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Mobile majors eye local market

Calcutta, Dec. 8: Major cellphone manufacturers are now looking at India, which is positioned as the second largest mobile handset market after China.

In recent months, new entrants include Chinese manufacturers Bird Ningbo, Taiwanese DBTEL and Japanese Kyocera. Alcatel of France is also re-entering the market. On the other hand, market veterans Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Siemens are launching newer models to retain their market share. The market boom has been attributed to a cut in prices and duty, which have resulted in the legal market increasing from a mere 30 per cent to 80 per cent.

The industry is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 39.8 per cent till 2007 with over 50 million subscribers by 2005 against 22 million subscribers by the year-end.

Reliance, the country’s largest conglomerate, has also contributed to the explosion by introducing low-priced limited mobility and has accrued 5.5 million subscribers on last count.

Nokia, which believes that there will be 100 million phones in the next three years, is focusing on reducing its price to capture a larger market share.

Alcatel has entered into a bundled offer with Airtel for Rs 3,489. Motorola has also followed the same strategy and offers a bundled offer with Airtel at Rs 3,650.

Samsung plans to launch 11 models in the next year, while Sony Ericsson has already introduced four models priced between Rs 5,000 and Rs 20,000.

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