Emerging markets are where the battle for the next generation of mobile consumers is currently taking place, and India, with their population of over 1.1 billion, is ripe for the taking for those who can fight on factors such as price, distribution, and better understanding of customer needs. Nokia used to dominate India, and at one point had over 70% market share, but that’s now fallen to 31.5% as of Q3 2010 according to research firm IDC. To give some perspective, in Q2 of the same year Nokia owned 36.3%. Who is eating up all of Nokia’s customers? Local vendors such as Micromax, Spice, and Lava are taking the low end of the market while Apple and RIM are grabbing share at the top. Samsung, a brand that’s known globally and who recently launched the first smartphone to be powered by Google’s latest version of Android, version 2.3 Gingerbread, used to be the second largest player in India, but now they’re number three thanks to a Chinese handset maker we never even heard of: G’Five. Samsung used to have 10.6% market share in Q2 2010, but that dropped to 8.2% over a period of just one quarter.
The march to build the lowest priced handsets is beginning to squeeze well established brands out of the market and it’s something that my team and I predicted back when I worked at Nokia; we didn’t think it would happen this fast however. Seemingly overnight, thanks to Android and a surplus of skilled labor, factories are pumping out devices for the locals faster than thought possible. How this will play out in the short term, as defined by the next two to three years, is again, something many in the industry are trying to predict, but with little success. What’s to stop the same thing from happening in advanced nations?
[Via: Times of India]