smartphones as they moved from just talking and texting to tweeting, networking socially and shopping with increasing mobile Internet penetration and lower data tariffs.
Models hold a Samsung 'Galaxy S3 mini' (R) phone and a 'Galaxy S3' phone during the mini's world premiere in Frankfurt. Reuters photo
From a little over 100 million Internet users in 2011, the number has now grown to close to 140 million with more people, especially youth, going online using their mobile phones.
"The handset market remained dynamic in 2012 with a clear preference emerging for smarter performing devices among consumers. The trend was not limited to the high end only but even entry level users moving up aspired it all," Nokia Senior Vice President (Sales - IMEA) D Shivakumar said.
In 2013, Nokia expects to see a massification of these two trends with lower price points for devices and a plethora of relevant services and content being available, he added.
Smartphone lineup for gadget freaks includes Apple iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Nokia Lumia 920 and 820.
According to a McKinsey & Company report, Internet-linked consumption and expenditure in India contributes an estimated USD 30 billion, or about 1.6 per cent of the GDP and is poised to account for 2.8 to 3.3 per cent by 2015.
The same report says India is likely to also have the second-largest Internet user base in the world with 330 million to 370 million Internet users in 2015.
This year, while mobile browsers were a default installation on the handsets, companies like Nokia focussed on offering devices with a dedicated Facebook button.
Operators also introduced special tariff plans to allow consumers surf the net and visit social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Another highlight of the year was the flooding of Indian market with low-cost tablet PCs, with the likes of Micromax, HCL and Zen launching their devices to cater to the burgeoning demand from rural parts of the country as well as increasing interest from enterprises.
Traditionally dominated by global giants like Apple and Samsung, the tablet PC price war is now being fought at the bottom of the pyramid with many lesser known companies introducing devices for segments like education and enterprises.
"We are finding it easier to sell high end phones compared to economy range phone. On an average, we have been able to sell an average of 25,000 unit of our Intel chip-based Xolo phones which are in the price range of Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000," Lava International's founder member and Director S N Rai said.