SE

CMR expects Apple to gain in this segment, but notes that the iPhone SE will not be the centre-piece for Apple’s growth in India. The research firm feels that Android’s supremacy in OS in the segment could face a challenge from iOS, unless say Indian smartphone vendors jump into the premium category as well.

“This is an encouraging indicator that the premium segment is exhibiting such growth. As the Indian market moves from a volume game to value market, premium segment becomes significant for the industry where you sell lesser units for higher value,” said Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst Telecoms at CMR.

“To mark the next level of growth, the India Mobile Handset brands need to leverage the premium segment as the units market shrinks,” he added.

The study also showed that not all the premium smartphones shipped with the latest version of their OS; merely 13% of the devices were shipped with the latest version of the operating system for the period.

“Unfortunately, so far none of the Indian brands have been able to establish itself in the premium segment. While their focus continues to be the affordable price points of Smartphones, it is high time that they start foraying into the premium segment as well,” said Krishna Mukherjee, Analyst Telecoms, CMR.

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