India’s mobile phone market will touch about 290 million units shipped in 2015, a 5 percent increase, Gartner Inc. forecast on Monday, but didn’t provide a breakdown for the share of smartphones, which are becoming increasingly popular in the country.
Sales of tablets and laptops, however, will fall from 2014, owing to weak demand, the market research firm said in a press release. Tablets and laptops are estimated to sell 5.77 million units in 2015 in India versus 6.7 million units in 2014.
“The computing devices market (in India) is forecast to decline 3 percent this year, affected by weak demand for tablets. We will see slight growth in the overall PC market in India as shipments in the premium ultra-mobile category should compensate for a decline in sales of traditional desk-based devices,” Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst at Gartner said in the release.
Based on data from market research firm IDC, smartphones sold in India have risen from one in five during the fourth quarter of 2013 to one in three in the fourth quarter of 2014. Industry analysts expect the trend to continue, as smartphones are delivering better features at ever declining prices.
Gartner’s Tripathi added: “Smartphones are potentially a high growth segment in the Indian mobile phone market.” The hint of conservatism in the comment could be because smartphone sales took a breather in the fourth quarter of 2014 in India, declining 4 percent, data from IDC showed.
That is likely to change, analysts say, and growth will likely pick up at the cost of feature phones as the gap between feature phones and entry-level smartphones -- almost all of those sold in India running on Android -- narrows.
In addition to market leader Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., local companies such as Micromax Informatics Ltd., and Chinese competitors including Lenovo Group Ltd. and Xiaomi Inc. are popular in India.
Gartner expects mobile phone sales of close to 310 million units in 2016 and nearly 325 million in 2017, suggesting growth will accelerate next year, but slow down the one after.