When the mobile phone revolution hit our shores, it was dominated by European and American companies, such as Nokia from Finland, Siemens from Germany, Motorola from the US and so on. Then of course we entered the world of smartphones in 2007. Android smartphones came along soon after, and the perception of what we can do with our phones changed forever.
Still, the influx of smartphones in International arena was a distant thing for most Indians at that time. Partly due to a lack on India specific launches and mostly due to the very high prices those phones were being sold for. It was 2010, when prices of quality Android smartphones started normalizing a little (yet, a smartphone remained outside the purchasing power of most Indian consumers).
By then India was emerging as a huge market for global smartphone makers due to its relatively young population and increasing spending potential. That is when the Chinese launched their bids in the Indian phone market.
The launch of Chinese smartphones in India disturbed the power balance for the European and American brands. Cheaper and feature rich but not so reliable Chinese phones captured the budget segment of Indian smartphone market in no time. Given a taste of the smartphone pie by cheap Chinese Android powered phones, Indian customers soon started looking for a more niche experience. This prompted the rise of another set of challengers in the Indian phone market – Indian Mobile Phone Companies.
Launched in a bid to stop the flow of cheaper Chinese products, Indian smartphones have marked some major victories over the years. The fact that India was finally making smartphones of its own resonated with the public, initially driving the sales for Indian phone manufacturers.
After a while though, many Indian smartphone companies started facing the same issues as their Chinese forebears – quality. The product quality and features of Indian made phones were foreshadowed by their continental rivals. Indian consumers looking for quality were once again forced to look towards more pricier options in the market. That’s when one Indian mobile company took up the task of delivering quality user experience and challenging the foreign phone companies.
Lava Mobiles was incorporated in 2009. The company was already making headlines with the unique and bold designs of its smartphones when the Android space opened up for Indian smartphone companies. Unlike other Indian mobile phone companies, Lava decided to pursue a different course, building its heritage on quality products and stellar after sales support. The company’s initial focus on R&D and establishing a reliable network of sales and support paid off when it became India’s 4th largest mobile phone brand. Today, Lava Mobiles have more than 10% of market share in the highly competitive Indian smartphone market.
In recent years, competition in the mid-segment smartphone industry has gone up tremendously, with many new foreign players joining the fray. But Indian smartphone companies like Lava have also geared up for the competition by launching a number of premium mid-segment Android smartphones and mobile computing devices. The Indian mobile phone market remains a lucrative spot for both domestic and global phone manufacturers, for the foreseeable future.