HomeNewsBeginning of the end of the feature phone: TMI survey

Beginning of the end of the feature phone: TMI survey

Among the top 25 most searched handsets, a whopping 21 models are smartphones.

There seems to be a growing interest and awareness among Indian consumers about smartphones, the Handset Hotlist survey (May, 2012) suggests. In the survey, brought out by The Mobile Indian (www.themobileindian.com), 21 of the 25 handsets that made it to the list are smartphones.

Almost every month, two smartphones are being launched in India and one of them is usually an entry level or mid-level phone. Notably, today smartphones are available in the market for as low as Rs 3,000 and they offer better utility than feature phones.

Before we proceed further, let us clarify the distinction between smartphones and feature phones. Smartphones provide a great user experience for fun, entertainment and games, but multiple, efficient modes of communication are their true potential.

Smartphones run on third party or proprietary operating systems such as Android, Windows Phone, Symbian, iOS, Bada, MeeGo, and BlackBerry operating systems. They are also defined by their ability to run third party software known as applications or apps, which are available at stores such as Ovi, Android Market Place and iTunes.

Also, smartphones show higher application use than feature phones even at the entry level. Push email, calendar syncing and document editing are other essentials that are supported in this category of phone.

Feature phones, on the other hand, are a midway point between smartphones and basic phones. They usually have a limited proprietary operating system such as Brew or Java, and not all feature phones support third party apps.

While email is usually an included feature, push email is often non-existent in feature phones. Calendar syncing is often a problem, as is document editing. However, feature phones are keenly focused on multimedia and texting, and almost all feature phones support GPS, HTML browsers, and 3G networks. A lot of feature phones also have popular social networking abilities such as Twitter and Facebook.

Also, feature-focused phones are developed with a specific type of capability or purpose such as multimedia or music; whereas smartphones offer a broader range of features without heavily focusing on any specific purpose.

Little wonder that smartphones are becoming a standard among mobile phone buyers. Also, this month, there was not much price correction in the handsets that made it to the Handset Hotlist, except Sony Xperia Arc S, which saw a drop in price from Rs 28,000 to Rs 25,000.

In this month’s survey, the Nokia C5-03 maintained its No. 1 position consecutively for the eighth month, while its stable mate, Nokia C6 bagged the second spot for the third consecutive month.

According to The Handset Hotlist for May, 2012, Samsung has widened the gap over Nokia when it comes to the desirability of handsets. As compared to last month’s Handset Hotlist, where the gap was of just one handset, this month 11 Samsung models figure in the Hotlist, as against only six from Nokia, which has dominated the list since it was introduced in June, 2011.

Sony Ericsson has three models this month; Micromax two; and Apple, BlackBerry and HTC have one each. Interestingly, BlackBerry has for the first time made it to the survey with the BlackBerry Curve 9380.

Commenting on the survey, a spokesperson of The Mobile Indian says, “For the first time in the last 12 months, a BlackBerry handset has made it to the list. This reflects the changing perception among users about BlackBerry, which was perceived as a business smartphone till a year back, rather than a phone for the masses.”

The spokesperson further adds, “So far Samsung has launched 25 handsets in the Galaxy series in India and of them, seven have made it to the Handset Hotlist – four entry level; two mid range; and one above Rs 30,000.”

The Handset Hotlist survey (May 2012) is based on a study of online preferences of about one million people who visited the website in April 2012 and searched for and viewed information about mobiles on the site’s Handset section, which lists more than 2,000 models.
Untitled Document

Top 25 Handset Hotlist for April 2012

Rank April Rank March Change Brand Model Price (in Rs)
1 1 0 Nokia Nokia C5 03 8500
2 2 0 Nokia Nokia C6 11000
3 4 1 Samsung Samsung Galaxy Y S5360 7050
4 5 1 Samsung Samsung Galaxy Y Duos 8990
5 3 -2 Samsung Samsung Wave Y S5380 6930
6 6 0 Samsung Samsung Galaxy SL I9003 17450
7 na new Samsung Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus 15500
8 7 -1 Samsung Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830 12800
9 na new Samsung Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos 12790
10 8 -2 Samsung Samsung Galaxy Note 31750
11 11 0 Sony Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S 25000
12 12 0 Samsung Samsung Star 3 Duos 6290
13 10 -3 Micromax Micromax Superfone A73 7300
14 15 1 Apple Apple iPhone 4S 40500
15 14 -1 Nokia Nokia C2 06 4424
16 na new HTC HTC One V 17435
17 9 -8 Nokia Nokia Asha 300 6150
18 na new Nokia Nokia Asha 302 6027
19 na new Nokia Nokia Lumia 800 24000
20 24 4 Sony Sony Ericsson W8 9100
21 20 -1 Sony Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo V 17400
22 22 0 Micromax Micromax Superfone A78 7750
23 na new Samsung Samsung Wave 3 S8600 14700
24 na new BlackBerry BlackBerry Curve 9380 19620
25 18 -7 Samsung Samsung Champ Deluxe Duo2 C3312 4790


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