NEW DELHI: International Data Corporation (IDC) Tuesday said that the aggressive fourth generation (4G) technology expansion of telcos led by Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio is driving consumers to choose 4G-enabled devices over 3G-capable handsets.
“The rapid expansion and promotion of 4G network footprint by telecom operators in India, led by Reliance Jio is compelling customers across city tiers to be future ready, by choosing more 4G than 3G devices, with over 80% of smartphones being 4G compatible across all city tiers,” IDC in a statement said.
The US-based research firm also said that Chinese vendors have realized India’s 4G trend and were gradually building and investing significantly in the offline distribution network in tier 2 cities and beyond.
Mumbai-based Jio launched commercial telecom services on September 5, 2016 and on the back of promotional free voice and data offer with a cap of 1GB per day, has been able to scale up its subscriber base to 100 million within first six months of its launch.
The smartphone demand from tier 2 and 3 cities is outgrowing demand from tier 1 cities as urban markets have begun to saturate, according to IDC, which believes that consumers look for value-for–money smartphones with latest technology.
The finding is a part of consumer research study, Smartphone PULSE with an analysis of user behavior and device adoption trends.
“The Indian smartphone consumer is looking for value-for-money smartphones that fit their budget, while offering the latest technology. With more than 40% overall share of smartphone segment in India, China-based vendors are investing a lot in offline promotions and branding to lure consumers,” IDC India market analyst Sachin Mehta said.
The study also revealed that a majority of 70% consumers prefer offline channel while purchasing a smartphone over online marketplaces.
70% of smartphone consumers prefer offline channel over online primarily due to comfort and experience of touch & feel at these retail shops.
Offline retail is still the biggest sales channel in India contributing two-third of smartphone sales in India. To address the width and depth of Indian market a few China-based vendors like Vivo, OPPO, Gionee are investing a lot in branding and marketing campaigns, the firm added.
Point of Sales (PoS) techniques and word of mouth are the most prominent factors influencing the smartphone consumer’s purchase decision, according to IDC’s new report.
“Sheer number of smartphones choices in the market, peer pressure and the need to remain up to date with the latest technology are some of the factors driving the consumers in India to research, seek reviews and recommendations before buying a smartphone,” Himanshu Jain, market analyst at IDC India said.