Market research outfit, IDC, today released its Indian handset market report for the third quarter, which claims that Chinese handset vendor, G’Five, has dethroned Samsung as the second largest handset vendor in terms of handsets shipped. Nokia, which remains to be the largest handset vendor in the country with a market share of 31.5 per cent this quarter, which saw 41.08 million handsets. IDC predicts that this year handset sales touched 155.9 million units.
The number of emerging vendors in India’s burgeoning mobile handsets market grew to 68 and they together garnered 41.2%* of total shipments (sales) for the first time during the July-Sep 2010 quarter. This represented a steady rise from only 5 new vendors representing a 0.9%* combined share of units shipped in the January-March 2008 quarter.
To be honest, we are surprised how g’Five could topple the likes of Samsung and Micromax to become the second largest player. Many industry pundits whom I interact with often, tell me that many market research reports rely on the number of handset units imported into the country rather than the number of units sold at retail level. So if G’Five imported more phones than normal in the third quarter, its market share according to some reports will increase significantly.
What is really encouraging, however, is the smartphone market in India, which according to this report will touch 6 million units this year.
3Q 2010 saw a strong quarter-on-quarter (3Q 2010 over 2Q 2010) growth in smartphone sales by 34.2%* and a year-on-year (3Q 2010 over 3Q 2009) increase by 294.9%*. This clearly underscores the trend that India mobile handset consumers have started showing higher inclination towards adopting smartphones.
Smartphone prices continued to drop through the year and as competition increased, devices were made available by vendors at successively lower price points. So, while 80%* of total India smartphone sales were below the ASV (Average Sales Value) of Rs. 18,000 in 2Q 2010, this proportion increased to 90%* in 3Q 2010.
While many people within the trade doubt when I tell them Android is doing just as well in India as in some other mature markets, this report suggests that 9.4 per cent of all smartphones shipped in the third quarter were running Android as opposed to just 2.9 per cent in the same quarter last year.
To sum up, I don’t think handset vendors like Samsung and Micromax should lose sleep over G’Five, which at the moment seems more like an aberration than a trend.