Domestic mobile handset company Lava is targeting to reach a market share of 5% in the smartphone segment by the end of the current financial year and is banking on the loyalty of its feature phone customers to achieve it.
Lava has a market share of around 20% in feature phones and since most of the upgrades to smartphones will come from this segment, the company expects to become a bigger player in the smartphone segment, which is currently ruled by Chinese brands.
In January, the company launched a ‘made-to-order’ smartphone that can be manufactured as per customers’ requirements. The company has also launched a phone upgrade programme, allowing users to upgrade RAM/ storage on their devices at a service centre.
“We have just made a serious foray in smartphones … we plan to end the year with 5% market share in smartphones. Because of this base of feature phones that we have and as the new customers are to come from the base of feature phones … our strong equity with these consumers and also our capability to convert the learnings from them into products, I think we should be able to do well,” Sunil Raina, president and business head, Lava International, told FE.
Lava has also been selected as one of the five local companies under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for smartphone manufacturing. Lava, like many others, has not been able to meet the production target for FY21, but the company hopes to meet the targets in coming years and get the requisite incentives from the government. It plans to come out with 5G smartphones in the third quarter (October-December) of this fiscal in the price range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000.
Raina said that while 5G devices have started reaching the market, networks are not yet ready with 5G services. “We believe 2022 will see lot of action on the 5G network side and therefore devices will be much more than you see today. At the same time, we also know that people want to buy a future-proof device … and if it has 5G, then you are assured that you have not got the wrong device. Therefore we are building our portfolio which has 5G phones as well,” he said.
The company currently has a production capacity of 50 million devices annually. Of the production, 70% is consumed locally and rest 30% is exported.