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Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

80% smartphone sales will be in above 10,000 segment: Report

  • Mid-segment which includes phones such as Redmi Note 6 and Nokia 7.1, will account for 51% of smartphone sales
  • Quality of budget smartphones has improved a lot in last few years with 4G speeds available on many of them

Buyers in India are warming up to the idea of spending more on smartphones in mid and premium category. According to market research firm techArc’s India Smartphone Segment Sales Forecast 2019, 149 million smartphones are expected to be sold over the year and 80% of the sales will be of smartphones above 10,000, while the share of budget smartphones will decline. Mid-segment which includes phones in the range of 10,001 to 25,000 such as Redmi Note 6 and Nokia 7.1, will account for 51% of sales, compared to 46% in 2018. The premium segment which includes phones in the range of 25,001 to 50,000 such as OnePlus 6T, Samsung Galaxy A9 and Huawei V20, will make up for 20% of the market, compared to 18% in 2018.

The Luxe segment which comprises of more premium smartphones such as Apple iPhone Xs, Google Pixel 3 and Samsung Galaxy S9 will grow from last year’s 8% to 9% in 2019.

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According to techArc’s founder and chief analyst Faisal Kawoosa, this shift in consumer behaviour is driven by the aspiration to upgrade to a better smartphone for an improved experience. The report attributes the shift to availability of faster 4G speeds on smartphones, as it introduced users in India to experiences like HD video streaming and online gaming that were not possible earlier. The demand for entry level segment which comprise smartphones in 5,001 to 10,000 is expected to shrink from 20 to 15% while basic smartphones under 5,000 will fall from 8% to 5%.

Quality of budget smartphones has improved a lot in last few years with 4G speeds available on many of them, but in certain aspects like display quality there is a glaring difference between them and mid-range smartphones. Phonemakers often use cheaper components in budget segment to keep the price in check.

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