Indian market has always been crucial for the handset manufacturers, all the big giants have left no stone unturned to enhance and market its product for getting substantial customer penetration.
Also for the 1st time Apple Inc made a fast move by providing iPhone 4S in India the very next month from its launch thus making it more clear that now even Apple don’t want to loose the market share in India to the growing Android plethora.
Fair enough but herein we won’t be going into a detailed discussion on ‘Android’ Vs ‘iOS’ phones one can hear it in every debate among tech geeks so let’s look on to the other aspect and that is “Are Smartphone users here utilizing the full potential of product?”
India and other 3rd world countries was a kingdom of Nokia but without innovation Nokis is loosing its reign. Samsung is trying hard to capture this market. Samsung launched Galaxy S II in India before the US launch, not only that Galaxy S II is sold in India at cheaper price than US.
Other handset manufacturers like HTC, Motorola and LG are also trying to win the Indian heart by launching low cost smartphones at below 10K price margin. Chinese OEM – ZTE and Huawei and other indigenous companies like Spice, HCL, Videocon, Olive, Micromax, Karbonn, Lava has launched low cost and ultra low cost Android based smartphones. It is sure that next few years smartphone market will be dominated by Android.
A recent survey done by us in four different cities on Smartphone users and usage patterns depicts quite contradicting to what was expected from the Indian market, like at the time of Android App store coming in, it was believed that Indian users will lead to maximum App downloads from Android store because it is the most free app storefront but that in fact never happened.
Following the points below depicts in brief the Story of Smart handheld devices among Indian users:
· An Indian user is still looking for bundled 3G tariff plans in the coming time to match the complete usability of the product and says their Smartphone usage is directly proportional to the Data plan they are with. “Phone manufacturers and App store owners please note”!
· In India at the time of buying a phone a person matches and looks for most available features but after 6-8 months down the line his interaction with the device limits to one or two applications, Social networking and peer to peer calling only.
· User centric Apps missing “Still the app stores are more or less the replicas from west and thus Indian App stores require more application suiting to Indian target market” for example one of the popular App in USA, tells the amount of calories one intakes while dining in their favourite eating spots like Mc Donald’s, now how many Indian user would have thought to check into this App while having a dine at Mc Donald’s? None!!! App makers in India has to make more India centric app like Traffic information, train time table and other day-to-day utilities.
· Still the new advents in Mobile arena like “MOBILE MONEY” at a very subliminal level which require a pace to reach end users with this kind of App with full functionality can be a Game changer.