Can India’s Smartphone Prices Withstand Budget Surge?

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Affordable 5G handset influx halts price surge in India. IDC reports flat $263 ASP, driven by 22% rise in mass budget phone shipments. 

In the quarter ending March the influx of budget friendly 5G smartphones in India arrested the rising trend in average smartphone prices. The Average Selling Price (ASP) remains steady at approximately Rs. 195,500, showcasing a revival in the Rs.7,000-14,000 mass budget segment fueled by 22% year-on-year shipments. 

The introduction of new 5G models from Vivo, Xiaomi, and Samsung propelled growth in this segment. While the Rs. 15,000- 23,000 price range saw a 60% annual surge. Despite the expansion of super premium smartphones, average selling prices remained flat at around Rs. 22,300 influenced by the influx of affordable 5G handsets flooding the market in late 2023. 

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The latest data from market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) India reveals that the average selling price of handsets remains steady at $263. This price indicates the amount buyers are spending for phones on average. The flat curve in handset prices was a break from the past when double-digit rise in average selling prices were recorded over the past 12 quarters driven by demand for higher-priced handsets.

Senior Research Manager at IDC India, Upasana Joshi notes a significant shift in the mass budget segment of $100-200 which had been declining but is now experiencing a revival in the beginning of 2024 with affordable 5G offerings and is expected to either remain flat or grow in coming quarters.

Samsung India’s Senior Vice President of Mobile Business, Raju Pullan emphasized the company’s focus on driving volumes, and identifying those segments where the opportunity of upgradation is the biggest. He also adds by saying that Samsung plans to strengthen its portfolio with both 4G and entry-level 5G devices to cater to the diverse market demands.

The rise in mass budget phone shipments, by 22% year-on-year, is largely credited for the flat average selling price in the January-March quarter. The expansion of 5G services by Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio and the launch of 5G have also played a significant role in triggering the growth in the budget segment.

IDC India data also indicates a stark rise in the super-premium segment, with shipments experiencing a significant 47.6% increase compared to the same quarter in 2023, reaching 31 Lakh.

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