Even as Apple and its iPhone brand remains the most aspirational smartphone in India, it is OnePlus — owned by the same Chinese company that makes Vivo and Oppo — that has won the hearts of its Indian customers.
OnePlus — which brings out only one phone at a time — emerged as brand with the most satisfied customers, pushing down even Apple users, according to a survey by CyberMedia Research.
The brand, owned by BBK Electronics of China, was also the highest recommended as well as the one with the highest resale value in terms of customer perception.
“100% of OnePlus customers are satisfied in terms of the quality of the phone,” CyberMedia Research said.
Similarly, 96% of the brand’s customers are satisfied with availability of the spare parts and 90% are happy with the speed of problem resolution.
That said, Apple continues to be the top brand when people are asked which one they will buy for an upgrade of their current high-end phone.
“The preferred smartphone brand for future purchase continues to be Apple,” it said.
Moreover, iPhone users are also the most loyal to their brand and are likely to go for another iPhone, compared to others.
“Amongst Apple users, the survey findings reaffirm that current Apple users have the maximum brand loyalty,” the research firm found.
“While Apple and Samsung dominate (in terms of mindspace), a brand like OnePlus is securing a healthy mindshare amongst Indian smartphone consumers,” said Prabhu Ram, Head – Industry Intelligence Group, CMR.
Interestingly, Taiwanese brand HTC, which has not had the best of times in India in recent years, came on top on “trust and desirability” based on customers’ previous experience with a brand.
HTC was followed by OnePlus.
Oppo, another brand owned by BBK Electronics, topped as the most visible brand in India.
The operating system was the considered among the top five factors by 89% of the respondents to the survey, followed by RAM, which was considered one of the top five factors by 85%.
Battery life was included in the top factors by 80%, while networking technology (such as the availability of the latest 4G technology) was included by 77% and camera quality was considered among top five factors by 75%.
NOT EVERYONE BUYS
Not surprisingly, the survey found that not everyone following high-end smartphones actually use them.
42% of the “customers” are passive, who just follow technology trends, rather than actually purchasing the latest technology before most people.
In contrast, 34% of the customers try to be the first to adopt the latest technology.
24% will buy the latest, but only after they hear good things about it from their friends and acquaintances.
Around one-fourth of the users have bought their smartphone online.
The biggest reason for buying online was discounts and schemes, which was quoted by 93% of the respondents. Selection and availability also ranked high at 90%.
The inability to ‘touch and feel’ and ‘the lack of immediate gratification’ kept many from trying the online model.
98% of the respondents used social networking on their smartphones, while 88% used their phones for listening to music, 83% for watching video and 74% of the premium smartphone users played games.
68% took photos using their phones and 40% for net banking and 34% for navigation and 28% for shopping.
“The smartphone has moved beyond being a simple communication tool, and is perceived by consumers as a natural extension of their lifestyle,” Prabhu added.
CyberMedia Research regularly conducts the Mobile Industry Consumer Insight (MICI) Survey to capture the consumer aspirations, preferences and challenges, and dislikes around smartphone brands.