Smartphone- The New Battle Arena

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 798 , Published on 25 June 2013

The Genesis:

Remember the commercials of “BlackBerry Boys” and Nokia N-series? Blackberry (formerly RIM) and Nokia had ruled the Indian smartphone segment for a considerably long time. BBRY is known for its security and office applications and Nokia is known for its value for money. This was all until Android made its presence in the market and iOS explored the rest of the world. Android, the game changer came in late 2007. Introduction of a free platform for immature developers paved way for numerous applications and app stores to spring into action. Prices of the smartphones came in reach of employee class and students and this made Smartphone segment into a new battle arena for companies.

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Phase-I: Reach and Growth

Samsung made the most of the deal by launching smartphones every now and then with varied features and prices. It grabbed the market share from BBRY, Nokia, HTC etc. to become the market leader. Android also helped companies like Micromax, Lava etc. to enter into the mobile handset business making it one of the most conducive businesses to do with little investment and lot of creative thinking. Adding to the competition LG also re-entered into smartphone segment with Optimus and Cookie though they didn’t do well in comparison with the market leader. The other fierce competitor who entered Indian market lately is iPhone. Apple found India as a lucrative market only after it has seen a consistent rise in the shipment volumes of tablets and iPhones in the recent past. In the last quarter of 2012 alone it grew four folds and throwing caution to the leader with its dominance. iPad and iPad mini are also launched in India to gain a convenient market share and boost up the sales.  Samsung also erected flanks to thisby announcing Samsung note 8.0 and  Samsung note 3.0 and Galaxy Grand to deepen its relationship with the customers and aspirants.

Phase-II: Sustainable growth

Other phase of this context is the price. Though both Samsung and Apple didn’t reduce the price, Samsung made it affordable and flexible through EMI schemes and seasonal discounts. Meanwhile, Apple is still wondering how to sell Apple’s Dollar phones and tables to Indian Rupee salaried employees and the dependent students and make most of from the second largest growing market for Android and iOS very next to China. On the whole Android leads the market with almost 70% of the market share, followed by iOS around 14% and then by Windows and others.

Phase-III: Struggle for Existence

BBRY came up with its BB10, new operating system for BlackBerry users and counting on this to be a differentiating factor to reach out for its share of customers. BBRY offered two variants of it Z10 and Q10 into the market this year. This time BBRY targeted young working professionals and students also to climb up the ladder. Sony Xperia wanted to reach market by aggressive advertising. Nokia launched whole new Lumia range of smartphones partnered with Windows OS. All these manufacturers wait patiently to make an impact and turnaround the market conditions. As Indians are a crazy lot for new things, time has to decide what would be their pick in the coming years.


This article has been authored by Jayanth Kota BITS Pilani


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