India becomes increasingly interesting for smartphone producers. Especially for those that build low-end phones, the market offers tremendous opportunities. Furthermore according to IDC India is the fastest-growing smartphone market worldwide.
Bigger interest than in China and the US
Despite China still being the world’s biggest market for smartphones, it becomes notably saturated. This pushes manufacturers to look out for new opportunities and markets. With its current growth speed and its huge population India is now even surpassing the US as second biggest smartphone market.
A market for low-end phones
But since the majority of India’s population lives on a very small budget, only manufacturers with a low-end phone offering have a chance on this market. Especially the market for phones under $100 is booming. Satish Lele, SVP at Frost & Sullivan, told CNBC: “If you look at the overall smartphone market in India, it’s all sub-$100 and more than 50 percent of the market is dominated by (these) phones.”
Chance for Chinese manufacturers
This market segment proves to be especially lucrative for Chinese companies. Satish Lele sees that through its wide variety of phones in different segments, Lenovo is well prepared to tackle India. “(Lenovo) has its low-end phones and it also has its mid and high-end (options) through the Motorola acquisition that it made. All the players in the market are trying to tap into the different possibilities that you can get across the different price points.”
Not surprising that the industry giant is pushing hard onto the Indian market. Its P2 model costs 16,999 Indian rupees ($249.45) and is rather considered a mid-end product. But in 2015 Lenovo also brought the A2010 to the Indian market. For only INR4,990 ($73) it was then sold as the cheapest 4G smartphone available.
More players joining the game
By now other players have managed to produce competing and even cheaper options for the market below $100. Indian vendors, like Micromax, Karbonn, Lava and Intex can sell phones really cheap. They manage to go as cheap as $30.