Mobile Phone Industry In India

Mobile phone production in India has increased to 512 million in 2014 from a mere 144 million in 2003-2004 at a compound annual growth rate of 28.3%.

Definition / Scope

Normally, mobile phones are defined as wireless devices that are used to make and receive calls while moving across various geographical areas as well as to send text messages.

However, today mobile phones have moved beyond their primary role of voice communication and are used for other purposes such as surfing the internet, listening to music, watching videos, etc.

Market Overview

  • The mobile phone industry is the fastest growing in the world and India adds more mobile connections every month than any other county and this trend is evident by the massive influx of handsets into the country.
  • The telecom boom in the country provides opportunities to many handset manufacturers. Among the fastest growing sectors in the country, telecom has been zooming up the trade curve at a fiery pace.The number of devices launched in India during the first half of 2015 stood at 857 and an estimated 1,700+ devices will be launched before the end of the year.That’s a massive increase from previous years where 1,137 devices were launched during 2014 and 957 devices during 2013.
  • The telecom industry in India has been dominated by mobile phones. There were 840 million plus users of mobile phones in 2014 in the country and thus it is becoming a dominant device for voice communication and other value based services.
  • Indian brands lead the market when it comes to the most number of devices launched with 7 out of 10 of the top brands being Indian. Samsung, HTC and Sony were the only foreign companies that made it into the top 10.
  • The mobile phone industry is expected to reach $334.8 billion in 2017 with a CAGR of 6.8% compared to 2014.
  • From April 2000 to January 2014, the telecom Compact Car Market In United Kingdom Industry has received a foreign direct investment of $59,769 million, which is an increase of 6% to the total FDI flow as compared to 2013.
  • India had 920 million total mobile subscribers in 2014 whereas just 6 years back, in 2008, the amount was 250 million.
  • However, while Indian brands lead in the number of smartphone launches, most of the devices they launch are priced under Rs 10,000. When it comes to number of devices launched priced above Rs 10,000, only micromax makes it into the top 10.
  • When it comes to individual brands, leading smartphone vendor Samsung launched devices across price brands unlike previous years. During H1 2014, the company only focused on the high end and mid-range markets, but that changed this year.
  • HTC on the other hand increased its focus on the mid-range market launching a substantially more number of devices in the Rs 10k-20k and Rs 5k-10k market segments during H1 2015.
  • Sony too shifted its focus from the high end device market to the mid-range and low-end market. The company launched just one device priced above Rs 30k during H1 2015.
  • Micromax increased its focus on the low-end market, launching 27 devices in the sub-Rs 5,000 segment during H1 2015, up from 16 in the same period last year. The company however launched fewer devices in the Rs 5k-10k and Rs 10k-20k price brackets this year.
  • The segment of devices priced between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 registered the most number of users during H1 2015. Devices priced above Rs 30,000 however registered the biggest fall, going from 18% in H1 2014 to just 5% in H1 2015.
  • 2015 also marked the year of growth for Chinese smartphone brands in India. The share of users of Chinese brand device grew to 22% during H1 2015, up from just 7% during the same time last year. Share of Indian brand device users remained almost flat while the share of users of other international brands dropped massively.

Market Risks

  • In India, the mobile industry is highly competitive and requires intensive research for development.
  • With sophisticated cyber adversaries and attacks on networks, manufacturers need to identify threats in order to prepare or mitigate such a threat. To monitor such threats, enterprises use Intrusion Detection Software on high end mobile phone.
  • To allow easily sustainable future access to data and system resources, the mobile malware should be given attention to avoid risks.
  • Failure to adopt new routes to innovation is the commonly faced risk by manufacturers these days. Sourcing innovation at an early stage and attracting and sustaining a wide range of customers has become a major issue.

Top Market Opportunities

  • There are more opportunities in setting up fibre-optic network in the government’s plan to build 100 Smart Cities.
  • The mobile industry in India has been an attractive destination for mobile phone manufacturers from the very start. For example, mobile phone manufacturers such as Xiomi, HTC and Apple have been attracted to India because of the broad range of customers.
  • With a fast growing population in India, it proves to be the largest home market in the world for the mobile industry in terms of units sold.

Market Trends

  • Mobile phone production in India has increased to 512 million in 2014 from a mere 144 million in 2003-2004 at a compound annual >growth rate of 28.3%.
  • There is a wide range of mobile phone This means for an application developer a lot of investment has to be done in testing the application or service across hundreds of handset models. This is a major challenge faced by application developer.
  • With the dominance of English language across the internet, mobile phone manufacturers need to maintain a global language across the internet. Mobile companies have begun addressing this with support for Indian languages in handsets.
  • With the increasing population in rural regions, the mobile phone manufacturers have to diversify and expand their distribution infrastructure.
  • The market structure comprises of Low-end products having a price range of Rs.1,000 to Rs.3,000, Mid-range products having a price range of Rs.3,000 to Rs.10,000 and the High-end products with the price of above Rs.10,000.
  • In 2015, Indian telecom carriers are expected to launch the Wi-Fi facility in colleges, hospitals, malls, coffee shops etc. to balance the traffic load in these areas.
  • India’s mobile phone market is forecast to grow 5% in 2015, while tablet and laptop sale will fall. However, Indian mobile phone sales have dropped 14.5%- from 62 million in Quarter 4 2014 to 53 million handsets in Quarter 1 2015, according to a report of CyberMedia Research. According to a research conducted by IDC, over 43 million mobile phones were sold in India and 59.3 million mobile phones were sold between January- September in 2014.

Market Size and Forecast

Total number of Smart phone users in India (in million) in 2014.

Market Outlook

  • As per the researchers, India will exceed 200 million smart phones users, topping the US as the world’s largest smart phone market in 2016. The focus will be on Rs.10,000-Rs.13,000 price range for mass market. A re-imagination of mobile devices, content recreation and content consumption is happening at a rapid pace. In the near future, smart phones and apps segments would be a highly competitive segment.
  • With the handset life of 18-24 months, the pressure on innovation at high speed will continue to remain high. Usability and user interface will be a key focus area for smart phone players in India. The need of handheld devices to be intuitive, natural and different is imperative.
  • Since consumers are addicted to speed and connectivity, the big challenge for mobile manufacturers will be to increase the availability and quality of connectivity. Since 2014, the phone makers are trying to provide 3G facilities in all phones and reach out to the small towns and cities. It is predicted that there will be close fight between Samsung, Micromax and Nokia for the first spot in the years from 2015-2019.

Competitive Landscape

  • During January-March 2012, Nokia was the leader of mobile brands in India with a market share of 23% followed by Samsung with a market share of 14.1%. In Q1 of 2015, the scenario has changed. Samsung has acquired the largest lead when it comes to cell phone sales.
  • The top mobile companies with their market share are given in the below table.

COMPANY Market Share(Q1 2015)

  • Samsung 25.3%
  • Apple 11.9%
  • Micromax 6.3%
  • Xiomi 5.3%
  • Blackberry 4.7%
  • Karbonn 4.3%
  • HTC 3%
  • Spice 2.5%
  • LG 2.5%
  • The mobile phone market in India has huge competition among one another. The major competing factors being the features of the mobile phones, the camera quality, the processor in the mobile phone and perhaps most importantly the price.
  • With the entry of low cost mobile phone manufacturers such as Xiomi and Spice, the mobile phone industry in India has grown significantly. Since many companies are vying for the top spot in the industry and offer the similar product or device, there is immense competition in this industry.

Competitive Factors

  • Building core competencies in mobile app security is also another factor related to the success of an mobile phone manufacturers in this field. Organisations should employ best practices in mobile application security that includes various security features.
  • Indian mobile phone industry is flooded with mobile phone launches that offer the same features and have almost the same interface. To gain advantage over other enterprises, the manufacturers should develop new features that offer greater service to the users.
  • With the government’s favorable regulations and the upcoming 4G facilities, rapid >growth is expected in the Indian telecommunication industry between 2014 and 2017.

Key Market Players



Further Reading

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