Android to touch 12% in India this year, 1 lakh tablets to be sold

Google’s Android platform will take a 12% market share and nearly 1 lakh tablets will ship this year in India, according to Cyber Media Research’s forecasts for the Indian market.

The overall smartphone market will zoom from around 6 million (60 lakh) units last year to 10 million (1 crore) units this year, it added.

In all, Indians are estimated to buy around 100 million phones every year, giving smartphones a 10% market share in 2011. Last year, smartphones were estimated to constitute 6% of the total handset market.

The biggest smartphone platform in India is Symbian, partly because of the 30-40% market share that Nokia enjoys. Samsung’s Bada is also on the rise sharply in India, thanks to several new models such as the Wave series.

Cyber Media, however, places its bet on Android as the Symbian platform is folded up, leaving a huge vaccum in the Indian smartphone market. Symbian is estimated by industry sources to account for anything from 40-50% of the Indian smartphone market.

“The Android Operating System will continue to gain acceptance as a mobile operating system (OS) and 12% of all smartphones shipped in India during 2011 are expected to be based on the Android platform,” Cyber Media said.

It pointed out that though 1 lakh tablets (0.1% of mobile market) are expected to be sold in India this year, they won’t become mass market, partly due to their relatively high price in India.

“A ‘game changer’ in this space could happen in late 2011 / early 2012 if a players such as Reliance Infotel introduces a ‘mass market’ Tablet priced lower than Rs. 10,000 per unit,” it said.

Overall, India’s mobile handset market — the fastest growing in the world — will grow 26% this year to hit Rs 64,077 crore, according to Cyber Media Research, formerly IDC’s India partner. The growth rate will increase to 30% next year, taking the total market size to Rs 83,377 crore, thanks to the introduction of 3G, Wireless broadband etc, Cyber Media said.

As far as Operators’ revenues are concerned, they will grow by around 16% this year to touch Rs 1.84 crore ($54 billion). In comparison, subscriber numbers have increased by more than 30% — indicating that average bill sizes continue to plummet per subscriber. The increase in revenue will be even lower for the next year (2012) at just 11.4%, according to the forecast.