Mobile handset sales in India recorded a 6.7 percent increase to 100.9 million in the year ended June 30, as compared to 94.6 million the year before, according to an IT market intelligence firm.
In terms of units shipped, Nokia sold the most with a market share of 56.8 percent, followed by Samsung with a 7.7 percent share and LG with 5.4 percent share in the 12-month period ended June 30, said a report by IDC's India Quarterly Mobile Handsets Tracker.
"The number of emerging mobile handset vendors in the Indian market has grown to 26 in the second quarter of 2009 and their contribution to overall shipments in terms of units crossed 6.3 percent during the 12-month period," said Deepak Kumar, associate vice-president (research) of IDC.
"This is against only 11 emerging vendors representing a share of 1.2 percent of overall shipments during the previous 12-month period," he added.
According to the report, a number of new players have entered the Indian mobile handset market in the last 12-18 months and have carved a niche for themselves by offering feature-rich (dual SIM card, full Qwerty keyboard) and application-rich mobile handsets at attractive prices.
They have also introduced entry-level models for the "price sensitive" Indian consumer.
"We see the market getting further crowded, especially in the lower and mid-market segments. At the same time, an accelerated evolution of the market is at work, as the rising competition forces vendors to offer newer, richer features at attractive price points," said Kumar.
While the year 2008-09 saw high-end phones like Apple iPhone 3G, Blackberry Storm being introduced, it was also a year when companies like Samsung launched the Micromax phone with a 30-day standby time for semi-urban and rural buyers.
"With the mobile handsets market in India growing in volumes, device manufacturers have started focusing on niche and emerging segments based on lifestyle profiling of buyers," said Naveen Mishra, an analyst at IDC India.