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With over 80 million shipments India is the fastest growing Smartphone market in Asia

Emmanuel Amberber
2nd Dec 2014
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International Data Corporation’s report for India’s mobile market is out. As many as 23.3 million smartphones were shipped into India in Q3 2014.

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Besides the disappearance of Nokia and re-emergence of Motorola on the list, the overall mobile market looks like last year’s with 9% YoY growth. At present, Samsung has a 24% share, shrunk from 36% in Q1, while Micromax has a 20% share. Lava and Karbonn each has an equal share of 8%, and Motorola has 5%, while other vendors command 36% of the market.

The highlight of the report is that a large chunk of Indian users are making a transition to affordable smarter devices from feature phones. India witnessed the highest rate of growth -- over 18% -- in smartphone sales in Asia Pacific region during January-March 2014, outshining countries like China.

According to IDC’s Q3 2014 numbers, phone vendors in India shipped a total of 23.3 million smartphones compared to 12.8 million units in the same period of 2013. The overall mobile phone market has increased from 19% last year to 32% in Q3 2014.

"With 6% of the overall smartphone market, Phablets (which IDC defines as smartphones with a screen size of 5.5 inches - 6.99 inches) are observed to be hitting a plateau. Smartphones with screen sizes between 4.5 inches and 5.5 inches are seen as the sweet spot for consumer preference. However, consumers need larger screen sizes to enjoy media content and with the 4G rollout expected in CY2015, we expect the Phablets segment to pick up again,” said Kiran Kumar, Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India.

The quarter was good for Micromax; its market share has increased from 18% in Q2 2014 to 20% in Q3 2014. Karbonn, which controls 8% of the smartphone market share, made 85% of their shipment volume on handsets priced less than $100. Lava is also in the top five vendors along with Motorola.

According IDC India, the shipment growth in Q3 was largely a push from festive demand. Also, IDC expects the trade to hold sufficient inventory leading to a lesser intake in Q4 2014.

"With positive consumer sentiments and low levels of inflation, consumers will have more money to spend. Majority of the smartphone users change their phones within 12 to 24 months. With 44 million units shipped in CY2013 and the current market scenario hinting at 80 million plus shipments in CY2014, we have a big chunk of end-user market which is awaiting a refresh. To add to this, new initiatives on the 4G front are expected to be rolled out by the vendors, which should spark up demand in the smartphone market in CY2015," said Karan Thakkar, Senior Market Analyst at IDC India.

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