India, the 2nd largest smartphone market, is all set to reach new highs in the coming year. The smartphone shipments in India stood at 100 million for the fiscal 2015-2016, but it is now expected to reach 160 million for the next fiscal.
As per the ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) study, such a surge in smartphone shipment is due to the fact that smartphones are getting more and more affordable to everyone. Also, people want to replace their ordinary feature phones with smartphones now.
Smartphones & Their Dominance
The smartphone shipments have more than doubled from 44 million to 100 million by the year 2016. ASSOCHAM also found that smartphones are eating into the sales of digital cameras which have reported a drop in sales by more than 35% over the last one year.
The main reason is that one can easily get all the features offered by the digital cameras priced under Rs. 10,000 in the affordable entry-level smartphone priced between Rs. 4,000-10,000. And that’s why nobody wants to buy a digital camera these days. They will even spend more than they would have spent on a digicam and get a smartphone with a better camera.
Besides the compact form factor, a majority of the respondents revealed that the biggest USP of the smartphones is the ability to instantly share the photos with their friends and family. This feature is not present in the affordable digital point-and-shoot cameras.
About 93% of the users now prefer smartphones over digital cameras. People are now relying more on the smartphones for taking photos and shooting videos over digital cameras. Users in smaller cities are also getting more tech-savvy and almost 75% of the mobile and tablet sales can be associated to the users in Tier-I and Tier-II cities.
“The technology is changing at such a fast pace that the product developers have to think ahead of times; or else the top selling products of the present times can become outdated, without the manufacturers and those dominating the market today realising it,” said D.S. Rawat, Secretary, ASSOCHAM.
The study also revealed that the sales of personal computers and MP3 players has also started to decline. This decline can again be attributed to the increasing penetration of smartphone and tablets.
ASSOCHAM also mentioned that the digital camera market will continue to shrink in the years to come. The smartphone demand has been shooting in India due to increasing popularity of a number of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.
In my opinion digital cameras still offer better image quality than similarly priced smartphones, but the people don’t care much about the quality these days as they are only interested in sharing scaled down version of their photos with their friends and families on social networks. And smartphones serve this purpose very well.