CMR’s India Mobile Handsets Usage and Satisfaction Study 2011 Reveals 64% users happy with mobile handset brand performance



  • Blackberry, Nokia, Samsung, Micromax achieve higher overall satisfaction
  • Customers expect aspirational features — MP3 players, Digital Cameras — in entry level phones

New Delhi / Gurgaon: In the mobile handsets market dominated by a near 100 per cent ‘Total Awareness’ of multinational brands Nokia and Samsung, Indian consumers lapped up mobile phones with advanced features at affordable prices from new and emerging brands, reveals a Mobile Handsets Usage And Satisfaction Study 2011 of over 4,425 respondents conducted by CyberMedia Research (CMR).

Easy availability and a promise of efficient after-sales support became the other key motivators for end users to show increasing preference for new and emerging brands. The India mobile handsets market has witnessed a huge influx of mobile handset brands during 2009 and 2010 which saw launches by a number of emerging mobile handset players for the mass market as well as niche segments in both urban and rural areas.

At last count, well over 200 mobile handset brands were available at retail outlets across the country, according to CyberMedia Research (CMR). New and emerging brands provide attractive features like QWERTY keypads, MP3 players, long battery back up, dual or triple SIM card slots, add-on memory card slots, elegant looks, style and finish at competitive prices, thus giving established brands a run for their money.

There has been a paradigm shift in the mobile handsets market with a strong uptake in shipments of ‘value for money’, competitively priced models by a large proportion of Indian consumers. Traditionally, India has been a price sensitive market, and CMR’s research has reinforced this trend for mobile handsets.

Brand Recall and Purchase Decision Criteria
Nokia captures the lion’s share of Indian consumers’ mindspace with a 56% top-of-mind recall (TOM), followed by Samsung and LG. However, in terms of ‘total awareness’ emerging handset brands are close on the heels of global brands.

Table 1: Brand-wise Scores on ‘Total Awareness’: India Mobile Handset Users 


Total Awareness Score (%)











While Nokia remained as the most well recognized brand in terms of ‘total awareness’, emerging Indian brands like Micromax and Spice have managed to attract a large following. The bouquet of feature phones and smartphones at affordable prices launched by these emerging vendors led to customer satisfaction and delight for the Indian consumers while giving their more established global counterparts a run for their money.

According to Anirban Banerjee, Associate Vice President, Research and Consulting, CMR India, “Emerging mobile handset players with their highly innovative features have been able to influence the buying decision for first time buyers, especially the youth and blue collar executives. This translates to a higher conversion of ‘perceptual loyalty’ into ‘eventual loyalty’ for new and emerging players vis-à-vis the established global vendors.

“Indian handset buyers are increasingly more feature conscious, applications aware and value conscious, rather than being plain ‘brand loyal’ in the traditional sense of the term,” added Anirban.

Table 2: Brand-wise Scores, ‘Perceptual Loyalty’ and ‘Eventual Loyalty’: India Mobile Handset Users

Handset Brand

Perceptual Loyalty

Eventual Loyalty

LG 39% 34%
Samsung 38% 33%
Karbonn 34% 32%
G’Five 30% 30%
Maxx 30% 29%

Source: CMR March, 2011

Among the established, global brands, LG and Samsung users, showed comparatively higher consistency in terms of perceptual loyalty translating into eventual loyalty. Users of new, emerging brands like Karbonn, G’Five and Maxx showed equivalent levels of commitment.

Consumers rated durability (35%) as the most important factor while buying a mobile handset, followed by brand preference (29%) and service & support quality (20%).

Post Purchase Experiential Touchpoints
A majority of Blackberry users (66%) felt their handsets provided ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ value for money, followed by Nokia users (58%) and Samsung users (57%). Amongst new, emerging brands G’five users (56%) showed the maximum score on the same attributes. Other new, emerging brands like Micromax (54%) and Spice (54%) closely follow this trend. ‘Satisfaction with overall performance’ followed a similar pattern.

Figure 1: Brand-wise Scores on ‘Satisfaction with Overall Performance’: India Mobile Handset Users

In areas like Customer Care and After Sales Support, niche brands like Blackberry (86%) were able to delight their customers. Emerging brands like Micromax (74%) and Spice (66%) also showed promise on this parameter, at par with the established brands like Nokia (78%), LG (74%) and Samsung (71%).

Most Used and Desired Features
According to Suman Dutta, Lead Analyst, Consumer Research, CMR India, “Launch of mobile handset models with innovative features by new and emerging vendors has changed the mindset of the Indian consumer. The two most used features on a daily basis were MP3 Player (60%) and FM Radio (48%). Experience with QWERTY Keypad or Touchscreen is no longer on top of a buyer’s wishlist, as these are now available in basic featurephones.”

“Going forward, users would like to see MP3 Player and Integrated Digital Camera included as part of the package in an entry level handset. Users are increasingly inclined towards storage of pictures and songs on their handsets; this explains the increasing awareness of and desire for External Memory Card Slot (61%) in their next handset”, Suman further added.

Note for Editors:
CMR’s India Mobile Handsets Usage and Satisfaction Study 2011, was conducted on a sample of 4,425 mobile users through face-to-face structured interviews in 18 major cities spread across the country from a representative set of mobile users by SEC class and age group. CMR ensured that the sample size achieved for each mobile handset brand was statistically valid. The sample distribution was done across different localities in each city to ensure a well balanced representation.