Saturday, November 17, 2012

The confusing, flooded Indian feature phone market

A few days ago, I did some digging into the Indian feature phone market and came up with some interesting nuggets based on an analysis of brand websites:

1. Between four top brands (Nokia, Samsung, Micromax and Karbonn) there are no less than 
    200 models of feature  phones in the market. If I as a market watcher find that confusing, think 
    how overwhelmed the first time phone buyer will be.

2. Nokia and Micromax have the maximum models and ranges in feature phones. Micromax 
    has 70+ while Nokia has around 50. To understand the Nokia (Symbian range) you can refer
    to my Handy Guide to buying a Nokia phone. The categorisation I observed last year still 
    seems to hold for Nokia. Though some new ranges have since been introduced, notably 

3. Samsung is currently market leader in India, expected to close 2012 with 60% share, yet the 
    company has a relatively small set of feature phones (just 30 compared to other players). 
    Clearly, some of these models like Star Duos, Guru, Hero, Champ etc. must be best sellers.

4. Micromax has some of the most innovative new feature phones, with features such as solar-
    powered battery, giant sized 1500 MaH long life batteries and projector phones.

5. It's a rough estimate but nearly half the feature phone models across websites are dual SIM. 
    India is estimated to have 30% dual SIM users and teledensity of 100+ in pockets like New 
    Delhi indicates that concentration is even higher in these areas.

5. Garter has estimated that the average cost of a feature phone in India is USD 45 (Rs. 2500). 
    And most of the phones are priced between Rs.2000-6000. Interesting to note that entry level 
    smartphone prices overlap with feature phones. Karbonn and Micromax have feature phones 
    starting at Rs. 5000, while Samsung Galaxy Y series starts at Rs. 7000