New Delhi: Finnish handset maker Nokia may be lagging behind global competitors like Apple and Samsung, but in the dual SIM category in India, it is the top choice for consumers, a study by marketing research firm Nielsen said.

According to the study, 71 million subscribers in the country use multiple SIM cards and 61 percent of handsets used by multi-SIM owners are dual SIM.

"Nokia leads the pack with a 30 percent market share, while Samsung is a distant second with 16 percent. Micromax has a 12 percent share, while G'Five has seven percent share," it added.

According to research firm Gartner, Samsung dethroned Nokia as the top mobile phone maker in January-March 2012 quarter.

In India, Nokia was a late entrant in the dual SIM handset category, which was dominated by domestic handset makers like Micromax and Karbonn. It forayed into the category in August 2010 and has since then aggressively expanded its portfolio.

Nielsen said the popularity of dual SIM handsets is set to surge further as among 14 percent of multi-SIM card users planning to purchase a new handset, 75 percent respondents said they intended to choose a dual SIM handset.

The firm found multiple SIM card users tend to be largely students, newly employed and working professionals.

"Consumers are mostly driven by a desire for optimising tariffs and taking advantage of better and cheaper deals offered by operators," it said adding that other reasons included desire to staying connected at all time, privacy in personal and official usage and bundled offer with handsets.

Overall, the study found that 13 percent of unique active mobile subscribers (who made a call/recharged SIM at least once in last 90 days) use multiple SIM cards.

The reach peaks in towns with a population of 5-10 lakh, where 21 percent of the populace uses multiple SIM cards.

The corresponding figure in a town class with 40 lakh plus population stood at 11 percent. The Nielsen study covered usage statistics of active multi-SIM card users in 18 Indian cities.

Nearly 20,000 mobile users in the 18-55 age groups were covered. Another noticeable trend was multiple SIM card users preferring different operators.

Also, users opted to keep both SIM cards as prepaid to have a better control on costs as well as to capitalise on monthly deals offered by operators.

The study said smaller operators have a relatively higher share among multi-SIM card users. "While Uninor has just one percent market share (as per Trai) among mobile users, it goes up to six percent when it comes to multi-SIM user share," it said.

Idea Cellular, which has 10 percent share (Trai) has a share of 15 percent in the multi-SIM usage category, it added.


Latest News from Business News Desk