Mobiles & Tablets

Microsoft Devices gung-ho about Indian smartphone market growth

Our Bureau Coimbatore | Updated on November 25, 2017

TS Sridhar, Director-South, Nokia India at the launch of Lumia 530 Dual Sim smartphone

T.S.Sridhar, Director, South, Nokia India, launching the Lumia 530 3G Dual SIM,in Coimbatore on Monday. - K. Ananthan   -  The Hindu

India has emerged the largest market for smartphones globally and Microsoft Devices Group (MDG) is optimistic about growing its marketshare in the country, according to T S Sridhar, Director-Mobiles, Nokia India Sales Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Microsoft Mobile Oy.

The company also ensured that whenever new software is introduced, it is made available to existing users of its handsets.

Speaking to newspersons at the launch of the Lumia 530 Dual SIM smartphone in Coimbatore on Monday, he said it was the youth segment that was driving the exponential growth of the smartphone market in India. The desire to stay connected and newer applications such as WhatsApp (WhatsApp Messenger is a free messaging service) were fuelling this trend.

He said “Tamil Nadu is the biggest market for telecom in India” and interestingly it was not the metros but smaller cities such as Coimbatore, Pune and Hyderabad that were powering this growth.

Last year the country recorded sales of 44 million smartphones, and the number was likely to nearly double to 70-80 million units during the current year (Jan-Dec 2014). Dual SIM smartphones priced up to Rs 12,000 were expected to account for 82 per cent of the sales. With rapid growth in data usage, telecom operators were reaping higher revenues.

According to Sridhar, earlier, smartphone prices ruled in the Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000 range. Currently, the maximum sales were happening in the more affordable, Rs 4,000 to Rs 12,000 price band.

He said by the next year every third mobile phone sold in the country would be a smartphone. With nearly half the smartphone buyers in the 18-24 age group, his company had lined up a slew of products for this segment.

He said the first Lumia smartphone was priced around Rs 30,000. Now, there were 17-18 Lumia phones in the market, and the latest dual SIM Lumia 530 was priced at Rs 7,349. He said the coming together of Microsoft and Nokia had ensured "the world’s best combination of powerful hardware and powerful software".

Sridhar pointed out that buyers wanted the same facilities whether it was a smartphone, desktop, or laptop. Nokia’s Windows mobile phones came with 300,000 apps. The company’s share in the global mobile phone market had crossed 10 per cent. For Lumia phones, India was among the top four markets globally.

He said a Windows phone — whether a high-priced handset costing Rs 46,000 or one priced far less — offered the `same experience’.

Pranav Shroff, Product Marketing Manager, Nokia India Sales, said Windows has made the mobile phone “as personal as possible” and its powerful Quad-Core processor gave it an edge.

He said Microsoft was “among the fastest to provide updates” and these were provided automatically at no extra cost.

Asked about the market share of Microsoft’s Nokia smartphones in India and how fast it was growing, Sridhar declined to disclose the details in line with the company policy.

Published on August 19, 2014

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