According to the latest release by CyberMedia Research on ‘India Mobile Handsets Market’, India observed 62.9 Mn mobile handset shipments for the period July-September 2013, a 10.9% Y-o-Y growth. Also, for the first time ever, the feature phones’ sales have seen a decline in India.
This is highly surprising, as till now feature phones dominated the Indian market due to their low costs. But as per this latest research data, the smartphone sales have seen a 152% Y-o-Y growth for Q3 2013, reaching 11.1 Mn shipments in the given quarter.
The smartphone market was dominated by Samsung, followed by Micromax and Karbonn. The latter two are Indian smartphone companies, who offer affordable smartphones and smart feature phones. Their popularity in the country could be one primary reason behind the increase in smartphone sales. But the overall mobile handset market was lead by Nokia, making 19% of the total shipments in India.
“So there is going to be a huge opportunity as well as competition in the entry- to mid-level smartphone segments, which is where the volumes would remain for a while,” said Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice.
It is interesting to see this change in consumers’ taste. Indians don’t have much disposable cash in hand to spend on high-end phones, and mobile companies were tapping this to target their audience in the market. They were focused on making budget feature phones, with basic specifications to cater the consumer market.
But now clearly the consumers want more. With a range of affordable smartphones available in the market, they are moving ahead from the simple phones. This is opening a whole new sphere of opportunities for the phone companies as they could experiment with the market by introducing new smartphones that an Indian consumer can afford and will like.
At the same time, the fight to tap the Indian phone market is going to get intense, among both the national and international phone manufacturers. With an increase in smartphone penetration, there is going to be an increase in demand for the value added services associated with smartphones. It will be interesting to see, how after this news, the mobile phone handset segment evolves in the next one year.
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