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April 5, 2010

Indian mobile handset market remains flat in 2009: IDC

Nokia retains top spot with 54.1% market share

By CBR Staff Writer

India’s mobile handset market remained flat in calender year 2009 to register sales of 101.54 million units, mainly due to lower sales in the first six months, according to market intelligence firm IDC.

The market showed signs of revival in the fourth quarter of 2009 with a growth of 2.3% to 28.36 million units, compared to same period a year ago.

According to IDC’s India Quarterly Mobile Handsets Tracker, Finnish handset maker Nokia retained the top spot with a market share of 54.1% in terms of units sold during calendar year 2009. Korean companies Samsung and LG gained the second and third spots with a share of 9.7% and 6.4%, respectively. New vendors accounted for a combined market share of 12.3% for the year 2009.

The number of new vendors in the India mobile handsets market grew to 28 and they together accounted for 17.5% of the total sales during October-December 2009 quarter. This represented a steady growth from only five new vendors in the January-March 2008 quarter.

Naveen Mishra, lead analyst of mobile handsets research at IDC India, said: “The mobile handsets market got even more crowded and fragmented at the lower- and mid-market segments with the rise of ‘copycat’ models that have looks and aesthetics resembling those of high-end smartphones. These ‘copycat’ look-alikes are often available for as little as one-tenth of the average sales value (ASV) of a smartphone.”

IDC expects the trend to continue and market to witness launch of more look-alikes following the launch of aspirational value smartphone models by major vendors.

The research firm said that the adoption of look-alikes is expected to be higher amongst the student and young executive segment whose purchase decisions are often driven by peer group and lifestyle influences as well affordability.

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