IDC

(By Brindaa Lakshmi and Vikas SN)

The Indian mobile market has reached approximately 218 million units for the year 2012, a 16% YoY growth from 2011 and the smartphone market has grown to 16.3 million units in 2012, up by 48% from 11 million units in 2011, according to a report by IDC.

Note that IDC calculates sales of mobile handsets by tracking the number of handsets that leave the factory premises for OEM sales or stocking by distributors and retailers. For imported handsets it’s the number of handsets that leaves the first warehouse to OEMs, distributors and retailers. It does not account for handsets brought in by individuals into the country or the grey market and MediaNama is not in a position to verify the accuracy of the findings.

Smartphone shipments: According to the report, the smartphone shipments in India reached a total of 5.4 million unit shipments in Q4 2012, up by 38% QoQ. It also noted that the market saw 5% QoQ decline in the shipments in the feature phone segment during Q4 2012, along with a decline in its market share to 90.9% market share in Q4 2012 from 93.5% market share in Q3 2012.

It’s interesting to know that while Smartphone shipment as been on rise, the growth in feature phone segment is declining. Does this mean that India is finally moving towards a smartphone market?

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Top 5 Smartphone Vendors 

According to the report, Samsung continued to be the number one smartphone brand in India, followed by Micromax and Sony. Nokia and local brand Karbonn took the remaining fourth and fifth place.

While both Samsung and Micromax has been known for aggressive marketing and bringing in an expansive portfolio to the country, which has probably led them to secure the top two positions, we were quite surprised to see Sony in the third position ahead of Nokia. The report states that Sony has registered significant shipments in its mid-tier smartphone range, which were apparently doing quite well in the market.

We believe this is also possible considering that Sony is probably riding on the Android bandwagon in the country, while Nokia is struggling with Windows phone-based smartphones in the country. However, over the last couple of months, Nokia has started launching low cost Windows Phone 8 devices like the Lumia 620. So it will be interesting to see if Sony will be able to maintain this position few months down the line.

Apple 2nd in Revenue In India:

The report also states that Apple’s shipments to India significantly increased during the quarter and the company recorded the second highest revenue in the Indian smartphone market for this quarter. The company attributed this increase to the change in Apple’s distribution strategy and the launch of iPhone 5 in India.

Remember that Apple had tied up with National distributors like Redington and Ingram Micro in September 2012, to distribute iPhone through the latter’s channel partners in India. Prior to this, iPhone was available only through operators like Airtel and Aircel, which were therefore atrociously overpriced. However, following this tie-up, we had noticed that Apple had become significantly aggressive with both the marketing and pricing of iPhone in the country, which had led to a significant rise in iPhone sales in India.

While there is no official information on the exact increase of iPhone sales, an Economic Times report in November 2012, had suggested that iPhone sales had increased by four-fold in the past three months. While we felt the number was a bit steep, we had heard that Apple had registered a noticeable increase in sales.

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