Bangalore: Smartphone shipments to India crossed 5 million units in the last quarter of 2012, according to researcher IDC, as lower 3G tariffs and more affordable handsets boosted demand in a market dominated by an increasing number of young and data-hungry users.
The shipments rose 38% over the July-September quarter.
India’s overall mobile phone market grew 16% to about 218 million units in 2012, driven by a smartphone market that rose 48% to 16.3 million units, according to IDC’s Asia Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report released Wednesday.
“The scale of the India smartphone market is growing by leaps and bounds,” Manasi Yadav, senior market analyst for client devices at IDC India, said in the report. “With increased affordability of handsets and further slashing of 3G tariffs, this market has tremendous potential to show consistent double-digit shipment growth in the coming quarters.”
India is set to become the third-largest market for smartphones in four years behind China and the US, with shipments to the country forecast to rise to 155.6 million units in 2017 from 27.8 million now, IDC said in a global report Tuesday.
In addition to greater availability of low-cost handsets, expansion of 3G network coverage and the rollout of 4G networks is expected to boost smartphone sales in India.
According to IDC, more users are buying larger and increasingly powerful smartphones than earlier, with screen sizes bigger than four inches and dual-core processors.
“Local vendors (such as Micromax and Karbonn Mobiles) have remained dominant in the sub-$100 price band while they pose serious competition to the global vendors in the $100-200 price band,” Yadav said. “These two segments emerged as the most vibrant and the fastest growing smartphone price band segments in the Indian market.”