Half of India Smartphone Users Planning to Upgrade Within a Year as 5G Transition Gathers Pace

Article By : Counterpoint Technology Market Research

About half of India's smartphone owners plan to purchase their next smartphone within a year.

About half of India’s smartphone owners plan to purchase their next smartphone within a year, according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research’s annual consumer smartphone study in India.

Further, India’s smartphone market ASP (average selling price) is expected to rise because consumers tend to prefer a higher price band for every subsequent purchase. Also, Samsung, Apple and OnePlus are at the top as the survey respondents’ preferred smartphone brands for the next purchase. In terms of features, 5G capability is the third most important feature considered when planning the next purchase. The same factor is ranked tenth in terms of importance for current smartphone purchases.

The objective of the study was to understand the changing consumer trends and choices across past holding, current ownership and future preference for smartphones. Based on the respondents’ previous smartphone ownership, the INR10,000–INR15,000 price band was the sweet spot. For the current smartphone ownership, the sweet spot shifted up to the INR15,000–INR20,000 band. And for the respondents’ future smartphone purchases, the price band shifted further up to INR20,000–INR30,000.

“Smartphones are now an important part of our lives. As a result, smartphone users try to upgrade their devices with every next purchase. When purchasing a new smartphone, more than one-third of the users plan to retain their current device as an alternative/secondary phone. Also, with more exchange offers available, more than one-fourth of the respondents plan to trade in their current smartphone when purchasing the next one. Therefore, users feel comfortable buying a smartphone from a higher price band for a better experience and updated features,” said Research Analyst Arushi Chawla.

Rising Popularity of INR 20,000-INR 30,000 Price Band

Counterpoint Research_India Smartphone Consumer Study_Future Spending Preference

Source: India Smartphone Yearly Consumer Study, 2022

Regarding the brand preference for the next smartphone purchase, Samsung, Apple and OnePlus are the respondents’ most preferred brands.

Samsung users have the strongest brand loyalty with 51% of the users who used Samsung as their previous device also using Samsung currently. Further, 43% of the current Samsung users prefer the brand for their next smartphone purchase. Apple, despite having a smaller share in previous and current smartphone purchases, is the second most preferred brand (20%) for future purchases.

Top Smartphones for Current Usage and Future Purchase

Counterpoint Research_India Smartphone Consumer Study_Future Brand Preference

Source: India Smartphone Yearly Consumer Study, 2022

“Samsung has a strong grip over the Indian smartphone installed base. It has a widespread distribution network and launches new models around the year across most price brands. All these factors have helped Samsung develop and maintain its brand value. Therefore, in the survey, Samsung maintained its top position both in terms of past ownership and current ownership and also for future preference. Samsung is followed by Apple and OnePlus as the most preferred future preference smartphone brands,” said Chawla. “The top reasons for preferring a brand are reputation, advanced features and user interface. As a result of these factors and the aspiration to move to a higher price band when purchasing a smartphone, users tend to prefer premium smartphone brands. In addition, 5G capability becomes more important as we move up the ladder for budget preference for future smartphones. 5G is one of the main factors taken into consideration for all major smartphone brands. But 5G is the most important factor for respondents preferring Apple as their next smartphone purchase.”


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