Mumbai: International handset giant Nokia of Finland has retained the top slot in the Indian GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) market, with a 79-per cent share, according to the annual TNS CellTrack 2006 study.
South Korean major LG has emerged market leader in the CDMA(Code Division Multiple Access) market, with a 49-per cent share (as against 43 per cent last year).
US handset maker Motorola doubled its share in the GSM market to seven per cent, while Samsung of South Korea, saw its share decline to four per cent from six in 2005.
Samsung also saw a sharp decline in its market share in CDMA handsets, from 17 per cent to eight per cent, while Motorola''s share fell from 12 per cent to four per cent.
Nokia had recently announced plans to set up a design facility in Bangalore. India will emerge as the second-largest market in the world for Nokia by 2010, when there would be an estimated four billion mobile phone subscribers around the world, about half of them in the Asia-Pacific region, including India and China.
The Asia-Pacific region would account for half of Nokia''s global sales shortly. The company already has a manufacturing unit in Chennai, where it has a capacity to produce 20 million handsets annually.
Companies like Nokia see tremendous scope in the replacement market in India, which today accounts for 65 per cent of total handset sales. It is expected to rise to 90 per cent by 2010.
India, which is one of the fastest growing mobile phone markets in the world, is expected to have 500 million cell phone users by 2010. According to the government''s Vision 2010, 85 per cent of the country''s geographical area would get cellular coverage by the end of 2007, and total phone connections would add up to about 250 million.
The telecommunications network currently covers about 40 per cent of India''s geographical area. In early 2007, India will emerge as the third-largest mobile phone market in the world, overtaking Russia.
China and the US are the world''s top two cell phone markets.
India had 136 mobile phone subscribers in November, and every month about seven to eight million new subscribers are being added. Russia has 152 million subscribers at present, but just around 2 million new users are added every month.
India''s GSM base crossed the 100-million-mark in November, making it the third largest GSM market in the world, after China and Russia. During 2007, an average of 10 million new subscribers are likely to be signed up every month in India.