New Delhi: The high-end smartphone market in India is expected to grow by 19 per cent this year as customers upgrade to premium brands like Samsung and Apple, research firm CMR today said.
The high-end smartphone (Rs 20,000 and above) market in the country, which accounted for 7 per cent of the total smartphones last year, grew at 15 per cent in 2015. "Out of a total of 163 smartphone brands, only 19 brands shipped smartphones in the high-end price band in 2015, indicating high entry barriers and the brand loyalty enjoyed by incumbent brands in the segment," CMR said in a report.
In contrast, 46 brands shipped smartphones in the sub-Rs 20,000 category, whereas 153 brands shipped handsets in the sub-Rs 10,000 category, it added. The high-end smartphone market is expected to grow 19 per cent in 2016 as against 15 per cent in the previous year, it said.
During 2015, Samsung and Apple increased their market share in the high-end band to 44 per cent and 27.3 per cent, respectively. On the other hand, Sony (8.3 per cent) and HTC (7.6 per cent) lost market share during the period.
OnePlus was the only emerging brand to make it to the list of top five in the same price point in 2015, cornering six per cent share in 2015, the report said. While Samsung and Apple will continue to be strong players in this segment, CMR expects young brands like Gionee, Huawei, Vivo and Lenovo to make some commendable inroads.
"Post 2013, we saw smartphones booming in India and a fair installed base is now ready for replacement and our observation is that approximately 70 per cent of the users would go for an upgrade to a higher-end smartphone rather than replacement in the same price segment," CMR Lead Analyst, Telecoms Faisal Kawoosa, said.
The upgrade is in terms of functionality, feature set and of course the price, he added. The report said emerging brands are now expected to shake up the high-end market after "successfully rippling the low and entry-level smartphone market".