Mobile handset sales in India grew 20.8 percent to 221.6 million units in 2012, thanks to a tremendous positive growth in the number of smartphone owners, according to a study by Cyber Media Research. The total mobile sales in India are 184.3 million in the year 2012. The research study’s objective was to track the shipments of major handset manufacturers in the country. “Although we see a huge market ‘hype’ around smartphones, the fact remains that the India mobile handset market is still dominated by shipments of feature phones. On the other hand, smartphone shipments are growing fast,” CMR Lead Analyst (Telecoms Practice) Faisal Kawoosa said.
According to the CMR’s (CyberMedia research) report, Samsung has 41 per cent market share of the smartphone market. Samsung’s smartphone market share could be much bigger but this research report doesn’t include popular phones like Samsung Galaxy Grand, Note and Note 2 as it categorizes them as Phablet. Phablets are essentially devices that have a screen size higher than that of a regular 5-inch device.
In the smartphone arena, Nokia followed Samsung with a rather low 13.3 percent market share. Sony wrestled with BlackBerry for the third spot and had a 8.2 percent market share for total smartphone shipments in 2012, all thanks to its Xperia series of smartphones.
However, Samsung could not beat Nokia in terms of overall mobile market which includes both low-cost feature handsets and smartphones.
In terms of percent of ‘phones and handsets’ that were shipped in the year 2012, The CMR report has stated that Nokia remained the king: it boasts of 21.8 percent overall handset shipment market share followed by Samsung at 13.7 percent and Micromax at 6.6 percent. The report also says that Nokia captured 22.5 percent of overall feature phone shipments.
“We believe the struggle for leadership in the India smartphones market is going to intensify through 2013 as vendors bring new form factors to market,” CMR Analyst (Telecoms Practice) Tarun Pathak said. “At the same time, homegrown vendors such as Micromax, Karbonn and Lava will try to make a mark against their global competitors by bringing to market powerful, yet attractively priced smartphones in an attempt to widen their appeal and grow the overall smartphone user base,” Mr. Pathak added.
In other news, Apple, the maker of iPhone and iPad, has bagged the second spot as a smartphone brand in India in a research by IDC last month. Also, in February this year, a report by StatCounter revealed that Apple and Samsung displace Nokia worldwide for first time in terms of m Mobile Internet usage. Nokia India also saw its revenues dip by 23% in 2012 and also witnessed it’s Senior VP Mr. Shivkumar resign after a long stint of 8 years recently.
If I look at the nature of the Indian mobile phone market, I think we still remain a feature phone market with 206.4 million shipments against a paltry 15.4 million smartphone shipments. Interestingly, the point to be noted is that smartphone shipment sales are increasing by 35.7 percent every year, and I believe in a time of few years, smartphone shipments in India could equal or even surpass feature phone shipments. Also, the feature phone market also grew by a healthy 19 percent last year. That, I think, could well explain the reason why Samsung India has been focusing on feature phones as well lately.