Chinese Vendors Capture 51.4% of Indian Smartphone Market

By Alan Spencer
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The latest IDC quarterly mobile phone tracker shows that 27 million smartphones were shipped in India in the first quarter of 2017, representing a 14.8% rise compared to the same period last year. Shipments were also seen to grow sequentially in the quarter by 4.7% recovering from currency issues in the previous quarter.

China-based vendors continue to strengthen their grip on the Indian smartphone market capturing 51.4% with 16.9% sequential growth, and a rise of 142.6% over the same period last year. In contrast, the share of Indian vendors dropped to 13.5% in the quarter, from 40.5% for the same quarter in 2016. Online channel shipments grew by 7.7% compared to the same quarter last year.

The average selling price of smartphones saw an increase from $131 in the first quarter of 2016, to $155 for the same quarter in 2017. Almost two-thirds of the smartphones sold by China-based vendors are in the price range of $100-$200, whereas it used to be less than $100.

Of the smartphones shipped, some 94.5% were 4G-enabled, while home-grown companies had half of their portfolio in 3G in the first quarter of 2016. China-based vendor devices were mainly 4G -enabled, which benefited them in leveraging the 4G demand wave in India.

More than Half are 14 Megapixel

Almost half of the smartphones shipped in the quarter had 13 megapixels and more as the primary camera. While the 62.2% of devices shipped by China-based vendors were equipped with 13 megapixels and more as the primary camera.

The share of smaller than 5” screen size smartphone reduced to 21.2% in the quarter compared to 40.3% in the first quarter of 2016. Smartphones from the China-based vendors have the bigger screens as 9 out of 10 smartphones shipped by them were 5” and above. The Chinese Redmi Note 4 replaced the Samsung Galaxy J2 as the highest shipped smartphone in the quarter.

Samsung saw a 16.9% growth in the first quarter of the 2017; enabling it to maintain the leadership position in Indian smartphone market. Xiaomi secured second place with 39.8% growth with two new launches, the Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4A. The company led the online smartphone shipments with 40.6% share. vivo climbed up to third place with a 44.2% rise compared to the same quarter in 2016. Lenovo (including Motorola) slipped to fourth place with shipments rising 33.7% compared to the same quarter of 2016. Oppo was in fifth place with shipments growing 14% compared to the previous quarter and more than doubled over the same period in 2016.

Overall mobile phone market shipments in the quarter were 56.6 million with a slight fall of 3.2%. Feature phones registered 29.7 million units in the quarter with a 9.4% fall over the previous quarter. While the feature phone market remained flat over the same period last year, healthy growth from smartphones resulted in the overall mobile phone market rising 6.5% in the quarter.

The top five smartphone companies in India by market share in Q1 2017 (Source: IDC)