Low-cost smartphones cannibalise feature phone market share in Q3 in India: IDC

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Driven by lower-priced models from domestic handset makers, smartphone sales in India has grown over three-fold to touch 12.8 million units in third quarter of 2013, cannibalising the feature phone market, research firm IDC says.

According to IDC, the India smartphone market grew by 229 percent year-on-year to 12.8 million smartphones in third quarter of 2013 compared to 3.8 million units in Q3 of 2012.

Smartphone sales grew 28 percent in Q3 of 2013 compared to April-June 2013 (10.02 million), it added.

A smartphone is a mobile device built on a mobile operating system, with more advanced capabilities and connectivity than a feature phone.

IDC said 53.9 million feature phones numbers were sold in Q3 of 2013 compared to 55.7 million in Q3 of 2012.

The share of feature phones slipped to 81 percent (from 84 percent) of the total market in Q3 2013, it added.

This is despite feature phone sales growing three percent quarter-on-quarter in the July-September 2013.

"The change agents for this rapid shift of consumer preference towards Smartphones have been the narrowing price gap between feature phones and smartphones," IDC India Research Manager Kiran Kumar said.

The smartphone market is expected to maintain these elevated levels of growth in the near future, Kumar added.

The overall mobile phone market (feature phones and smartphones) registered 12 percent year-on-year growth and 7 percent sequential growth.

The share of feature phones slipped to 81 percent of the total market in Q3 2013, even as the segment grew 3 percent quarter-on-quarter in the July-September 2013.

South Korean firm Samsung led the handset market with 15.3 percent share, followed by Nokia (14.7 percent), Micromax (10.1 percent) and Karbonn (9.1 percent). Other smaller players accounted for a cumulative share of 50.8 percent.

"The growth in the smartphone market continues to drive the overall growth numbers for the phone market ? given that there's still a huge potential for smartphone penetration in India, this trend is expected to continue in the coming quarters," IDC India Senior Market Analyst Manasi Yadav said.

In the smartphone segment, Samsung held the leadership spot with 32.9 percent share, while Micromax secured the second spot with 17.1 percent market share in Q3 of 2013.

Karbonn had 11.2 percent share, followed by Nokia 5 percent and Lava at 4.7 percent.

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