India imported 73.5 million mobile phones during the first four months of this year, registering a growth of 11 per cent as compared to corresponding period last year.

According to a CyberMedia Research (CMR) report, in the smartphones category, the market grew by 167 per cent on an annual basis during January-April to 9.4 million units.

While Nokia was number one company in the overall mobile handsets market with 20.3 per cent, Samsung was the leader in the smartphones segment with 40.7 per cent, said the report.

“The feature phones market in India has matured, whereas the smartphones category is showing promising growth. This is attracting relatively new entrants such as Micromax and Karbonn to start offering smartphones, particularly for entry level users who would like to migrate to a more sophisticated mobile experience,” Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice said.

The India smartphones market also saw the entry of two local vendors (Micromax and Karbonn) amongst the top three positions for the first time, displacing tier-I international players.

“This shows that market dynamics have changed in the India smartphones segment. One of the key reasons for this is that a large number of featurephone users are migrating to entry-level smartphones,” Tarun Pathak, Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice said.

A significant proportion of the users was already using the devices of local vendors and preferred to continue with a smartphone of the same brand.

He said the trend of dominance of the India smartphones market by local vendors is likely to continue during the coming year.

“It is expected to sustain, till such time as one of the tier-I international players like Nokia, BlackBerry, HTC or Sony Mobiles launch a sustained marketing and promotion drive to regain share or introduce a new, potentially disruptive mobile device technology,” he added.

ronendrasingh.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 8, 2013)
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