According to a new report by Strategy Analytics, India has pushed past Japan to become the world's third largest smartphone market in Q1. China and the U.S.A. remain the top two global markets and the report noted that this is the first time India has moved up to the third place.
The SA report documented a 163 percent increase in sales of smartphones in India in the first quarter of 2013, compared to the average 40 percent growth globally in the same period. The report confirmed that this increase is due to improved distribution system of Samsung, Apple and Micromax.
Although Samsung and Apple remain the most sold brands, the report revealed that it is Indian brands like Micromax, Spice and Karbonn that have led to India's increase in the global smartphone share. These Indian brands have grown at a rate of 200-500 percent annually. India also has a large number of smartphone micro vendors like Lemon Mobile which has reportedly seen a tremendous 1,000 percent growth, year on year.
The study revealed: "Key brands driving the upswing include foreign firms such as Samsung and Apple… But it is domestic players who are seeing the fastest growth."
Android mobiles are gaining popularity and an analyst added, “They are almost all using Android software, which captured 89% share of the entire market in the quarter.” The report stated that India's growth is not unexpected due to its developing status, wealthier middle class, and increased interest in consumer electronics paired with smartphone saturation in Europe and Japan.
Relevantly, a recent study by CyberMedia Research also revealed that smartphone sales specifically are behind India's mobile market growth, with a 35.7 percent annual growth in 2012. The study observes smartphone sales registered a huge 75.2 percent half year growth in 2012.