In 2020, the role and significance of smartphone for human connectivity and digital inclusion was underlined. Indians, across demographics, depended on their smartphone for their leisure (62%), remote work (50%) and remote learning (38%). Brand trust is a key determinant for smartphone loyalty in Aspirational India (Tier II and Tier III cities and beyond). In particular, consumers in the sub INR 7,000 smartphone segment in India are very aspirational and seek the best-in-class style and specs at competitive price-points.
As per a new CMR Insights on the Go Survey, in the sub INR 7,000 smartphone segment, itel is the clear leader when it comes to brand trust (42%), ahead of Samsung (39%). The trust quotient in itel is driven by factors, such as product quality (42%), affordability (44%), trendy technology (42%), Localized and Innovative Marketing Approach (42%) and after sales service (43%), among others.
The CMR Survey is the first-of-its-kind exhaustive consumer survey covering 2123 smartphone users, cutting across eleven Tier II and Tier III cities of India, including Guwahati, Jabalpur, Ludhiana, Madurai, Nashik and Siliguri, among others.
Commenting on the study findings, Satya Mohanty, Head- Industry Consulting Group (ICG), CMR, “Consumers in Tier-II and Tier-III cities of India seek the latest trendy specs at the right price-points. Smartphone brands that are able to understand the consumer pulse and are able to deliver the latest innovations for value conscious buyers, win big.”
itel has gained significant ground in Aspirational India in sub 7K segment, by virtue of its leadership in the sub-INR 5000 smartphone segment followed by commendable performance in 5 to 7k segments. itel rules the sub- INR 5000 smartphone segment with 26% using currently and 42% users going to consider in their next purchase. In terms of brand advocacy, itel has highest NPS (52%) followed by Samsung (48%) and Xiaomi (45%).
According to Shipra Sinha, Analyst- Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, “In Aspirational India, smartphone accessibility, affordability and availability are three key determinants for consumers. itel’s leadership can be attributed to its strong understanding of Aspirational India, its robust product portfolio, focus on innovative and localized marketing approach backed with reliable after-sales. It is also remarkable to note that itel is poised for further success in the year ahead in higher price tiers, as one of the top three smartphone brands.”
Here are the other key highlights:
Most desired Smartphone Specs in <INR 7000 segment:
Top three features desired by consumers while selecting a new smartphone in sub-INR 7000 price segment include Smartphone Camera (76%), Battery life (74%), and Speed (74%).
Smartphone Purchase Considerations
In Tier II and Tier III cities, 41% of those surveyed purchased smartphones online, whereas a significant 51% bought the phone at the local store.
In choosing their next smartphone, consumers went by strong recommendations from mobile store manager (48%), reposed their trust on word of mouth, and recommendations from friends and family (42%). For close to 40% of consumers, their smartphone choices were influenced by advertisements on large outdoor billboards or digital advertisements.
Smartphone Brandscape (Sub INR 7000 smartphone segment)
itel is considered most trustworthy (42%) brand, followed by Samsung (39%) and Xiaomi (37%).
itel is considered to have most trendy technology (42%) at affordable price followed by Samsung (38%) and Lava (36%).
In top of the mind recall, Samsung scores highest (27%), followed by Xiaomi (22%) and itel (21%).
Samsung users are the most satisfied (95%), followed by Xiaomi (94%) and itel (93%).
While comparing advocacy, Net Promoter Score (NPS) of Samsung is the highest (52%) followed by itel (49%) and Xiaomi (49%). City wise, Samsung scores highest in Varanasi (56%) and Ludhiana (54%) whereas itel scores highest in Siliguri (53%) and Nashik (51%).
While considering brand that users can relate to, Samsung scores highest (49%) closely followed by itel (47%) and Lava (45%).
In terms of future smartphone brand consideration, Samsung is the most preferred (43%) brand followed by itel (36%) and Xiaomi (36%). City wise, Samsung is the most considered choice for upgrade in cities such as Varanasi (51%), Ludhiana (49%) and Surat (48%) and Guwahati (45%). Similarly, Xiaomi is mostly considered by consumers in Madurai (48%), Kanpur (46%) and Faridabad (45%). itel is mostly considered in Siliguri (46%), Nashik (44%), Jabalpur (44%) and Jodhpur (43%).