Q1 2011 Phone Shipments Down By 3% In India: Is This Calm Before The Storm?

While we are used to hearing news of Mobile Phone usage booming, sales at an all time high, penetration more than ever before, here is an odd bit of news. Sales figures have come in for Q1 2011, i.e – April to June 2011. Compared to the Quarter before that, Mobile Phone Shipments in India were down  by 3%.

This figure comes for The International Data Corporation (IDC). Says Research Director Mr. Deepak Kumar, “Shipments cooled down a bit in the April-June quarter of 2011, partly due to an inventory build-up from the preceding quarters and partly because vendors apparently paused to take a re-look at their product portfolio strategies,”

However, this is no cause for alarm, because if compared on a Year-On-Year basis, shipments are still up 6%.  In fact, certain segments experienced significant growth. The Smartphone segment grew 68% Year-On-Year and even grew 0.4% compares to the previous quarter. They now hold a 5.6% share of the entire market.

Finnish Giant Nokia continues to hold the lead in the smartphone and feature phone category, with 45.8% and 25% share in the respective segments.  In 2nd place is Korea’s Samsung with 21% Smartphone share and 15% Feature Phone share. RIM occupies the 3rd spot with its Blackberry devices holding 15% share of handsets shipped in the quarter.

Mr G Rajeev Nair, Lead Analyst, Mobile Devices, IDC said “A noteworthy development in the quarter was that smartphones with average sales values of Rs 18,000 and above witnessed a significant growth of 31 per cent over the preceding quarter and a whopping 96 per cent growth over second quarter of calendar year 2010,”

We feel that the reason the quarter went relatively slowly could be because everyone is playing a waiting game. Amongst the entry level handsets, most brands are now venturing into sub 5,000 Android devices. Once this range of devices hit the market properly, shipments in this segment will pick up. Moreover the fact that high-end handsets costing upward of Rs. 18,000 is up is great news for the larger brands as their smartphone ranges are picking up momentum.

With the impending launch of Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich, Apple’s iPhone 5/4GS, Nokia’s Windows Phone 7 Lineup and Blackberry’s recently announced OS7 lineup, the coming Quarter will be one filled with options for the mobile phone buyer.

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