Chinese smartphone vendors like Xiaomi, vivo, Oppo continued to dominate the Indian smartphone market in the first quarter of 2017, according to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC). Interestingly, Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4 pipped the Samsung J2 as the most shipped smartphone in a quarter, which is the first time this has happened.
Xiaomi has also sparked the trend of users in India buying phones directly from the retailer’s website. According to IDC, “direct internet channel captured 4 per cent market share” in this quarter.
In terms of individual vendors, Samsung remains on top with shipments growing 21.7 per cent year-on-year. According to IDC, Samsung’s strategy of “multiple new launches”, which included the J2, C9, A-series for 2017 helped boost shipments. Xiaomi is at number two with 39.8 per cent sequential growth in Q1 2017 over previous quarter. The player leads in online smartphone shipments with 40.6 per cent share.
vivo is number three with shipments growing 44.2 per cent, and the company now has 10.5 per cent market share. Lenovo (including Motorola) was down to number four, though it saw shipments grow at 33.7 per cent on an yearly basis. OPPO is close at number five with 14 per cent growth sequential growth in. For OPPO, offline channel is more successful, says IDC.
IDC’s data for Q1 2017 shows that China-based vendors captured 51.4 percent share of the smartphone shipments in India. India saw a total of 27 million smartphones shipped in the quarter with 14.8 per cent growth. However, for home-grown players, the competition from Chinese players will continue and will get tougher in the coming months.
“But intense competition from China-based vendors continues to be a major challenge and is expected to increase in coming quarters” says Jaipal Singh , Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC India in a press statement. “Recovery of homegrown vendor is necessary for Indian smartphone market not only to fill-in the vacuum created for last few quarters but also to fuel the feature phone to smartphone migration,” he added.
According to the research firm, the Average selling price (ASP) of smartphones has increased from $131 in Q1 2016 to $155 in Q1 2017, and this is being pushed by the Chinese players. Nearly two-third smartphones sold by China-based vendors are in the price range of $100-$200 in India, and phones in this range are now contributing to almost half of smartphone shipments, says IDC.
The growth of 4G was also evident in this quarter, which is not surprising as over 94.5 per cent smartphones shipped in the quarter were 4G-enabled. Once again, Chinese vendors benefited from bringing in 4G smartphones early to the Indian market.
These players are also pushing the basic specifications that users have come to expect in phones with 13MP rear camera becoming the standard as nearly 5 out of 10 phones had this feature, according to IDC.
The other trend in the smartphone market has been the rise of bigger displays with 5-inch phones seeing their market share drop to 21.2 per cent from 40.3 percent in Q1 2016.
The online channel continues to grow for smartphone sales. “Over the time, online channel has established itself as a prominent distribution medium in Indian smartphone market with a stable contribution of almost one-third of total shipments for last few quarters. Interestingly, online channel has relatively higher shipments of smartphones with superior features in comparison to the offline channel”, said Karthik J, Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC.