Handset companies look beyond the basics in game of Pros

The Pro versions, which brands declare to offer higher features for a greater price, have created a separate phase for the companies to capitalise on.
That seems to be the flavour of the season for smartphone manufacturers in India, with the likes of Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Realme, OnePlus and Huawei launching Pro — quick for expert — versions of their base models.
The Pro versions, which manufacturers claim to provide better facets for a greater price, have created a separate phase for the agencies to capitalise on. But analysts say many of the Pro versions launched so far in India have only cosmetic modifications from the base ones — for instance, a higher digicam — but are priced as plenty as 50% higher, a approach that they advised may want to backfire and damage brand value.
Market chief Xiaomi, however, justified the launch of Pro versions, pronouncing altering the nomenclature allowed consumers to higher understand the difference between variations and make their selections easier.
On analyst views that the Pro method by means of manufacturers could be misleading customers to pay a top class for now not that many features, a Xiaomi spokesperson said: “A lot is structured on the enterprise vogue — if digicam is the largest fashion in the market, then the brands are extra probably to make that as their biggest USP.”
Others like OnePlus and Vivo also backed the Pro strategy, and downplayed analyst concerns. Oppo and Realme didn’t comment. Among different major players, Samsung doesn’t have any Pro models.
“The dual flagship strategy will enable us to deepen the bond with our core consumer base while also increasing the manufacturer among a new set of top rate users,” stated Vikas Agarwal, the India head for OnePlus.
Nipun Marya, director of company approach at Vivo India, said its non-Pro version was aimed at consumers who wanted flagship device-like innovations at barely decrease prices.
Huawei said its improvements have been dictated by using customer demands. “However, purchaser needs are perpetually altering and it is difficult to accurately forecast the permanence of this,” the Chinese enterprise said.
Till date, at least 94 Pro versions have been launched through as many as 31 brands. In 2019 so far, 10 Pro variations have been launched, statistics from research company techARC showed.
techARC stated for most Pro phones, parameters like OS, RAM, ROM, display size, battery capacity and processor clock fee did not show any specific fashion that would differentiate a Pro model from its base model. However, there are also exceptions, it said.
“Unfortunately, there is nothing such to indicate in the Pro versions launched so some distance by using the smartphone brands, which should qualify them to be viewed as the smartphones for professionals,” stated Faisal Kawoosa, founder of research association techARC.
The rate version is additionally stark, the techARC information suggested. The Pro version’s common fee was Rs 20,668, nearly 50% extra in contrast with the base model’s common charge of Rs 13,902. The disparity in the expenditures between brands was once also wide: Pro variations launched in 2019 are priced in the vary of Rs 7,000 to Rs 48,000. The most expensive Pro model on hand is priced at almost Rs 72,000.
“The seasoned version should have relevant and clear differentiation from the everyday upgrade, in any other case consumers would possibly lose trust in the brand, which can then affect its vicinity in the market amid high competition,” stated Tarun Pathak, partner research director at Counterpoint Research.

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