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Smartphones in 2015 and some thoughts on 2016: All you wanted to know in 10 points

Sun January 03 2016, 7:47 am
  • Smartphones have turned smarter every passing day, but what is important for India is that the domestic players and new Chinese entrants in the market have continued to challenge global giants like Apple and Samsung in 2015. 2016 is all set to get more exciting especially due to the expansion of 4G services in the country. Here is all you wanted to know about smartphones and their journey in India in 2015 and some thoughts on 2016:

  • 1. Emerging as a big force in the global smartphones market during 2015, India saw about 75 million devices being shipped in the first three quarters of the year. The pace of the blistering growth was further strengthened by the online channel as many handset makers added ecommerce-only devices. The online platforms gave a lot of Chinese brands an easy launchpad for India without much investment in the distribution and service channels. The strong pace is expected to help India replace the the US as the second largest market globally, after China. (Reuters photo)

  • 2. "Smartphones as a category have grown at a phenomenal pace this year and this is across price points. In the coming year, there will be a lot of action in 4G as operators expand coverage. With 4G network rollout, India will become one of the biggest mobile internet markets in the world leading to the launch of many services that consumers can benefit from," homegrown Micromax co-founder Vikas Jain said. (Reuters photo)

  • 3. About 40 per cent of smartphones being shipped are already on 4G and more than 9 crore 4G subscribers and 18 crore 4G smartphones can be there by 2018. A major driver of this growth has been online sales. (Reuters photo)

  • 4. "One in three smartphone in October was sold using the digital platform. With a lot of discounted offers, 'exclusive-to-online' products accounted for about 17 per cent of the total smartphone volumes, while the overall online including marketplace touched around 25 per cent of the volumes," Vikas Jain added. (Reuters photo)

  • 5. The year 2016 would continue to see intense action, especially in the entry-level smartphone market, as companies look to upgrade feature phone users. With 60 per cent of the user base still on feature phones, the expectation is that close to 70-80 million feature phone consumers will switch to affordable smartphones. (Reuters photo)

  • 6. Mike Wang, CEO at OPPO Mobiles India, said the ongoing trend of affordable smartphones will continue in the coming year with launch of more mid-segment smartphones. (Reuters photo)

  • 7. A trend that could become the mainstay in 2016 could be services-laden smartphones. The app ecosystem grew fast this year with users graduating from just using gaming apps to services-oriented apps like Ola and Uber to book cabs, foodpanda to order food to using mobile wallets like Paytm and Mobikwik. (PTI photo)

  • 8. "There will be a stronger collaboration between the device, access and service eco-system going ahead. The entire mobile ecosystem will come with the launch of a number of services across sectors like entertainment, travel, healthcare and banking. We will see partnerships to foster a culture of innovation, creating solutions that can take care of indigenous needs and building an empowered ecosystem for permeating technology into the nooks and crannies of the country," YU Televentures founder Rahul Sharma said. The key to this growth will be simplification through relevant services and availability of these in various Indian languages, he added. (Reuters photo)

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    Cheapest smartphone: Domestic handset maker Ringing Bells will launch India’s most affordable smartphone ‘Freedom 251’ priced at under Rs 500 later this week, a move that is set to disrupt the booming handset market in the country. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikkar will launch the smartphone ‘Freedom 251’ on February 17. The Ringing Bells ‘Freedom 251’ launch is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for “empowering India to the last person, transforming India’s growth story”, the Noida-based company said. (Reuters) [15-02-2016]

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