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Popularity of social media pushing smartphone sales in India

Posted: 30 Mar 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smartphones  digital camera  Internet-enabled  social media 

A study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India forecasts the growth of the local smartphone industry by 60%, with sales estimated to reach 16.00 crore (160 million units) in 2017. The growth is attributed to the prevalence of social media, which is feeding the demand for affordable smartphones with built-in cameras and Internet-enabled features.

With smartphones serving the needs of amateur photographers and enthusiasts, the product's rise is also eating into the demand for the digital cameras, which witnessed a drop in sales by more than 35% in the last year.

Smartphone sales more than doubled from 4.40 crore (44 million) units in 2013 to 10.00 crore (10 million) units in 2016. The volume of smartphone sales is expected to touch 16.00 crore (160 million) units by 2017, according to the ASSOCHAM study.

Affordable smartphones include handsets in the price range of ₹4,054.05 - ₹10,135.14 ($60-150). This segment accounts for 78% of all smartphone sales equipped with almost similar features, which one may get in these sub- ₹10,135.14 ($150 cameras), thus slashing demand for digital cameras.

According to the survey, most of the respondents said that the biggest advantage of taking pictures with smartphones is that they can be shared instantly with your friends and family; a feature that is absent in most point-and-shoot cameras.

Fast-changing technology

"The technology is changing at such a fast pace that the product developers have to think ahead of times; or else the top selling products of the present times can become outdated, without the manufacturers and those dominating the market today realising it, " ASSOCHAM Secretary Mr. D. S. Rawat said.

He said another feature of the smart devices market in India is that the country has a huge telephone subscribers' base of about a billion users who are becoming aspirational even at the bottom of pyramid.

About 93% of the customers now prefer smartphones over digital cameras. The smart phones are becoming the main camera of choice by a large number of people, and increasingly more consumers are relying on their smartphones instead of compact digicams for both still photos and video capture.

Almost 75% of the sales of mobiles and tablets came from consumers' residing in Tier-I and Tier–II cities. According to the study, personal computers and MP3 players sales have already started declining; the impact of smartphone and tablet adoption is so great that the number of users accessing the Internet through PCs has started falling.

Digital camera sales have suddenly declined due to the large number of branded smartphones at affordable prices, with multiple buying options. The soaring popularity of smartphones is crushing demand for digital compact cameras amongst the young. The compact camera market is going to keep shrinking in the coming years, said the ASSOCHAM paper.

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