Although IDC sees tremendous untapped growth potential for this market, smartphone penetration in India is currently among the lowest in the Asia-Pacific region, the research firm said.
India's market share for smartphone shipments stood at 2.2 percent for 2011, rising to 2.5 percent in 2012. This figure is expected to increase to 8.5 percent by 2016, making India one of the countries that will see the largest growth in this segment.
Sales of smartphones priced around $100, featuring dual-SIM capability and local apps, will boost local demand, IDC said.
IDC pointed out that current 3G data plans are "too expensive for the majority of consumers in India". The research firm feels that over time, with the "popularization of 3G, and in later years 4G", and with operators rolling out more affordable data and service plans and expanding offerings to tier 2 and tier 3 cities, the rate of smartphone adoption in the country will increase.
China, which accounts for 26.5 percent of all smartphone shipments in 2012, is expected to replace the US, which has a 17.8 percent market share, as the global leader in smartphone shipments.
Strong consumer demand and a requirement for lower-priced smartphones were cited as the main factors behind making China (PRC) the largest market for smartphones this year. China is expected to hold the top position through at least 2016.
Speaking about some of the emerging key markets with respect to smartphone shipment volume over the next five years, Kevin Restivo, Senior Research Analyst- Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, IDC said, "High-growth countries such as Brazil and Russia will become some of the most hotly contested markets as vendors seek to capture new customers and market share."
The smartphone shipment market share figures for 2012 are as follows:
China- 26.5 percent
USA- 17.8 percent
U.K- 4.5 percent
Brazil- 2.3 percent
Rest of the World -- 46.4 percent.
In 2016, the smartphone shipment market share statistics is forecast to be as follows:
China- 23.0 percent
USA- 14.5 percent
Brazil- 4.4 percent
U.K- 3.6 percent
Rest of the World- 46.0 percent