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Market Bestsellers: Key handsets and tablets launched in 2011

March 01, 2012
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The Indian hand-held market continued to grow in tandem with the wireless business in 2011, with sales of over 213 million units, according to research firm Gartner. Low-cost devices accounted for over 75 per cent of the total device sales in the first three quarters of 2011, while smartphones accounted for about 6 per cent.

In terms of market share, Nokia led the pack in the third quarter of 2011, according to Gartner, followed by Samsung, G’Five Mobile, Karbonn Mobiles and Micromax.

The last year also saw the new handset players strengthen their market position. Traditionally dominated by global players like Nokia, Samsung and LG, the handset market currently has more than 35 indigenous brands offering GSM and CDMA devices. Affordability is an important factor for these players. Gartner’s estimates show that the average selling price of a handset is Rs 2,230, with 75 per cent of sold devices being priced below Rs 3,717.

Also, the growing market share of domestic players in the low-end handset segment somewhat weakened the position of the established players. At the same time, competition in the medium- to high-end handset market intensified, with the launch of models that resemble high-end smartphones as well as competitively priced hand-helds.

Moreover, the tablet market witnessed significant activity with product launches by operators as well as vendors. According to Frost & Sullivan, 300,000 million tablets were sold in 2011 as compared to about 60,000 in 2010. A major development in this space was the launch of the Aakash device, the world’s cheapest tablet, by Datawind. Originally designed for students, the device is available in two versions, the Ubislate 7, priced at Rs 2,500, and the Ubislate 7+, priced at Rs 2,999.

Going forward, Gartner predicts that mobile device sales in the country would increase to 231 million units in 2012 and to 322 million units in 2015.

tele.net takes a look at the bestselling telecom devices in 2011...

Nokia

Nokia India expanded its dual-SIM handset portfolio with the launch of the C2-03, C2-06 and C2-02 touch-and-type phones. The C2-03 has a TFT screen with 56,000 colours, handwriting recognition facility, a 1,000-name phonebook and Class 12 GPRS. The C2-06 features 10 MB of internal memory and WAP 2.0, and supports push email. The C2-02 has a 65,000 colour screen, supports Java and social networking sites, and features an inbuilt organiser and predictive text input. The C2-02, C2-06 and C2-03 are priced at Rs 4,289, Rs 5,349 and Rs 4,949 respectively.

Nokia has also introduced the E7 smartphone, which has an AMOLED touchscreen and built-in VPN, and supports high definition (HD) video recording and playback. Its other features include an 8 megapixel camera, HDMI connectivity to project files and 16 GB of flash memory. The device is priced at Rs 29,999.

Nokia’s Lumia 800 hand-held is based on the Windows operating system and is priced at Rs 29,999. Its other features include support for the HSDPA platform, an AMOLED screen as well as an 8 megapixel camera.

Sony Ericsson

The company has launched the W8 Walkman phone in India. The device operates on the Android platform and offers the FM Moment and Share Moment applications, bundled-in speakers and a 3.2 megapixel camera. Its other features include support for MP3 and AAC files, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, Gmail and other email servers as well as access to social networking sites and chat servers. The device is priced at Rs 9,995.

Samsung India

Samsung Electronics Company Limited has launched the GALAXY Note handset in the Indian market. The device operates on a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor and has a 5.3 inch WXGA super AMOLED screen, an 8 megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel front camera. It also includes support for HD video recording and playback; MP3, AAC, AMR, WMA, WAV, FLAC and OGG audio formats; the Social Hub application; and 16 GB of internal memory. The GALAXY Note is priced at Rs 34,990.

Samsung has also launched the GALAXY Tab 750 and GALAXY Tab 730, the world’s thinnest such devices at 8.6 mm. They feature Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface implemented on the Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) platform, and support 3G HSPA+ network speeds of up to 21 Mbps and Wi-Fi connectivity. These devices have a 1 GHz dual-core processor, and offer Bluetooth 3.0, 16 GB of internal memory and the Readers Hub application, which provides access to books, newspapers and magazines. The GALAXY 750 is priced at Rs 36,200 while the GALAXY 730 is available for Rs 33,990.

Samsung’s Galaxy Y handset operates on the Google Android platform and  offers support for 3G, 160 MB of internal memory and Bluetooth connectivity. The device is priced at Rs 7,830.

Spice Mobiles

Spice Mobiles has introduced the Mi270 Android hand-held. The dual-SIM device has a 2.8 inch resistive touchscreen with a resolution of 240x320 pixels, offers expandable memory of up to 16 GB, and supports GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and EDGE connectivity. It runs on a 600 MHz processor and is priced at Rs 5,700.

Motorola

Motorola India has launched the Defy handset, which is based on the Android platform. The device has a 3.7 inch capacitive touchscreen with gorilla glass display, a 5 megapixel camera and the MotoBlur user interface. It supports 3G and offers 2 GB of internal memory, which is expandable to 32 GB. The Defy also allows access to social media like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, and is priced at Rs 18,500.

Micromax

Micromax Informatics Limited has launched the Bling-2 hand-held. The handset operates on the Android 2.2 Froyo platform and offers interactive applications such as MiRoamer (mobile radio), Saavn (a music-on-demand service) and Mosho (a mobile shopping platform). The device supports internet browsing and Bluetooth connectivity, features the Mi-Fi pocket wireless internet application and is integrated with a GPS system. It is priced at Rs 8,999.

RIM

Research In Motion (RIM) has launched the BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone, which is priced at Rs 19,990. The device operates on the new BlackBerry 7 platform, and supports GPS, Wi-Fi and the near field communications (NFC) technology, which allows it to pair with other NFC-enabled accessories. The handset also offers the BlackBerry Protect application, which allows users to back up personal data and locate misplaced devices using GPS.

G’Five Mobile

G’Five Mobile has launched three handsets – the E720, the E780 and the E505 – under its Movie King series. These devices are bundled with a 4 GB card which is preloaded with 20 movies, music videos, ringtones, etc. The E720 has a 2.4 inch touchscreen display, a 3.2 megapixel rear camera and a digital front camera, and a 1,300 mAh battery; offers short-range wireless connectivity with A2DP and expandable memory of up to 16 GB; and supports wireless FM. The E780 has a 3.2 inch touchscreen, a 3.2 megapixel rear camera and a digital front camera, and a 1,050 mAh battery. The E505 has a 2.2 inch display, a 1.3 megapixel rear camera, a digital front camera, and a 1,000 mAh battery; and offers expandable memory of up to 16 GB. The E720, E780 and E505 handsets are priced at Rs 2,909, Rs 3,689 and Rs 2,219 respectively.

HTC

HTC Corporation has unveiled the HTC EVO 3D hand-held, which is based on the Snapdragon S3 mobile processor. Built on the Gingerbread (2.3) version of Android, the device features a 3D display, dual 5 megapixel cameras, 3D HD (720 pixels) video recording facility and the HTC Sense application. It is available for Rs 35,990.

Operator devices

Vodafone has launched the Vodafone Smart 3G Android phone in India. Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S1 processor and Android 2.2.1, the device packs in a 2.8 inch capacitive touch display; offers up to 32 GB of expandable memory; and supports the MP3 and MP4 file formats; and integrated Google services such as push mail, maps, Gtalk and YouTube. The device is priced at Rs 4,995.

Meanwhile, Beetel Teletech has introduced the Magiq Glide tablet. The device runs on the Android 2.2 Froyo platform and has a capacitive touchscreen. It packs in a WVGA screen and 2 megapixel front and rear cameras, and offers 8 GB of internal memory, which is expandable to 16 GB. The device supports Wi-Fi and 3G technologies, and is available for Rs 11,999.

Conclusion

With the past year witnessing a series of handset and tablet launches, and more expected in 2012, the device market is getting increasingly crowded. Against this backdrop, global handset brands will have to innovate and craft new strategies, especially to take on the competition from local and Chinese companies, which are building capabilities to cover a broader customer segment. As for consumers, their key problem for now is one of plenty.

 
 
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