100 million phones sold last year ranged from 60,000-rupee Samsung ‘Mariner’ to a Rs 2500 Micromax with 30-day standby power .
The Indian mobile phone market – the fastest growing in the world – is a ‘maidan’ or playing field of extremes with the priciest models costing 60 times as much as the entry level handsets. The latest Mobile handset study by analysts IDC, says 100.9 million mobile phones were sold in the 12 months ending June 2009 - -- up from 94.6 million in the earlier year.
Nokia dominates the market with a 56.8 percent share followed distantly by Samsung – 7.7 percent – and LG – 5.4 percent. However the market supports as many as 26 different handset makers, this year, up from just 11 a year ago.
Bucking popular perceptions this is not a low cost ‘mandi’ or bazaar: Indian buyers sustain up market models like Samsung’s rugged, water proof ‘Marine’ which wills set you back Rs 60,000 to Rs 75,000 – even as innovative Indian makers like Micromax, trawl the budget end with models like the X1i which offers an amazing 30 days of stand-by power.
Mobiles, key to financial inclusion
With more than half a billion mobile phones in use, just shy of one in two Indians, the device is seen as a key element for the financial inclusion of the nation’s large rural population. At the national symposium on financial inclusion, organised on October 19 by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), R Chandrashekher, central Secretary for Information Technology, said government had now understood the potential of mobile phones. The Reserve Bank of India had started putting in place new regulations that recognized and legalized mobile payments.
Oct 11 2009