Xiaomi emerged as the number one smartphone vendor in the Q4, 2017 for the Indian market, beating South-Korean major Samsung, according to the latest data shared by International Data Corporation (IDC). However, IDC’s report showed that for 2017 as a whole, Samsung was still the leading smartphone vendor in the country, with Xiaomi close at number two. IDC’s report is similar to what other research firms like Canalys, Counterpoint have reported about the Indian smartphone market, which have also pegged Xiaomi has emerged as the number one vendor.
According to IDC, the Indian smartphone market saw a “healthy 14 percent annual growth” and total shipments for the year 2017 stood at 124 million. IDC also said that India is the “fastest growing market” among the top 20 smartphone markets globally. However, Q4 2017 saw a sharp dip of 22 per cent quarter-over-quarter, according to the firm. It should be remembered the third quarter in India is the festival season with Diwali, other festivals taking place, which also explains the dip in Q4. But the yearly growth for Q4, 2017 stood at 18 per cent, notes IDC, with Chinese brands continuing to dominate.
“The untapped demand in the lower-tier cities remains the key attraction for China-based brands to explore the growth trajectory in India. Their strength in their home market of China and weakening position of local players has helped some of these China-based players to solidify their operations in India, Jaipal Singh, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India said in a press statement.
According to IDC, India is now the world’s third largest smartphone market, but it is still the world’s biggest feature phone market as well. In fact, according to IDC feature phones saw a 17 per cent yearly growth in 2017, thanks to the Reliance JioPhone. India’s feature phone shipments stood at 164 million feature phone shipments for 2017, a rise from the 140 million shipments in 2016.
On the smartphone segment, IDC noted that Xiaomi and Jio’s growth was due to the aggressive pricing strategy. “Xiaomi’s offline expansion and higher marketing spends were other key factors for the vendor’s high shipments in the seasonally low quarter,” added Upasana Joshi, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India.
In terms of market share for Q4, 2017, Xiaomi was on top with 26.8 per cent market share while Samsung had 24.2 per cent. vivo was number three with 6.5 per cent share, while Lenovo (includes Motorola) had 5.6 per cent market share. Oppo was number five on the list with 4.9 per cent of market share.
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. Samsung “faced challenges in competing with the aggressive pricing strategy of Xiaomi in India,” according to the research firm, which notes that the brand still enjoy strong channel trust.
Chinese player vivo saw a 41 per cent decline from the previous quarter and remained flat on yearly growth, even though it managed to stay as number three in the market. Lenovo (including Motorola) was down to number four as its shipments fell in Q4. Shipments for the Lenovo-branded phones declined almost 60 per cent, while Motorola portfolio saw a marginal increase compared to 2016, according to IDC. Finally, Oppo managed to hold on to the number five position, though it shipments dropped almost by half compared to the previous quarter.