India's Mobile Phone Market

November 29, 2006 4:46pm CST
India’s mobile phone market is exploding, and iSuppli predicts that the market for mobile handsets will more than double between 2005 and 2010. What this means to global phone makers and their suppliers: India is a difficult market to ignore. India’s mobile-phone subscriber base grew 47% in 2005, reaching about 75.3 million subscribers by the end of the year, up from 48 million at the end of 2004, according to iSuppli. The subscriber base in India will rise to 278 million in 2010, which will mean a cellular penetration rate of 23.9 percent of the nation’s population, predicts iSuppli. The Indian mobile-phone market is now almost exclusively dependent on imports, but domestic manufacturing is picking up with global handset makers announcing plans to establish local manufacturing units, according to Kim Allen of iSuppli. While a majority of mobile phones sold in the Indian market fall into the low-cost category and offer only basic features that primarily support voice services, according to Allen, manufacturers are now developing phones with distinctive features such as integrated flashlights and software that works in multiple local languages. But the opportunity for manufacturers, Allen says, is to develop Ultra Low-Cost Handsets to make the entire mobile package affordable. Allen points to Motorola, for example, which launched its first made-in-India phone, the C115, for $37. Allen adds that the subscriber growth and phone demand in India will continue to be extremely price elastic, and as handset prices in India continue to fall, the number of handset unit shipments will increase. Source:
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