According to our Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) services, India overtook Japan to become the world's third largest smartphone market for the first time ever during Q1 2013, following China and the US. Companies like Samsung, Micromax and Apple are driving higher volumes through improved distribution networks. Please click the link here to access the full report.

India is growing four times faster than the global average. Worldwide smartphone volumes expanded 39% YoY, compared with 163% YoY across India, during Q1 2013. The Indian market is rising quicker than China (86% YoY), Japan (24% YoY), the US (19% YoY) and almost all other major countries.

Key brands driving the upswing include foreign firms such as Samsung and Apple. But it is domestic players who are seeing the fastest growth. For example, Micromax, Karbonn and Spice are growing between 200% and 500% on an annual basis. Meanwhile, the extra long tail of Indian microvendors in the "Others" category, such as Lemon Mobile, is surging at 1000%+ YoY. They are almost all using Android software, which captured 89% share of the entire market in the quarter.