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Samsung set to capture over 60% share in Indian mobile handset market: Gartner

Mobile device sales in India will reach 251 million units in 2013, an increase of 13.5 per cent over estimated sales of 221 million units in 2012, according to IT research firm Gartner, Inc, which forecast Samsung ending the year with a 60 per cent market share.

The mobile handset market is expected to show steady growth through 2016, when end user sales will surpass 326 million units.

"The Indian mobile phone market is very competitive with more than 150 device manufacturers selling devices to consumers. Most of these manufacturers remain focused on the low-cost feature phone market, which still constitutes over 91 per cent of overall mobile phone sales, offering a huge market to compete in," Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a note.

Samsung's brand strength and wide device portfolio has allowed it to take advantage of the high growth opportunities in the Indian market. Its share has risen from 15 per cent in the first half of 2012 to 49.8 percent in the second half of 2012. If Samsung continues this strong growth, it could end 2012 with more than 60 per cent share — exactly where Nokia was at the start of 2011, says the Gartner research.

Manufacturers such as ZTE, Micromax, Karbonn Mobile, Huawei stand at 6th, 7th and 12th positions in the Indian smartphone market in the first half of 2012. They are constantly expanding their smartphone portfolio to compete at a larger level with big global manufacturers Samsung and Nokia, which held the first and second position, respectively.

According to Gupta, the increase in share of smartphone device sales and declining sales to first time buyers has put local and Chinese device manufacturers under survival mode. He added that the continuous focus of global manufacturers on the low cost feature phone market has also affecting their business.

Some of these local and Chinese manufacturers are building capabilities, distribution and brand to compete with the big global players, as they are preparing to compete at a larger level covering broader consumer segments.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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