Personal Technology Trends in India: The Great Migration Has Begun [Rewind 2013]

This post is part of a series that captures the highs and lows of 2013. This article takes a look at some of the personal technology trends in India.

[Edit Notes: This post is part of a series that captures the highs and lows of 2013. This article takes a look at some of the personal technology trends in India. In a separate post, we will talk about the trends and moments that defined the app world in 2013.]

The Indian mobile market, everybody will agree, is one of the biggest in the world currently. The pronounced migration from feature phones to smartphones will now accelerate the growth of the digital economy. Coupled with the launch and adoption of of 4G LTE in 2014, the domestic market will be nothing like it was a few years ago.

According to the latest Trai report, the wireless subscriber base in India stands at 873.36 Million. Out of this 176.5 Million subscribers accessed Internet through a mobile device.

The overall mobile phone market (Feature Phones and Smartphones) had a 12% growth year over year (YOY). This year also saw the growth of the smartphone market in the country, vendors shipped a total of 12.8 million smartphones in Q3 2013, as compared to 3.8 million units in the same period of 2012. (Source)

Inspite of this growth rate, feature phones, which accounts for 90% of all Internet capable devices in the country, still rules the mobile handset composition in India.

Nokia still rules the chart as the top mobile vendor in the country with 40.7% of the market, followed by Samsung with 27.9%. With sluggish sales in the last few quarters, Nokia has taken a dip in its market share which began at 52% in the beginning of the year.

Mobile manufacturer market

Apple’s market share on the other hand, has fallen from 4.7% to 2.1% in India. The company is not even close to the top 5 smartphone makers in India, which includes Samsung, Nokia, Sony and homegrown brands such as Micromax & Lava.

Nokia’s Lumia, based on the Windows OS, which most say are struggling seems to be doing much better. The Lumia series has had three times the sales of the iPhone in India with almost 6% market share.

Smartphone Is The New King In The Ring

Android-smartphone-tipsIn the mobile phone segment, 2013 saw an increase in the smartphone shipment numbers and a fall in the feature phone shipment numbers. The Indian smartphone market grew by 229% year over year (YoY) in the third quarter of 2013 (Q3). The fourth quarter numbers aren’t known yet. However, the trend is quite clear already.

This change is mostly due to the decrease in smartphone prices at the entry level which the domestic manufacturers pushed.

Some interesting data point on Smartphones. (Source)

  • Smartphone shipments crossed 12.8 million units in the quarter between  July- September 2013 (Q3).  For the same period the previous year, only 3.8 million units were shipped.

  • Smartphones now comprise of 19% of total mobile handset market in the country.

  • With 32.9% share, Samsung also is the market leader in smartphones category with Micromax and Karbonn at #2 and #3, respectively.

  • Top 3 vendors make up nearly 63.1% of the total smartphone shipments.

Phablets – Mine is Bigger than Yours

Phablets have been a very important part of the mobile phone market this year, especially with the launch of flagship Phablets like Samsung’s Note 3 and Goggle’s Nexus 5 launching in India soon after their international debut.

The Indian smartphone market has almost tripled its shipments year over year (YoY) in the second quarter of 2013 on the back of steadily rising Phablet sales.

Nearly 23% in the overall market in terms of volume during Q3 2013 were phablets, clearly showing that Indians love bigger devices. The 5.0-6.99 inch screen size category grew 17 times YoY. (Source)

Rise Of The Tablets

An increasing usage and preference for tablets in education sector, private enterprises and growing demand from the smartphone and laptop users seems to have given the smartphone market in the country a push. The market for Tablets in India is set to cross $2 bn by 2013.

The Indian Tablet Market (Source)

  • In the July- September quarter of 2013, about 1.2 million tablets were sold, recording a growth of 9% year on year and a 4.7% quarterly increase.

  • This year also saw the markets stabilize around three price points for the Tablet PC’s available in the Indian market. Rs 5,000-10,000; Rs 15,000-20,000 and over Rs 35,000.

  • Samsung leads the market, with Lenovo and Datawind coming in at #2 and #3 respectively.

  • The top five vendors account for 58.7% of all tablet shipments and enterprise tablets market accounts for nearly 20% of total shipments.

During the beginning of the year iOS based tablets had a 55% share in the market and Android based device 42%, but by November this year the trends swapped completely. Now Android based devices have 55% market share and iOS based devices 42%.

Tablet OS marketshare


Android Zooms, Windows Picks Up With Lumia

In the beginning of the year Series 40, the operating system that powers Nokia Asha, was expected to be the most popular mobile operating system in the Indian market. But things have changed over the the year. Last month Android, with 29.87% of the market share, overtook S40, with 29% of the market share, as the most used mobile OS in the country. iOS is yet to make its appearance among the tops 5 mobile OS.

Mobile OS market share

Android has also received another boost this year with Google opening its AndroidLand stores in India, in partnership with Spice Global. This move will definitely improve the visibility of the brand and further increase sales of Android in India.

On the Windows Phone market, Nokia Lumia series has been leading the growth for the platform in India.

As far app revenues were concerned, Android seems to have the edge with interstitials ads, with conversion rates of 3.06%, nearly twice that of any other ad formats. Conversion rate for interstitial ads on the iOS platform was only 1.73%.

PC Heading For Doomsday?

The desktop market is still not dead, we saw nearly 3.2 million units of desk-based and mobile PC devices being shipped during Q3 of 2013, in the country. As compared to the corresponding quarter last year, PC maker HP doubled its market share while Lenovo, Dell, Acer & HCL saw their market share drop.

According to Garner, “Sales was largely driven by some large government orders in an otherwise sombre economic atmosphere.”

viber-desktopHP had won a large deal from the Uttar Pradesh government to supply over 5 lakh laptops to students in the state. Acer at the same time, had won deals from the governments in Tamil Nadu & Rajasthan.

But it hasn’t been all rosy for the PC market.

Inspite of the demand in the market, the appreciation of the dollar against the rupee has eroded margins for PC makers in India.

HCL, which had a dominant market position in its heydays, was quickly pushed over by Dell, HP, Lenovo and other PC makers.

HCL Infosystems recently announced that it is shutting down its PC manufacturing business, as it continued to make losses for the BSE listed company.

The Notebook sales posted a growth rate of only 16% this fiscal, compared to 22% rate in the last year.(Source)

Similarly Netbook sales also saw a decline of 68% as compared to the previous year.

According to a  report by industry body MAIT sale of tablets was “cannibalizing” PC sales. It said that while personal computer sales between April 2012 and March 2013 grew only 5%, tablet sales grew 424%.

Looks like its a tough road ahead for PC manufacturers in 2014.

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