India on way to smartphone stardom
By Sankalp Saini - NEW DELHI
Published: 01st Jul 2012 01:01:51 PM
Earlier this month, Nokia India launched its 808 PureView range of smartphone. The phone’s USP: A jaw-dropping 41 megapixel camera sensor, high-performance Carl Zeiss optics and a cinema-like sound experience based on Dolby Digital Plus technology. With five years of research and development going into the phone, 808 PureView gives high-end digital single-lens reflex cameras a run for their money.
Galaxy S-series has been one of Samsung’s best-selling products and with the launch of the SIII series, the Korean chaebol has further cemented its place as the leading mobile phone maker globally. Equipped with a 4.8-inch display screen and a monstrous of a 1.4Ghz processor, the phone has a Direct Call feature that automatically calls the contact the user is looking at or texting.
Welcome to the world of smartphones. From high-resolution touchscreens to watching a music video on YouTube or playing a game downloaded from Google Play, smartphones today have become a one-stop device for accessing the latest on anything and everything. What’s more, one can access all this while driving, walking, sitting in a garden or working on a desktop. Gone are the days of mobile phones being used as devices for calling up friends or sending a text message. The phones of today are much smarter, snazzier and come with advanced features that one could not have imagined sometime ago.
According to a recent study by global market research firm Nielsen, nearly half of all American mobile phone users now own a smartphone. The domestic smartphone market too has been witnessing a lot of action and activity. Brazil and India are forecast to be among the top five markets for smartphone shipments by 2016, shows data by telecom and IT research firm International Data Corporation.
“Demand for smartphones will grow as urban and enterprise users mature in their handset preferences and usage,” says G Rajeev, senior market analyst (mobile devices), IDC India. “Consumers are getting accustomed to higher data usage and using handsets for entertainment and other content, instead of just as a communication device.”
“These are not just cellphones. They are speciality tools which would be useful for businessmen, architects who need to transfer voluminous data,” says Pankaj Mahendru, National President Indian Cellular Association.
And it is just not Samsung, Nokia and Apple that are leading the charge here. A host of local companies like Lava that has a partnership with Intel for its XOLO X900 smartphone also have entered the market. The XOLO X900 comes with an 8-megapixel camera and Burst Mode that captures images quickly—an astonishing 10 photos in less than a second in one click.
“Smartphones are becoming central to people’s lives with more and more consumers browsing the Internet using their smartphones for information, transacting and entertainment. These factors have made the smartphones one of the fastest growing market segments within the mobility devices,” says Prashanth Adiraju, Director, New Platforms & Business Group, Intel South Asia.
Most handset-makers agree that changing consumer preferences along with higher disposable incomes are the key factors behind the growth of the smartphone market in India. With newer and latest smartphones hitting the market by the day, the competition too has been another factor for the growth.
“We are much focused on creating an invaluable camera and audio experience that is user-friendly, so customers will love using it. One of the key objectives for the HTC One series was to enable the user to remember their best moments in life easily, whether it be capturing a photo or listening to a song, so it was crucial for us to widen our horizon in this and promote these emotional experiences with an amazing camera and authentic sound experience,” says Faisal Siddiqui, Country Manager, HTC India.
Samsung Electronics country head for mobiles and IT, Ranjit Yadav, also shares a similar view. “The smartphone consumers have evolved as voracious media consumers who make extended use of apps, browsing, social networking, music, video and messaging. The strong adoption of smartphones by the Indian market has encouraged us to sustain the excitement in the market,” he says.