Micromax, Karbonn help push 2013 India smartphone shipments over 44 million mark

Affordable smartphones from the stables of homegrown handset makers like Micromax and Karbonn pushed up sales in this category by almost three-fold to 44 million units last year, from 16.2 million in 2012, research firm IDC said on Wednesday.
Another report by CyberMedia Research pegged smartphone sales in India at 41 million units in 2013, year-on-year growth of 172.2 percent.
Samsung led the smartphone market, followed by local handset players Micromax and Karbonn at second and third spots, respectively.

"India was one of the fastest-growing countries worldwide in terms of smartphone adoption in 2013. This surge has been mainly powered by homegrown vendors, which have shown a tremendous and consistent growth over the past four quarters of 2013," IDC said in a statement.

Consumers continued to opt for smartphones over feature phones as the price gaps between the two categories narrowed further.
Overall, phone shipments in the country rose 11.6 percent to about 247.2 million units in 2013 (from 221.6 million in 2012), CMR said, adding that feature phone sales declined marginally to 206.1 million during the year.
According to IDC, the overall phone shipment grew 18 percent to about 257 million units in 2013 from 218 million units in the previous year.
"Growth in the smartphone segment is expected to outpace the overall handset market growth for the foreseeable future. The end-user shift towards mid-to-high screen size products will be amplified by the declining prices and availability of feature-rich localised product offerings," it said.
In the overall phone market, Samsung was the leader with 19 percent share in Q4 2013, followed by Micromax (13 percent), Nokia (12 percent), Karbonn (10 percent) and Lava (6 percent).
During October-December, vendors shipped 15.06 million smartphones compared with 5.35 million in Q4 2012. There was a spike in smartphone shipments by smaller domestic vendors such as Lava and Intex in the quarter.

"Growth in the smartphone market is being propelled by the launch of low-end, cost competitive devices by international and local vendors which are further narrowing the price gaps that exist between feature phones and smartphones," IDC India Senior Market Analyst Manasi Yadav said.

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