Micromax and Karbonn power Indian smartphone market growth

Smartphone shipments in India reached a record high in 2012, powered by local vendors offering low-end smartphones.

India smartphone shipments hit a record high at 5.4 million unit shipments for Q4 2012, according to IDC Asia-Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker data.

The overall mobile phone market in India has reached approximately 218 million units in Calendar Year (CY) 2012, a 16 percent year-on-year growth from the previous year, according to the data released Wednesday. The growth was mostly driven by the burgeoning smartphone market in India which grew from close to 11 million units in CY 2011 to 16.3 million units in CY 2012, a considerable growth of about 48 percent.

Breaking the 5 million mark has largely been powered by the sub-INR 10,000 (US$200) price points and upgraded specifications like 4-inch plus screen sizes. "Local vendors ramped up shipments and aggressively launched new models to meet the growing consumer demand in the low-end smartphone market segment," said Manasi Yadav, senior market analyst in the client devices team at IDC India.

“Local vendors have remained dominant in sub-US$100 price band while they pose serious competition to the global vendors in the US$100-US$200 price band. These two segments emerged as the most vibrant and the fastest growing smartphone price band segments in the Indian market," added Manasi.

Top Five Smartphone Vendors in India

While Samsung remained the leader and pace-setter for the market, inspiring both international and domestic vendors to launch their own quadcore and 5-inch plus screensize models, Micromax gained through its aggressive ramp-up and an enhanced product portfolio. Sony and Nokia garnered a significant shipment share owing to its mid-tier range of smartphones doing quite well in the market.

Another Indian vendor enters top 5

Karbonn, the dark horse amongst local vendors , made it to the top 5 for the first time, thanks to the new range of attractively priced smartphones that were launched in last quarter.

In terms of revenue, while Samsung stayed the leader, Apple took the second spot after seeing a sudden surge due to the channel restructuring and the launch of iPhone 5 in 2012 Q4. With the newly appointed National distributors - Redington and Ingram Micro, Apple reached out to a consumer base bigger than ever before.

The mobile phone market in India is expected to continue its growth into 2013, driven by the stupendous growth of close to 70 percent in the smartphone market. While Android continued its dominance in 2012, increased pick up of other operating systems--such as iOS and Windows Phone 8 and the recent release of BlackBerry 10 --is expected to spice things moving forward.