91mobiles Smartphone Buyer Insights Survey 2022: a summary

Here's a quick recap of the insights from our latest survey

Through our 91mobiles Smartphone Buyers Insight Survey, we got a deeper understanding of how people are buying phones in 2022. Over the past week, we have looked at some of the trends in smartphone ownership and how people decide on a new smartphone, based on data from the survey. We also learned about smartphone attributes that matter most to people, where performance took the top spot.

You can take a look at our full report embedded below for reference. While you’re at it, here’s a quick recap of some of the biggest insights we have gleaned after surveying over 15,000 people.

91mobiles Smartphone Buyer Insights Survey 2022

Insights from our survey covering smartphone ownership patterns, brand loyalty, buyer behaviour and aspects people look at while buying smartphones

Ownership patterns

  • While Samsung still tops the list as the most popular brand in India, its ownership percentage seems to have been steadily declining. Apple is quickly looking to take the top spot with more and more people looking to own an iPhone next.
  • The reason behind Apple’s ownership share rising is likely due to price cuts of older iPhone models and the launch of the affordable iPhone SE 3.
  • Despite launching several smartphones over the past year, including 5G phones, Realme and OnePlus have just seen minor gains in ownership share.
  • Meanwhile, things don’t look great for Xioami and Samsung as they have dropped in ownership share between April 2021 to April 2022.

Brand loyalty among smartphone users

  • Roughly 27 percent of people wish to own an Apple iPhone in the next 1 or 2 years, which is a significant change compared to 12 percent last year.
  • Apple also enjoys strong brand loyalty among our 15,000+ survey pool. Around 87 percent of iPhone users plan to upgrade to a new iPhone. OnePlus comes in second with 71 percent of users likely to upgrade to another OnePlus phone in the future.
  • Notably, Motorola has also seen an increase in customer loyalty from 2021 to 2022, which is likely due to the availability of impressive yet affordable Moto smartphones in recent months.
  • Interestingly, Xiaomi and Realme have seen a drop in customer loyalty in the past year. The reason behind this is unclear, but one of them could be due to more disposable income among buyers during the pandemic, allowing them to purchase premium devices from Apple and OnePlus.

How people decide on a new smartphone

  • Around 50 percent of our survey participants buy a new smartphone simply to upgrade to the latest device. Meanwhile, 40 percent of people upgrade due to issues with their current smartphone, such as slow performance or wear and tear.
  • While over 55 percent of the people in our survey group tend to upgrade to a new smartphone only after 2 years, there’s a growing number of people who are upgrading more frequently.
  • When looking to purchase a new smartphone, people love to do their research through websites like 91mobiles, MySmartPrice, GSMArena, etc. Many buyers also prefer watching video reviews on YouTube.

Smartphone attributes that matter most to people while buying a phone

  • According to our survey, performance matters most to people when buying a new phone. Around 43 percent of people care about the performance of a smartphone. Digging a little deeper, we learned that RAM capacity is of the highest importance for people. This means that buyers are looking at a 6GB or 8GB RAM phone when buying a device.
  • People do look at processor brand and clock speed as well when buying a phone based on performance.
  • The camera is the second most important attribute for people when deciding on a new smartphone. The megapixel count and video capabilities are what buyers are looking at when considering a camera phone.
  • In the premium segment, people seem to be most excited to see the iPhone 14 series this year. In the budget/ mid-range segment, the Redmi Note 12 Pro is the most exciting upcoming smartphone, with the OnePlus Nord 3 a close second.

How people prefer to purchase a new smartphone

  • The Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 price segment seems to be the sweet spot for most buyers, and this is where brands like Xiaomi and Realme have been successful in the past, but OnePlus and iQOO are also entering this space with some attractive devices.
  • Around 30 percent of people are still buying budget phones under Rs 10,000, although we haven’t seen a lot of action in this segment in the past year.
  • An impressive 85 percent of people in our survey group plan on buying a new smartphone in 2022.

  • With 5G launch in India around the corner, around 4 out 5 people are considering buying a 5G phone next. Luckily, brands like Realme, OnePlus, and Samsung have made sure there are plenty of 5G phones in the market already.
  • Around 50 percent of buyers still prefer to pay the full amount of a new smartphone upfront rather than go the EMI route. Although, EMI is a preferred option for people between the ages 25 and 44.
  • It also seems upgrade programs have been quite appealing to consumers. Almost 50 percent of people say they would buy a new phone through upgrade programs such as the Galaxy Forever, Mi Smart Upgrade, or Realme Real Upgrade programs, among others. These upgrade programs allow the user to buy a new phone at around 70 percent of the total cost, with the option to upgrade to a new device after 12 months or retain the phone by paying the full amount.
  • Lastly, 32 percent of our survey participants said they would exchange their old phone for a discount on a new phone.
These were our biggest takeaways from the 91mobiles Smartphone Buyers Insight Survey 2022. We learned that Apple could become the most prefered brand for consumers by next year, pipping Samsung for the top spot. Apple’s iPhone 14 series is what most people are excited to see this year. 8 out of 10 people are looking to upgrade to a 5G device with 5G services around the corner. And 91mobiles continues to be among the most prefered websites for smartphone research!