Features

How Chinese vendors have taken over the Indian market

Market share has been grabbed but can they sustain it?

Published

on

A few years back, the most prominent smartphone companies in India included Micromax, Karbonn, Sony, HTC, and obviously, Samsung. It was a healthy mix of a few homegrown companies along with a blend of various manufacturers from diverse backgrounds. Each had its unique selling point and the market was at a nascent stage.

Fast forward to 2018, the dynamics have completely changed. Except for Samsung, all other companies listed above are almost non-existent and the complete business has been taken over by Chinese makers. According to Counterpoint Research’s Q2 2018 report, Xiaomi, Vivo, OPPO, and Honor (Huawei’s sub-brand) have a combined market share of 53 percent.

Domestic companies like Micromax have a very unstable presence in the region now, and all other vendors like Karbonn, Intex, and Spice have packed up. The only brand that has been able to survive this long is Samsung. But, considering the recent two quarters, even Samsung has lost a substantial share to the Chinese.

How did the newcomers manage to take over the market so rapidly, and successfully?

The base strategy is pretty similar to that of Samsung. Back in 2010, when Nokia and BlackBerry had their superiority, Samsung Mobile was a fledgling in the country. Samsung came in and filled the market with next-generation trendy products at a nominal rate. When Nokia and BlackBerry were busy competing with their QWERTY phones, Samsung was selling touchscreen phones like the Corby and Champ.

These phones appealed to the younger audience, and while Apple was busy knocking down everyone in design, Samsung was busy scaling their production. Soon, we saw their brief stint with Windows OS via the Omnia series, followed by entry into the Android ecosystem. Even with Android, Samsung continued releasing phones in every price segment: The Galaxy Star was a top-selling budget phone, the S-series had just taken off, and new devices were being launched almost every month.

In short, they filled the market with options and every type of user was targeted. The gamble paid off massively. Within a few years, the old behemoths were gone and Samsung had established a brand with trust among users. The company focused on grabbing market share via the budget and midrange segment and simultaneously managing the top-tier S and Note series for higher margins.

This is the same strategy that the new Chinese vendors are applying. First, fill the market with trendy phones that are reasonably priced, and then expand their portfolio. A notch and glass backing are the current trends, and everyone quickly jumped on the bandwagon.

From gradients to patterns, there are multiple options available. Want a performance-centric phone? Huawei and Xiaomi brought in high-end processors for just INR 20,000 (US$ 276). Like iPhone’s Face ID? Almost every phone comes with face unlock.

Vivo brought in the in-display fingerprint scanner before everyone else and it’s exactly the kind of innovation the end user wants. While these companies are busy expanding their portfolio, they are also careful to consider long-term goals. Huawei’s Mate and P series have been mind-boggling, and with the P20 Pro, it has managed to establish itself as a premium player.

OPPO, Vivo, and OnePlus belong to the same holding company — BBK Mobile. OnePlus leads the premium segment while OPPO and Vivo act as test beds for new concepts, like the sliding camera. Ultimately, anything earned by either of them goes to the same pocket. Xiaomi has avoided the top-tier segment until now, but with the POCO F1, it still remains unclear how they intend to establish a premium brand.

Apples and oranges

I haven’t considered Apple in this equation because the company has completely different expectations from the market. It doesn’t care about market share as long as it grabs the top one percent audience. Every week we see new launches happening in the country with each new product trying to take on the competitors offerings.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that the Chinese domination in the country will be short-lived but the statistics suggest a different story. Each of them has also confidently invested in growing their presence; this includes the operation of service centers and exclusive stores. In fact, all of them have joined the Make in India initiative to avoid import duty.

We haven’t seen Samsung get aggressive to the competition yet; they are still trying to make it through at their own pace. It will also be interesting to see how HMD Global is able to make a mark with their Nokia branded offerings in the country.

Galaxy S20

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Unboxing

Unpacked it for you

Published

on

The Galaxy S20 Ultra marks the first “Ultra” device made by Samsung. Despite its hefty price tag and similar box content as other S20 models, it’s heavier with specs and features.

Here’s our Galaxy S20 Ultra unboxing.

Continue Reading

Features

A journey to self-love: How to set your financial goals straight

With CIMB Bank’s help

Published

on

Image: MJ | GadgetMatch

There was a point in my life when adulting hit me hard: my romantic relationship suddenly ended, which coincided with my resignation from my full-time job of three years. The thing is, I had a plan before everything happened, but life is indeed full of unexpected moments.

I decided to take a rest first to clear my overwhelmed mind. I ended up doing what most young adults like me would do: travelled to different places, went out with friends, volunteered for several causes, and spoiled myself with my favorite things and experiences — everything that involved doing what I love and seizing life’s great moments.

I was busy indulging myself in this idea of “self-love” until I realized that my bank account was draining every single week, and I was close to maxing out my credit card limit. That’s when it hit me: I wasn’t financially prepared to sustain this kind of lifestyle. 

Self-love is more than just showering yourself with pretty things

We all have this idea that “self-love” is about indulging in life’s best comforts, and doing whatever sets our soul on fire. Newsflash: real life is much trickier than these scenarios we see in rom-com films.

For me, I had to take more extra work to do these things I love, while still being able to pay bills. I regretted not being able to save up more and use my money wisely. I eventually found myself living life from paycheck to paycheck, and I realized that this is not the life I wanted to live. I couldn’t fully enjoy life’s moments, since my financial restrictions were always at the back of my mind. 

I have come to understand the real concept of self-love — that it is actually about creating a life that is prepared for whatever life’s challenges throw at us. Instead of treating ourselves to short-lived thrills, it’s much better to manage our finances first so we’re always ready for the next big thing. Being smart with our finances is indeed a great form of self-care. 

Seize life’s moments by being financially fit

CIMB Bank, the “Best Digital Bank” in the Philippines is a great choice for people like me who want to save up for life’s next moments. The best thing about it is I can open an account seamlessly in just 10 minutes — no need to personally enroll in a branch and wait for weeks to secure an account. No wonder they have been recently awarded as the “Fastest Growing Digital Bank” as well.

Through the CIMB Bank PH mobile app (iOS/ Android), managing and accessing my money is also much easier compared to other banks. They offer great perks and services such as transacting with other banks for free, withdrawing in over 25,000 ATM machines nationwide without penalty charges via Visa pay, wave debit card, and not be bothered by maintaining balances.

I can also access my cash 24/7 in just a few taps, and it’s connected to other local payment gateways I frequently use like GCash and dragonpay, so it greatly fits my flexible lifestyle.

True to its commitment to helping Filipinos achieve financial inclusion and freedom, this all-digital, mobile-first bank offers an interest rate of four percent (4%) per annum available all year round, with no restrictions, via its UpSave account offering. It’s the best-in-market savings rate, which makes me save more money without worrying about security. They also offer up to Php 2 million worth of life insurance coverage!

With CIMB Bank, I can track my savings easily and invest my money in experiences that will allow me to feed my passions. When the time comes that life throws more unexpected moments, I know I’m financially secured to handle it. And that is one of the best forms of love I can give to myself.

To know more about CIMB Bank PH, click here.


This feature was produced in collaboration with Her GadgetMatch and CIMB Philippines.


Continue Reading

Unboxing

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Unboxing, Setup, Photos & Q&A

What to expect when you buy the Galaxy Z Flip

Published

on

Today is Galaxy Z Flip Day! Thankfully I have fast fingers, and was able to snag one before it ran out online. In this video I pick up in store, unbox and set it up, and answer some of your questions.

This is our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip unboxing.

Continue Reading

Trending