Over the last few years, the Indian smartphone market has grown exponentially and stands as the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world. This growth is attributed to the large population of India’s youth. More than half of India’s youth are under the age of 25 years.

Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “India is a youthful country. A country with such a major percentage of youth has the capability to change not only its own, but the fate of the entire world”. And these youth that have adopted the digital age will be major adopters and influencers of products and services.

57% of India’s working millennials are already the chief wage earners of overall household income. This gives them the ability to spend their disposable income on the experiences and products that give them satisfaction. Catalysts to India’s growth story, millennials today are much more confident and independent than before, excelling in every field they pursue. The demand for smartphones has also increased from Tier II and III markets apart from the traditional metro cities.

Drivers of India’s smartphone market, the youth of today enjoys newness and excitement constantly and are willing to take risks. Converting these needs and preferences into product features is the real challenge for mobile manufacturers. Companies are going the extra mile and conducting in-depth surveys to understand the nerve of today’s youth. This helps them design and incorporate features into their smartphone that are relevant and up to date with their evolving requirements.

Some of the key features that the youth considers while purchasing a smartphone are:

Security Features: Consumers store their most valuable data on their smartphones including their banking details, passwords etc. Smartphone makers have enhanced their security features with the features such as the intruder selfie which keeps one’s smartphone protected and helps identify the person trying to access the smartphone. These add-on security features are pre-installed on the smartphones with a much-needed ‘anti-theft’ add-on. All these features strengthen the security and privacy of a user’s confidential and personal data that is stored and accessible through the smartphones.

India is a large market and has space of multiple brands across different price points and product categories.

Camera Quality: In today’s day and age every individual is a photographer and their smartphone camera makes this easier. Gone are the days when people would carry a camera to a holiday, a birthday or any celebration. This is specially the case with today’s youth that wants to capture every moment of their life. Hence, a good quality camera has grown to become an imperative feature

Stylish Design: Apart from being utilitarian in nature, a smartphone today also doubles up as a stylish accessory and needs to be visually appealing. Youth prefers purchasing smartphones that have emphasis on design and offer manycolor variants.

Price: The Indian consumer is extremely price sensitive, hence price plays an important role followed by various hardware and quality aspects of a smartphones. These are namely network coverage, display, sound, camera, speed, battery, user-friendliness and stylish appearance. For the Indian youth, one of the basic consideration is money, may it be his own or otherwise. We Indians need a phone that is economical yet durable and above that has all the necessary features and portrays as a style icon.

India is a large market and has space of multiple brands across different price points and product categories. A brand must choose their target audience wisely as by preferring one target audience they might alienate others. Therefore, if a brand wants to be successful, it is imperative for them to get the right distribution network across online and offline markets. The brand needs to have a clear and an in-depth understanding of each market while laying their distribution network, taking the example of rural areas- majority of their sale comes from offline retail as online is still in the emerging stage.

The author is CEO & Director, COMIO Smartphone


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