Few people realize that India is a better untapped cell phone market than China. Despite all the talk of RIMM and Nokia, Korean companies are quietly building a dominant position. Another angle on how to play India.
LG Electronics (OTC:LGERF) is opening 100 phone stores throughout India as part of a broader campaign to double its network of distributors and get a 10% market share in the country by the end of the year. That would mean selling about 10 million handsets a year. Granted, these are not iPhones, but LG is betting that volume will translate into profits -- and that the younger audience it is courting will line up for higher-end devices as the Indian economy matures.
While subsidiary LG Display (LPL) is widely traded in ADR form, the parent company's stock is thinly traded over here on the pink sheets. Probably the best way for U.S. investors to trade it and Samsung -- its fellow Korean heavyweight in the Indian cell phone market -- is via the Korea ETF EWY. EWY has about 20% of its portfolio in these two companies.
3G data plays For a pure 3G data play in India, take a look at and Mahanagar Telephone (MTE). In addition to state run Bharat Sanchar Nigam, Vodafone has a joint venture presence that owns some data spectrum.
Disclosure: No positions