Led by South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, sales of mobile phones in India are all set to reach 251 million units in 2013, according to a report by technology research firm Gartner, Inc. According to the report, the mobile phone industry in India is expected to report a 13.5 percent growth in 2013 over 2012’s sales total of 221 million units. This growth will likely be helped by tough competition, attractive price points, and an increase in the number of manufacturers. What’s more, Garner predicts that the mobile handset market will show steady growth to surpass 326 million units in 2016.
The report goes on to state that the low-cost feature phone market in India accounts for over 91 percent of total mobile phone sales. Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, said, “The Indian mobile phone market is very competitive with more than 150 device manufacturers selling devices to consumers. Most of these manufacturers remain focused on the low-cost feature phone market.”
India to see more mobile phone sales than ever before
“The increase in share of smartphone device sales, declining sales to first time buyers and the continuous focus of global manufacturers on the low cost feature phone market, has put many of the 150 plus local and Chinese device manufacturers under survival mode. Many of them are already struggling to maintain share in the growing market,” he added.
The report also states that local and Chinese manufacturers are building capabilities and distribution, along with their brands to compete with larger global players, and currently account for more than 50 percent of the unit sales market share in 2012. Gartner states that they are gearing up for tough competition with the big global players as they prepare to compete at a larger level covering broader consumer segments.
“Manufacturers such as ZTE, Micromax, Karbonn Mobile, Huawei stand at sixth, seventh and twelfth in the Indian smartphone market in 1H12 and are constantly expanding their smartphone portfolio to compete at a larger level with big global manufacturers Samsung and Nokia which held the first and second position respectively,” the report reads.
Meanwhile, Samsung has remained unfettered by the growth of Chinese and local players owing to its brand strength and wide device portfolio, which have allowed it to take advantage of the high growth opportunities in the Indian market. According to the report, Samsung’s share of the Indian mobile handset market has risen from 15 percent in the first quarter of 2012 to 49.8 percent in the second quarter. Gartner states that if Samsung continues to grow at this pace, it could see itself accounting for more than 60 percent of total mobile phone sales in India before the end of this year — exactly where Nokia was at the start of 2011.
Samsung is growing at a fast pace not just in India. The electronics manufacturer last week reported an all-time high quarterly operating profit likely driven by strong sales of its Galaxy range of smartphones. Samsung estimated in a regulatory filing that its July-September operating income nearly doubled to 8.1 trillion won ($7.3 billion) from 4.25 trillion won a year earlier.
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