Smartphone Market In India 2013: 172% Y-O-Y Growth, 41.1 Million Handsets

Smartphone market in India is yet to claim a sizable pie of global market; the recent growth performance in 2013 justifies this claim. In CY 2013 (January – December) mere 41.1 million Smartphone devices were shipped, claiming 16.6% of total mobile handsets shipment market. In 2013, mobile handset market in India recorded 247.2 million shipments, a Y-O-Y growth of 11.6% as compared to last year. Feature phones are still users’ most favorite as 206.1 million shipments were recorded in 2013 – almost a negligible growth but negligible decline too.

Smartphone market India 2013

The growth of Indian Smartphone market marks an humongous opportunity for smartphone device makers – local and global – and also for smartphone app developers. While the market is poised to grow in 2014, the average price of a smartphone will dive down further, making more people to fall for it.

“CY 2013 was primarily the year of smartphones for the India market, particularly for local handset vendors. A first for the India market was a marginal decline in featurephone shipments on a year-on-year basis. This trend is likely to continue with more vendors focusing on entry level smartphone offerings aimed at the consumer segment.” Says Tarun Pathak, Lead Analyst – Devices, CMR Telecoms Practice.

However, there is no major change in positioning of smartphone vendors in India. Samsung lead the market with 37% share, followed by Micromax 18.6% and Karbonn 10.1%. The growth of homegrown Micromax remains outstanding as the company claimed 10.3% of total mobile handsets market in India in 2013, while Nokia remained intact on its supreme position.

Indeed, 172.2% Y-O-Y growth in Indian Smartphone market is commendable but there is also a flip side of this when compared to neighboring country China. In 2014, the country is estimated to ship more than 450 million Smartphones – almost 10x of Indian smartphone industry. This become more significant in the light that China has only 50% more mobile subscribers than India, in January China reached to 1.24 billion mobile subscribers against 900 million in India.

So, what’s hurting the growth of Smartphone market in India? Its none other than poor mobile infrastructure and expensive mobile data plans. Chew it, by December 2013, 130 million internet users in India were on Mobile – 15% of total mobile subscriber base. Indian has got 96 million internet users on Facebook though, majority of users still logs-in to the network using Desktop. The disapproval of business apps and limited exposure towards the adoption-benefits are the major hindrance.

Despite of being the second largest market by mobile subscribers, third largest by number of Internet users and second largest by number of Facebook users, India is failing to accelerate smartphone adoption. We hope the scenario will turn upside down by 2017 when India is estimated to contribute 10% to worldwide smartphone market.

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