Guest Column: Changing buying preferences of smartphone customers: Sunil Raina, Xolo Phones

The biggest catalyst in the technological innovation of smartphones has been the change in buyer preferences

by Sunil Raina
Published - Mar 10, 2018 9:00 AM Updated: Mar 10, 2018 9:00 AM

The mobile smartphone industry has evolved extensively in last five years. Since 1995, when mobile phones were first introduced in the India market, we have witnessed a paradigm shift in its usage. With the onset of the 21st century, there have been mounting evidences which highlight with every year technology has advanced, customer expectations have developed manifold, and the toy has undergone massive changes in its offerings.

This generation of smartphone users is exposed to a digitally driven world since infancy which instills better product understanding and higher demands. Phones are no longer considered just a device to communicate but have become an integral part of a daily lifestyle. The socio-economic effect of an affordable 4G network has not only fueled the growth of the smartphone industry but has paved ways to specific requirements of this age smartphone users.

The youth today is extremely self-oriented, they believe in sharing and showcasing. It will not be wrong to call the youth of this generation as Gen Me. They are confident, connected and clear in their demands. They are intertwined with the global village through social media which puts them self-conscious. The smartphone makers today must cater to this need. Selfie is one category which is a product of the demands of GenMe! 

With the coming of the internet, followed by social media technology came in the fore front to engine our daily life order. In order, to understand this changing buying pattern we will first have to understand how consumers have evolved over the years. Today’s smartphone consumers can broadly be divided in 3 generations - Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Me.

Generation X, the age cohort born before the 1980s are fond of stability and security. Generation Y, or Millennials, are those born between 1984 and 1996. Millennials are more creative and collaborative than Gen X. Generation Me are those who are born after 1997. This generation wants things faster than before and has been a major contributor to the growth of the smartphone industry.

For Gen Me,smartphones are an integral part of their lifestyle and not a source of entertainment. It is thus vital for brands to understand their content consumption patterns. Surveys and findings reveal selfie is an important feature Gen Me’ers look for in smartphones. Gen Me has a strong sense of ‘self’. They spend a major part of their regular day on social media platforms. Thus, Gen Me identifies it as their best buddy; there is an emotional connection. They thus look for a device which meets their style quotient and daily needs.

The expanding 4G infrastructure and low rates of 4G data services across the country have accelerated the growth of smartphones, but the biggest catalyst in the technological innovation of smartphones has been the change in buyer preferences. A decade back there were around 4-5 key players dominating the smartphone market in India. 
Today, there are about 300 million smartphone users in the country, with more than 100 smartphone brands catering to a variety of customer segments. As per the report of analyst firm Canalys, the smartphone industry in India stands as the second largest market, beating the United States in 2017. India shows extensive growth potential for industry players but to be able to maintain business growth it is vital to understand consumer requirements.

Technological innovation and infrastructural development will further fuel the growth of smartphone industry in the country. Keeping in mind the size of mobile users in India and the growing digital infrastructure, the companies have room to expand. However, success is directly co-related to your understanding of buyer preferences. 
(The author is the Business Head, Xolo Phones)
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of

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