Article: Cell phone buyers look for critical apps, but a simplified user experience

Originally posted on YourStory.com – http://yourstory.com/2015/02/phone-apps-user-experience/
| February 09, 2015 at 10:33 am

The mobile market is going through a significant change – the era of distribution strength and hardware differentiation is long past; the market is now largely dependent on software differentiation and consumer centric features that tie users to a particular brand. For this developing economies, localization and regionalization is the key. Therefore, in a country like India, with a population of 1.25 billion people (out of which only 150 million people speak English), it is inevitable that the mobile market moves towards localized and customized mobile devices.

As smartphone-led mobile products and services grow beyond early adopters, the availability of regional language based communication, consumption and creation tools becomes vital for new entrants or existing brands to change the game. There is an impending need for customized and differentiated devices to cater to the ever-changing needs and regional requirements of customers in languages and formats that are easily understood and implemented.

In order to create product differentiation in the mobile device ecosystem we have to look beyond the Shenzhen market to differentiate for India. Of late, the internet sales model followed by flagship companies like OnePlus, Xiaomi, Huwaei etc has been disrupting the market.

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The disparate price points of these devices have resulted in a much distorted opinion of the end user about the market. With such varied options available, the end user doesn’t want to pay Rs 40,000 for a mobile device anymore. However, he still expects the features of a Rs 40,000 phone. Although these newer flagship phones are able to match the hardware specifications of a more expensive phone within the desired price point, these devices lack a unified experience for the end user. Software differentiation is the key to bridge this gap.

Of all the mobile devices out there in the market, a maximum number of smart phones (nearly 485 different models) are in the Rs 5000 to Rs 10,000 range. What does it mean?  Powered by surging internet use and, right price points; apps and services that can hook on to the brand are required. ODMs are also powering differentiation by partnering with local app providers. All this requires maintaining and integrating with a large number of ODMs.

Now comes the era of custom ROM for the market. OnePlus has recently launched OxygenOS for India and HydrogenOS for China. This shows the ODM to control the custom ROM on android. Mobile brands like Micromax and Wham in India have understood the need for a software centric approach and are creating mobile phones that have consumer centric applications and other services designed to increase user loyalty to the brand.

While these brands are trying to grab the biggest share of the pie, there is an imminent need for a differentiated secure android platform, which is unlike other flavours of android in the market. It needs to be enterprise ready – to cater to different industry verticals; secure – to ensure data protection; and also consumer friendly. Newer generation operating systems need to be created after lot of market research to target both enterprises and consumers.

Following the differentiated device model will be a game changer for ODMs and mobile brands as they will have an alternative custom ROM from conventional flavors of android in the market to create differentiation in their offerings for consumers and enterprises.  Differentiating factors for an ODM in India will vary from region to region. The common chord between all these geographies is what they need to work on. Wham Mobiles understood this opportunity and has launched cutting edge devices with the revolutionary custom ROM called Mobiliya KratOS. It comes with state-of-the-art applications like parental control, child mode, anti-theft and women safety, all of which give the end user a sense of security. Integrating these critical but simple applications along with a simplified user experience is what the market needs at this juncture.


Ankush Tiwari

Ankush Tiwari

Ankush Tiwari is MD & SVP – Engineering at Mobiliya-India. He has more than a decade of experience in building software for mobility. He was the Lead Architect for Azingo (acquired by Motorola), where he led the Web 2.0 application framework and middleware architecture for the Open Source Linux Platform and the open source browser for embedded systems.

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