Growth in India's smartphone market finally appears to be plateauing. Data from International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that smartphone shipments tumbled by 4% in the final quarter of last year, with the delay in 4G adoption said to be taking its toll.
As Tech in Asia reports, the overall phone market contracted by 11% in the three months ended 31 December – a decline that was mainly caused by a 14% fall in the feature phone market, but was exacerbated by a reduction in the number of smartphone shipments from phone vendors.
Analysts are unlikely to be too worried about the fall, however, given that the data doesn't necessarily reflect phone sales from retailers, and that the main reason for the drop in shipments is believed to be a result of the big inventories built up with sales channels during the third quarter.
Also, further figures from IDC show that smartphones accounted for 35% of the overall mobile phone business in Q4 2014, compared to a 13% share in the same quarter a year earlier.
And although IDC expects a slow-moving first quarter in 2015 too, it might not be long until smartphone demand points skywards once again, with India in the process of preparing infrastructure for a drive in 4G coverage.
Kiran Kumar, research manager with IDC India, explained: "For vendors and ecosystem partners, greater emphasis on 4G-enabled handsets at competitive price points will be the order of the day.
"End-users' desire to upgrade and keep abreast with the latest technology will continue to drive strong growth for the smartphone market throughout the course of 2015."
His positive outlook is supported by a recent report by Nokia Networks, which showed a 74% increase in 2014 in the number of mobile internet users, with the steep upward trajectory expected to continue for the foreseeable future.