Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Xiaomi also refreshes 'Mi TV' series in India. (Wikimedia Commons)

Once the darling of Indian smartphone users, desi brands like Micromax, Karbonn, Lava, Intex and few others have nearly been decimated by affordable-yet-powerful devices from the Chinese vendors that have flooded both online and offline channels.

In the 2013-2014 period, the domestic brands gained great traction and enjoyed 40-45 per cent market share — till the time Chinese behemoths entered the fray.


Led by Xiaomi, the China-based manufacturers registered 58 per cent market share while Indian local brands had a mere 13 per cent market share in the third quarter (July-August-September) of 2018, according to latest figures shared by Counterpoint Research.

Riding on the success of its budget Redmi series, Xiaomi touched a new high in the third quarter of 2018 in India. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), Xiaomi shipped 11.7 million units and became the top brand with 27.3 per cent share in the third quarter.

Today, smartphones contribute to over 90 per cent of the sale volume for Xiaomi in India and recently, the company entered into new segments like TVs, routers and air purifiers etc which got popular too.

Despite the government push “the local vendor fell prey to China-based vendors owing to powerful specifications at a very affordable and aggressive pricing, thus leading to these vendors almost fading away from the Indian smartphone market,” stressed Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India.

According to Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CyberMedia Research (CMR), the rate of change of smartphone technology is phenomenally swift and today, disruption is the rule of the game.

“Smartphones are becoming incredibly sophisticated with decreasing costs. With increasing adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), it is imperative for smartphone brands to ramp up their internal research and development, and product engineering capabilities,” Ram told IANS.

Xiaomi has managed to generate a strong pull for its brand through aggressive product specs and pricing which very few brands can match.

“This has helped the brand to gain mind share, followed by market share and become the top smartphone brand in India in its third year of India operations,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research.

Later, Pathak added, the strong demand for Xiaomi’s products during flash sales further spiked consumer interest with retailers too started showing interest in stocking Xiaomi products as they sell very fast.


Xiaomi.

Aiming to help domestic smartphone manufacturers recover lost ground, the government has taken several measures in the recent past, like easing norms for local manufacturing and hiking customs duty on mobile phones.

The government also came up with a phased manufacturing plan to boost indigenous production of mobile phones by providing tax relief and other incentives on components and accessories used for the devices.

However, most of the Chinese vendors are now manufacturing and locally sourcing parts so they are not affected by changes in the policy.

Unless the Indian vendors ramp up research and development, they will not succeed at the smartphone wars. ”

“They cannot simply rely on just contract manufacturers to get them their competitive edge,” Ram noted.

There is, however, a thin silver lining for the Indian players.

Also Read- Study Reveals That Genes Affect Where Fat is Stored in our Bodies

In the less than Rs 5,000 segment lies a huge potential for FTBs (first-time buyers) of smartphones and the ones migrating from feature phones to smartphones.

“Currently, there is no vendor in the market who is focusing on this segment as availability of easy financing schemes has raised the overall average selling price (ASP) of smartphones.”

“If local vendors focus on this less than 5K segment and launch products which are equivalent in all means to China-based vendors (quality, pricing and promotions) along with some subsidies from Telco players like Reliance and Airtel, it might help them make a comeback,” explained Joshi.

With the revised government policies on e-commerce players and level-playing game for all ecosystem channel partners, offline will continue to remain relevant along with a power-play game in the online channel too for all the smartphone players.

“Micromax, Intex, Karbonn and Lava have had deep reach and presence across offline retail counters. They can leverage on this strength and come back to market with good quality, high-rated specifications at affordable prices,” said Joshi. (IANS)


Popular

Unsplash

Feminism itself is nothing but a simple movement that pursues equal rights for women (including transwomen) and against misogyny both external and internal.

"In India, to be born as a man is a crime, to question a woman is an atrocious crime, and this all because of those women who keep suppressing men in the name of feminism."

Feminism, a worldwide movement that started to establish, define and defend equal rights for women in all sections- economically, politically, and socially. India, being a patriarchal society gives a gender advantage to the men in the society thus, Indian feminists sought to fight against the culture-specific issue for women in India. Feminism itself is nothing but a simple movement that pursues equal rights for women (including transwomen) and against misogyny both external and internal. It states nowhere that women should get more wages than men, that women deserve more respect than men, that's pseudo-feminism.

Keep Reading Show less
wikimedia commons

Yakshi statue by Kanayi Kunjiraman at Malampuzha garden, Kerala

Kerala is a land of many good things. It has an abundance of nature, culture, art, and food. It is also a place of legend and myth, and is known for its popular folklore, the legend of Yakshi. This is not a popular tale outside the state, but it is common knowledge for travellers, especially those who fare through forests at night.

The legend of the yakshi is believed to be India's equivalent of the Romanian Dracula, except of course, the Yakshi is a female. Many Malayalis believe that the Yakshi wears a white saree and had long hair. She has a particular fragrance, which is believed to be the fragrance of the Indian devil-tree flowers. She seduces travellers with her beauty, and kills them brutally.

Keep Reading Show less
Pinterest

Ancient India not only made mentions of homosexuality but accepted it as well.


The LGBTQ+ acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and others. In India LGBTQ+ community also include a specific social group, part religious cult, and part caste: the Hijras. They are culturally defined either as "neither men nor women" or as men who become women by adopting women's dress and behavior. Section 377 of the India Penal code that criminalized all sexual acts "against the order of nature" i.e. engaging in oral sex or anal sex along with other homosexual activities were against the law, ripping homosexual people off of their basic human rights. Thus, the Indian Supreme Court ruled a portion of Section 377 unconstitutional on 6th September 2018.

Keep reading... Show less