Smartphone sales in India have slowed significantly as only one in five mobile users now own a device or access the internet mainly due to lack of localization and regional language support, says a report.
The Indian smartphone market grew 15% year on year (YoY) in the quarter ended June, sharply lower from the 23% growth seen in the previous quarter and from 34% in the second quarter of 2015, according to Hong Kong-based market research firm Counterpoint Technologies.
“This has been mainly due to lack of localization and multi-lingual support in today’s mass market phones,” said Analyst at Counterpoint, Pavel Naiya.
“In light of this, since last 12 months domestic brands such as Micromax, Karbonn, Lava and so forth have launched devices with deeper integration and customization to support multiple native languages in effort to rope in the next half a billion users who do not speak, read or write in English or Hindi as their first languages,” he added.
Many others in the industry believe price continues to be a barrier to wider adoption of smartphones, whose shipments were at around 44%, still lower than those of feature or basic phones in the second quarter.
Smartphones’ shipment share was lower than 45% in the January-March quarter.
Korean giant Samsung maintained its lead in the country’s smartphone market where growth was driven by Chinese vendors that ate into the pie of established players, according to Counterpoint.
Its study showed that Chinese smartphone vendors such as Lenovo, Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and LeEco together captured almost 27% share of the smartphone market in the second quarter, with shipments of Chinese brands surging 80% a year.