With more than 600% YOY growth in India last year, it is very evident that the rise of Android phones is phenomenon. Currently, the devices hold 34% market share of the Indian Smartphone, behind only to Symbian OS (now aging). You can expect even greater things, after experts and analysts predicted of the Samsung-the biggest Android proponent in India, and Android phones to double their market share this year. Smartphones have phenomenally made some steps further in 2011, with 87% YOY growth rate.
It’s only about time the average Indian to shift from the feature phone to Smartphone. There are 3 main reasons why we believe the future of android phones in India is bright and you can expect the Android to not only grow but make a market break out on its potential growth.
1. Breaking the Low Range barrier
We should first thank the availability of cheaper mobile phones having attractive features, as they’ve led to the massive growth of cellphones that has happened about a decade ago. Today, you can easily get a cheap mobile phone for a slow as $15-25 or a roughly Rs 1000.
This growth of mobile phone industry has been assisted by the proliferation of the communication networks wholly in India. It thus is no such a surprise that Sunil Mittal, the CEO of the largest private telecommunications company, Airtel, explained the need for availability of super cheap smarthphones. He was addressing the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona when he declared of this time as a time for GSMA to trigger adopting cheaper smartphones of less than $100. This could be done by placing orders of 100Million orders-at least. GSMA is a consortium, of numerous mobile operators. The statements by the Airtels’ CEO echoed those of Rajan Anandan, Google India head, who had necessitated for the smartphones need to break into the 200M barrier by reducing order prices by 30%. It s not surprising that Rajans’ figures comes to Rs. 5000.
Currently, there are few products from the domestic players in the Indian market that fall below Rs 5000 barrier. Nevertheless, the problem is that most of them run an outdated Android version and the features sub standard hardware. In the main brand manufacturing class, Samsung is the only perhaps closest to the barrier, with the Samsung Galaxy Y price featuring 7K rupees.
We should expect more of price drop as more of the Samsung models are being launched. The brand will also be unveiling its Samsung Galaxy Pocket, with a much cheaper price than its Galaxy Y. This could easily help in breaking the $100 barrier in a very big and awesome way.
2. The Dual SIM Capability
If there is a country that embraces the Dual SIM phones, its India. In fact, it is the largest adopter of Dual sim phones in worldwide. The whole embracing thing started as a quirky feature with only a few local brands, but the phenomena later caught on like a wild fire. The fact that the cal rates were varying between operators, the need for work and personal life separation, the differentiation of traveling needs between states, had always subjected users of the average class to always have 2 cellphones with then. With the coming of the Dual Sims, these needs were simplified.
Having more than 58% of the market share, it would be impossible to find people admitting not to have used a dual SIM phone in one way or the other, at one point in their life. Android and other smartphones though didn’t have the 58% of this market share. And this had kept good chunk of the consumers from moving from the dual sim phone sets. With Samsung unveiling its own range of dual sim androids, things will definitely have to change, for good.
3. Android Apps & Utilities Promotion
Recent promotions from utility companies, websites, service providers and manufactures have changed the general perception of smartphones. Whether it’s banking, booking tickets, movies or news papers there will be an android apps for that.
With more promotions from service providers and manufactures we can expect the Apps market will be a great boost to the Android.
With the growing user base and the number of apps available in Google Play, Google already have the platform ready for a promising future. The future of Android in India is bright in our view. What’s your take?