Back in early 2000, the only smartphones heading the market were Micromax, Sony, HTC, Karbonn, Nokia and the emperor of all, Samsung. The market was limited to these specific brands, and it was not a consumers market. The smartphone industry, in general, was at a primitive stage. Smartphone users had limited options, and the technology available was primitive. Fast forward to now, the smartphone market in India is at the peak, thanks to the raging competition, especially the Chinese smartphone manufacturers. Every month new devices are launched with competitive prices and new features. This includes brands such as Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Huawei. These Chinese brands have successfully positioned themselves in the market, and have a favourable user base because of what they offer.
While the market gets competitive, the price factor is a significant driving force which appeals to the consumers. Hence major brands are launching sub-brands to strengthen their position in the budget segment. This includes Chinese companies such as Oppo, Xiaomi, Huawei and the Indian Brand Micromax. By introducing sub-brands, they are touching and creating a wide-spread user base by offering the following :
Lower Price paired with offers: Most of the sub-brands are dedicated to the budget segment. The Indian smartphone market specifically has a higher ratio of users who are looking out for economic deals which does not create a dent in their pockets. Moreover, it is not only the Indian smartphone market but the Asian smartphone market as a whole consists of a higher userbase with a preference for budget smartphones. Chinese Sub-brands collaborate with regional e-commerce giants as well as networks to provide the best offers. Additional offers such as cashback, EMI options makes it easier for the customer to buy their devices.
Latest Features: Along with Price, features are also an important selling point of a smartphone. Chinese brands with vast production factories are capable of producing the required components at a large scale at a cheap price. This allows them to offer the latest features, of their line to the consumers. The research and development of the main brand are also utilised to understand the needs of the consumers. This is helpful in catering the expectation of the customers.
While majorly following the strategy mentioned below, these brands have secured the attention of the consumers and are ready to compete. Here are some of the sub-brands by leading companies which have created an uproar in the smartphone market.
Parent Brand: Huawei
Special features: Intelligent Interactive features
Global President: George Zhao
Huawei is a well-known name in China, its userbase is wide and spread across the country. The company is not limited to smartphones but also includes smartphones, tablet computers, and wearable technology in the Honor series of mobile computing devices. The company began its international expansion in 2014 and entered the Indian market in June 2015. According to the report by Recode in August 2016, Honor has sold 60 million Honor products, generating over $8.4 billion in revenue which was a milestone for the company.
The company also gained recognition by earning “best of CES 2017” awards from several technology publications such as Android Authority, Digital Trends, Slash Gear, and Talk Android after the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2017. The XDA developers labelled the Huawei supercharge has the best charging rate.
Parent Company: Oppo
Special Features: Stylish Design
President: Sky Li
While Oppo had already established its presence in India, the company officially introduced a sub-brand on May 4, 2018. Realme, later separated from Oppo and it is now led by Sky Li. Realme started by launching its device, Realme 1 in India, as the company now targets to expand on a global scale. Realme 1 offered impressive features at a competitive price which resulted in a sale of more than 400,000 units in the first 30 days on Amazon India exclusively. The successor of Realme 1 was also a hit as it was the cheapest smartphone with the much-reputed notch and special features such as Smart Lock, Face Unlock and a fingerprint sensor. Realme 2 was a true success as 200,000 units were sold in 5 minutes on Flipkart exclusively.
Parent Company: Xiaomi
Special Features: Snapdragon 845
Global Head: Alvin Tse
One might not understand the idea of a big brand like Xiaomi launching a sub-brands, but the Global head had a clear vision about it. The Poco team had a simple reason to do, and it was, to do something different. What the company envisioned is exactly what they offered. It is touted as the killer of flagship killer, which is none other than the Oneplus. Poco has traced the steps of Oneplus and also given the Oneplus a tough competition at the same time. The Poco f1 had packed all the premium features including the Snapdragon 845, a 4000 mAh battery, liquid cooling at an absurd price. Poco F1 phones are sold via Mi.com in India, and the company uses Xiaomi’s service centres as well, which cuts back a huge amount of costs. The cost is aided to maintain the competitive price of the smartphone. After the launch of the Poco F1, the company sold smartphones worth over Rs 200 crore in just five minutes. The sub-brand conducted its first sale on August 29 for the Poco F1 on Flipkart and Mi.com, and it was the biggest and fastest sale on Flipkart.
Parent Brand: Micromax Yureka
President: Rahul Sharma
The Indian company Micromax was a hit when the Indian smartphone market was at a primitive stage. But down the line, the company was not able to procure its status in the industry. In 2015, Yu introduced its first smartphone in India exclusively on Amazon. The company had launched two smartphones in coming years, but it did not sustain well against the Chinese brands which offered better specs at a cheaper price. In 2018, Micromax has attempted to revive its status in the smartphone market with its new device, Micromax Yu Ace. The device offers 4000mAH battery, which is the biggest battery against all the competitors including Xiaomi Redmi 5A, 10.or D2 and Infinix Smart 2. But will the new device win the attention of the customers, that only time will tell!
Forever And A Day?
The companies are smartly investing to fulfil the requirements to stay at the top of the market. Not to forget, the intricate marketing strategies which are targeted at the different demographics. The competition is cut-throat, and there are many more entering with the something new all the time. We cannot predict the lifespan of the dominance of the Chinese Brands, but with most of them collaborating with Make In India program to reduce the import cost, they are determined about leading the marketing. They are surely meant to be around for a long time but, the competition has resulted in an impulsive userbase which is ready to jump from one brand to another if their expectations are not fulfilled. Though, we as smartphone users, can make the most of the competition and enjoy the tag of “Customer is the King”
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