Synopsis Customers’ Perception and Comparative Analysis of i-phone with its major competitors in India

Introduction Mobile users today want their handsets to be converged devices handling multiple functions, entertainment being the most important among them. They want their mobile to be fully loaded with top-end features, but they want all that at affordable costs. Integrated digital camera, music player and stereo FM radio are the three main features which would drive users towards upgrading their handsets. These features are available in mid range and high-end handsets so far, and the common user now demands these features in ordinary handsets which can be affordable. On the other hand, MMS has failed to catch the fancy of the masses due to its high costs of transmission over the networks and relatively cheaper alternate modes of downloading videos available through Internet. Other features like Games, Calculator, Reminders/Scheduler/Organizer, Polyphonic ringtones etc have become hygiene features and are a must for any handset. None of these features is a have become hygiene features and are a must for any handset. None of

these features is a differentiator anymore. Apart from Integrated Camera, Music player and Stereo FM radio, a Speaker phone is another feature that emerges as the driver for replacing the current handset. This feature can be a most cost effective differentiating feature for the low end phones. Most handset vendors have been bringing out new models at fairly regular intervals. The maximum activity takes place at the high end, where the launch of a newer model makes the older model cheaper, shifting it to the mid segment. The handset vendors need to address these expectations of the mass market to be able to entice them towards their products. 3G is the Third Generation of mobile phone standards and technology, superseding 2.5G. It is based on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) family of standards under the IMT-2000. 3G networks enable network operators to offer users a wider range of more advanced services while achieving greater network capacity through improved spectral efficiency. Services include wide-area wireless voice telephony, video calls, and broadband wireless data, all in a mobile environment. Additional features also include HSPA data transmission capabilities able to deliver speeds up to 14.4Mbit/s on the downlink and 5.8Mbit/s on the uplink. Unlike IEEE 802.11 (common names Wi-Fi or WLAN) networks, 3G networks are wide area cellular telephone networks which evolved to incorporate high-speed internet access and video telephony. IEEE 802.11 networks are short range, high-bandwidth networks

primarily developed 3G technologies enable network operators to offer users a wider range of more advanced services while achieving greater network capacity through improved spectral efficiency

Apple iPhone and the Telecom Industry
The story of how Steve Jobs redefined the digital music industry, through the 2001 launch of an innovative music digital player, iPod, and associated online music store, iTunes, is the stuff of legend. So when the same Steve Jobs announced in January 2007 the launch of a new mobile telephone, iPhone, an unavoidable question was raised: will the iPhone revolutionize the mobile telecom industry? It is still early to pass definite judgment on a product which, at the time of writing, is not yet even on the market (it will launch in the US in the early Summer 2007). However, based on an analysis of the iPod experience and the appreciation of the current competitive landscape of the mobile telecommunications, we doubt that iPhone will profoundly transform the mobile industry. Actually, we believe that in order to succeed in this market, Apple will have to substantially adjust its strategic approach. The iPod's success can be attributed to three major strategic factors: * Focus on aesthetics and fashion in product design rather than on extensive functionality. * Innovative approach to the marketing of musical downloads: a network of copyright agreements with music suppliers, a single price for a download (99 cents per song) and, less visible but just as important, a robust and restrictive Digital Rights Management (DRM) policy. * Astute reversal of the classic razorblades business model. Instead of selling cheap razors and expensive blades (or like Hewlett-Packard, cheap printers and expensive cartridges), Job decided to sell cheap songs and expensive players. Apple revenues from selling iPods are six times higher than those from iTunes downloads. In mobile telecommunications, fashion-oriented design has already been adopted by major players (Nokia, Motorola and LG) and therefore cannot really constitute a main differentiation factor.

As for the marketing of content, the one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to work. A mobile telephone is a multi-functional device to begin with. And as wireless broadband becomes widespread, content transmitted over the mobile will become ever more diversified. Video, still pictures, and various kinds of music cannot be priced in the same way. Furthermore, this diversity of content cannot be accommodated by overly restrictive and rigid DRM policies. Those conclusions are not purely theoretical. They are based on the previous venture of Apple into mobile telephony through the launch of a hybrid mobile phone with iPod capability, ROKR, in association with Motorola. The ROKR was a resounding failure, mainly because of the restrictions imposed by Apple on musical downloads. This experience may explain why Steve Jobs recently made an apparent U-turn and came out against the general use of DRM, which he now considers as an obstacle to a speedy dissemination of digital music. In its presentations so far of the iPhone, Apple has adopted a reverse razorblade model and set the price of the unit at 600 dollars. Contrary to widespread practice for high-end terminals, the iPhone will not be bundled at a cheaper price with network subscription fees (despite the fact that it will only be marketed by a single network operator per geography). It remains to be seen whether this rigid attitude will stand the test of time and market reaction. Apple and Steve Jobs have been highly successful by developing closed eco-systems, tightly controlling their various elements (hardware, software, distribution, maintenance). Such control will be difficult to achieve within the mobile telecommunication eco-system. Will Jobs adjust his strategy or seek to exploit the forthcoming transformation of the mobile telecom industry and develop a new eco-system?

Highdeal Point of View
Apple has a brilliant knack for combining the talents of the best industrial and user interface designers on the planet to come up with products that "just work." In an industry still obsessed with geeky feature lists-speeds

and feeds-the Apple brand promises a 10x better enduser experience. With its solid reputation and cult like following, Apple will appeal to a wide range of customers who are tired of broken software and hard to use technology products and is well positioned to persuade them to try something different. While mobile phone manufacturers and their operator partners already deliver on this same promise for basic communications: mobile voice and simple messaging "just work" and are ubiquitous, the mobile industry has failed to deliver on the promise of advanced mobile communications. The blame for this is shared: user interfaces on high-end phones are way too complex for advanced services, many leading smartphone operating systems are notoriously full of bugs, and operators have not yet figured out how to build, promote, price and bundle mobile-friendly content and services. Whereas, Apple already has an exisiting global reputation with iPod, iTunes, and their computers, for having these abilities and strengths. The 600 dollar price tag for the iPhone was also most likely set by Apple to ensure that they were not competing with the iPod which retails for around 250-350 dollars, but the iPhone is clearly not targeted at a mass market. Apple has announced that their goal is to take 1 percent of the world market for mobile phones by the end of 2008. This may seem like a modest amount, but with a billion handsets sold worldwide last year, it would mean 10 million iPhones sold-a healthy supplement to the 39 million iPods that Apple sold in 2006. High-end phones and smartphones represented less than 10% of all mobile devices sold in 2006 and operators are not generating great revenues from these devices. Data

ARPU figures for operators are still only growing sluggishly and the history of 3G service rollouts is littered with failures. The entry of Apple into this market consequently makes great sense for them: there is a situation that is ripe for their brand promise at the high end of the mobile phone market. Apple does indeed have to prove that they can figure out a better way to structure and manage the mobile ecosystem, but they are building on their existing reputation for doing just this. If they succeed in making significant numbers of consumers comfortable with advanced mobile communications and if Apple competitors can learn from this success then the overall market will be greatly expanded and everyone will benefit.

Apple i-Phone This was the most awaited phone in the Indian market. It is now here, but not before it became famous throughout the rest of the world. Renowned for its chic design and easy-to-use functions the iPhone has tremendous features such as its wide and clear screen, iPod, internet capability with classic web browser, GPS mapping, and last but not lease, a phone. Apple iPhone is being offered in the USA for the price of $199, so the awaiting buyers in India expected the same price. Unfortunately, that is not what happened. To grab hold of this hot item, you will have to shell out Rs.31,000 for the 8GB and Rs. 36,100 for the 16GB. If you want to pick up more than one, you may consider flying overseas

to make your purchase. Even with airfare included, you may just save a few rupees! It’s three devices in one. iPhone is more than just a phone. It combines three devices in one: a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod, and a breakthrough Internet device. All that and more makes it the best phone you’ll ever use. Revolutionary Phone With the Multi-Touch interface on iPhone, you can make a call simply by tapping a name or number in your contacts or favorites list, your call log, or just about anywhere. Visual Voicemail lets you select and listen to messages in whatever order you want — just like email. Widescreen iPod iPhone shows off your content — music, movies, TV shows, and more — on a beautiful 3.5-inch display. Add to your collection by downloading music and video wirelessly from the itune store. Scroll through songs and playlist with touch of a finger,. Breakthrough Internet Device iPhone uses fast 3G and Wi-Fi wireless connections to deliver rich HTML email, Maps with GPS, and Safari — the most advanced web browser on a mobile device. It has Google and Yahoo! search built in. And since iPhone multitasks, you can make a phone call while emailing a photo or surfing the web over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. It opens a whole new world of applications. iPhone comes with some amazing applications. And you can choose from thousands more on the App Store and

download them with a tap. Your iPhone gets even better with every new app. Play games. Be more productive. Keep yourself entertained. No matter what you want to do on iPhone, there’s an app for that.

HTC Diamond Touch This is the most talked about phone among the corporate and business people of India. Loaded with tons of great features, it is one of the slimmest phones in the touch category. It boasts of the most famous business platform out there Windows Mobile. This slim trim companion comes with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, it weighs a mere 110 g (with the battery), it is GPS enabled, has a 2.8-inch touch screen, 4GB internal usage, and will even tell you the weather reports with HTC Weather. No, an umbrella is not included. So if you are not mobile savvy but care about the Windows Mobile Platform and the business related apps then go for HTC Diamond Touch. This one truly is a diamond in the rough!

NOKIA N96 Finally it’s time to talk about one of the most famous brands on the planet, Nokia. Nokia N96 is great improvement on the already excellent N95. People are no

longer calling it a mobile but rather, a new multimedia computer as it has virtually everything a computer should have. Easily accessing internet videos is a highlight of this sophisticated phone. In select markets, the integrated DVB-H receiver offers live broadcast TV with an automatically updating program guide. It also boasts of a 5 megapixel camera, GPS, Bluetooth wireless technology, WLAN, and a DVB-H Receiver. BlackBerry Storm 9500 The highly anticipated BlackBerry Storm 9500 today made its first official appearance, popping up on German Vodafone web site. Images and specs of the first touchscreen RIM-manufactured device have been floating around the net for what seems like ages but it hasn’t yet been officially announced. If all the rumored features are confirmed when the device actually sees daylight then the Apple iPhone 3G might be up for quite a challenge. The specifications of the BlackBerry Storm 9500 that are already known include a 3.3” touchscreen with a resolution of 360 x 480 pixels. The tri-band 3G with HSDPA and the quad-band GSM support makes it capable of global roaming. The Storm 9500 is running on a 624 MHz CPU and has 192 MB of RAM and utilizes a new version of the BlackBerry OS, optimized for touchscreen input. Samsung i8510 INNOV8 It is an imaging powerhouse, with its 8 megapixel autofocus camera that offers image stabilization and

blink, smile, and face detection, for perfect photos. The camera also features the ability to take panoramic photographs, and uses the handset's built-in GPS receiver to geotag photos with location information. The i8510 INNOV8 is capable of recording QVGA video at up to 120 frames per second and VGA-resolution video at up to 30 frames per second, with a full video editing suite on board. Music is not forgotten on this workhorse, with a built-in FM radio, 3D surround sound, and a standard 3.5mm audio port. The i8510 INNOV8 offers 16GB of built-in memory in addition to a microSD card slot for even more storage options. Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support for stereo headsets makes wireless music possible also.

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 This phone is based on the Windows Mobile 6.1 Operating System which means it has a full suite of applications to offer to the user. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 is promoted by the company as offering a convergence of communication features and entertainment features; this convergence is exactly what people are seeking from a smart-phone in today’s highly mobile world and allows this new lineup of phones to compete in the global marketplace. What is really impressive about the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 is the fact that this phone excels in so many different areas. Some phones really do well only as a niche phone but very few phones really meet all of the diverse needs of a single user. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 manages to achieve this rarely-met goal. It has great Internet and

communication services as well as a plethora of entertainment options. It has a built-in camera and other great standard features expected of today’s advanced phones. And it really stands out in the area of design. Combined together, these features make this mobile phone a truly well-rounded cutting-edge phone intended for the smart-phone fan who wants to have it all Objective: The objective of the project is to explore the perception of the customer towards i-phone and its major competitors HTC Diamond, Samsung F490, Sony Xperia x1, Black berry thunder, and Nokia N75 and to do a comparative study of these mobile handsets in India.  In the first part of my objective, I will try to find out the customer perception towards the 3G phones and will try to find the important features which the customer prefers over all the other features available in the handset. and, regarding features, brand, range etc.  Second part of the study will be focused on the comparative study of i-phone and its major competitors HTC Diamond, Samsung F490, Sony Xperia x1, Black berry thunder, and Nokia N75. This analysis will be done on the basis of the features which customer prefers more. Methodology There are nearly 120 million consumers of mobile handsets making the telecommunication sector one of the most lucrative markets for global mobile phone manufacturers & cell phone providers. For this research I have taken a random sample of 100 mobile phone users

in Different parts of India. The methodology to conduct the study was composed of different tasks as follows: 1. Review of literature: A review of literature on consumer satisfaction in telecom industry was undertaken in order to define the comprehensive scope of the study and ensuring its objectivity. 2. In- Depth interviews: IDIs were conducted across 10 people. 4 of these were students from the AIM campus and 6 were executives from different companies. The purpose of these interviews was to understand the user of 3G mobile phone, to know their buying process for these phones, to understand the attributes important for the phones and to know what the users considered as an important 3. Questionnaire: The inputs from the above two helped us in the questionnaire formation. Important attributes were identified and incorporated. Also, the research objectives helped us identify the nature of questions we needed to ask

Need for the study
Recently Apple launched i-phone and expectations of people with i-phone were very high. Even mobile phone manufacturers in India were ready with their counter attack. This research is being conducted as to know whether the expectations are being fulfilled or not on the customer end and also to know whether its competitors are able to neutralize the effect of i-phone by their newly launched mobile handsets.

Sampling Data

1. Target Population: Men and women all the age group. 2. Sampling frame: High End Customer from all over India 3. Sampling Technique: Convenience sampling. 4. Sample Size: 100

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