iPhone maker Apple has emerged as the largest 4G LTE device vendor in the country with a market share of 45 per cent in October-December period, CyberMedia Research (CMR) today said.
According to the research firm, over one million LTE devices, including smartphones, tablets and data cards were shipped to the Indian market in the fourth quarter of 2014, marking the "coming of age" of the 4G devices.
"Within smartphones, the major type of LTE devices shipped into the India market, Apple leads with a 45 per cent market share during Q4 CY2014, followed by HTC at 19 per cent and Samsung at 16 per cent," CMR said.
It added that the Cupertino-based firm dominated the tablet segment with 70.6 per cent market share, followed by Lenovo 28.7 per cent and Hewlett-Packard with a relatively insignificant presence during the period. "Till a few months ago, we had Apple iPhone and a couple of other global brands offering 4G phones in the India market, but sales started to pick up with competitively priced devices being made available by brands like Xiaomi, Oneplus and Lenovo starting to ship LTE phones towards the end of CY2014," CMR Telecoms Practice Lead Analyst Faisal Kawoosa said.
Though LTE services are currently restricted to few cities in India, sales of devices with such services are picking up as consumers are looking to replace their smartphones, he added. "Apple enjoyed the early mover advantage and thus led the space during the fourth quarter... Micromax was the only Indian brand that shipped LTE devices during the fourth quarter, albeit with a marginal share of 0.1 per cent," CMR Telecoms Practice Analyst Vikrant Singh said.
The uptick in 4G-enabled device shipments in India, especially smartphones, shows that it makes the right business proposition for other home-grown brands like Lava, Karbonn and Intex to foray into the LTE devices market, he added.
The LTE datacard market, which accounted for 1 per cent of the 4G devices market, saw Alcatel leading the market with 83 per cent share and Huawei (17 per cent).