Beijing: India is at an early stage of smartphone boom but the country is “highly likely” to become a “genuine global power in the smartphone world”, a Chinese media report said on Tuesday. “Worth noting is how essentially different India is from other emerging markets,” an article in the state-run Global Times said.
“Factoring in its strength in software, which, coupled with the country’s continuing demographic dividend and the Indian government’s strong push for developing the nation’s manufacturing sector, the country, presently in the very early stage of a smartphone boom, is highly likely to transform into a genuine global power in the smartphone world,” it said.
“All these seem to be laying the foundation for India’s local brands to possibly become the next Apple, Samsung, or China’s ZTE or Huawei, in years to come when eventually India joins the global smartphone supply chain and follows in the footsteps of the US and China to become a new trendsetter in the smartphone arena,” said the article based on observations by Chinese smartphone companies executives.
“When that day comes, India’s phone brands might even be among the bestsellers in China,” it said. India is one of the few spots still buzzing with high growth in the global smartphone landscape, and has thereby increasingly become a magnet for smartphone makers from its giant northeastern neighbour, China, where its market has now hit a plateau after years of explosive growth, it said.
“With a rising number of Chinese technology brands making inroads into the Indian market, competition in the South Asian marketplace for smartphones is certain to heat up. However, it will not be the case that Chinese tech firms come face to face with India’s local phone manufacturers in a cruel price war,” it said.
“It is by no means an easy job for Chinese firms to actually make a profit at this stage, although sales may be boosted by the introduction of a few phone models that are capable of hitting it big in the local market,” it said.
It advised the Chinese tech brands to forge partnerships with not only Indian firms but also their countrymen to create a bigger pie, thus enabling them to be truly commercially viable.
It’s likely that within two years, Chinese phone brands will be among the top three or four phone vendors in the market, with a question mark hanging over how many of the top ones will be Chinese brands, the paper said.
“It would be more reasonable to assume that Apple and Samsung will still be tough rivals for any Chinese brands aiming for the more premium segment of the Indian smartphone market, considering that other companies, particularly Apple have been placing high bets in the Indian market and many of the Indian elite who have studied or worked in the US tend to naturally appreciate the American lifestyle that Apple is seen to embody,” it said.
“Also, there is a possibility that China’s foray into the Indian market may help catapult India’s local smartphone manufacturers to be among global top brands some day,” it added.