Samsung and Apple still leadReuters

India has become the third largest global smartphone market in the first quarter of 2013, overtaking Japan over enhanced distribution networks, according to a new report by a research firm Strategy Analytics.

The research firm noted that this is the first time India is featured in the third spot, while the top two global smartphone markets remain US and China.  The stable focus of leading smartphone makers like Apple and Samsung, including local mobile makers such as Micromax in the Indian market, has increased the volume of smartphones in the country.

The report also indicated that the Indian smartphone market is growing four times faster than the global average. Smartphone sales in the country have jumped by 163 percent year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 2013, compared to the 39 percent growth of global smartphones volume. In comparison, sale of smartphones volume over the same period increased by 86 percent in China, 24 percent in Japan and 19 percent in the U.S.

The increasing growth rate in India as a smartphone powerhouse is not surprising, when taking into account the massive population including the growing middle class with increased level of interest for owning consumer electronics.

Samsung and Apple have started focusing on emerging markets like India. Although the two tech ginats are the key players for growth in the sub-continent, the report claimed that local mobile makers such as Micromax, Karbonn and Spice have begun increasing smartphone volume.

The report also stated that local makers have recorded a growth rate between 200 percent and 500 percent year-on-year. The research firm also said that Android running smartphones have captured 89 percent share of the entire market in the first quarter.