Top 20 mobile phones in India in May 2014: 91mobiles insights

“The top 20 list for the month of May 2014 is crowded by budget offerings”

Just when we thought that the Indian smartphone market will calm down after the whiz-bang launch of flagship smartphones from almost all tier-one manufacturers, Motorola had some other plans. However, a fast-growing mobile market like India isn’t likely to stop from buzzing with new launches. Even then, the launch of the Moto E definitely took everyone by surprise. With the Moto G (review | FAQs), the company proved that manufacturers needn’t compromise on specs in the mid-range and with the Moto E, it’s trying to ensure that people with feature phones (read dumb phones) can upgrade to a capable smartphone without breaking the bank. What’s even more interesting is that while the Moto E waged wars in the budget segment, Indian brands weren’t shy in replying back… and we saw some really good competitors from the likes of Micromax and Lava. But was the month only about budget devices? Let’s take a look at the top 20 devices in May and find out.

This data is based on the page views on different smartphones by visitors on the 91mobiles website. However, it doesn’t reflect the actual sales of these devices.

The Top 5

Nokia’s plunge in the Android ecosystem definitely seems a risk well taken with the Nokia XL (first impressions) constantly featuring in our Top 20 list month after month. The largest of the trio of the Nokia X series, the XL has held its top spot since the past three months. It’s followed by the hottest device of the season, the Moto E, which made a stunning debut amongst the top devices. While Sony’s flagship, the Xperia Z2 (review) clung on to its third position, Samsung’s latest top-end phone, the Galaxy S5 (review | FAQs) dropped two spots to settle at the fourth place. The fifth position marks the entry of another budget device, the Nokia Lumia 630, jumping 17 spots in the month of May compared to April.

The complete list

As indicated by the top 5 devices in the month of May, the complete list also holds some surprises. So let’s take a gander at the top 20 devices in the previous month along with changes in their rankings, price bands and months of launch. A few of these devices are yet to launch, but based on their specifications and pricing in other countries, we’re indicating their price range.

Top 20 mobiles phones in India in May 2014

Hits and misses

With a drastic change in the list of top 20 devices, there are bound to be some fresh additions and casualties that dropped off from the list. Here’s a look.

New entrants

Moto E: 2nd position

If you’ve been following the ever-changing mobile space closely, you already know that the Moto E (review | FAQs) is a gamechanger in the budget segment much like its sibling, the Moto G. But unlike the Moto G, the Moto E has not only set a benchmark for budget smartphones, but also spawned off fierce competition in the form of offerings from homegrown brands, most notably the Micromax Unite 2 (first impressions | review in pictures) and Lava Iris X1 (first impressions).

Top 20_Moto E  Top 20_Nokia Lumia 630

Nokia Lumia 630: 5th position

The Lumia 630 (unboxing | FAQs) is a mid-tier offering from Nokia aimed at those who need dual-SIM capabilities. Yes, the Lumia 630 is the first Windows Phone smartphone with dual-SIM support thanks to the latest WP8.1 update. The first impressions of the device are fairly positive, and it’s well-priced for its specs, making it a viable option to those who want iconic Nokia quality with something that’s different from Android.

Panasonic P31: 6th position

Compared to other devices in the top 20 chart, the Panasonic P31 has jumped straight from 105th spot to reach this position. Placed in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment, the device offers a complete package in terms of its display and the internals. But more than that, the Japanese brand has been promoting the device and its special features such as Gesture Play aggressively on TV and other media.

BlackBerry Z3: 17th position

BlackBerry may not be in its best shape right now, but it’s products are still noteworthy. Its latest offering, the Z3 is yet to arrive on our shores, but the estimated pricing and decent specs have already piqued consumer interest. It was unveiled first during MWC and launched recently in Indonesia, and due to hit the Indian market soon.

Top 20_BlackBerry Z3 Top 20_Micromax Canvas Doodle 3

Micromax Canvas Doodle 3: 20th position

It’s a little surprising that the Indian mobile phone market, along with other emerging countries, is driving the adoption of phablets, as also noted in our mobile phone landscape report for the year 2013. The Doodle series from leading Indian smartphone vendor Micromax is targeting exactly this segment, and the latest device in the series, the Doodle 3, offers consumers a massive 6-inch display for less than Rs 10,000.

The exits

With the debut of the aforesaid handsets, many devices also dropped out from our top 20 list.

  • HTC One (M8)
  • K Touch A11
  • Moto G (16GB variant)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
  • Nokia Lumia 520

Trend analysis

Brand consciousness is waning off

If you’ve been following the story till now, it’s quite clear that the month of May threw up many changes in comparison to prior months. While our top 20 list usually includes six to seven brands, we have as many as ten brands with their offering(s) in the list this time around. Samsung is down to the least number of its cellphones in the list yet – five, including its latest flagship and its previous iteration, the Galaxy S4 along with devices in the affordable territory. Surprisingly, both Nokia and Sony stuck to the same number of devices featured compared to the month of April, with three of their devices each in the list. Apart from the obvious vendors, May also saw the debut of the Japanese brand, Panasonic in the list.

No of devices by brands in the top 20 list in May 2014

Price-to-value ratio is becoming more important that ever

One key reason of consumers being less conscious of brands is because they’re always looking to get more bang for their buck. And, as we can see from the price segment, it stands truer than ever with the top 20 names containing 12 devices in the affordable arena priced between Rs 5,000 to 15,000. Above this price segment (Rs 15,000 to 25,000), there are just four handsets with the remaining four in the premium tier of Rs 25,000 and above.

No of devices in different price bands in the top 20 list in May 2014

Based on these trends, we’re likely to see more number of smartphones in the entry-level segment priced between Rs 5,000 and Rs 8,000 competing with the Moto E and trying to offer a no-compromise package to consumers.

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One of the earliest members of the 91mobiles' editorial team, Nitansh is a walking encyclopaedia of product specs. Name a phone and he’ll tell you the specifics on screen resolution, processor and camera without blinking an eyelid. Ask him if he remembers the launch date of a noteworthy phone, and he'll tell you the dates when the device first leaked, its global unveil, its Indian launch, and when it got a significant update. He’s a lover of all things Android, and loves writing reviews and scouting for new apps. A Wordpress whiz, he’s always ready to help out a fellow writer. While he juggles between many things at 91mobiles, he always manages to find time to write. In his non-tech avatar, Nitansh is a philatelist, which is a fancy word for stamp-collector.