Homegrown brands breathe down the necks of MNCs in smartphone race

25th June 2013 | By Mouseworld Now Correspondent |

New Delhi, India, June 25, 2013: Smartphones sold by Indian mobile firms now account for nearly 30% of India’s handset market up from from less than 3% a year ago, agree various marker research reports including one by International Data Corp.(IDC).

Indian buyers have been targeting mostly lower-priced smartphones by local companies such as Micromax and  Karbonn Mobiles. The smartphones now collectively account for almost 30% of the country’s handset market.

After leaving an impact on the basic phone market, the Indian brands have made a progression to smartphones segment over the past year. Earlier a market was created in this segment, especially by Samsung through market offerings of lower-specification phones at lower prices.

According to research firm Gartner, the Indian smartphone market is expected to reach 26-28 million by the end of 2013.

Samsung continues to maintain its leadership in smartphone sales in the first quarter (January-March), 2013, with a market share of 32.7% of the 6.1 million units sold, according to IDC. Micromax stood second at 18.8% of the share, followed by Karbonn accounting for 10.9%. Nokia and Sony had to be satisfied with a dwindling fortune of 5.9% each. Overall, smartphone sales in India rose 74% over what it was in the same quarter a year ago.

Numbers provided by other research cells also agreed with the IDC findings. The increase in fortune experienced by the local companies and Samsung mostly occurred at the cost of Nokia and BlackBerry.

Research firm Convergence Catalyst cited in a report, “the share of Indian players (such as Micromax and Karbonn) grew from sub 2% in January to close to 30% by December 2012 (in volume).”

According to industry experts, price matters to Indians with nearly 75-80% of smartphone sales coming from mobile devices priced under Rs.10,000/.

“The competition between top international and local vendors remained prominent in the last (Q1) quarter with Samsung, Micromax and Karbonn controlling almost two-thirds of the Indian smartphone market. However, the market remained driven by low-cost devices” said Manasi Yadav, senior market analyst at IDC’s client devices team.

While market leader Samsung is doing all it can to maintain its market preeminence, Nokia fire-fights to gain back lost glory.

Recently Samsung launched a portfolio of smartphones across price categories, targeting mostly the price-conscious Indian.

“We want to fuel the smartphone growth in the Indian market with devices across various points, so that even when existing Galaxy users upgrade, they upgrade to the next Galaxy,” said a Samsung spokesperson.

Nokia has caught its pie of the action with the launch of the Nokia Asha and Nokia Lumia phones.

“In a span of nearly 16 months, Nokia has launched 15 new Nokia Asha devices in India. Continuing the Nokia Asha smartphone story, earlier this month we introduced the Nokia Asha 501—the first of a new family of Asha smartphones,” said Vipul Mehrotra, director, smart devices, IMEA (India Middle East Africa).


© Mouseworld Now News Service

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