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Online channels now dominate India smartphone market: Report

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New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) This year more than half of the country’s smartphone consumers bought their devices online, compared to more than one-third last year, a new report revealed.

According to Counterpoint Research’s Market Lens report, the affordable premium and premium segments became more active in 2021 with 15 per cent of the respondents being from the Rs 30,000 and above price band, compared to seven per cent in 2020.

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Covid-19, while making the smartphone an essential part of life, also pushed many offline consumers to online platforms due to restrictions on movement. Besides, the reverse migration of knowledge workers from big cities to smaller cities and towns also played a key role in popularising online channels.

Along with new buyers, there is a strong stickiness among the buyers who are already using online channels.

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Looking beyond the pandemic, there are more reasons to prefer online over offline. Variety of choices and pricing are the top reasons for consumers to prefer online channels for smartphone purchase.

The report also mentioned about an evident shift from relying heavily on word of mouth and friends/family for smartphone recommendations in 2020 to relying on YouTube videos and opinions of technology influencers in 2021. The change was catalysed by the Covid-19-triggered social distancing and work-from-home scenarios.

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In addition, the smartphone has become an essential part of life with the rise in virtual connectivity. As a result, there is a movement in the market, with a significant portion of smartphone users looking to purchase their next smartphone from a higher price band.

In the Indian festive season of 2021, there is high consumer demand in the mid and premium segments. In fact, the aspiration for premium smartphone brands has grown from 2020 to 2021.

–IANS

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