FindYogi Insights: Value For Money Report For Mobile Brands – 2013

Premise

Price and features are the decision factors for buying any product. While it is easy to decide what is a high end phone versus a low end phone by looking at the features but what really matters for a buying decision is whether the features are worth paying the price that the product commands.

At FindYogi, we came up with a quantifiable parameter to judge the ‘Value For Money’ of any product, the FindYogi Index. FindYogi Index is score, on a scale of 0 to 5, measured as a function of features and price of a given product as compared to all other products available in the market.  A product with good features and a price lower than that of its peers is a better value for money and hence would command a higher FindYogi Index.

This report analyses Value for Money of the eight most popular mobile phone brands in the market at different price segment levels.

The Data

  1. Total 566 mobile phones from 9 brands are considered in the report.
  2. Only the mobiles which are available with atleast 1 popular online store are considered so that ‘live’ prices are accounted.
  3. The minimum online price of the phones are considered and not the list price.
  4. The Value for Money accounts hardware features. Brand affinity and novelty of the product are not accounted as they are highly influenced by marketing and are subject to individual preferences.

Price Segmentation

The data set is divided into 3 price segments to get a deeper insight into what is the target audience for each brand.

Graph 1. Absolute count of mobiles in each price segment.

Graph 1. Absolute count of mobiles in each price segment.

Key data points from price segmentation:

  1. Samsung has good number of options in each price range.
  2. Sony and HTC are concentrated on the 10K-21K range.
  3. Nokia and LG have lesser number of options as compared to Samsung. Also, only 3 Nokia mobiles are available in the premium price segment of above Rs.21,000.
  4. Home grown brands Micromax and Karbonn are clearly targeting the lower price segments. While Micromax has some mobiles, thanks to the Canvas series, in the mid-range of Rs.10K-21K, Karbonn has no models priced above Rs.10,000.
  5. Lava has 6 models priced above Rs.10,000. This is because of the XOLO series that has gained a lot of traction in the market.
  6. Apple ofcourse is an exception with only the premium priced mobiles. The 1 model in mid-range is the out-dated iPhone 3GS but it is still available at some online marketplaces.

FindYogi Index analysis across all price range.

The data set is divided into 3 segments of FindYogi Index range. Higher FindYogi Index denotes a better Value for Money.

Graph 2. FindYogi Index distribution for mobiles of each brand.

Graph 2. FindYogi Index distribution for mobiles of each brand.

Key Takeaway from FindYogi Index segmentation:

  1. Apple has been playing the premium brand card and all its phones command a high price when compared to others phones in the market that have similar features and hence the low FindYogi Index. It is worth noting that FindYogi Index considers only technical specifications of the phone and not real-world performance experience. So Apple might be an exception.
  2. Samsung, true to its market leader stand, has well distributed Index score. It has some affordable models and still there is a good set of models that command a premium price as compared to peers from other brands that have similar features.
  3. Nokia, Sony and HTC have well distributed FindYogi Index but the number of option are lesser as compared to Samsung.
  4. Micromax, Karbonn and Lava enjoy comfortable status of high FindYogi Index for most of their models. Feature to price ratio of these phones is pretty pocket friendly and that is helping them take over world renowned brands in Indian market.

 

Price segment specific distribution of FindYogi Index

The following section analyses the FindYogi Index for each of the price segments discussed above.

A. High End Segment: Price Above Rs.21,000.

This price range generally has low FindYogi Index as the brands try and capitalize most from the premium segment.

Graph 3. FindYogi Index distribution for mobiles of price above Rs.21,000.

Graph 3. FindYogi Index distribution for mobiles of price above Rs.21,000.

Key Takeaway from high end range:

  1.  Sony has few models that have high end features and yet are priced below market average.
  2. Though Apple is expected to be premium priced thanks to the brand equity it commands, Nokia is losing its edge by doing so.
  3. Samsung, HTC and LG are affordable in this price range as they showcase good number of options with FindYogi Index of above 2.5.

B. Mid-Range Segment: Price between Rs.10,000-Rs.21,000

This is the favourite price range for Indian mobile market as the brands can afford to assemble high end features and yet keep the price within reach of the consumers.

Graph 4. FindYogi Index distribution for mobiles of price between Rs.10,000 - Rs.21,000.

Graph 4. FindYogi Index distribution for mobiles of price between Rs.10,000 – Rs.21,000.

Key Takeaway from mid-priced range:

  • Lava and Micromax are emerging favourites in this price range thanks to the low prices. Lava is dominating here with its Xolo series.
  • Nokia offers a very small number of good value for money phones in this price segment.
  • Samsung again has a well distributed offering with good number of mobile have FindYogi Index of above 2.5. HTC is a close competition here.
  • LG enjoys a high brand equity and can afford to have premium priced phones but it is trying to play the affordability card here with high FindYogi Index for 5 of its 9 phones. The L5 and L7 models are doing well for LG.

C. Budget Segment: Price Range- Below Rs.10000

The budget segment has a mix of entry level smartphones as well as basic feature phones. Given the high price sensitivity, the margin versus volumes trade-off can backfire for brands trying to command a premium in this range.

Graph 5. FindYogi Index distribution for mobiles of price below Rs.10,000.

Graph 5. FindYogi Index distribution for mobiles of price below Rs.10,000.

Key Takeaway from low priced range:

  • Micromax, Karbonn and Lava dominate this segment with plethora of options and most of them affordably priced.
  • Samsung, though a premium brand, commands well in this segment as well with almost 60% of the mobiles having FindYogi Index of above 2.5.
  • Nokia, once the market leader and a dominant player in this segment, is close behind Samsung. LG is also competing well with more option and similar value for money score.
  • HTC and Sony don’t have much to offer in this segment. With a total of 20 models of which most do not justify the price in terms of features.

Conclusion:

The value for money report brings out following insights into how the prime competing brands in the Indian mobile market are placed:

  • Samsung comes out as a brand which is trying to cover the entire span of the market across all the price segments by bringing out a number of devices in every price segment. And with quite a few products in every price segment that have good value for money, it stays on as the brand to look out for as the go to brand for buyers in all the three price segments.
  • Nokia, the once formidable leader of the mobile market in India, is now focusing most of its efforts in the budget segment.
  • HTC is focusing its effort in the mid-range segment. Most of its products are neither remarkably affordable nor too premium. It’s difficult to say whether that’s a smart positioning or a confused one.
  • Sony is following a brand positioning similar to Samsung in terms of price and value for money, however the number of options it offers in the market are less than what Samsung has on offer.
  • Micromax, Karbonn and Lava are limiting their activity to the budget and mid-range segments of the market. However one common thrust area for all of these brands has been the high value for money they command with competent high-end hardware that are low priced.
  • Apple stands out as the unique case point across the mobile market as it still is highly exclusive and manufactures mobiles in the high end market alone and while it does not load its phones with as much of high end features to put in good value for money yet its sheer perfection of design and integration of features makes it a popular brand globally and highly aspirational for India.