Phablets see record sales in India, driven by domestic vendors

by CXOtoday News Desk    Aug 30, 2013


Phablets, often touted as super smartphones are currently driving the entire smartphone market in India. According to the latest report by IDC, phablets accounted for 30% of all smartphones shipped in the second quarter of 2013. The overall smartphone market grew three-fold in the second quarter of the current calendar year, with shipments growing over 50% sequentially.

IDC sees the large screen-size phablet, ranging between 5 to 7 inches is currently becoming a favorite among business executives and professionals. Another observation made by the research firm is that Indian vendors such as Micromax and Karbonn are giving stiff competition to their foreign counterparts such as Samsung, Sony and Nokia, especially in the phablet segment.

Micromax creates record

Although Samsung has a market share of 26%, it is closely followed by Micromax with 22% and Karbonn with 13%. Both Nokia and Sony have 5% market share while other companies account for less than one third of the market share in India.

 “Growth in India’s smartphone market is driven by consistent performance by local vendors that accounted for more than half the total smartphone market in Q2. These vendors have been scaling up operations owing to rising migration of the user base from feature phones to smartphones,” said Manasi Yadav, a senior market analyst with IDC India. She adds that Indian companies have managed the transition from feature phones to smartphones successfully.

Phablets and tablets offered by Indian brands not only have world class features, but also come with high-quality processing speeds and design. Micromax aims to be top smartphone player by Q3 of 2013, according to a report. Micromax has crossed the 2 million units shipment mark in Q2 2013, banking on wave of phablet-driven smartphone adoption, and is poised to be the number one smartphone player in India by Q3. “We hope to surpass $1 billion in revenues with our innovative product strategy, strong distribution and marketing focused on the Indian youth,” Rahul Sharma, Micromax Co-Founder told PTI.

According to many in the industry, with the depreciating Indian rupee and other economic turmoil, it is becoming more expensive to import smart devices. So, rationally Indian companies should start manufacturing their devices in India, instead of sourcing the parts to China and then domestically assembling them.

Phablets are here to stay

According to IT analyst Gaurav Kumar, phablets shift to mainstream is a confluence of trends. “Owning a phablet eliminates the need to juggle between multiple devices. It eliminates the weaknesses of smartphones and tablet. “Phablets are small, compact and with more and more vendors focusing on bigger screens and improved processors, phablets will get better and more efficient in the coming days,” he says.

Another report by ABI released earlier this year predicts that phablets that hit the markets globally in 2012 is expected to show a fast and steady growth. Asia-Pacific is, and will continue to be the world’s biggest market for phablets. Last year, the region accounted for 42% of global shipments, and is expected to expand steadily over the next few years to account for over 50% of shipments by 2017, according to ABI figures.