ZTE has drafted smartphone strategies for growth in the Indian mobile phone market. Its main aim is to capture third rank in smartphone category in 3 years. Will Indian mobile phone users’ perception about Chinese quality become a hurdle?
The smartphone major relies on network of 214 service centers across the country. Quality of service centers are a concern for several mobile phone users in India.
In addition, ZTE smartphone users benefit from a new concept called “at your doorstep” service in select cities.
ZTE smartphones are entering the Indian telecom market at a time when its Chinese rivals — Huawei and Lenovo — are yet to make strong inroads into the phone market. The Taiwanese phone maker HTC is continuing to struggle though it has a target of achieving 10 percent market share.
IDC says the smartphone market increased 74 percent in Q1 of 2013 over Q1 of 2012. The share of smartphones in overall revenue of the phone market in India is close to 46 percent for Q1 of 2013 despite contributing only 10 percent to the volume/units. The market will grow further as 3G and 4G will create more demand for smartphones.
To strengthen ZTE’s distribution and sales, the Chinese phone major has tied up with distributor Calyx Telecommunications for smartphones. HCL’s Digilife will distribute ZTE data cards.
For the first time, ZTE entered Indian mobile phone market selling phones directly. The launch saw 6 new smartphones — priced between Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000. It will add more phones in phases. There will be smartphones for the premium segment as well.
ZTE is the fourth largest mobile handset manufacturer globally.
As a global OEM supplier, ZTE enjoys a customer base of over 32 million Indian handset users.
“Each smartphone device has been introduced keeping in mind the unique needs of the Indian customers. By the year end, we aim to have our pan India presence with the smartphones and data cards,” said Xu Dejun, CEO, ZTE India.
ZTE aims to emerge as the third largest smartphone vendor in India within three years. Samsung, Micromax and Apple are leading the Indian smartphone market in the first quarter of 2013, said Strategy Analytics. ( smartphone market share in India in Q1 2013: Strategy Analytics )
Earlier, Strategy Analytics said that Micromax, Karbonn and Spice are growing between 200 and 500 percent on an annual basis. Competing with the Indian grown phone makers will be easy for ZTE as it can overtake them due to price factor. But Huawei is yet to taste success in the Indian smartphone market.
IDC recently said Samsung, Nokia, Micromax, Karbonn and Lava are the top 5 phone makers in India. Since several phone users are migrating from feature phones to smartphones, the timing of the ZTE entry can bring result. But Chinese products need to ensure quality and after sales service to Indian mobile phone users.