The first quarter of 2023 has been a roller-coaster ride in the tech industry. We’ve witnessed the launch of several new exciting products from smartphones to laptops, saw the rise of AI-based chat services, Twitter’s new rules got even more absurd, and we even saw a barrage of layoffs across tech companies, both big and small. There’s a lot to unpack so in this podcast, we thought we’d start on a positive note and talk about some of the big smartphone launches in India, recent trends of customer behaviour, and how the price segments have shifted dramatically in recent times.
On this week’s episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, I (Roydon Cerejo) sit down with our resident smartphone expert Pranav Hegde and Gadgets 360’s Executive Editor Jamshed Avari, to discuss the state of the smartphone landscape in India in 2023 so far.
iQoo kicked off this year with India’s first flagship smartphone called the iQoo 11 5G (Review), which debuted with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 flagship SoC. Samsung quickly launched its Galaxy S23 series soon after which included the Galaxy S23 Ultra (Review), Galaxy S23+, and the Galaxy S23 (Review). OnePlus refused to be left out of the action as it too launched its flagship phone for 2023 called the OnePlus 11 5G (Review).
Then came MWC, where we witnessed even more smartphone announcements, wacky concepts, and lots more. Among the new launches was Xiaomi 13 Pro (Review), which has set a new benchmark for smartphone cameras by providing a massive 1-inch main camera sensor. Last but not least, we saw Oppo throw its hat in the foldable ring by launching its first ever foldable outside China, the Oppo Find N2 Flip (Review).
While flagships are fun to talk about, we also witnessed many new mid-range phone launches with very interesting specs and features. OnePlus finally made amends for the 10R 5G from last year by giving us the much improved 11R 5G (Review). We also went hands on with the Realme GT 3, a potential 11R competitor but with an industry-first 240W fast wired charging.
Looking at the lower mid-range or mainstream segment, we witnessed a crowd-favourite budget series jump to a higher price segment. We are of course talking about the Redmi Note 12 series, where the base Redmi Note 12 5G now starts at Rs. 17,999. That’s not to say we didn’t get any decent budget options. The Moto E13 turned out to be a viable option for anyone on a tight budget.
Apart from new smartphone launches, we also discuss how companies are leaning heavily on launch day offers in order to attract more buyers. Majority (if not all) recent smartphone launches have at least one tie up with a bank or credit card company which offer an effective discount on day one of the launch. These offers can be immensely beneficial especially if you’re thinking of buying a smartphone priced above 1 Lakh Rupees, which scarily is not uncommon these days.
We also discuss the idea of smartphone leasing or purchasing it via a contract as a potential future retail model, especially for high-end smartphones which could open up a whole new audience for manufacturers. Many companies such as Samsung are also pushing loyalty programs where customers can trade in their older phones for newer models and receive a substantial discount or other benefits, which is another way to retain older customers.
You can listen to all of that in detail and more in our episode by hitting the play button on the Spotify player embedded above.
If you’re new to the Gadgets 360 website, you can easily find the Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital on your favourite platform — be it Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Gaana, JioSaavn, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Don’t forget to follow the Gadgets 360 podcast wherever you’re listening. Please also rate us and leave a review.