India handset sales to reach 251 mn units in 2013: Gartner

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Mumbai – Mobile device sales in India are forecast to reach 251 million units in 2013—an increase of 13.5% over 2012, according to Gartner Inc.

The mobile handset market is expected to show steady growth through 2016 when end-user sales will surpass 326 million units, the research firm said in a report released on Thursday.

The Indian mobile phone market is very competitive with more than 150 manufacturers selling devices to consumers, said Gartner analysts. Most of them are focused on low-cost phones that constitute over 91% of all mobile phones sold in the country, they said.

Some of these manufacturers, both local and Chinese, are building capabilities, distribution and brand to compete with the big global players at a larger level covering broader consumer segments, Gartner said.

ZTE, Micromax, Huawei and Karbonn Mobile stood at the sixth, seventh, eleventh and twelfth positions, respectively, in the Indian smartphone market in the first half of calendar 2012. Global manufacturers Samsung and Nokia held the first and second positions, respectively.

Samsung’s brand strength and wide device portfolio has allowed it to take advantage of the high growth opportunities in Indian market, said the Gartner report. Its share of the market has risen from 15% in the first quarter of 2011 to 49.8% in the second quarter of 2012.

If Samsung continues this strong growth, it could end 2012 with more than a 60% share of the market—exactly where Nokia was at the start of 2011, the report said.

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