How many times till a couple of years back when you used to go to any mobile store and say “Bhaiya naya mobile dekhana”, were you shown Nokia? As one article puts it, Nokia ruled the mobile handset market till a couple of years back like the colossus. With over 70% market share, no one had the guts to do anything to it. It had become somewhat of generic name for mobile handsets much to the dismay of other brands.
But then the slide happened and it’s happening fast. In a recent study by the IDC on the number of handsets sold during Q3 of 2010, Nokia is still the leader but has lost a further 5% market share from Q2 to be at 31.5%. Its 36% market share in Q2 was itself a 20% drop compared to the same quarter last year. The problems with Nokia are its inability to develop a good smartphone or ones which have dual or trip SIMs and other such unique facilities.
Though it has tried its Nokia N8, it hasn’t really set the market on fire. At the top end of the market Nokia has had to face the music from Apple and Blackberry while at the lower end Micromax, Lava, Spice and others have been breathing at its neck.
As of today, Nokia, G’Five, Samsung, Micromax and Spice were the top five mobile handset brands in India.
Would you believe that India now has over 68 mobile handset players, which has nearly doubled in last 3 quarters alone. They newer players now account for 41.2% of the total shipment of the phones. With prices starting from 3,000 for a smartphone and features like longer battery life, dual and triple SIMs, colour display, FM radio etc., who wouldn’t think of it as a “smart” buy? They have targeted the semi – urban and rural population fantastically.
The likes of Micromax, Karbonn, Maxx and others have have literally changed the mobile play in India with their value-for-money products. The fierce growth in Mobile subscribers can be partially attributed to the low cost mobile brands who have made it affordable to even the lowest strata of the society!
Samsung has slipped from its second position in Q2 to be at the third position with an 8.2% market share. But with its slew of tablet products, increasing its manufacturing capacity across China, Vietnam and India, it aims to become the number 1 mobile manufacturing company in the world. The fact that it can easily manufacture displays, processors, memory chips etc. compared to its competitors puts it at a unique advantage.
The total number of handsets shipped has increased from 25 million in Q2 to about 40 million in Q3. The final figure for the year is expected to reach about 155 million handsets which include 9 million smartphones. Android OS has gained increasing acceptance in the smartphone market with 19 handsets using it in Q3 compared to just 2 during the same time last year.
Smartphones have become a big hit because people are having higher disposable incomes and this has increased their propensity to spend. There is also a very percentage of people who are gadget freaks who are loving this era.
The Indian mobile handset market is finally getting competitive with a multitude of players coming up with their products.
It would be interesting to see if Nokia still keeps the “Leader” tag by the end of 2011, or will it buckle up to these fast growing new entrants ?
What do you think?