India mobile sales to hit 250m in 2013, will be 326m by 2016

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India
India is a mobile country. Earleir this year, it became the first country on the planet to have more people access the web via mobile than desktop. That’s because mobile phones entail a much lower barrier to entry than desktop computers do, which helps explain why they’ve become so prolific in the BRIC giant.

Factor in an ever-growing network infrastructure and you can see why tech research company Gartner thinks some 250-million handsets will be sold in the country in 2013.

Things are expected to keep growing at a steady rate through 2016 when 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% of overall mobile phone sales, offering a huge market to compete in,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.

“The increase in share of smartphone device sales, declining sales to first time buyers and the continuous focus of global manufacturers on the low-cost feature phone market, has put many of the 150 plus local and Chinese device manufacturers under survival mode. Many of them are already struggling to maintain share in the growing market.”

Among the Chinese and Indian players to keep a hold in the market are ZTE, Micromax, Huawei, and Karbonn Mobile. All of them are expanding their smartphone options, although if they want to remain comptetive, they have to ensure their offerings can pass muster in terms of price and specs with what their international rivals are offering.

Given that it’s the world’s number one smartphone brand, it’s hardly surprising that Samsung is at the top of the pile when it comes to those international rivals. Its market share has risen from 15% in the first quarter of 2011 to 49.8% in the second quarter of 2012. “If Samsung continues this strong growth”, says Gartner, it could end 2012 with more than 60 percent share — exactly where Nokia was at the start of 2011″.

Nice Nokia burn there Gartner.

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