Vagadia said that despite the stress on the Indian telecom sector, the handset market has grown last year in India and is slated to grow just below 10% in calendar 2020 too. “Economies of scale are helping brands that are driving volumes, which is helping the market,” he said.
In an interview with Danish Khan, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau said the industry turmoil over India’s recent cut in export sops is a short-term hurdle for the company.
Xiaomi and Samsung increased their respective market shares after the festive season from September till November 2019, while BBK Electronics-led Realme became the only brand which lost significant market share for the same period, according to IDC data.
Bharti Infratel, Indus Towers and American Tower Corp (ATC) are bracing for a possible hit on their tower tenancies, because of the financial strain on customers Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea from the thousands of crores they need to pay the government.
Under the new strategy, Xiaomi, which has so far focussed mainly on the affordable segment to become India’s top smartphone brand, will launch a number of premium phones under the Mi brand. Besides, it will expand the smart TV range with big-screen premium products. The company may also look at launching its concept phone, Mi Max Alpha, in India and elsewhere.
Both Vodafone Idea and Airtel have submitted their applications with Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei and ZTE, while Reliance Jio has submitted an application for trial with Korea’s Samsung, which is also the sole gear vendor for its pan-India 4G network. State-run telco BSNL, on the other hand, has submitted the application with ZTE only for trials.
Xiaomi, Realme and Samsung, which play both in the online and offline space, haven’t been able to clear inventory of old models in the October-December quarter while they continue launching new devices, industry watchers said. They added that Vivo and Oppo, who play mainly in the offline segment, also face similar issues but to a lesser extent.
“There is a lot of documentation and details required to be submitted to DoT, which is not possible by January 10,” said a senior executive, who did not wish to be identified. The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) will write to DoT this week, said the executive.
Handset brands and third-party manufacturers are putting investments and hiring plans on hold following a sudden reduction in duty credit scrips under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) to 2%, from 4%.
Reliance Jio has rolled out voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) calling service for its subscribers in multiple circles, including Delhi-NCR and Chennai, following a limited launch by Airtel in December 2019.
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