Here is an idea for smaller operators like Tata, Idea and Aircel to churn high-ARPU customers away from the biggies.

Most the high-ARPU customers are with the biggies like Airtel, Vodafone etc., because these operators were early in the game and anyone who could afford a mobile phone three years ago should either be from a higher SEC segment or enterprise users.

Recent introduction of dual SIM phones in the market triggered this idea.
Here’s the proposition:

  • Offer a dual-SIM phone which has high end features like music/video player, multi-megapixel camera, bluetooth, 3G etc. to existing customers of rival operators.
  • If possible, subsidise its cost or make it a free trial for a limited period
  • Offer a special plan which has lower call/sms rates
  • The user of Dual-SIM phone will become accustomed to his new phone
  • He will slowly start making calls from the new operator because its cheaper
  • The usage will of new operator’s service will increase with a corresponding decrease in dependence on the old operator

Assuming that the value and service being offered by the new operator is indeed better than the old one, it at least gives a chance to the new operator and a convenient option to user who is fed up of his current operator without loosing his old number.

Also Read: Dual SIM phones ringing at last

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Microsoft’s Windows Mobile has recorded sales of 100,000 units in 15 months of its launch in India.

Sumeet Gugnani, Director Mobile Communications Business, Microsoft India says the company is aiming to touch the 2 lakh figure by end of fiscal 2008.

This April 2007 post on MobilePundit puts the number of Windows Mobile devices sold in India at 50,000.

Windows Mobiles offers portfolio from Smartphone device manufacturers like HTC, HP (iPAQ), Imate, O2 and Motorola, with close to 35 models (including 20+ Touchscreen phones) at prices starting from Rs 11,990.

Phones

Urpo Karjalainen, head of Nokia’s Asia-Pacific business, tells Reuters that barriers to entry for rivals are high in India.

“In India there are today about 93,000 retail outlets. It’s a huge amount, and our phones are being sold in every single one,” Karjalainen said on the sidelines of an industry event, adding that rivals don’t sell phones in even half those outlets…

Karjalainen said building a presence in India on a similar scale would demand significant spending by competitors.

Nokia is watchful of the organised retail boom in India.

The rise of chains in a country dominated by small retailers would make it easier for rivals to build their presence.

A big retail presence is crucial in Asia, where more than 70 percent of consumers decide which phone to buy at the point of sale, he said. In Europe and the United States, customers often get their cellphone from their carrier.

According to this article, Nokia has a market share of about 50%. I think Reuters is being conservative in estimating Nokia’s Indian market share. Nokia may have a market share upwards of 70% in India. India is Nokia’s third largest market by volume.

Also, Nokia expects 300 million new cellphone users in India by 2010. Thats again a conservative projection. But coming from Nokia it needs to be taken seriously, in spite of government target of 500 million by 2010.

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According to ORG-GFK figures, Nokia has seen a dip in its Indian market share in the last one year.

Nokia’s market share in the GSM handset market in terms of units sold has come off its highs at 78-80% in end December 2005 to around 70% at the end of December 2006.

In the same period, Motorola has gained from 5% to 15% while Sony Ericsson has gained to around 8%.

Motorola, which was down at almost 2% market share in August-September 05, has grown almost 10 times since then on a very small base.

Sources said Nokia sales boomed in the first half of 2006 and it gained market share. The subsequent dip in market share may not be a huge worry for Nokia as its own volumes have grown at a healthy rate and it may stay away from competing at unprofitable prices. Industry watchers predict that Nokia market share may stabilise at around 70-72 %.

Last year, Nokia launched 33 models, Motorola launched 18 models and Sony Ericsson 17 models. The remaining players launched close to 53 models.

Credible numbers about the Indian handset market are difficult to get. Detractors raise question regarding the methodology employed. I have heard objections which say that many reports are skewed because they rely on sales data from the top 50 centres which does not represent the rural market. But the numbers are indicative anyways.

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ET article quotes a telecom report from Citigroup on Indian handset market in 2007.

Mobile handset sales, including new users and replacements, in India will increase by 26% to 9.3 crore (93 million) units in 2007.

Total handset unit sales in India is estimated to more than double to 7.4 crore in 2006, from 3.1 crore units in 2005, while total shipments stood at just 20 lakh units in 2001.

Asia will drive the global growth in handset sales as units will rise 14 per cent to 36.7 crore in 2007 and reach 35 per cent of the world market,
Analysts said that a 14 per cent growth in Asia would be primarily driven by India, “as combination of subscriber growth and replacements continue to drive perhaps the best unit growth globally.”

Citigroup expects the worldwide handset shipments to rise 7% to 103.9 crore in 2007, after a 19% growth in 2006 to 96.8 crore units.

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Latest Technology Walla post is on latest handsets released by Nokia in India which have Wi-fi connectivity.

Although the longer term implications for it are many, in the short term it can impact the enterprise users of mobility.

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World’s No. 5 handset maker Sony Ericsson has announced that second-quarter earnings almost doubled, in large part due to continued strong sales of its popular Walkman music phones.

It said that net profit rose 91% to $182 million, up from $94.7 million in the same period in 2005. Quarterly sales grew 41% to $2.29 billion from $2 billion a year earlier.

“In total we have now sold 10 million Walkman-branded phones since launch,

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A few months back Mobile Pundit had covered the story of a Swadeshi ultra low cost handset invented at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. Now we have a video so that you can see how it looks.

It has just three buttons and the user can receive or make calls from the three pre-assigned numbers. What is different from other phones for kids like the Firefly and Migo, is that it has no SIM card and has to be networked to a main mobile phone which prevents misuse in case it is stolen.

Source: New Launches

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Chinese home appliances and handset maker Haier is aiming for a sales of 5 million handsets and revenues of $300 million from the sale of mobile handsets in India over the next 18-24 months and then consider setting up a plant.

Other Chinese handset makers like Bird and TCL haven’t been able to make their mark in India. But Haier is concentrating on the CDMA segment to begin with. It has tied up with Tata Teleservices for its launch of CDMA handsets and introduced a new range of both CDMA and GSM mobile phones in a price range of Rs 2,000 to Rs 20,000.

India will add about 55 million handsets in 2006, up 71% from last year.

Source: ET

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