Budget Phone Revolution

blogpic1 2014 saw tremendous growth in telecom industry. The high point was the transition from feature phones to low cost smartphones.  As the demand for economy smartphones rose over feature phones in countries like India, local brands like Micromax have surged the markets with affordable phones ousting the global names like Samsung according to a report by Canalys. This transition is expected to continue as the consumer becomes more evolved, information hungry and looks for specific features as well as affordability while buying a smartphone. A totally new computing experience supported by hundreds of apps which have opened up a lot of new vistas in various fields making a phone not just a mode of communication. This will give a great opportunity to high-end device segment especially in countries like India. India currently has around 300,000 app developers and has the second largest Android developer community in the world after the US. The number of app developers in the country is likely to increase drastically and the country may have the largest base of developers by 2017, Deloitte said. Locally relevant apps suit the buyers. Use of vernacular, dual sim are some of the features the companies are using to attract more consumers. The report by ICRIER clearly suggests that this hunger of content such as games, utilities, news, entertainment and education on smartphones is only going to expand. Travel, entertainment, news, F&B, payment, gaming, health and fitness, utility, education, social etc. top the app chart. This is certainly an exciting news for mobile application developers, creators and digital entrepreneurs. The market is evolving rapidly and becoming more advanced and user friendly as apps become an integral part of our daily life. The convenience it brings to the end user is driving the app developing market in India. Apps are task oriented, economical and quick, the access is easy and the availability is almost anywhere which brings efficiency in the process. It suits the businesses and well as the customers.

e-commerce to m-commerce

Since sometime the mobile devices especially the smartphones have become first contact point for the customers as most of the internet users come on mobiles in India than anywhere else in the world. Many analysts feel that the future of m-commerce will be written in India. Mobile commerce which includes m-wallet, mobile banking, interbank mobile paying services is growing incredibly fast. Many companies have specific apps for these which the consumers prefer for easy, safe and convenient transactions. Tapping rural India- The availability of cheap handsets and affordable tariff plans has led to a surge in mobile phone users in rural India and with smartphones becoming cheaper, content and service availability we see an upward mobility of consumers in rural India. Service providers like Airtel is estimated to have more than 88m rural mobile customers. The pace and scale of mobile technology development has made India a dream market for smartphone makers, providing business opportunities for foreign companies to partner with indigenous manufacturers to tap the local market favorably. Home grown brands like Micromx, Lava, Karbonn and Zen in India and Lenovo, Huawai, and Xiaomi in China have changed the smartphone industry landscape with Android's open platform and aggressive pricing. Xiaomi, considered as third largest smartphone vendor in the world, also hinted getting into Indian cellphone market by tying up with Taiwan based Inventec, which is setting up a plant in Chennai claimed a report in Digitimes. It also plans to launch Mi.com in India to sell its smartphones. It is predicted that these low budget smartphone companies will hog 25% of the market share this year. When cost is more important than brand and cutting edge technology in the emerging market a company offering top of line features in an economy phone is greeted gladly by the consumers over the expensive flagship smartphones with similar specifications. India has emerged as the biggest smartphone market after china and USA in recent time and is seen as a high growth opportunity by these companies. Most of these companies were low profile sometime back but they cashed on to the growing need for high end low cost phones which have become a need rather than luxury in this highly connected world and quickly dominated the ultra low cost smartphone segment posing a threat to the big players. According to the IDC report," As more Indian users migrate to affordable smarter devices from feature phones, smartphone sales in India are expected to reach 80.57 million units by the end of this year." According to the Deloitte India's TMT Predictions 2015 report "About 9 billion apps will be downloaded in India in 2015, more than 5 times the number of apps downloaded in 2012 (1.56 billion) at a CAGR of 75 per cent." According to Cisco’s ‘VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast’ report," In India, mobile data traffic will grow 13-fold from 2014 to 2019, a compound annual growth rate of 67 percent." The report also said that," Indian mobile data traffic will grow 2 times faster than Indian fixed IP traffic from 2014 to 2019, and the mobile data traffic will account for 28 percent of Indian fixed and mobile data traffic by 2019, up from 9 percent in 2014." Canalys’ recently published estimates show that in Q4 2014 in India, 23% of shipments were of devices priced under US$100 (INR6,000), while 41% were of devices in the US$100 to US$200 bracket (INR6,000 to INR12,000) [LINK] ARM predicts the rise of wearables this year. As per them" smartphone services will be implemented in healthcare sectors in rural areas extensively. Some other predictions include IoT revenues, cyber security issues, system performance demands and IoT shift to robotics". Many of the western chipset companies have begun to make inroads into the Indian smartphone market segment which was earlier dominated by East Asian chipset Companies. This has enabled manufacturers to include more high end features ie Micromx was the first to introduce a quad core processor in a budget smartphone appealing to many cost conscious smartphone buyers.

2015 Global Smartphone Shipment Forecast

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References

Broadcom, Qualcomm, MediaTek Target India’s 4G boom RockChip & Intel collaborating on Tablet ICs for India   Smartphone interface standards are defined by independent organizations like MIPI, JEDEC, SDA, and USB-IF. Application processors require a lot interface standards from JEDEC and MIPI Alliance and Arasan Chip Systems has a longstanding association with these standard bodies. We have deep domain expertise and provide a complete IP portfolio which can meet the requirements  of SoC designers. The MIPI Alliance, is a standards setting body focused on mobile interface standards e.g. Camera, Display, Chip to Chip. JEDEC develops open standards for all memory interfaces including eMMC and UFS for Flash Memory. The SD Association sets standards for memory cards (SD, miniSD and microSD). The USB implementers forum provides compliance certification and promotion for USB products The Universal Flash Storage Association (UFSA) proces compliance certification standards for UFS.

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