Mobile handset shipments to cross 75 million in Q3 2016: Study

NEW DELHI: The mobile handset shipments are likely to surpass 75-million mark per quarter for the first time in 3Q’CY16, according to the CMR’s India Monthly Mobile Handset Review.

As per the report, a total of 65.9 million handsets were shipped during the period, of which 56.5% where Featurephones. The proportion was slightly higher than the previous quarter, where Featurephones contributed 54.9% to the overall shipments.

Commenting on the main trends witnessed during the period, Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst for Telecoms at CMR said, “Now onwards we are going to see a clear demarcation between new customer acquisition and the refresh among existing users of the phones. As the telecom services data indicates, new customers are being acquired in far-flung areas of the country giving impetus to the Featurephones and the existing users are due for refresh (upgrade) of the phones. Many users in the Tier I and Tier II markets had purchased their Smartphones around 2013 to mid of 2014 and it’s now their turn to go for an upgraded Smartphone. At the same time, as the mobile base expands to rural and tertiary regions of the country, we expect good traction for the Featurephones as well.”

“I see China brands replicating their Smartphone strategy for the Featurephones now. The strategies they adopted for their wider reach in the Smartphone market of the country will be replicated for Featurephones too. This is why we are seeing a spur in the growth of Chinese Featurephone brands, besides existing getting stronger,” Faisal added.

In case of Smartphones, the report suggests, though less than Rs 2,000 saw over 200% growth in shipments in 2Q over the previous quarter, an interesting thing to witness was strong growth registered in the price bands above Rs 15,000.

The High-end Smartphone segment, which lies above Rs 20,000 price band, has registered a 35% growth during the quarter, with Oppo, LeEco, Asus, LG and Huawei benefiting the most in this category.

Tanvi Sharma, Analyst for Mobile Handsets Market at CMR explained, “As regards Smartphones, we are now seeing replacement becoming synonymous to upgrades. Hence, people refreshing their Smartphones are also jumping to a higher price range causing higher order growth in such price bands.”

With respect to Featurephones, Tanvi added, “The demand is increasing even for Featurephones. Users want more feature sets and capabilities even within Feature phones. Some of them include a Selfie camera, higher battery capacity and a decent multimedia support.”

“It is now high time for India brands to focus on improving their Featurephones portfolio and ponder upon the value for money for this segment. The proliferation of Chinese brands within Featurephones can open up a stiff competition arena in this category. China brands were quick to bring innovations in the Smartphone space that gave them growth beyond acceptability and the same can now happen in Featurephones, if India brands don’t resort to sound counter strategy,” Tanvi cautioned while concluding.

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