Riding on an addition of 65 million to India's wireless subscriber base in 2006-07, mobile handsets clocked sales of Rs 21,434 crore in 2006-07, a growth of 50.3 per cent, says a study conducted by Voice&Data, a magazine of the Cyber Media group.
Nokia remains the leader in India's handset market, with sales of Rs 11,486 crore and a market share of 53.6 per cent. Motorola and LG, at #2 and #3, respectively, trail far behind with shares of 11.1 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.
Currently, direct sales to consumers account for about 75 per cent of the Indian market, but this may shift towards more "bundled" handset sales (where the phone vendor ties up with the service provider) as the latter increasingly woo virgin rural markets with cheaper phones.
"Last year was a landmark one, and coverage almost doubled. This year will be another big year as we move into interior markets with our network partners," says Lloyd Mathias, Director (Marketing, Mobile Devices), South-West Asia, Motorola, pointing out that his company has tie-ups with all top network operators for bundling its handsets with their services.
But even as sales boom, vendors are also facing pressure on their margins. "About 70 per cent of the handset market is for phones costing less than Rs 3,000. Margins, thus, will remain under pressure," says H.S. Bhatia, Business Group Head (Mobile Communications), LG Electronics India.
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