The latest CMR report, the Annual 4G LTE Devices India Market Review Report 2018, revealed that Indian consumers purchased 50% more 4G LTE devices in 2018 year-on-year, with shipments surpassing 200 million units. 4G devices include mobile phones, tablets and data cards. In 2018, 4G devices had a 64% market share.
While 4G LTE enabled mobile device shipments crossed 60%, the 4G LTE tablets accounted for 44% of the total tablet shipments. 4G LTE contributed for 100% of the data cards shipped in calendar 2018.
“4G is enabling Indians everywhere to raise above their social and economic challenges and connect with new possibilities. The 4G device penetration in India continues to gain traction, with 4G mobile phone and 4G tablet shipments on the rise. Reliance Jio Infocomm has been the X-factor,” said Prabhu Ram, head – Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR.
During the year, LYF led in the 4G LTE mobile handset segment with 33% market share, while Lenovo dominated the 4G LTE tablet market with 40% market share. LYF is the only Indian brand in the leaderboard shipping 4G LTE mobile handsets.
Narinder Kumar, lead analyst-IIG, CMR, predicts 4G adoption will continue in CY2019 driven by 4G feature phones and bundled offerings at the entry level contributing to growth in 4G device shipments. Video and music streaming will fuel this 4G growth. “Over the long run, we anticipate 4G to play a major role in smart cities, and especially smart homes,” said Kumar.
CMR analysts see 4G continuing to dominate the Indian market until 2024. That said, 5G should see a spike in adoption in India by 2023. CMR anticipates a modest spike for 5G by 2023, with CMR internal estimates pointing to 5G smartphone shipments in India to top 140M by 2025.
“At CMR, our internal research estimates point to the 5G enabled devices contributing to 3% of the total smartphone shipments by 2021, and potentially reaching 16% by 2025. The course of 5G in India will be driven by how Jio plays its cards,” added Prabhu.