New Delhi: As a large chunk of Indian users is migrating to affordable smarter devices from feature phones, smartphone sales in India are expected to reach 80.57 million units by the end of this year, research firm IDC said.
Also, the sales would continue to grow at a CAGR of about 40 per cent over the next five years, it said.
According to IDC, India witnessed the highest rate of growth - over 186 per cent - in smartphone sales in Asia Pacific region during January-March 2014, outshining countries like China.
The overall mobile phone market in the country grew by just 1 per cent to about 61.07 million units in Q1 2014 compared to the previous year. On sequential basis, the numbers declined 10 per cent.
"The dip in the overall mobile phone market shipments can be attributed to the 18 per cent decline in feature phone shipments from Q4 2013 to Q1 2014. This was offset by smartphone market, where units shipped grew by close to 17 per cent in Q1 2014 compared to Q4 2013," IDC said in a statement.
The consistent growth in the smartphone market is driven by enhanced consumer preference for smart devices and narrowing price differences, it said.
Compared to India's 186 per cent growth, China registered a year-on-year growth of 31 per cent in Q1 2014.
"The smartphone penetration in India still hovers at 10 per cent and it is expected to grow due to a variety of factors including greater availability of low-cost devices and additional sales emphasis by top-flight vendors on less populous parts of the country," IDC said.
In the first quarter of 2014, vendors in India shipped a total of 17.59 million smartphones compared to 6.14 million units in the same period of 2013.
IDC said the sub-200 dollar category in smartphones contributed to about 78 per cent hinting that the growth in the Indian smartphone market still remains constrained towards the low-end of the spectrum.
"As more vendors continue to launch low priced smartphone models, the price gap between feature phones and smartphones will be narrowed, driving rampant user migration in the price sensitive Indian market," IDC India Senior Market Analyst Manasi Yadav said.
Phablets, or smart devices with 5.5 inch-6.99 inch screen size, contributed about five per cent of the overall market in the first quarter with a growth rate of 125 per cent in terms of volume over Q4 2013.
The sales were driven by launch of low-end phablets by international and local vendors alike.
"This rapid pace of growth in smartphones is expected to continue in India. While we notice that much of the growth is coming from low-cost devices using the Android operating system, Windows is making adequate gains too based on the strength of the entry level product mix in smartphones," IDC India Research Manager (Client Devices) Kiran Kumar said.
Samsung maintained its leadership in the smartphone market with 35 per cent market share in Q1 2014, followed by Micromax (15 per cent), Karbonn (10 per cent), LAVA (6 per cent) and Nokia (4 per cent).