CyberMedia Research's report – India Monthly Mobile Handsets Market Review for 1Q 2012, which was released yesterday, reveals that that the mobile handset market in the country achieved a maverick sales figure of 50.2 million units in the period January – March 2012, plotting a 9.1 percent year-on-year growth. The report states that Finnish manufacturer Nokia ranks first with a market share of 23 percent, Samsung comes second with a market share of 14.1 percent, while Micromax is placed third in the run with a market share of 5.8 percent. These figures are essentially a result of the number of units that were sold in the period January-March 2012.

The report also highlighted how well smartphones were faring in the country – in the period January – March 2012, smartphone sales in the country reached 2.7 million units. Here, Samsung grabbed a 40.4 percent share, giving it a healthy lead. Nokia came in second on the list with a share of 25.5 percent, while RIM managed to get for itself a share of 12.3 percent.

Handset market price

Beyond the price barriers

Elaborating on Samsung's success in the smartphone segment, the report reveals that in Q1 2012, the South Korean giant launched seven new smartphone models in the Indian market, helping it in “tightening its grip on sales in different price bands between INR 7,500 to INR 27,000.” The price band between Rs.7,500 to Rs.27,000 is the range in which Samsung is currently offering smartphones in the Indian market. This, however, does not include the company's popular five-inch Galaxy Note, as it has been categorized under Tablet PCs.

Anirban Banerjee, Associate Vice President, Research and Advisory Services, CyberMedia Research, adds, “As the India mobile handsets market grows in maturity, the needs of users are clearly seen to be converging around two major form factors – high-power, high-speed smartphones vis-à-vis value-plus, content-enabled featurephones. While most players are strong in a particular category, Samsung and others have been able to maintain a strong presence across the spectrum, driven mainly by innovation, quick time-to-market and a segmented approach.”


Going mobile

Interestingly, several mobile handset vendors are attempting to make their presence felt in the Android segment. The report also found another segment doing well in the said period – that of multi-SIM handsets. According to the findings of the report, multi-SIM handsets accounted for 67.7 percent of total shipments in Q1 2012 in the country. However, what comes as a complete surprise is how 3G-enabled handsets in the country have performed during Q1 2012. The report explained that – “While this was a decline of (-)7.8% over the 4Q 2011 (October-December 2011) 'festival quarter', it was a growth of 34.3% over 1Q 2011 (January-March 2011).”

Naveen Mishra, Lead Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice stated, “Players like Motorola and Sony have clearly chosen to stay in the 'high value' smartphones segment, which accounts for just 5.3% of shipments but added up to as much as 23.4% of the market value in 1Q 2012. Currently, large, international players like Nokia and RIM, as well as relatively new entrants like Micromax, Karbonn, Lava and Spice are faced with the challenge to enhance their portfolio of products, models and services to stay relevant and profitable in the long run.”

Cover image credit: Getty Images

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