Nokia share falls in booming Indian market

By siliconindia staff writer   |   Friday, 19 December 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Nokia, the world's biggest mobile phones maker, has given away its market share to Korean rivals Samsung and LG Electronics in what is called India as a booming mobile sector, says Gartner.

In a statement released, Gartner informed that Nokia had a 32.6 percent share of the combined GSM and CDMA handset market at the end of the third quarter, down from 40.2 percent at the end of the second quarter. During this period, the market share of second-ranked Samsung Electronics Co Ltd rose to 29.6 percent from 25.6 percent and LG Electronics Inc's share surged to 22.8 percent from 12.8. "That's because both Samsung and LG have a first mover advantage in the CDMA market over Nokia which has a nominal presence," said principal analyst Kobita Desai.

India's $2.1 billion handset market has more than a dozen global giants including Motorola Inc and Siemens AG fighting for a slice of the growing mobile pie.

Gartner estimated more than 5.8 million handsets were sold in the third quarter of 2003 in India where mobile phones are both a business necessity and a fashion statement used by everybody from top CEOs to plumbers and electricians. A Gartner analyst expects the Indian handset market to expand to between 28-30 million phones in 2004 from an estimated 18.3 million handsets in 2003.

"But Nokia has continued to fare well in the GSM market, maintaining its top position with a market share in excess of 57 percent." In comparison, Samsung, the No 2 GSM brand, has a market share of less than 20 percent in GSM handsets, Desai said.

The country's mobile industry, one of the world's fastest growing markets, has more than 21 million GSM customers and over six million CDMA users. The user base is growing at about two million a month and is forecast to cross 100 million by 2005. Samsung and LG, recent entrants in the nine-year-old Indian mobile industry, have piggybacked on the massive expansion drive by Reliance Infocomm Ltd, the CDMA-based mobile services arm of the powerful Reliance group.

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