Wednesday, 17 July 2013

India outpaces Japan to become third largest global smartphone market

India outpaces Japan to become third largest global smartphone market

For years, the biggest markets for smartphones has been the US, China and Japan. Now, a new report by Strategy Analytics shows that India has displaced Japan as the third largest global smartphone market in the first quarter of 2013.

This is the first time that India has ever featured in the third spot. The top markets for smartphones remains US and China, though. This shift is occurring due to the increased focus that smartphone makers like Samsung and Apple are putting on the Indian market. Local players like Micromax are also diverting much of their resources to increasing the volume of smartphones in the country. Better distribution network is another factor that is helping in the increased smartphone volume, according to the analyst.

The report states that India is growing four times faster than the global average being seen. The country has recorded a 163 percent year on year growth in the first quarter of this year. This is much greater when compared to the worldwide smartphone volumes, which has only expanded by 39 percent.

The report looked at the fact that the Indian market is rising faster than China’s market, which registered a year on year growth of 86 percent. Japan’s market saw a 24 percent year on year growth, while the US market saw the least amount of year on year growth, registering a relatively less 19 percent.

The increased growth rate is not surprising, taking into account the massive population, a growing middle class as well as increased level of interests in consumer electronics. It helps that other developed markets like Japan and Europe have reached saturation levels. This saturation means that global players like Samsung and Apple have to shift their focus on emerging markets like India. 

Although Samsung and Apple are the big players that are causing a lot of growth in the Indian markets, the report states that it is the home grown players that are increasing their volumes and growing the fastest. With names like Micromax, Karbonn and Spice, which are all Android OEMs, being just a few examples of domestic players, the report states that these companies are registering a growth rate between 200 percent and a staggering 500 percent, when looked at year on year.

Android seems to be doing the best in the Indian market, with the analyst saying, “They are almost all using Android software, which captured 89% share of the entire market in the quarter.” The local market also has a long list of Indian micro-vendors, like Lemon Mobile, which are seeing a massive 1000 percent growth year on year. With this kind of surge, it may not be long before the top three markets in the world sees another shift, with India moving a notch higher. 



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