Indian smartphone market had witnessed a temporary slowdown in 2016 owing to factors such as demonetization and a shortage of smartphone components but in 2017 it was able to resume its double-digit growth. China recorded a decline, while the U.S. market remained flat. maintained the lead in both the smartphone and feature phone segments in India for 2017. After the the third quarter of 2017 (festive quarter), the smartphone category saw a sharp dip of 22 percent quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) in Q4-2017 as vendors focused on clearing channel inventory. Hence, the category saw a huge 67 percent year-on-year growth and a 33 percent quarter-on-quarter growth. The collective share of China-based vendors reached 53 percent in 2017, compared to 34 percent a year ago.
The IDC report also that India is the world's third biggest smartphone market and largest feature phone market. The research firm states that India's smartphone market saw a healthy growth of 14 percent in annual smartphone shipments.
This is for the first time in the last 6 years that Samsung has lost both smartphone and feature phone's top slot in India. "In fourth quarter of 2017, vendors shipped a total of 56 million units., making it the highest ever shipments in a single quarter", the report said. The growth of both the vendors was propelled by their aggressive pricing.
IDC describes Xiaomi's lead as one of the highlights in the last quarter of 2017.
According to IDC, Xiaomi saw its shipments triple year-over-year and the company sold more than 2 million units from its offline channel, where it has been expanding base. ET gives a snapshot of the top five smartphone brands by volumes in the Indian market, as per four different research agencies that tracked shipments in the October-December quarter of 2017. Samsung's strong distribution network and brand equity work in its favour while it struggles to match Xiaomi on an aggressive pricing strategy. Shipments in Q4 2017, however, grew by over 18 percent year on year. However, its shipments saw a 41% decline from the previous quarter and remained flattish on YoY basis. In super-premium smartphone segment (priced above Rs 50,000) Apple had absolute hold the market with a 73 per cent share, followed by Samsung which had a market share of 20 per cent and Google at seven per cent. Lenovo-branded shipments declined nearly 60% while its Motorola portfolio saw a marginal increase compared to a year ago.
OPPO maintained its position, though its shipments dropped nearly by half compared with its record-breaking third quarter of 2017. "Xiaomi's offline expansion and higher marketing spends were other key factors for the vendor's high shipments in the seasonally low quarter", Upasana Joshi, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India, says.
"The total shipments of feature phones were 164 million".