“Here are the top devices which users searched for in the month of December”
2014 was a landmark year for the Indian smartphone industry. The year witnessed intense competition in the market across all price segments, new faces joined an already crowded list of brands and not just one or two, but quite a few devices stirred things up and changed the game. The last month of 2014 was no different – in fact, if anything, it brought many more brands to the fray.
However, whether these launches were able to make a lasting impression on the minds of consumers is a different story altogether. That’s why we try to gauge consumer sentiments by taking a look at the top smartphones searched by users on 91mobiles every month. Though the data might not reflect the sales of the phones searched, it does indicate the ever-changing preferences of fickle-minded buyers.
The top 5
Compared to the month of November, this time, the top 5 list sprung a surprise, since after a long time, the numero uno spot is being held by Samsung’s offering. The Korean bellwether is at the second position as well with the Galaxy Core 2 Duo, up from the third position it occupied in November. While we’re still awaiting the release of Xiaomi’s flagship, the Mi 4 (review | FAQs) in India, users are already showing keen interest in the device, as it rose two places to sit at the third position. HTC’s 64-bit phablet, the Desire 820 (first impressions) dropped a couple of spots to gain the fourth place. The fifth position is again held by the Apple of China with its affordable phablet, the Redmi Note.
The complete list
While there are a few ups and downs amongst the list if top 20 phones, there aren’t any massive changes. So, let’s take a look at the complete list of the most popular mobile phones in December 2014. Along with smartphone’s name, we have also mentioned the change in its rank from November, its price band, its platform and month of launch.
Hits and misses
Here’s a look at the devices which entered the top 20 mobile phones list in the month of December.
The first Lumia smartphone without the word Nokia written on it didn’t take long to make an entry in our list. The Microsoft Lumia 535 (review) certainly deserves a spot, since not only it’s affordable, it also brings forth a large 5-inch screen, which is unheard of on WP-toting devices in this range, and packs a decent set of specs. A pair of 5-meg shooters at the back and front are an added bonus, allowing for good photography and even a better seflie experience.
2014’s flagship killer have managed to create an enviable frenzy, which is commendable for a company which is just about an year old and sells only one device. Like many devices landing in the country this year, the OnePlus One (review | cheatsheet) defies the conventional specs vs price paradigm, and offers high-end specs at a mid-range price.
Even though Xiaomi is entangled in a patent row with Ericsson, it made an intelligent move by getting the court to allow it to sell its Qualcomm-powered offerings. Accompanying the Xiaomi Redmi Note (review | cheatsheet) in the top 20 list is its twin, the Redmi Note 4G, which is almost same as the former, but offers next-gen 4G cellular compatibility (single-SIM) in the budget segment. The other difference between the two devices is that the Redmi Note 4G draws power from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, and also runs the more recent Android 4.4 KitKat.
With the entry of aforementioned phones, the following offerings were shown the exit door as they slipped in their popularity.
- Micromax Canvas Nitro A310
- Micromax Unite 2 A106
- Nokia X2
Chinese upstart Xiaomi matching the incumbent Samsung toe to toe
Samsung might have bettered its position as the most-popular smartphone brand with five smartphones in the list, compared to just three in the previous few months, however it isn’t alone. Xiaomi, which is just a six-month old brand in India managed to get an equal footing with Samsung. This is no mean feat, and perhaps what’s more applaud-worthy is the fact that Xiaomi only sells one or two of its devices at a given point in time. Following Samsung and Xiaomi, both Nokia and HTC have two devices each as the most popular ones.
Milking the popularity of successful smartphones
If you notice the list closely, then you’ll see that Samsung’s successful comeback at the top can be attributed to the fact that it has introduced affordable variants to its popular devices. The Galaxy Grand Prime offers a large-screen experience like its more accomplished Grand siblings, along with the promise of good selfies – all under Rs 15,000. On the other hand, the Galaxy Core Prime is an upgraded variant of the Galaxy Core 2.
Samsung isn’t the only one which has mastered this strategy. Following its footsteps, Taiwanese brand HTC has also revealed several variants to its flagship One (M8) smartphone as well its mid-range phablets. While the top 20 list no longer includes the Desire 816 (review | FAQs), its affordable variant, the Desire 816G (review) continues to be in the popularity charts.
Android continues to rule the roost
It’s interesting to see that Android has maintained its dominant position in the market. The past year we saw the debut of new OSes such as Sailfish and Firefox, while alternative platforms like BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone introduced major upgrades with several much-needed changes, and yet they haven’t been able to dent the popularity of Android. Out of 20 devices in our list, only two offerings run Windows Phone, while Apple’s iPhone 6 (review | FAQs) is the only phone running iOS.
2014 was just the beginning, and we believe that 2015 will continue with such radical transformation in the smartphone market, lowering the pricing barriers and redefining the term value-for-money again and again. What do you think?