Samsung is the most preferred smartphone brand for one in every three mobile phone users in India and it enjoys a very high loyalty of 47 per cent among its existing and potential users, while Lava has emerged as the most preferred Indian brand, said a survey by CyberMedia Research on Tuesday.
Amid anti-China sentiment in India due to border tensions, Lava is favoured by around 48 per cent of potential consumers seeking alternatives among Indian brands, primarily for its "Made in India" R&D and design competencies and the emotional bond that the brand brings, said the CMR "Insights On the Go Survey."
Nearly, one in every two users is seeking alternatives to Chinese smartphone brands, showed the survey which aimed to capture the extent of prevailing market sentiments around border skirmishes amongst consumers and retailers alike.
The nationwide survey showed that the extent of anti-China sentiment is relatively higher in tier-2 cities, compared to tier-1.
"Indian smartphone users have predominantly been using Chinese smartphones. In Q2 2020, the cumulative market share of Chinese brands fell to 73 per cent, akin to the levels last seen in Q3 2019," Amit Sharma, Analyst -Industry Intelligence Group, CMR, said in a statement.
"In addition to Covid-19 and consequent supply side challenges, the anti-China sentiment also emerged as a key factor. Our consumer study paints a sharp picture of the prevailing anti-China sentiment on ground, especially in tier-1 and 2 cities."
Amongst retailers, one in every four has experienced anti-China sentiment in the market. Due to the anti-China sentiment, retailers' preference of Chinese brand has also gone down.
One in every five retailers faces difficulties in convincing customers to buy Chinese phone, said the survey, adding that this trend is more pronounced in tier-2 cities.
On the other hand, three in every seven retailers feel that dispute with China would not have any impact on their selling of Chinese phones.
"The broad takeaway from the study is that there exists a chasm between those who feel angry and seek alternatives to their Chinese phones, and, those who remain unaffected by current sentiments," said Satya Mohanty, Head- Industry Consulting Group, CMR.
"Amongst consumers and retailers who are passionate about the prevailing national themes, the clear alternatives under consideration include global brands such as Samsung and Nokia, and homegrown brands, such as Lava."