Nokia on top again as 2012 India mobile sales grow 20 percent to 221 million

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Nokia on top again as 2012 India mobile sales grow 20 percent to 221 million
Mobile handset sales in India grew 20.8 percent to 221.6 million units in 2012, driven by a strong growth in the smartphone category, according to a study.

The handset sales in the Asia's third largest economy stood at 183.4 million in 2011, said the study by CyberMedia Research (CMR).

While smartphones comprised a small chunk of the overall handset market at about 7 percent, the high-end category grew at a robust 35.7 per cent to 15.2 million devices in 2012 from 11.2 million units in 2011, it said.

Feature phones sales grew 19.9 percent to 206.4 million in 2012 from 172.2 million in the previous year, the report said.

"Although we see a huge market 'hype' around smartphones, the fact remains that the India mobile handset market is still dominated by shipments of feature phones. On the other hand, smartphone shipments are growing fast," CMR Lead Analyst (Telecoms Practice) Faisal Kawoosa said.

This indicates India is still a 'new phone' market, where feature phones contribute to the bulk of shipments compared to replacements or upgrades, he added.

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia led the overall market with 21.8 percent share, followed by Korean giant Samsung (13.7 percent). Indian handset maker Micromax was placed third at 6.6 per cent market share.

The ranking remained same in the feature phone category, with Nokia garnering 22.5 per cent market share, Samsung 11.5 percent and Micromax 6.5 percent.

However, in the smartphone category, Samsung was the leader with 43.1 percent share, followed by Nokia (13.3 percent) and Sony (8.2 percent) in 2012.

While BlackBerry was at third spot during January-June 2012 period, Sony Mobiles displaced the former when the overall sales for 2012 were taken into account, CMR said.

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