Mobile phones are fast moving beyond their primary role of voice communication and becoming multi – tasking devices as the number of wireless subscribers in the country are about 89.2 crore according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
With prices of mobile handsets coming down and disposable incomes going up, people are changing handsets quite often. India now ranks as the second fastest growing telecom markets in the world after China with 59.1 crore users in urban areas and 30.1 crore in rural!
Mobile phones are no longer used only for staying in contact with others but have become devices to provide a host of entertainment options, according to a ASSOCHAM survey in six major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Nearly 39 per cent of them said they switch to a new phone in less than two years for new applications. The findings suggest that friends are the single most important source of information while purchasing a handset.
Applications, Bluetooth, GPRS, built-in camera, FM radio, Mp3 player,video recording and speaker phone are key factors influencing purchase of most young mobile phone users who are inclined towards social networking, listening to music, playing games, reading news, surfing the Net, chatting with friends and families, and even checking their bank balances with handsets.
Among the companies, Nokia remains a leader with 39 per cent market share followed by Samsung with 17.2 per cent and Micromax 6.9 per cent and the rest being split among Blackberry, LG, G Five, Karbonn, Spice, Maxx, Sony Ericsson and others.
The next phase of growth will come from rural markets, said ASSOCHAM adding that introduction of dual SIM technology has been a game-changer for the handset market. With the introduction of entry level ASHA series of mobile phones by Nokia on Microsoft Windows platform, those users who intend to switch over to next level of mobile phones, this development could also prove to be a game changer for Nokia and entry level users of smart-phones.