Mobile device sales in India are estimated to touch 231 million units in 2012, a rise of 8.5 per cent over the 213 million units sold so far this year, according to Gartner. The mobile handset market is expected to show steady growth through 2015, when end-user sales would surpass 322 million units.
With 150 manufacturers selling devices, the Indian mobile market is very competitive. India, accounting for approximately 12 per cent of worldwide sales, is an important market for device manufacturers.
Due to its sheer size and open market (mobile devices being sold independently of cellular connection), the market has attracted many global mobile device manufacturers. While most of the local and Chinese manufacturers have remained focused on low-cost devices, some manufacturers have built capabilities to deliver smartphone devices and some have even ventured into other global markets.
The pace of competition has seen the share of global vendors declining, as local and Chinese manufacturers are set to control more than 50 per cent of the market in 2011. “Big global brands would continue to face competition from local and Chinese brands, as some of these brands are building capabilities to compete at a larger level, covering broader consumer segments," said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst, Gartner.
In terms of handset sales, G'five, Karbonn Mobile and Micromax stood third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, after Nokia and Samsung in the third quarter, according to the report.
“The entry of Indian mobile handset players, which focus on low-end, value conscious consumers, has intensified competition in the Indian mobile device market. The average selling price of a mobile device is approximately $45, with 75 per cent of devices sold costing below $75," said Gupta. Smartphone sales in India accounted for six per cent of total device sales in the first three quarters this year, and this share is expected to rise to eight per cent in 2012.
With the growing influence of local handset players in the low-end segment, the traditionally stronger, big global players have seen their positions weaken. The mid-range to high-end market is getting increasingly competitive, too, with a greater focus from global players on the Indian market, coupled with the launch of competitively priced midrange and high-end mobile devices.
The Indian mobile device market is driven by the lowest call rates in the world and is dominated by low-cost devices, which accounted for 75 per cent of the overall sales in India so far this year.