Global Observer

Smartphones growing in Indian mobile phone market- study

Smartphones growing in Indian mobile phone market- study

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DELHI -- Smartphones sales shoot up in India's mobile phone market --the second largest in the world.

DELHI -- With more than 850 million subscribers, India has the second largest number of mobile phone users in the world.

A study by CyberMedia Research, a Delhi-based research and consulting firm, finds that more than 183 million mobile phones were sold in India in 2011, which is a 10 percent rise from 2010. Nokia is first in the Indian mobile handsets market with 31% share followed by Samsung at 15%.

Feature phones, which make up more than 90 percent of the market, registered a 7% from 160.5 million to 172.2 million.

But smartphones sales shot up by 87 % from 6 million to 11.2 million. Nokia had 38% of the share followed by Samsung’s 28%. Last year, more than 30 vendors launched 150 models of smartphones. Many of them preferred the Android Operating System, which registered a “tremendous growth” of over 600 percent in 2011 (34% share) as compared to 2010 (9% share).

“In 2012, the proportion of smartphones with extended features like NFC and 3D gaming are likely to increase,” said Naveen Mishra, Lead Telecoms Analyst, CyberMedia Research. “It will be interesting to see how Microsoft and Nokia take their partnership to the next level with a new range of smart devices based on the Windows 7.5 Mango OS platform.”

Smartphones contributed 6.2% of the total mobile handset shipments in India. Just for comparison- a 2011 Nielsen study showed that 40% of mobile consumers over 18 in the U.S. now have smartphones. Android, which powers 40% of them, is the most popular operating system.

With total shipments at nearly 180 million units in India, 3G phones had a growth of 153% led by Nokia. But the report finds that 3G, with 15 million subscribers, still hasn’t taken off. Mishra attributed this to lack of 3G network in many areas as well as poor quality of service. Describing 2012 as a test year, he said, “It will be interesting to see how new alliances and offerings emerge from handset vendors, service providers and content developers to target mobile subscribers with innovative device plus data service bundles.”

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Betwa Sharma

Correspondent

Betwa Sharma has written for the Christian Science Monitor, Time, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, The Daily Beast, AOL News, GlobalPost, The Huffington Post, Columbia Journalism Review, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Indian Express and The Tribune. She previously worked as the United Nations/New York correspondent for the Press Trust of India, the country's largest newswire. She holds degrees from the National Law Institute University in India, Cambridge University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is based in Delhi, India. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure