Frost & Sullivan
Monday, September 23, 2013 01:15 PM IST (07:45 AM GMT)
Editors: General: Economy, People; Business: Business services, Electronic appliances & components, Information technology; Technology
Falling Device Prices Spur Adoption of Smartphones and Tablets in South Asia, Finds Frost & Sullivan
Developing robust, localized distribution channels, especially in semi-urban and rural regions crucial to sustain market growth

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, Monday, September 23, 2013 — (Business Wire India) — The smartphone and tablet market in South Asia is witnessing rapid growth, driven by the influx of low-cost devices and the rising penetration of mobile internet services. This growth could be impacted due to the rampant grey market and steep import duties on such devices. The big question is how fast will the smartphone and tablet markets grow and what are the critical strategies to ensure market success in South Asia?

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, The Smartphones and Tablet Market in South Asia, reveals all this and more. The study finds that market revenue is expected to reach US $33.33 billion in 2019 from US $4.45 billion in 2012. Smartphone sales will contribute to almost 70 percent of the total revenue, with the rest accounted for by tablet sales. Out of the three countries studied – India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh; India will be the largest contributor to market revenues.

“Buoyed by the availability of mobile internet services, end users are using smartphones as their primary medium for internet access,” said Frost & Sullivan’s Information & Communication Technologies Research Analyst. “The availability of a healthy mobile application ecosystem that provides entertainment as well as utility will further boost the sale of smartphones. For tablets, designing dedicated applications will further spur their uptake.”

Demand will continue to soar owing to falling device prices caused by the advent of user-friendly, open-source Android devices and the decreasing costs of components such as displays, chipsets and memory chips. Intense competition among the vendors in the region has also reduced price points. Despite the drop in price, the total cost of device ownership remains high, reining in adoption. Regulatory requirements such as high import duties on mobile handsets have escalated prices of the handsets. In fact, Bangladesh has a 12.5 percent import duty on all mobile handsets and India has announced a 6 percent duty on phones costing greater than US $40.

Another concern that has the potential to severely impact market development is the widespread proliferation of grey channel sales which in turn, affect the profitability of authorized vendors. In countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, grey channels make up for as much as 50 percent of the overall sale volumes. The lack of a robust distribution system and after-sales support in the semi-urban and rural regions adds to the existing challenges. In a country like India with geographical and linguistic diversity, it is vital to have a strong, localized distribution channel that will cater to varied end-user needs.

“To appeal to the wide consumer base in the region, offering well-developed mobile applications and mobile broadband ecosystems is very essential,” adds the analyst. “Therefore, vendors must constantly invest in technology innovation as well as provide effective pricing models to enable market expansion.”

If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides a brief synopsis of the research and a table of contents, then send an e-mail to Ravinder Kaur / Priya George, Corporate Communications, at /, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website, city, state and country. Upon receipt of the above information, a brochure will be sent to you by e-mail.

The Smartphones and Tablet Market in South Asia is part of the Mobile & Wireless Communications Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related research services include Fixed and Mobile Broadband Services and Infrastructure in South Asia, Mobile VAS: Utility Mobile Applications and Data Usage in South Asia and Mobile VAS: Mobile Infotainment Services and Data Usage in South Asia. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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The Smartphones and Tablet Market in South Asia

Ravinder Kaur, Corporate Communications – South Asia, Frost & Sullivan, +91 9940141714 / +91 (44) 66814413,
Priya George, Corporate Communications – South Asia, Frost & Sullivan, +91 9840355432 / +91 (44) 66814456,
Nimisha Iyer, Corporate Communications – South Asia, Middle East & North Africa, Frost & Sullivan, +91 9820050519 / +91 (22) 66072004,