Indian Mobile Phone Industry 2011 – An outlook

Voice and Data, a leading telecom publication in India published their findings from the 2011 survey on Mobile phone Industry. The Indian Mobile handset industry has been growing steadily and posting healthy figures. The handset market grew by 15% yielding a total revenue of Rs. 33,171 crores in 2010-11 fiscal. The total revenue for 2009-10 fiscal was Rs. 28,897 crores. Based on the total sales, voice and data identified the top 5 players in the Indian mobile handset landscape. The findings are provided below.

Position Brand Market Share Revenue 2011 (Rs. crores) Revenue 2010
(Rs. crores)
#1 Nokia 39.0% 12,929 12,900
#2 Samsung 17.2% 5,720 4,700
#3 Micromax 6.9% 2,289 1,602
#4 RIM (Blackberry) 5.9% 1,950 1,210
#5 HTC 1.4% 450 226


Nokia continues to enjoy the #1 position with an impressive marketshare of 39.0%. But Nokia has posted just 0.2% growth from last year with the total revenues almost stagnating at Rs. 12,900 crores. Nokia has been losing it’s marketshare very rapidly in India. At the entry-level handsets, nokia is facing tough challenges from the home-grown players such as Micromax, Karbonn and Spice. At the high-end segment, Nokia is facing a stiff competition from Samsung, Blackberry and HTC. One of the key findings from this survey is that Nokia has lost big chunk of its market share due to the lack of dual-SIM handsets in the portfolio. Nokia joined the party very late and started offering dual-sim handsets from late october 2010. This year is going to be a very crucial year of Nokia as they are facing an imminent danger of losing the market leadership slot!

Samsung on the other hand has been growing tremendously – almost by 21% from the previous year – and posted a healthy sales of Rs. 5,720 crores. The growth can be largely attributed to the impressive and diverse portfolio of handsets right from entry-level to the high-end segment. The ‘Wave’ series and the ‘Galaxy S’ series has been a great success for samsung. Samsung continues to launch new product lines at regular intervals across all segment and on all operating systems such as Android, Windows and Bada. Samsung is also doing well at the tablets front and can be considered as the only worthy rival for the Apple jaggernaut!

Micromax – the homegrown handset player – is making all of us Indians proud with its impressive growth rate and good product designs and innovations. Micromax occupies a healthy 6.9% marketshare and posted a sales figure of Rs. 2,289 crores. Micromax grew by 43% year on year. The growth rate seems higher but we have to consider the low-base effect too. Micromax will be rolling out handsets from their own manufacturing plants this year and so can expect to do well by pricing very competitively.

Blackberry – grew by 62% from last year to post a sales figure of Rs. 1,950 crores and enjoys a marketshare of 5.9%. The launch of entry level blackberry phones towards the last quarter of 2010-11 boosted the sales figure. Blackberry however continues to face pressure from Samsung, HTC and other brands in the business phone segment and is losing its sheen among the ever-loyal fans.

HTC occupies the 5th slot and posted a sales figure of Rs. 450 crores and grew by 99%. HTC occupies a marketshare of 1.4%.

Few days ago, Gartner published a forecast report on Indian mobile phone industry. 175 million handsets were sold in the year 2010 in India. Gartner expects 220 million handsets to be sold in India in 2011. Now, lets combine these two reports and draw some interpretations.

  • Assuming a total revenue of Rs. 33,171 crores against 175 million handsets – an average handset revenue in India works out to Rs. 1,895 ($40)
  • Gartner projects a growth of 25% on mobile phone sales. Assuming the same average handset cost, the total revenue in 2011 can be expected to reach Rs. 41,690 crores ($9 billion)
  • Gartner said 3 million smartphones were sold in 2011 Q1 against a total of 50.7 million handsets sold. So, we can see why the average handset revenue is skewing towards sub 2k range! So, only 6% of handsets solds in India are smartphones!
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