CMR Report Highlights Shift in Indian Mobile Phone Market Preferences

Apr 10, 2024 Mark

Apr 10, 2024: The latest report from CyberMedia Research (CMR) sheds light on the evolving landscape of India’s mobile phone market, revealing a dynamic shift in consumer preferences. Despite the enduring popularity of feature phones, there’s a discernible trend towards digital acceleration, fueled by a growing interest in budget-friendly 4G smartphones and emerging 5G options, especially among price-sensitive consumers.

CMR’s comprehensive consumer study, encompassing over 2,000 mobile phone users across major Indian cities, underscores the changing dynamics within the market. Feature phone users, while still valuing aspects like longer battery life, ease of use, and affordability, are increasingly seeking digital capabilities in their devices. Remarkably, a significant portion of feature phone users (three in four) express a willingness to transition to smartphones, particularly in the INR 6,000 to INR 8,000 price range.

Arijeet Talapatra, CEO of Transsion India, emphasized the company’s commitment to meeting the evolving needs of Indian consumers, particularly in the feature phone and smartphone segments. With a focus on user-friendly design and innovative features tailored to the preferences of Gen Z and the emerging Bharat, itel aims to facilitate connectivity and socio-economic development across the country.

Key Study Highlights:

Shifting Needs, Expanding Usage: The study reveals changing patterns in feature phone usage, with users spending an average of 3 hours daily on calls, alarms, and texting. Additionally, a notable portion of users utilize apps such as weather, news, and social media, signaling a growing appetite for digital engagement.

Limitations Drive Upgrade Desire: Despite their benefits, feature phones face criticisms for shortcomings like poor camera quality, limited app availability, and restricted internet access. These limitations drive users towards smartphones, especially those offering affordable 4G and 5G capabilities.

itel Captures Feature Phone Loyalty, Ready for Upgrade Wave: While Samsung leads in brand awareness for feature phones, itel stands out with high conversion rates and strong customer satisfaction metrics. With impressive loyalty and advocacy scores, itel is well-positioned to capitalize on the shifting market dynamics.

Prabhu Ram, Head of the Industry Intelligence Group at CMR, highlights the trend towards feature phones offering more premium experiences, including features like UPI payments. However, inherent limitations are steering users towards smartphones, particularly budget-friendly models. Brands like itel, with their focus on value-conscious consumers and comprehensive product offerings, are poised to capitalize on this transition.

As India’s mobile phone market continues to evolve, brands that understand and address the evolving needs of consumers stand to thrive. With the demand for affordable smartphones on the rise, the market presents significant opportunities for brands to innovate and deliver value-driven solutions tailored to the diverse preferences of Indian consumers.

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