Reflecting the growth of the mobile phone market in India, the storage flash memory market in the country has grown threefold during the last five years, a study by market intelligence and consulting firm CyberMedia Research (CMR) found.

India's storage flash memory market, comprising microSD cards, SD cards and flash drives, grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42% over the period 2011-2015 in terms of capacity, according to CMR's study released on Friday, 19 February. 

"This clearly points to the growing acceptance and adoption of a 'digital lifestyle' by the Indian consumer, which has good long term implications for the overall growth of the ESDM sector in the country," said Narinder Kumar, lead analyst, InfoTech and Channels Practices, CMR.

The study said that India's storage flash memory market continued to grow in the fourth quarter 2015, recording a 21% growth. SanDisk tops the list of vendors in the last quarter with a 37% market share in the fourth quarter 2015 in terms of unit shipments, and it is followed by Samsung and Strontium.

Narinder said that growth of microSD card market was spurred by a growing base of 3G and 4G smartphones, and so 2016 is expected to be better than 2015. He, however, added that "the recent imposition of additional customs duty on imports in the first quarter 2016" has the potential to slow down the growth, particularly for suppliers of branded cards.

Earlier this month, CMR released the annual report card of India's mobile handsets for 2015. According to that report, 235.6 million units of mobile handsets were sold in India in 2015, of which smartphones constituted 39.8% of the total sales, witnessing 18% growth, while feature phones registered a steep decline of 27.1% in annual shipments. 

However, the report said that India's mobile phone market is expected to settle at 250 million units in 2016 with smartphones sales amounting to about 130 million.

[Read: India replaces the US as world's second-biggest smartphone market]

It may be noted that market analyst Counterpoint Research has said in a report earlier this month that India has more than 220 million unique smartphone users, overtaking the US as the world's second-largest smartphone market. It added that smartphone vendors in India sold more than 100 million devices in 2015, witnessing a healthy 23% year-over-year growth.