Bengaluru, Sept 22 (The Street Press) – Lava, a mobile phone company from India, plans to introduce 4G feature phones. Their goal is to capture one-third of the market for basic phones within a year. They’ll also be working on improving their affordable smartphones over time, according to a senior executive.
Lava, which started in 2009, gained popularity for its affordable phones that have keypads but lack high-end features.
The company plans to introduce 4G feature phones with the aim of increasing its market share in this category to 35% within a year, up from the current 26%, as stated by Sunil Raina, the president and business head of Lava International.
The company’s aim is to achieve a significant presence in this segment, as mentioned in an interview with Reuters.
According to research firm Counterpoint, Lava holds less than 1% of the market share in the world’s second-largest smartphone market, which boasts 650 million smartphones. Despite the increasing adoption of smartphones in India, Counterpoint estimates that approximately 290 million people in the country still rely on feature phones.
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s telecom company has also entered this category by introducing a device that offers services like digital payments.
Lava also has plans to strengthen its lineup of budget smartphones. Over the next two years, they aim to achieve more than a 10% market share in smartphones priced below 30,000 rupees ($360), a notable increase from their current 1% to 2%, according to Raina.
Furthermore, Raina mentioned that all of the company’s smartphones will have 5G support by the next year. He expressed confidence in their potential to become a significant player in the budget smartphone segment. Raina highlighted that phones priced below 30,000 rupees ($360) are expected to constitute over 40% of the estimated $72 billion smartphone market in India by 2028.
Raina emphasized, “It does not mean that we don’t want to go above 30K… We are building our capabilities step by step”.
Lava’s strategic focus on the affordable smartphone category differs from the strategies of top players like Samsung and Xiaomi, who are increasingly offering premium smartphones to cater to Indian consumers upgrading their devices.
In recent years, Lava has shifted all its design and manufacturing operations from China to India.
Although Lava abandoned its initial public offering plan in 2021, Raina mentioned that the company is considering a listing in the future as it continues to expand its smartphone business.