Mobile Phones

Indian and import brands fight for share in growing market

Total mobile phone shipments reached 257 million in 2014, according to CyberMedia Research, and almost 30 percent of the shipped devices were smartphones.

Factors driving growth included the availability of a wide range of lowprice phone models, the growth of online sales, an increase in mobile data consumption and aggressive expansion of telecom networks, especially into remote rural areas. Total wireless subscribers reached over 973 million in April 2015, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

Many new players, especially Chinese competitors, entered the Indian mobile device market in 2014. Market leaders include Samsung, the South Koreanbased brand, India’s Micromax and Karbonn, China’s Xiaomi, and Motorola and Microsoft (Nokia) from the US.

For many Indian consumers, the mobile phone – both smartphones and feature phones – has become their second most watched screen after TV, according to recent research. Indian consumers are expected to download nine billion apps in 2015, five times more than in 2012, according to a recent study.

While mobile phone penetration in India is growing rapidly, it’s still lower than in other BRICs. For every 100 people in India, 71 have a mobile cellular subscription, according to the latest World Bank data, from 2013. Subscriptions per 100 people in Russia total 153; Brazil, 135; and China, 89.

Indian quarter-to-quarter mobile sales softened for the first time ever, in the first three months of 2015. Factors influencing the sales decline included a lack of new products and a rise in the import tax to favor Indian brands. The tax, which more than doubled to 12.5 percent from 6 percent, effectively increased the price of imported brands.

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