Apart from Apple, there’s no other smartphone brand that plays in the ‘luxury’ market in India. Believe it or not, using an iPhone is more about the status that it offers than the features. Frankly, iPhones don’t have any unusual over the top feature for which someone needs to pay up to Rs 1.5 lakhs. But it is the brand value that supersedes everything, and users still pay for the severely overpriced products. But how about other smartphone brands which are not in the luxury category? What do they do, and how should they behave in the coming years to garner the attention of the users?
Chinese Smartphone Brands in India Focus on Delivering the Most Value for Money
If you are someone who wants a smartphone that’s full of value for the money you paid, there’s a pretty high chance that you are thinking of a Chinese smartphone brand. Companies such as OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo, Poco, Xiaomi, Redmi and Realme have made it their mission to offer the most to their customers for as little as possible.
Then there’s the South Korean tech giant Samsung. Samsung has been in the smartphone market for way longer than the above mentioned Chinese brands. The South Korean smartphone maker has launched a number of successful smartphone series such as the ’S’ series and the ‘Note’ series.
While some of the Chinese smartphone brands are not in the premium flagship segment, there are brands such as Xiaomi (Mi 11 Ultra) and OnePlus (OnePlus 9 Pro), and Vivo (Vivo X60 Pro+), and Oppo (Oppo Find X series), which are offering direct competition to each other and other companies including Apple and Samsung.
But here’s the thing, will these smartphone brands make a lot of buck selling premium flagships in the market? They might, but will it help in the long run? Probably not, and here’s why.
Mid-Range and Semi-Premium Smartphones Will Make or Break a Company
Just to clarify, from mid-range, we refer to the smartphones priced between Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 and from semi-premium, we mean devices priced between Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000. The future of smartphone brands lies in this category.
Ultra-premium flagship or premium flagship devices are good for the companies to earn large margins and make money, but it doesn’t help with capturing market share. To build goodwill and earn a larger market share, smartphone brands in India will have to look at their mid-range and semi-premium offerings in the country.
OnePlus Nord is an excellent example of how many people are ready to spend on a device that’s in the mid-range segment and offers decent features. Companies need to ensure that they are offering very good devices in the mid-range segment.
Samsung has been quite disappointing when it comes to the mid-range offerings. India is a price-sensitive market. While many users don’t want to purchase a cheap phone, many also don’t want to purchase an over-expensive smartphone. Thus, they look for the offerings in the mid-range segment and the semi-premium segment.
OnePlus became a big hit in India because earlier, its flagships fell under the mid-range segment. As the company shifted to more expensive smartphones, it also launched the OnePlus Nord to ensure that it doesn’t lose its market share in the mid-range segment.
Because with a good device in the mid-range segment, these smartphone brands can not only increase their market share but, because of the scale of selling, even with low margins, make a lot of money.
So smartphone brands in a price-sensitive market like India should focus on their mid-range offerings a lot.