Mid-range mobile phones in the price bracket of $300-500 turned out to be the fastest-growing segment in the October-December quarter (Q3) of the previous financial year (FY19), according to a report by market intelligence firm IDC.
According to the IDC report, the mid-price mobile phone market grew by 6 per cent in Q3FY19 to capture 18.9 per cent of the total market base. It further detailed that the phones in the $300-500 bracket were the fastest-growing segment during the quarter, with double the number of shipments compared to the year-ago period, as key models like OnePlus 7, Redmi K20 Pro and Vivo V15 Pro saw good traction.
While the low-end price segment of $200 still accounts for 80 per cent of the total smartphone market in India, its share dropped by 5 per cent YoY. The $200-300 range was the second-fastest-growing segment in the mobile phone market, with 47.8 per cent YoY growth in Q3FY19. The notable brands that sold the most in that segment were Galaxy A50, Redmi Note 7 Pro and Vivo Z1 Pro.
So, why are more Indians buying mid-priced mobile phones? Analysts cite “up-gradation of 4G smartphones, absence of many tier 1 (homegrown) brands in the market, and the aspirational segment wanting to buy a phone in the mid-price segment with the features of a premium brand” as reasons.“In our switch analysis wherein we compare the moods of customers who are switching between brands, we have observed that a certain class — for instance, a student who owned one model of a premium brand phone — doesn’t want to buy an upgraded version of the same brand.
That consumer may switch to some other brands that offer the same features but a different experience. Hence, the mid-price segment is what appeals them the most,” observed Faisal Kawoosa, founder and chief analyst at TechArch, a tech research consulting and analytics firm.In the premium ($500+) segment, Apple continued to dominate with 51.3 per cent market share in Q3FY19 on the back of affordability offers and price drops on previous-generation models like the iPhone XR, iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 (128GB), along with the newly launched iPhone 11/Pro series, IDC said.
Online channels drove the highest smartphone sales
India’s smartphone market shipped a record 46.6 million units in Q3FY19, registering 26.5 per cent QoQ and 9.3 per cent YoY growth. Online festival sales, new model launches and price corrections on a few key models by various brands drove the high sales in the quarter.
“The continued aggression by online platforms with attractive cashback and buyback offers as well as affordability schemes like No-Cost EMIs and financing options were key in taking the share of the online channel to a record high of 45.4 per cent with YoY growth of 28.3 per cent, said Upasana Joshi, associate research manager for client devices, IDC India.