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Online vs Offline Mobile Phone Market, How They Are Different and Why?

Whenever we plan to buy a new phone, the first thing that comes to our mind is whether to buy it online or purchase it from a local store. Earlier we used to buy our electronic products including mobile phones from local stores. But with the emergence of big online retailers like Amazon, Flipkart etc, this scenario has changed.

Offline market still dominates – especially in tier 2 and tier 3 towns, and generally, people prefer to buy expensive products from physical stores. Still, online markets have become very popular with the masses. Both online and offline options have their own advantages and disadvantages. In this article we will tell you the difference between online and offline mobile phone market.

Online Market

  • Great value for money products like Xiaomi Redmi 3S, Redmi Note 3, OnePlus 3 etc.
  • Online phones are usually performance oriented.
  • Advertising cost is generally very less.
  • After sale support is usually average or very low. (exceptions like Samsung and Motorola are there)
  • No direct contact with the seller.
  • It is not available in some small cities of the country.
  • Middlemen commission is very less, generally only one middlemen (i.e online retailer) is involved.
  • Return and replacement process is a bit complicated.
  • Some of the best phones that are available exclusively through online retailers: Xiaomi Redmi 3S, Redmi 3S prime, Redmi Note 3, LeEco Le2, Xiaomi Mi Max, Lenovo Z2 Plus, OnePlus 3 and Oneplus 3T.


Offline Market

  • Value for money is generally low as compared online phones.
  • These phones usually comes with a highlight feature, like better selfie camera.
  • Other specifications are usually below average when compared with online phones.
  • Advertising costs are generally higher when compared with online phones.
  • After sale support is very good in most cases, especially Samsung.
  • There is a direct contact with the seller. You can experience the product before buying it.
  • Physical stores are available in most parts of the country.
  • Many middlemen like retailers, distributors are involved, thus intermediary commissions are more and these commissions finally adds on to the price of the product.
  • Return and replacement process is very simple (in case of defective products)
  • Some of the popular phones in the offline market are Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016), Galaxy A5 (2016), Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016), Vivo V5, Oppo F1s and Gionee S6s.



As I said earlier, both online and offline channels have their own advantages and disadvantages. In end the final decision depends on the personal preferences and location. I personally think that online retailers are better for budget segment phones like Redmi 3S, Redmi Note 3, Lenovo Z2 Plus, One Plus 3 etc. Whereas high end mobile phones and other electronics should be purchased from offline stores.


Abhinav Singh

Abhinav Singh, a software engineer who is very much interested in social engineering. He is responsible to manage all the social media profiles of Gadgets To Use. He also has a hobby of tracking new apps and gadgets and to share them with our readers as well.