India rings in 182M handsets in 2011

Country to see continued mobile handset growth into 2017, driven by smartphone uptake as brands such as Nokia and Samsung jostle with local manufacturers for market share, new study shows.

India's mobile handset market witnessed a 14.1 percent growth rate to hit a volume of 182 million handsets in 2011, and it will continue to grow into 2017 driven by consumer uptake of smartphones from both global and local brands, a new study noted. 

ABI Research released its study Thursday, stating that India's mobile industry will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.7 percent during the period between 2011 and 2017. The total handset volume is expected to reach 335 million units by end-2017, it added. 

This growth will be driven by smartphones as the fastest-growing segment continues to outpace the overall handset market, noted Kevin Burden, vice president and practice director of mobile devices at ABI Research. Smartphones will have a CAGR of 40 percent during the same timeframe to reach 97.2 million units by 2017, representing 29 percent of the total handset volume then, he added. 

In terms of handset vendors, Nokia continues to lead the market with 37.2 percent share in 2011, with Samsung coming in second at 14.9 percent and local brands G'Five and Micromax having 7.5 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, of the market.

Aishwarya Singh, a research analyst at ABI Research, said in the study that domestic and Chinese handset makers such as Micromax, G'Five, Karbonn, Spice, Maxx and Lava, have a strong presence in the market and stayed ahead of many big players with their "feature-rich, localized products at much lower price points".

"However, with incumbent handset vendors Nokia and Samsung responding to the competitive threat from these companies, the battle intensifies," she added.

There will also be more domestic vendors hitting the market with their range of smartphones, predicted Jake Saunders, vice president of forecasting at the research firm. This will lead to the average selling price (ASP) for smartphones to decline in coming years, which will contribute to the growing adoption of such devices, he added.