Academic journal article IUP Journal of Marketing Management

Consumer Preference towards Smartphone Brands, with Special Reference to Android Operating System

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Marketing Management

Consumer Preference towards Smartphone Brands, with Special Reference to Android Operating System

Article excerpt


Smartphone is a mobile phone that is able to perform many functions of a computer, typically having a relatively large screen and an Operating System (OS) capable of running general applications (Oxford Dictionary, 2012). A smartphone is a mobile phone which has got advance capabilities beyond short messaging service and making calls. Displaying photos, playing videos, checking and sending e-mails, and surfing the Web are some of the functionalities of a smartphone. Though used by businessmen, smartphones have now become a common choice. Advancements in technology have made modern smartphones cheaper, slimmer and smaller than earlier devices. Also, users can now choose from a wider range of smartphones than before. While Blackberry, Apple and Nokia controlled the smartphone market for several years, other manufacturers like HTC, Sony, Lenovo, LG and Samsung, etc. are also present in the market with a large variety of smartphone options. Increased availability of smartphones has led to a resultant decline in the usage of standard Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), which do not include phone capabilities. India is the second largest mobile handset market in the world (after China), and is poised to become an even larger market. Revenues of the Indian mobile handset market grew by 15% to touch US$6.75 bn in 2010-11 from US$5.88 bn a year back (IS Advisors, 2012). In the next five years, the revenue share of smartphones in the mobile handset market is expected to rise steadily, as an increasing number of participants are targeting this space for higher margins. This trend is likely to persist, as numerous handset manufacturers are strategizing to deploy more smartphone models in their portfolio (Frost and Sullivan, 2011). The urban markets matured in terms of feature phone usage, and numerous mobile users in this demographic are looking to upgrade to a smartphone. This replacement market will be predominantly populated by the younger demographic, who are early adopters of technology, and this could see the market revenues soar from ^255.91 bn in 2010 to ?350.05 bn in 2016 (Frost and Sullivan, 2011). One of the most important factors while going for a smartphone is its OS, which helps in running the operations and applications on the smartphone. Historically, Symbian was the first modern operating system that was launched by Ericsson, but later on many competitors started emerging, namely Blackberry, iOS and Android. Android soon captured the major market share in OS. The reasons for its success were its open source nature, its availability at low-cost and the availability of varities in smartphone hardware and brands. Android smartphones are manufactured by HTC, Motorola, Samsung and LG, among others.

Literature Review

The recent trends in smartphone use and the features of OS that a consumer considers before buying a smartphone have been discussed in literature.

Consumer Trend for Smartphone

People are now shifting from basic mobile technology to smartphone technology which has the capability to carry out functions similar to a PC. Various studies support this relevance. Hakoama and Hakoyama (2011) studied the users' information needs, innovative features and applications which are continuously being added to mobile phones to make them perform many more new functions. Consequently, mobile phone which is essentially a communication device has undergone numerous transformations, making its functionalities transcend the traditional voice communication between two individuals. Singh and Goyal (2009) observed that there is a variation in the importance given by different age and gender groups to select factors while buying mobile handsets in India. It was found that users aged between 18 and 30 years are less price-sensitive than consumers of other groups; rather they consider 'physical appearance', 'brand', 'value-added features', and 'core-technical features' more important than others. The mature consumers, on the other hand, are more price-sensitive. …

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