4G boosts smartphone market to grow 14% in India

India phone market 2017
India smartphone market achieved 14 percent growth to 124 million units in 2017 – fuelled by 4G demand.

Samsung, Xiaomi, Vivo, Lenovo and OPPO are the top five smartphone companies in India in 2017. Samsung, Transsion, Micromax, Reliance Jio and Lava are the top five feature cos in 2017.

Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, Lenovo and OPPO are the top five smartphone companies in Q4 2017. Reliance Jio, Samsung, Transsion, Micromax and Lava are the top five feature phone companies in Q4 2017.

India is the fastest growing smartphone market amongst the top 20 smartphone markets globally.

The smartphone market had faced slowdown in 2016 due to demonetization and a shortage of smartphone components.

China, the world’s largest smartphone market fell in 2017, while the USA was relatively flat.

ALSO READ: Latest news from Mobile World Congress 2018

India smartphone market fell 22 percent quarter-over-quarter and rose 18 percent year on year in Q4 2017 as tech vendors focused on clearing channel inventory. Smartphone manufacturing was one of the focus areas.

Collective share of China-based smartphone vendors reached 53 percent in 2017 from 34 percent a year ago.

“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 China-based players to solidify their operations in India,” says Jaipal Singh, senior market analyst, IDC India.

India is the world’s third largest smartphone market and the biggest feature phone market globally.
India phone market Q4 2017
4G enabled feature phones from Reliance Jio, one of the Indian telecom operators, leads in the feature phone category. Feature phone shipments reached 164 million in 2017 from 140 million a year ago – due to 4G network.

Upasana Joshi, senior market analyst, IDC India, said Xiaomi taking a lead over Samsung in the smartphone market and Reliance Jio emerging as the leading feature phone company in India were the two key highlights of the last quarter of 2017.

Xiaomi has replaced Samsung to become the top smartphone brand in India in Q4. Xiaomi has tripled its shipments year-over-year and sold more than 2 million units from its offline channel. Xiaomi appointed its first product endorser, and is now very aggressive in above the line marketing for boosting traction in the offline channel.

Samsung has slipped to second position in smartphone ranking in Q4 but leads in the full year. The channel trust remains strong on brand and Samsung’s distribution strength remains strong too, even as other tech vendors approach retailers and channel partners with lucrative offers.

Vivo rose to the third position after dropping to fourth in Q4. However, shipments of Vivo fell 41 percent from the previous quarter and remained flattish on y-o-y basis.

Lenovo including Motorola slipped to fourth position as its shipments declined sequentially and annually in the Q4. Lenovo-branded shipments fell almost 60 percent while its Motorola portfolio grew.

OPPO maintained its position though its shipments fell almost by half compared to its record-breaking quarter in Q3. OPPO made changes to its channel strategy as it started focusing on selective outlets instead of having a presence across all outlets.

IDC forecast says Indian smartphone market will grow in double digits in the next 2-3 years due to local demand.