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G'Five overtakes Samsung in India: What does this mean for your favorite mobile OS?

With a market share of 31.5 percent, Nokia is still the largest vendor of handsets in the Indian market, followed by Chinese brand G’Five with about 10 percent share, IDC said on Wednesday.

via PCWorld.

No, I haven’t heard of G’Five either. The article goes on to say that there are 68 new vendors in the market accounting for 41% of total shipments. There were only five new vendors with a share of 1% in the first quarter of 2008.

It was not long ago that Nokia held over 70% of the Indian market. That market is now larger but the share for Nokia has dropped by half at least. The share was not lost to Samsung but to 63 new entrants. They managed to capture 40% of the market, roughly equal to what Nokia lost.

These new vendors will launch Android phones next year or the year after that. According to IDC, Android obtained 9.4% in the third quarter up from 2.9% y/y. The number of Android models went from 2 to 19 in the same time frame.

What does this mean for Your favorite mobile OS?

I’m sure many will use the Indian example as evidence of the inevitable ubiquity of Android. However, I would note that data networks are still very sparse in India and 3G has not reached a level of penetration that makes mobile broadband a common experience [citation needed].

The funny thing is that this lack of connectivity is not likely to be an obstacle to Android as it wasn’t an obstacle to Symbian in the pre-3G era in Europe. More than half of Nokia’s smartphones were selling without data plans in Europe well into 2009. Nearly all were selling without data in Africa, Middle East and India. Smartphones without data plans are just high end feature phones. They can be used for picture/video taking, listening to music/video, FM radio and, if they have a keyboard, for more productive text messaging. In emerging markets dual SIMs, FM radio and removable storage are killer features. Mobile browsing isn’t.

A lack of broadband is however an obstacle to the iPhone. Here’s why:

With the exception of those seeking “luxury” phones (a very small minority), the iPhone is too expensive in markets without subsidy. That’s because the price Apple sets is very high (€630 or well over $800 at retail). This is not entirely because the product is inherently more expensive. Much of that extra cost is margin for Apple. What makes it popular is that much of that extra cost is paid by the operator who accounts for it as a subsidy. Don’t pity the operator though. That subsidy is there for a reason: because the product entices users to data-oriented consumption at a higher monthly service fee.

The entire business model for the iPhone is to wrap a high-ARPU mobile broadband service plan with shiny metal and glass.

Put another way, an iPhone without a broadband connection is just a voice phone with an integrated iPod touch. You’re better off getting a cheap phone and an iPod, or maybe an Android or Nokia phone.

When the iPhone 3G launched in India in 2008 with a price near $1000 it flopped. Many were quick to note that Apple did not understand the market. However few pointed out that the “3G” in the product’s name was not just a marketing ploy. It was its Raison d’être.

To study the impact of iPhone in emerging markets you need to first plot out the penetration of mobile broadband.

  • http://twitter.com/judsontwit @judsontwit

    Your citation on lack of India 3G infrastructure could be Mike Lazaridis. :)

    I don't see how lack of 3G on an iPhone is more of a disadvantage than lack of 3G on a comparable Android phone. Assuming Apple wanting to compete in a 2G market with a line of "iPod touch phones".

    But I think here you are drawing a distinction between the actual 3G functionality of the iPhone, and how ubiquitous 3G encourages uptake of the iPhone product line itself. But considering the experience and the pricing point are intertangled (unlike Android phones), it makes sense to conflate the two.

  • http://twitter.com/dutchtender @dutchtender

    Android is the new feature phone. it's also the "new" IOS and wp7 and symbian. Iow, android is going to be lots of different things. that's good for google. and bad for companies that "do it all" like rimm and nok. every market needs a Mercedes/Prada and that is what apple is in handheld devices. they will be fine. just fine.

    • asymco

      I'll be looking at the numbers a bit more closely soon, but my estimate is that iOS will have half a billion users pretty soon. That's not a niche by any stretch. Rather than relegating Apple to luxury positioning, I think of them as "premium" brand. A Target vs WalMart. An Audi vs. VW rather than a Mercedes vs. Toyota.

      • http://twitter.com/dutchtender @dutchtender

        I think we will see soon how apple plans to address mobile markets in 2011. will they let anroid "run" or will they have an answer for $100 smart phones? if the choose to cede the low and middle market in phones then I do believe they will be marginalized. Still a great business but not lots of share WW. I realize that ios has a lot of users. but they are segmented 3 ways right now. Tab, phone, and mini tablet. I think it remains to be seen where Apple will be positioned in three years. But I do see your point as a good one.

      • simon

        I don't think Apple wants to go anywhere near the $100 smartphone market just as they resisted going into the netbook market with their own $300-500 laptops.

        If you mean "marginalized" in terms of units sold, the iPhone already has been marginalized by other phones from the beginning because % of iPhone sold compared to the total number is very small already. The ultra cheap Android will be bought by people who cannot afford data plan but wants something that has more features than a standard "dumb phone" That is a completely different market than the one Apple is targeting.

        An iPhone and a $100 Android phone do not share the same market just as the existing $100 Nokia Symbian "smart" phones do not affect the iPhone sales. It does, however, truly "marginalize" the featurephones at that price point.

      • Steko

        It's only recenty that Toyota has used the Lexus brand in Japan and in Germany Mercedes is not just a luxury car company. I see Apple as something like these two and something like Andy Warhol's Coke that you, your mom and everyone up to the president can use.

        I think the interesting question is what happens when India's networks are mature as they are starting to. Will an ecosystem entirely based on free apps mean the customers who are flocking to android today can leave just as easily once mobile browsing does become the killer app in India?

        Same question applies globally I guess… is the guy who walked into Verizon in late 2009 and came out with a Droid (because that's what Verizon was pushing) going to buy another Android phone in 2011 when he goes back to the Verizon store and sees an iphone 5 in the window.

      • BenHill123

        I think you will find in Australia in which all carriers have iphone 4 and all carriers have android phones, android phone sales are increasing quite fast

        "Android-powered smartphones also saw very strong growth in Q3, collectively accounting for 21% of the smartphone market, up from 7.1% in Q2 and only 2.1% in Q1."
        http://www.idc.com/about/viewpressrelease.jsp?con

      • Steko

        "in which all carriers have iphone 4 … Q3"

        Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't the iphone have huge supply problems in Australia in July/August?

        I mean I think your point still holds it's not like Android is going to be only 5% of the market but it bears mentioning that if you walk into a vodaphone shop and they don't have iphones the salesguy is going to to try and make you walk out with a droid, galaxy or nokia.

      • BenHill123

        I guess even Android phones like HTC desire were in shortage due to amoled screen supply issues. I am not too sure though, was just following android related blogs
        Yeah the point you make is true, but wouldn't consumers with their mind set on iphone wait it out for just a month or so, rather than putting up with android phones ? so maybe in the average consumer's mind, there is no really big difference between iphones and android phones and the cheaper prices of android phones like xperia x10 mini, x8, wildfire etc might work to its advantage. I don't know just speculation.

    • http://twitter.com/johanejohansson @johanejohansson

      I disagree. Android is the new feature phone because it's perceived as high-value/low-cost. Symbian is low-value/low-cost; the old feature phone. iPhone is high-value/high-price and thus NOT the new feature phone.

  • r.d

    http://www.mydigitalfc.com/news/bharti-airtel-not

    2G is proliferating in India because of cheap 1RS calling. no contract. cheap phone.
    Cheap phone batteries last for long time.
    For 3G companies are having to go thru expensive gov. auction. So 3G tariff will be high like
    the US. I doubt Google will be selling ads to poor Indians.
    most will not be using Android like the US.
    When a typical Indian can rent pirated VCD at corner shop for few rupees for movies in theater. They are
    not crying for actual copyright content. same for music.

    Sure people will get it for status symbol. cachet will wear out.

    • dms

      Google may not be selling services to "poor Indians" as you say, but that doesn't mean Android won't make its way into the market. It is a free OS after all.

      There will be many flavors of Android, some with Google services, some without. In China and India, Android could very well thrive without any ad-revenue-stream for Google.

    • BenHill123

      yep Indian government shot itself in the foot, by asking for huge 3G license fees. This delays everything and restricts 3G only to upper and rich class people who will be able to afford to pay the huge monthly data costs, thus slowing down growth which could have been much faster with a more widespread penetration of 3G. As for google making money out of poor Indians, poor Africans etc, there are other ways ha ha, ads are not the only way.

  • Rob Scott

    iPhone prices in South Africa:

    iPhone 3GS 8GB = ZAR4 899.00
    iPhone 4 16GB = ZAR5 899.00 and
    iPhone 4 32GB = ZAR6 899.00

    Those prices include retail margin. And those prices are comparable with the best of HTC and Samsung. Blackberry and Nokia are obviously a lot cheaper but their phones are not comparable to the iPhones. I am not arguing that what you are saying is wrong, I am just saying get your price comparisons correct. South Africa obviously has more developed and wider 3G coverage than India for an example so the phone is popular because people can actually use it. I guess the only thing I take issue with is the unstated assumption that Apple will not change its product strategy, for an example by offering lower priced devices. I do not think its right to talk about the future without at least conceding that Apple might offer cheaper versions of the iPhone. If these Android (or whatever OS) devices are any good, why wouldn’t Apple offer their own version that is better at the same or similar prices? My assumption going into 2011 is that Apple will roll out other versions, cheaper versions of the iPhone like they did with the iPod. They have the iPod touch at $199, suggesting that they can offer an iPhone at $250 – $300. I think what we will see is Apple competing at these entry price points next year, but I guess we will know in 6 months.

    • r.d

      You forgetting that Indian iPhone has 100% import tax on electronic equipment.
      on top of that is 20% VAT.
      Only way Apple reduces that is by manufacturing it in Thailand.

      Brazil has the same problem.
      Apple is more then happy to have grey market iphones that it
      doesn't have to support.

    • BenHill123

      it is do with the margins, apple sells 10 million ipods which includes all sorts of cheap model to high end model at an ASP of around 200 dollars which comes to 10*200 ~ 2 Billion dollars, so something similar might happen to IPhone too if they introduce a 200 dollar model, the ASP might come down and to make up for that, they will have to sell more and play a volume game which I guess Apple detests. Will they introduce cheaper iphones that cannibalize their own models, they did it with ipod because that time they were recovering still, they were a smaller company and they were worried about cheap chinese manufacturers and microsoft, now they are making tons of money on each iphone and their share price is much much higer, what will happen to the shareprice if the iphone ASP comes down, share price might go down.

      • asymco

        I think you are reading a bit too much into what Apple "detests" or not. The company was established on the delivery of computing power to everyman. It was relegated to a high end slot due to disruptive forces later in its life. During the last decade the company has morphed back into a mass-market player and that is reflected in its financial performance. Consider that with the iPhone (or more precisely its iOS platform) Apple has all the strategic options still open. It can take the platform wherever it wants to go.

        My take is that Apple is consciously keeping the iPhone as a high priced product because the market is not "open" enough and distribution is constrained by orifices.

        Lastly, the share price is not likely to be a factor in their decision making.

      • BenHill123

        Apple is mass market only in ipod segment, in Iphone, in laptops, in PCs it is premier market, Ipad is too soon to tell, appleTV will never amount to much financially for Apple.

      • asymco

        I wish I had your confidence in predictions about Apple.

      • Eric

        You are assuming that Apple need to do a smaller iPhone (a smartphone) or nothing. But what about a reinvented feature phone. Instead of being based on iPhone/iPod touch, imagine it is based on the iPod nano. No third party application just the basic ones made by Apple. That phone could have a retail price of 200$ (it may be even less), but more interestingly, free with a contract. That way Apple do not cannibalize the iPhone sales, only the iPod nano ones, which they don't care as much.

      • BenHill123

        that would never fly I think, it is an interesting strategy though.

    • dchu220

      Hey Rob. Do you live out in South Africa?

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  • http://twitter.com/BrianSHall @BrianSHall

    Great observations re mobile broadband penetration.
    I think India will serve as the testing ground for much of what happens in the smartphone wars. Hope you keep writing about activities in this country.
    Any hope for Nokia?

    • asymco

      Nokia needs to reboot itself. As the mobile world grows to encompass computing there is still plenty of room for growth. Nokia should try to focus on emerging market services. Mobile payments, content and social media are open questions for a few billion people today.

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  • barryotoole

    I do think India is a testing ground for the rest of the developing world.

    I also think that rather than just having one older model of the iPhone available at a lower cost, Apple should have two successive older models at an even lesser price. For example, when the iPhone 5 comes out and is available for $199/299, the iPhone 4 should be available for $99/199 and the iPhone 3GS for $79.

    This will ensure a greater penetration of the iOS, and older iPhone models will serve the consumers in these countries well. They will also be more affordable and at that price point very competitive with Android and Symbian phones. Also, one has to keep in mind that most of the world lags in the state of cellular infrastructure; the 3G is just taking off in India like the 4G LTE is just beginning in the US.

    • BenHill123

      India will never have widespread 3G, expecting Indians to pay 30-50 dollars a month for data is too much, sure 5 to 10 million subscribers might be there, but thats about it. 5 or 10 million out of 500 million mobile subscribers. It is criminal really that govt of India is not facilitating more widespread adoption of 3G. Mobile voice and mobile 2g has been phenomenally good for India's growth.

    • dms

      As Horace has demonstrated several times, success or failure in one region doesn't necessarily say much for other regions. India and China are both huge markets that each have very unique market dynamics. And they're both massive enough to treat as individual markets. Analysts often like to lump the BRIC countries together but they are very different on many levels. Looking at just GDP per capita and population:

      Russia – $10,521 – 142 mil people)
      Brazil – $10,471 – 191 mil people)
      China – $4,283 – 1,341 mil people)
      India – $1,176 – 1,192 mil people

      • dchu220

        Exactly. It's why I think Android has a huge advantage as an OS in these countries. Manufacturers can remove features and focus on developing the features that the individual market demands while reducing the price point.

        I would expect popular Android phones to be different for each country.

  • BenHill123

    wrong analysis I think, mobile broadband is not the only thing, what about GPRS/Edge which is enough for simple browsing, what about wifi which can be had cheaply by getting a cable broadband and then buying a cheap wifi router from linksys or DLink or those chinese manufacturers like gigabyte

    Mobile browsing is increasing rapidly in India as per opera mini report for nov 2010
    http://www.opera.com/smw/2010/11/#in

    • asymco

      What exactly is wrong about the analysis? The conclusion I came to is that the iPhone is constrained in India because the business model depends on transitioning users to the high ARPU associated with 3G data plans. Furthermore, this is not a constraint for Android because Android devices are perfectly functional as feature phones used for casual browsing. An iPhone does not make sense on 2G not because it cannot browse on 2G but because it cannot be hired by operators to entice users to 3G.

  • Indian TelcoGuy

    Okay, lots of people posting here have absolutely no idea what the real costs are. "r.d." claims that there's a 100% duty and 20% VAT. Not true – I don't know what the exact duty rate is at this time and I can't access the database to check as I'm supposed to be on vacation, but it's closer to 20%. VAT is 12.5% to 4% depending on the device.

    2G data networks in India are extremely widespread and quite frankly much better than the garbage networks I've seen in the US and elsewhere. The reasons for this are obvious – the population densities and subscriber numbers have to cater for this.

    Handsets have never been sucessfully subsidized by operators in India. The last attempt that I remember was by JTM in a southern state over 10 years ago. Since then everyone buys a handset of their choice and upgrades it at cost when they feel like it. The price ranges from INR 1000 to INR 40,000/- – not counting the Vertu handsets sold in the Ethos stores which cost over INR 200K. Yes, 200K.

    Apple doesn't really understand the India market – never did, and still doesn't – the 3G iPhone was sold at cost AND locked to Airtel or Vodaphone. Now Airtel is a big operator, but they don't really care to sell devices. What Apple should have done was sell the iPhone via a retailer like Reliance and Tata Croma at cost – no subsidy, and unlocked. It would have easily killed the high end Nokia smartphone market which at that time was the incredibly stupid N97 and similar phones.

    Samsung and others have launched a number of phones at prices which are (for americans) extremely high – INR 25k and above. The phones sell. The people who buy these phones can afford them and guess what, they change the damn things every 6 months.

    Nokia's blundered in India by franchising out their flagship stores AND making a mess of their customer care centres. What they should have done was franchise out their S40 phones and customer care, and set up a dedicated service network for the higher end phones.

    I'd write more about this and a lot more coherently with data, if it weren't for my kids wanting vacation time.

  • Indian TelcoGuy

    Last thing – I do have a 3G ipad and I don't pay more than INR 1000 a month for the data connection. It's approx INR 1 per Mbytes transfer. Nowhere near the $30-40 cost that someone has in a comment.

    Okay, another last thing – my 2G data connection cost INR 100 per month capped at 2Gbytes transfer. That's a little more than $2 per month. $1 per Gbytes.

    • BenHill123

      1000 Rs a month is around 22 dollars per month I guess ? and what is the limit ? 1GB, 2GB etc ?

  • timnash

    While Apple can't supply enough iPhone 4s to meet demand many people, who want a smartphone, will choose Android rather than wait. Then in 2 years time, when they replace, will iPhone6 or 7 be seen as sufficiently better for Android users to switch? If Android is seen as the low market choice, that developers only support months after the iOS apps are out or not at all, then iOS will continue to grow.

    For me, the markets to watch are:- iPhone on Verizon – where Android is the incumbent and has much to lose; South Korea, where iOS is up against Samsung and LG and only available on KT (the second carrier); Australia, where all the carriers offer iPhone (but don't yet have enough supply).

    • JonathanU

      I agree with your comments Tim, except for Australia. Although from press reports it seems the country has seriously caught Apple fever, lets not forget that the total population of Aus is only hovering around 20 million. It's hardly a large market by any means….

      • barryotoole

        It is interesting to note that the population of Mumbai (India) metro area (2007 estimate) was 20.87 million.

      • timnash

        My reasons for watching Australia are it's a wealthy market which, as you say, has caught Apple fever and where all the carriers offer iPhone. So, if Apple catches up with iPhone demand, what marketshare will the rivals have? This makes it almost the opposite to Verizon, where iPhone will be starting from zero.

    • BenHill123

      customers would wait for 1 or 2 months to get an iphone rather than wait for 2 years to get an IPhone, IMO.

      • timnash

        To wait to buy an iPhone, a customer has to feel and/or know that other choices are worse or much worse. Many are buying their first smartphone and only if they feel it is an important purchase will they spend time sorting out if an iPhone is better than an Android phone and therefore it is worth waiting.

      • BenHill123

        we will know sure enough next year unless android is forced out due to patent lawsuits :) , my bet is android activations will continue to grow not just in China, India sort of emerging countries, but everywhere and my analysis is people buy android phones because they like the google services on offer with android phones(subjective I know). And google apps will achieve the sort of stickiness desired by google.
        If you ask me, facebook has achieved the ultimate stickiness because all friends of a person are on it and they will not leave unless everyone eise leaves. IPhone does not have the same degree of stickiness and well-made games, music,media are not good enough to hold a person onto iphone forever.
        Google is trying to develop an alternate form of stickiness via google apps, only time will tell the results. Exciting times ahead for the consumers

  • http://twitter.com/aegisdesign @aegisdesign

    There was a post on the Ovi blog a while back showing data usage for different smartphones which may be relevant. Please where your Nokia coloured spectacles to view…
    http://blog.ovi.com/2010/12/23/how-to-keep-your-m

    That's just email but it shows where RIM and Nokia do well compared to iOS and Android. If the network is rubbish, a fancy smartphone with high data usage for simple tasks is going to stink. Similarly, I'd rather have Ovi Maps which works with no data usage at all than Google Maps if the network is missing.

    I guess the difference between RIM/Nokia and the new guys is that the new guys seem to think we've a persistently good mobile network everywhere whereas the old guys came from the GPRS days and are miserly with data. Which approach matters in India though?

    • asymco

      RIM is most efficient in terms of network traffic. That was an advantage many operators appreciated in the US. It is no longer that important. One thing I learned years ago is that the emerging markets are no different than developed markets, they just lag by a few years.

    • dchu220

      http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/india/article….

      Here's an article you might like from Wharton. Looks like Nokia isn't innovating as fast as their competitors. For example, Nokia doesn't offer a Dual SIM phone, which is important because a lot of people keep one SIM for their permanent number and switch the other SIM to whatever operator is the cheapest.

      • http://twitter.com/aegisdesign @aegisdesign

        Nokia DO offer dual SIM phones. They've specific models for that – C1 and C2. The C2 allows simultaneous usage of the two SIMs even. And there's any number of Dual SIM adaptors floating about. Just look on eBay.

      • dchu220

        I guess you can't believe everything you read on the internet. Even if it comes out of Wharton.

  • Ajay

    Hi,

    People here in India choose phones by "in the face" value they offer for the money paid. Three people I know bought a HTC Desire HD, simply because it offers a bigger display for lesser money.

    Same rules apply for G'5. They offer phones that look very similar to high end Nokia's etc at 1/10th the cost. But with much of the functionality missing. The interaction and interface will make anyone who has experienced a well designed interface puke. But most people in India are oblivious to this, as they only need phones for voice-calling or texting, and their decision making is largely driven by the product's show-off power,

    Regards

    Ajay

  • Ziad Fazel

    Mobile data in India will be further delayed by a corruption scandal from the last spectrum auction, currently in the country's Supreme Court, with the potential to take down the government.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/14/world/asia/14in

    This NY Times article references an independent audit that claims the Indian people were cheated out of almost $40b.

    • Sandeep

      there is no way indian govt can be brought down on the basis of this scam. India is not a country like US where almost everyone is a middle class and watches TV, Newspapers and can understand issues, the majority of Indians are still poor even today, and they vote on the basis of caste mainly and newspaper, TV does not have the effect that it has on the US citizens. So US publications like Nytimes should stop predicting what will happen on the basis of some hyperactive Indian English news channels. basically vast majority of people don't care and there is a practical reason for it, they are engaged in a day-to-day survival. Besides the Indian middle class thinks all parties are corrupt in any case, so replacing one set with another will not change things in any case, so there is a general sense of apathy.
      That 40 billion dollar is interesting figure, but mostly exaggerated like how RIAA exaggerates losses due to music piracy(they simple assume all who download freely will instead buy music at the exorbitant rate set by them, totally faulty and left-brain sort of analysis)

      • Ziad Fazel

        Thank you, Sandeep. The power of the electorate to get properly informed and act with good judgment is not as good in the US or Canada as outsiders think either, sadly. Voter turnout at 40% or lower confirms that.

        There has been much discussion (slamming, trashing, sharply replying, etc) about the audit from India's CAG.
        http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-
        http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/PAC-chie

        Can you share any links with different, well-supported estimates of the value of the 2G and 3G spectrum?

  • O.C.

    "Smart phones without data plans are just high end feature phones."

    That's like calling a Rolls Royce a high end groceries car and not a luxury vehicle if its only used to buy the groceries at the local market and not for shopping trips down Rodeo Drive. Just because its not being used for high end stuff doesn't make the car any less luxurious. Just like a smart phone isn't any dumber if its not being used to its full potential.

    With that logic an iPod seizes to be an mp3 player if I only use it to look at pictures! A device is what it is. How its used is irrelevant.

    • Narayanan

      The whole point of smart phones was to increase the ASP for using data and related services, ads etc. A smartphone without data usage is a loss making proposition for the carriers.

      Secondly, Google also ends up losing if these "smartphones" are used as dumb phones, with no search or ad revenue.

      • O.C.

        That carriers and companies like Google end up losing if the phones aren't used as smartphones is obvious. But losing money or making money for the carriers doesn't define the product.

        That's a smartphone being used as a dumbphone, but its still a smartphone.

      • dchu220

        It's usually better to categorize products by how they are used. It gives a clearer picture of the future of the market. For instance, if I bought a hammer but I only used it as a nutcracker, do I have a hammer or a nut cracker? I would say a nutcracker.

      • O.C.

        That's where we differ in opinion. I would still call it a hammer, I'm just cracking nuts with it right now. But if and when I decide to use it, to hammer in some nails, I can.

        Categorizing a product by how its used and not what it is doesn't really give you a clearer picture more a tainted one. Here in the Netherlands for instance – I can't speak for anywhere else – you can't get a iPhone without a data plan on T-Mobile. But when you buy another smart phone: Samsung, Nokia etc you can, so people opt in or out of consuming more data. Given a choice you will have people that will say no to a data plan, as I did many times. But take that choice away, like with the iPhone, and you're already paying for it, so you use it more. But that is more of a carrier issue and how they sell the phones than a phone being smart or dumb.

      • dchu220

        That's fine. Having different approaches to the same problem is usually a good thing.

        It also depends on where you are coming from. If I was Apple, I wouldn't consider people opting out of data as my current target market. They don't see the value of an always connected device at this time. That market is targeted by the iPod Touch.

        Time takes care of a lot of these things. Once data rates are cheaper, then a lot of the mainstream or late adopters will buy a data plan. That's when I will care which phone they choose.

  • asymco

    For the purpose of analyzing markets, categorizing products by the jobs they are hired to do leads to greater insights and the discovery of opportunities. It is precisely because a Rolls Royce does not do the job of grocery shopping any better than a cheap car that Rolls Royce is of limited value relative to its price for most people so that even if it's affordable to a population, it does not reach a high volume of sales.

    The job that a Rolls Royce is hired to do is arguably one which no other car can be hired to do: that of being a Rolls Royce.

    The iPod that is only used to look at pictures can be substituted by a product that is better at looking at pictures. If a large enough set of buyers exists that are interested in pictures but not music, then a product for that job will be more successful than the iPod.

  • O.C.

    There are plenty of people that buy products for the specs they possess and not necessarily because they plan to utilize them all. I for one have had numerous smartphones for years. You would call them dumbphones because I never bothered to get a data plan with it. For what I was using my phones I could have easily bought a €50 phone, but I didn't. Call me crazy, but I liked the phone and I'm not that different to a lot of others doing the same thing.

    A friend of mine ones bought a TomTom gps navigation device with with maps of the whole of Europe. he could have bought one just for the Benelux region, since he never drives that far anyway, but still he payed more to have the extras. A lot of people buy things so they can do more if they decide to, not necessarily because they plan to do so anytime soon or ever.

  • http://twitter.com/sarat @sarat

    I've waited for iPhone for long time for my friend to bring it from Singapore as an unlocked one. It may available for 600$ which is close to the price of Samsung Galaxy S, one of the hot selling android phones in India. Comparatively iPhone 4 has an edge of luxury, perfection and great user experience comparing to the android phones and also the price was just close.
    Later I deicided to keep my iPod Touch + a new Android Phone (LG Optimus One) and this year I'm planning to buy an iPad.

    What you mentioned is right. There are some problems with the data business models proposed by Indian careers. They must introduce something like a family data plan for using single tariff across multiple devices. Now I've to maintain 2-3 connections and pay separately for the data plans.

    The 3G is on the way to Many cities. BSNL is the only good player in India. Tata Docomo also getting new customers but the connections are expensive for Indian users. Some of the popular careers like Airtel are not yet started their 3G services. I'm still using GPRS/EDGE connection with my Optimus one.

    Samsung is playing tricky in the market. Samsung representatives are available in the most popular stores across India. Even if we ask Black Berry/Nokia/LG models they would say.. they will sell the phones but there are hundreds of complaints of late. So please choose Samsung! Especially they're downplaying BlackBerry and LG.

  • Robert

    Ok So I live in India and work in the mobile industry. What is heck is G'Five?

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  • priya

    the reason was the low cost of g5 mobiles the minus point of g5 is it doesn't support java programs

  • Funnyrocker2009

    G’five overtake nokia……..