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[March 02, 2014]
Price gap narrows on Indian smartphones [National, The (United Arab Emirates)]
(National, The (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Smartphone sales in India are surging, with budget handsets helping to win over the price-conscious market.
There are a number of companies focusing on offering smartphones at relatively affordable prices, including Micromax and Karbonn, which are capitalising on a growing demand for such devices in the country.
Sales of smartphones in India reached 44 million units last year compared to 16.2 million a year earlier, according to IDC, a research firm.
The smartphone market grew by 181 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year compared to the same period a year earlier, the firm revealed.
"The growth in the smartphone market is being propelled by the launch of low-end, cost-competitive devices by international and local vendors that are further narrowing the price gaps that exist between feature phones and smartphones," said Manasi Yadav, a senior market analyst at IDC India.
Companies showed "tremendous and consistent growth" in the smartphone market last year, the firm said.
"The international vendors have understood the importance of creating a diverse portfolio of devices at varied price points and are striving to launch cost-competitive devices that cater to every segment in the target audience," said Kiran Kumar, a research manager at the firm.
IDC said there was a spike in smartphone shipments by smaller Indian vendors such as Lava and Intex in the fourth quarter of last year.
It added that India was one of the fastest-growing countries in the world in terms of smartphone adoption last year.
"The median price of a handset has fallen from 8,250 rupees (Dh490) in 2012 to 7,000 in 2013," wrote the Internet and Mobile Association Of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International.
"This is attributed to the reducing prices of phones with advanced features. More and more manufacturers are trying to target the 'value for money' segment by offering more features at lower prices." The report said that the number of mobile internet users in India was expected to reach 155 million by the end of this month and grow to 185 million by the end of June. It stated that the number of mobile internet users in the country was 130 million at the end of December.
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