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India Takes Initiative in Smartphone Market
South Asia Smartphones
India Takes Initiative in Smartphone Market
  • By Michael Herh
  • November 10, 2015, 04:45
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With the world’s smartphone market nearly saturated, the worldwide sales map of smartphones will face a big shift next year. It was forecast that while North and South America and China, which had taken the lead in the growth of the smartphone market, will go through a slowdown in smartphone sales growth, the Indian smartphone market will continue to rapidly grow.

According to market survey company Strategy Analytics (SA), IDC and HI Investment and Securities on Nov. 9, it was surveyed that the South American smartphone market will grow zero percent. The South American smartphone market, which showed a 35 percent increase in 2014, grew merely four percent this year, and if the prediction is right, it will virtually stop growing next year.

The growth of the North American smartphone market is expected to slow down as well. The North American smartphone market grew 13 percent in 2014 and 14 percent this year. The market is expected to grow a little less, about 12 percent next year.

The growth of the Chinese smartphone market, the recent hottest smartphone market in the world, is showing a clear slowdown as the market entered its mature stage. The market recorded a growth rate of over 100 percent in 2012 only. But its growth rate sharply fell to 64 percent in 2013 and the 20 percent level in 2014. This year, the market swelled more than six percent, and is expected to slide to the four percent level next year.

By contrast, the Indian smartphone market is expected to expand 30-plus percent next year. Even though it is a drop from 80 percent in 2014, analysis says that India’s growth rate will outweigh those of other countries. Smartphone sales in India will hit the 160 million unit level from the 80 million unit level in 2014, beating those of South America (about 145 million units) for the first time. Smartphone sales in North America and China are expected to reach 220 million units and 460 million units next year.

Accordingly, smartphone makers are fiercely running to finish first in the Indian market. According to Counter Point, a market survey company, Samsung Electronics came in first with a market share of 23.2 percent in the Indian market in the third quarter of this year. Micro Max (17.7 percent) and Intex (11.7 percent), two Indian companies, followed Samsung Electronics.

Samsung Electronics began to solidify its number one position by releasing value models priced for 100,000 won (US$86.17) or more, such as the Z3, in India. The value models were loaded with Samsung’s independent Tizen operating system. Xiaomi is selling the Redme Note 2 in India, priced for a little higher than 200,000 won (US$172.36), while Huawei and Lenovo made inroads into India.

“For the next five years, the growth of the smartphone market will be led by India rather than by China,” said an analyst at HI Investment and Securities. “India will become the second biggest market after China in 2020.”