If the latest report from research firm CMR is anything to go by, then 4G services in India could expand much faster than our estimates. According to the report, more than 15.8 million 4G devices were shipped in India in the first quarter of 2016.
These devices include smartphones, data cards, and tablet PCs with 4G smartphones accounting for 97.9% of the total shipments.
According to the report, 4G smartphones shipments accounted for 63% of the total cellular shipments in the quarter. The availability of affordable 4G smartphones at prices lower than 10,000 INR has contributed to the majority share of smartphones shipped into the country.
Moreover, multiple operators like Airtel, Idea, and Vodafone have already launched their LTE services. Reliance Jio, BSNL, and Reliance Communications are also expected to launch 4G services soon. This would further lead to an increase in 4G devices and usage in the country.
Talking about the same, CMR Lead Analyst Telecoms Faisal Kawoosa, said,
The smartphone industry was the first to bank on the 4G wave. Now, as the services go live with multiple operators, it is the time for other devices to ride on the growth path.
Samsung takes lead
As per the CMR report, Samsung emerged as the leading brand of 4G smartphones and tablets shipped into India. Samsung accounted for 32% of the market share of 4G smartphones.
Lenovo followed Samsung with 14% market share whereas the LYF smartphones, recently introduced by Reliance Jio made a spectacular debut in the list by grabbing a 12.6% market share in the first quarter.
Samsung also led the pack of 4G tablets manufacturers with 58% market share. Apple and iBall accounted for 16% and 12% of the market share respectively. Overall, 4G tablets accounted for 0.6% of total 4G devices shipped in the quarter.
4G Data Cards
4G data cards witnessed an increase of 0.5% in contribution to total shipments of 4G devices. They accounted for 1.5 percent of the shipments.
Huawei, ZTE and Micromax were the only companies who shipped 4G data cards in this quarter. Huawei emerged as the top brand with 40% of the market share. ZTE and Micromax accounted for 31% and 29% market share respectively.
The CMR report also said that despite 4G smartphones accounting for maximum share in LTE devices, there was room for growth of 4G data cards and tablets as well.
While every emerging device brand in India prefers smartphones for obvious potential growth reasons, we see number of brands shipping tablets and data cards in decline. This is leading to the lesser option for consumers in tablets and data cards in particular,
said CMR Analyst Telecoms Krishna Mukherjee.