A report by research firm techARC reveals that smartphones will witness 13 per cent growth in sales this year in India. This increase has been credited to the large volume of 4G to 4G smartphone upgrade tipped to take place during 2019. The firm is predicting 149 million smartphones will be sold in 2019 in India with Luxe or the the ultra premium segment contributions increasing 26 per cent compared to last year.
As per techARC, most of the 4G smartphone users in India were added between 2015 to 2016, which would be around the time Reliance Jio also entered the market. Jio formally launched in September 2016, though it had started offering its services in testing mode to select users.
The firm is predicting that these it is these users who are due to replace their existing 4G smartphones in 2019, which in turn will help drive sales during the course of the year. More importantly many of these customers will be looking to own a better smartphone than their previous one.
Watch: Top smartphones under Rs 15,000
Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC, sharing the insights from the report said, “There is a benchmark for majority of the 4G smartphone users and they will be looking for a replacement which gives them better experience comparing what they have in hand.”
“Though very subjective and personal to each user, experience will be measured how efficiently and effectively the 4G Smartphone adapts to the multiple roles that a user would want the device to play. For instance, a video player, camera and so on,” he added.
Predictions by the research firm show that basic phones ( priced under Rs 5,000) which currently hold 8 per cent market, will decrease to 5 per cent in 2019, while luxe smartphones (priced above Rs 50,000) will see growth as their market share reaches to 9 per cent from the current 8 per cent.
Entry level smartphones (between a price of Rs 5,0001 to Rs 10,000) will also see their share declining from 20 per cent in 2018 to 15 per cent in 2019.
The mid-range phones, which are priced between 10,0001 to Rs 25,000 and premium smartphones (priced between Rs 25,0001 to Rs 50,000), will be the ones seeing growth. The first segment will account for 51 per cent market share from the current 46 per cent, while premium phones will hold 20 per cent of the sales from the existing 18 per cent.
Previously, a Counterpoint 2018 report showed that the premium smartphone segment (priced above Rs 30,000) grew 19 per cent annually as more consumers upgrade to 2018 flagship launches by different Android OEMs in India. Other reports have also mentioned that OnePlus surpassed Samsung to lead the premium smartphone segment in 2018.
According to techArc, in 2019 over 80 per cent of the sales will be for $140 and above smartphones, while the low-end smartphones will decline in sales. This is primarily due to negligible direct feature phone to smartphone switch. The user switch journey will continue to be for feature phone to smart-feature phone, which will be primarily due to JioPhone, claims the report.
The report also states that smartphone OEMs may want to explore introduce basic smartphones in their portfolio or expand the existing one, but owning to Jio’s aggressive and ‘unpredictable’ moves, the brands shall continue to cautiously decide about this segment.