In line with the global smartphone market shipments, the market for smartphones in India also continues to grow at a healthy rate. In the latest report by analyst firm IDC, smartphone shipments in India almost tripled in shipments year over year (YOY) in the second quarter of 2013.
Large Screen, Dual Sim and Lower Price Points Driving Smartphone Sales in India
While this is a phenomenal growth, what is more interesting is the fact that the growth in Indian smartphone market is being led by large screen (5-6.99 inch) smartphone suggesting that India is a phablet crazy market when it comes to smartphones. To add perspective to the phablet phenomenon in India, the shipments of large screen (5-6.99 inch) smartphones has grown 17 times on a yearly basis and phablets now account for 30% of the overall smartphone market in India.
In addition to the liking for large screen, the key drivers for smartphone adoption have been dual sim option and lower price points. It continues to amaze me how dual sim has turned around the mobile phone sales in India. In a price sensitive market like India, the option of using two sim cards in one device made perfect sense and this one feature enabled domestic vendors like Micromax, Karbonn to corner a healthy market share in India. However, it seems that a dual sim phone is ready to move up the price ladder with most vendors now offering dual sim smartphones as well and apparently there are takers for higher price dual sim smartphones as well in India.
Like in most other markets in India, price continues to play a strong role in smartphone market as well. While the likes of Samsung, Nokia have launched higher priced smartphones in India the sub $200 price range seems to be the perfect price point when it comes to smartphone market in India (sub $200 smartphones accounted for 2/3rd of the shipments in Q2 2013). It is no surprise then that the domestic vendors enjoy a healthy market share for smartphones in India.
Domestic Vendors dominate the Indian smartphone market as Samsung tries to hold on to its leadership
On a global stage, discussion around smartphone vendors centres around the likes of Samsung, Apple, HTC etc. But in India, the story is a little..er.. a lot different. The smartphone vendor landscape in India is hugely biased towards domestic vendors even as Samsung continues to be the market leader with a market share of 26%. So while Samsung continues to maintain its market leadership in India driven by a range of smartphones in low, medium and high price range, its leadership is being threatened by local vendors such as Micromax, Karbonn and surprisingly Nokia.
Data Source: IDC
It is very interesting to see how Micromax (22%) is inching close to the global giant Samsung (26%). With the way it is going, I won’t be surprised if Micromax upstages Samsung as the number one smartphone vendor in India. A wide range of low and medium priced smartphones with heavy advertising is paving the way for Micromax’s success and my assumption is that Karbonn is using pretty much the same approach as Micromax to corner smartphone market share in India. Nokia’s focus on Windows OS based Lumnia edition phones seems to be working as Nokia is maintaining its spot as one of the Top 5 smartphone vendors in India.
As the second largest market in Asia, Indian smartphone market is definitely a market worth watching. It will be interesting to see if the phablet market continues to grow because personally I just don’t like the form factor of large screens but the larger Indian consumer base seems to have taken a liking for them. Irrespective, it is heartening to see smartphone market growing in India and Indian smartphones fighting tooth and nail to corner the larger share of this market.