The Killing Competition of the Smartphone Market!
[jumbotron heading=”About the Article” tagline=”This is an Editorial from the Founder and Chief Editor of ‘Best Tech Guru’ – Rahul Dubey”]Hello, I am Rahul. I have founded this website in 2012 and since then I am following every event of the Tech Industry in details. I had been doing deep studies and spent so much time in understanding the technology and reviewing the gadgets. Over the years I have seen many companies and products rising and failing and my work is like an extensive research. In the Editorial Articles like this, I express my deep views on the related topics. Hope you like them & yes the articles can be lengthy, so it will be great if you can get yourself a cup of coffee :)[/jumbotron]
Once pigeons & letters were used as the medium of communication, if you sent a message you might have to wait for days even months to get the reply. We came thousands year ahead and now we live in the world of Smartphones which have completely revolutionised the human lives. Now you can connect with anyone in the world in seconds.
The mobile phone journey started in 1973 with the world’s first handheld mobile phone which weighed 1.1 kgs and measured 23 cm long, 13 cm deep and 4.45 cm wide. The prototype offered a talk time of just 30 minutes and took 10 hours to re-charge (Source: Wikipedia). We now live in a world where the phones are thinner than 5mm and offer days of talk time!
In the beautiful journey of mobile phones becoming smartphones the manufacturing companies have seen tons of twists and turns. In the recent time we have seen one of the greatest phone manufacturing company like Nokia loosing its identity, one of the oldest manufacturer like Motorola had been sold twice but it still survived all the transitions and the name is still standing strong and a highly reputed company like Blackberry still finding it difficult to maintain its grounds.
The current smartphone market calls for a great competition. For some companies the market is filled with money, for some it’s filled with opportunities while for some its cruel.
India is the second largest smartphone market in the world and attracts the attention of biggest international companies like Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, LG, HTC, the Chinese super powers like Lenovo & Huawei, upcoming Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Gionee, One Plus, Meizu, ZTE, Zopo, Oppo, Vivo and the Indian manufacturers like Micromax, Karbonn, Lava, Xolo, Spice, iBall, Videocon, Celkon and more and other renowned brands like Asus, Blackberry, Philips & Panasonic. Well the list doesn’t ends here, there are plenty of other companies trying to get the share in the Indian market.
These companies make sure that there are over 2,000 phones currently selling in the Indian market. One can imagine how cut throat competition this must be and also how difficult it is to find the best smartphone among these, well that’s why we have Buyer’s Guide which is updated every month. Every company wants to get better than the other.
At the current time there are two top smartphone companies in the world Apple & Samsung. According to the recent report, in the above 30,000 Rs. price segment in India, Samsung has a share of 46% while Apple has a share of 42%. These two brands have the highest reputation, huge sales and great money, which also makes them responsible for the next innovations in smartphones and should lead the industry. Well they do lead with innovations but they also have a widely known rivalry and both the brands continuously try to make their offering better than one another. These companies spend lots of money in their R&D and launches the product better than the rival, this is their moment of glory and their feelings can be understood by the image below:
Well, they don’t get to celebrate for too long as the other one puts their whole strength to make a better device and to once again get the title of the Best Smartphone in the World. And when they launch their new product suddenly the first company becomes like:
This is the continuous process of the evolution of the premium smartphones. These two brands get most of premium market share and in the remaining market there is a fight between Sony, HTC, Motorola, LG & Microsoft. The competition of these companies is more likely with themselves, that is to become better than ever, to get the trust from the users and offer a great value. The competition here is polite and every company gets the equal chance to show what they can do best and then its upto the buyers.
When it comes to the mid range phones, the range between 15-30k mostly offers not so premium but good phones from top international brands, great flagship phones from Chinese brands and brands like Asus & Micromax. While the upper side of this range is still dominated by the top international brands, they get a good taste of competition when it comes to around 20,000 Rs. This range has seen the emergence of a brand like One Plus which came out of nowhere and became the flagship killer. It offered everything to the users which they desired in highly priced phones. Not only the One Plus One but there are also the phones from Huawei, Asus, Xiaomi, Lenovo and more which have completely changed the definition of mid ranged smartphones, users can get the premium features for far low now. The competition here is tough but the users in this price bracket mostly know if they want to go with the top brands or the greatest specs.
When it comes to the budget segment, the phones under 15k are mostly from the Indo-Chinese brands and only few top brands are still surviving here. The only top brand which still offers great brand value and features at a compelling price point in this range is Motorola, which came back with a bang in India and has become the top favourite here. Samsung, which once ruled this range has lost most of its ground but, they are still stuck with old hardware, cheap design and poor features. HTC has a kind of absorbed the harsh reality and came with some interesting and rightly priced phones with latest hardware. On the other hand, Sony is still lost in this range, once a favourite company has some poor and over-priced phones here. But this range has the dominance of the Indian brands, mostly Micromax which has delivered upto the expectations. Other Indian brands also have a good hold here but the Chines brands like Xiaomi, Lenovo & Huawei are slowly making a strong presence. This is the most cruel price range, a company launches a great new phone and gets good response but in few days or a month other company comes with a better phone, and as the brand loyalty, fan following and love for the Indo-Chinese brands is less the user mostly chooses the phone which offers better prospect. The users of this range is a kind of forced to choose from the Indo-Chinese brands as the top brands have very few compelling products.
The competition is the fiercest, the top brands are in-secured from the rising brands like Micromax & Xiaomi and the rising brands have no room for mistakes as there are many who are ready to grab the opportunity. The market is over-crowded with companies, some have to live upto the expectations and some have nothing to loose, companies will come and go but from here only the best will survive.
The competition is too much and the smartphone market is very dynamic. But this competition has proved very beneficial for us – the users because, for us the price of the smartphone technology has fallen drastically. We are now living in the world where a 7,000 Rs. smartphone can do everything. Long live competition! To get a fair idea of how competition has helped in the downfall of smartphones prices, read:
We have seen how things suddenly changed after the launch of Moto E at 6,999 Rs. It became a hit in a moment and to tackle its popularity companies launched much better phones at that price and soon 7,000 Rs. became a new battle point for companies. Now we get great phones like the Micromax Yu Yuphoria at this price. While 7,000 Rs. range is still evolving we have seen some quality smartphones like Micromax Canvas Spark, InFocus M2, Huawei Honor Bee at just Rs. 4,999 and it is clear that soon bigger and better companies will also jump in this price range and we will possibly see great phones at Rs. 5,000.
Well the battle @ 5,000 is predictable but what next? How much can the prices fall? Ask Firefox! The company is planning to launch the Firefox OS smartphones in India under 2,000 Rs. probably at just 1,500 Rs.! We are living at a time when the prices of everything are rising up but the smartphone technology is seeing a downward trend and it’s getting cheaper day after day.
We cannot imagine how much the prices will fall in next 5 years but one thing is clear that the competition in the smartphone market is killing! It’s probably the right time for many to shift to Accessories business and leave the smartphone market only for serious players!
Have some valuable opinions or thoughts on this topic? Please leave a comment below.