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‘In top 5 cities, 61 per cent of smartphones are sold online; 4G to beat 3G’

The highest demand for top-end smartphones came from Delhi and Mumbai, which is not surprising considering that these two are the most lucrative markets for mobile operators as well.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
Updated: March 4, 2016 2:31:56 am

The Indian consumer is becoming data-savvy and increasingly turning towards buying smartphones and that too the trendier ones. As operators have started launching 4G services, 4G phones are set to overtake 3G-enabled ones in terms of sales. And what may not warm the hearts of brick-and-mortar stores is that the country’s top five cities saw 61 per cent of smartphone sales take place through online channels during the October-December quarter.

These are some of the findings of IDC, which released its latest study on Thursday. The highest demand for top-end smartphones came from Delhi and Mumbai, which is not surprising considering that these two are the most lucrative markets for mobile operators as well.

“The leading 30 cities of India make up approximately 51 per cent of the entire smartphone market in Q4CY2015. New Delhi generated the maximum demand, closely followed by Mumbai. With increasing appeal and penetration of the smartphones in smaller cities and towns, the tier 2 & 3 cities and beyond are expected to constitute a significant portion of the Indian smartphone market in the near future,” IDC said.

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The 25 major tier 2 and 3 cities of India currently make up around 21.3 per cent of Indian smartphone market. The bulk of the demand from these cities is for 3G models, but with a widening 4G smartphone model portfolio across all brands and expanding 4G network footprints operators, the demand for 4G smartphones is expected to grow exponentially, it added.

In the top five cities, consumers preferred to buy either Apple’s iPhone or Samsung Galaxy series, giving these companies more than a 40.7 per cent share in these cities. Of the total devices sold online during the three months through December, 45 per cent were 4G smartphones, IDC said.

Among consumers in the top 30 cities, Samsung remained the first choice while buying online during the October to December period, with the company’s market share at 29.4 per cent. This was closely followed by Micromax Informatics with a 14.7 per cent market share, helped by sales of its smartphones priced below $100 or Rs 6,700 per handset.

Lenovo Group, after the acquisition of Motorola, was the third preferred choice as consumers saw “value for money” when they bought smartphones such as the K3 Note, Vibe P1M and the third-generation Moto G. Other home-grown companies Intex Technologies and Lava ranked fourth and fifth, with 8.2 per cent and 7.1 per cent market share, respectively, the data showed.

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