Bio: Jayanth has donned many hats including those of a technocrat, product marketer, analyst and a management consultant during his decade long career in the Indian Telecom Industry. He is passionate about this industry and the vast potential of telecom in India, both for consumers and businesses. Through this blog, Jayanth comments upon the latest regulatory, technology and business model trends in the telecom industry.
Posts by convergencejk:
In the recent years, the availability and easy access to Android operating system, and reducing costs of various components (such as display, memory, battery, etc.) have been driving the cost of smartphones down. We expect 2013 to be the year in which the competition among various smartphone chipset players to drive wider adoption of smartphones, primarily in emerging markets.
With a surge in interest from nearly the entire mobile industry (save a few established 3G/LTE giants) in seamless Wi-Fi offload, has the time come for India? In many ways India is nothing less than the textbook case for Wi-Fi: Very high subscriber density in the cities, a presumed pent-up demand for data connectivity, and very little 3G spectrum to work with.
Convergence Catalyst is glad to announce its partnership with Hetting Consulting. Hetting Consulting works with leading global wireless carriers, network equipment vendors and industry bodies on various cutting edge assignments pertaining to Wireless Technologies Evolution. This partnership will further strengthen the Technology Consulting Practice of Convergence Catalyst. Together, we intend to focus on Wireless Spectrum Planning, Management & Evaluation and WiFi Data Offloading domains in India and other Emerging Markets.
2012 Smartphone Year in Review:
The smartphones sales in India grew over 100% (year-on-year) in 2012 to reach 20 to 22 million units. For the first time, monthly sales crossed 2 million units in Q4 and smartphones breached the USD 75 price in the same quarter. Currently in India, almost all the mobile devices available over USD 150 are smartphones.
Voice revenues of mobile carriers in emerging markets have been stagnant for a few years, while there has been a slow, but but steady increase in VAS revenues. A look at the mobile carriers’ revenues of the emerging markets reflects that Russia and South Africa are the only markets where the voice revenues have grown (marginally by ~4%) in 2011. Rest of the markets’ voice revenues contribution to the total revenue has either experienced a downward trend or remained flat, with VAS revenues making up for the drop in voice services revenues (in some cases).
VAS as a percentage of the total revenues is close to 10% in India (lesser than all the countries discussed below, except Indonesia) while it is 28% in China & Mexico, 23% in Russia, 20% in Thailand, 18% in Brazil & South Africa and 8% in Indonesia. Read the rest of this entry “
The average monthly sales of tablets in India have trebled since Q4, 2011. This is primarily due to the increasing number of low-end (sub $200) device models being launched by Indian OEMs, enabled by both hardware commoditization (driven by China/Taiwan based suppliers & ODMs) and OS availability (most of these devices run on Google’s Android OS).
Source: Convergence Catalyst Estimates
China and India are the world’s biggest mobile markets with 1.05 billion and 934 million subscribers respectively. At the end of 2011, the smartphones installed base in both these markets was less than 100 million (over 90 million in China and 24 million in India).
However, while China added close to 75 million smartphones in the first half this year, India could manage only a fraction of that number. While China (surpassing US in Q1, 2012) is currently the world’s biggest smartphone market, India is yet gain momentum in the smartphones space.
Yesterday, I was reading an article on an Indian business blog where the author presented some interesting scenarios and a compelling argument for Nokia’s turnaround, based on their smartphone devices and OS strategy. He presented the fact that Nokia currently has options of Windows 8, Boot2Gecko, Meego, Tizen and even Android operating systems to move to and the article also identified the key strengths of each platform option.
However, the author did not consider a third, key dimension, which would lend significantly to the growth/success of a smartphone ecosystem – Apps. As I kept thinking, I realized that Nokia’s turnaround in the smartphone space would be much more complicated than the two-dimensional approach that was presented. There exist many convoluted product development, business dynamics, strategic and ecosystem development issues that need to be considered.
There are close to 10,000 companies developing mobile applications in India. Together, they employ over 250,000 developers. Most of the mobile app development work carried out by Indian developers is limited to product development (software coding) and validation (testing) and does not include app ideation, conceptualization or UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience) development.
Branded mobile application stores (app stores) by both device OEMs and carriers have existed in India for a while, and continue to be launched. Nokia launched its ‘Ovi store’ in 2009 (later rebranded as ‘Nokia Store), Airtel has its ‘App Central’, Aircel launched ‘PocketApps’ in 2010, and recently Idea launched ‘App Mall’ and Vodafone its ‘VStore’. However, these stores failed to garner significant adoption primarily due to device fragmentation (India being predominantly a featurephone market), inconsistent experience and ineffective communication/marketing campaigns.