When it comes to mobile phones, Indians stand out as the most loyal consumers. A latest study on consumer mobility, the first of its kind in the Indian market, reflects that consumers have high preference over their existing handset brand and operator services.
The study has been conducted by Boston-based ICT research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics. It notes that an ultra-low cost handset strategy can then provide benefits, including potential brand loyalty and sustained competitive advantage to handset vendors.
The findings say that that nearly 53% consumers are definite to retain their handset brand during upgradation and more than 80% are unwilling to switch between operators in the coming years. Handsets with higher memory and good entertainment features are still priced quite high in India.
"The entry-level phones are relatively poor on these parameters contributing to decline in satisfaction scores. The vendors need to focus on these areas to further improve their brand recall," said Rahul Gupta, manager, emerging market communication service, global wireless practice, Strategy Analytics.
While vendors might have recently launched a deluge of handsets at above Rs 20,000 like Apple iPhone, Nokia N96 or E71, Samsung's Omnia or Innov8, the study pointed out that majority of Indian consumers still spend below $ 250 (around Rs 12,000) for their handsets. In fact, only about 4% consumers spend more than $ 250 to buy their mobile phones.
"Growing demand for low-cost phones will contribute to the growth of local-brand mobile phones in the market. It is expected that local manufacturers will carve out 20% of India's total mobile handset production by 2011, while the remaining 80% will go to the five largest handset manufacturers in the world," said Gupta.
Around 80% of Indian subscribers make voice calls for more than 120 minutes a week. While this can be attributed to the fact that India has one of the lowest tariffs in the world, the study said the Indian market also has one of the highest mobile usages in the world.
The monthly spend on mobile services for most consumers in India is about $ 10. The study also highlighted an interesting fact about mobile usage. Most Indian consumers do not prefer to use their cell phones while traveling.