The influx of Chinese smartphones seems to be growing steadily in India. As per International Data Corporation's (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 27 million smartphones were shipped in India in the first quarter of CY2017 with a 14.8% growth over the same period last year.
In the first quarter, Chinese smartphones held 51.4% share of smartphone shipments in India with a growth of a whopping 142.6% growth year-on-year. On the contrary, share of homegrown smartphones dropped to 13.5% in the first quarter of this year from 40.5% last year.
The single winner here was Chinese major Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4. It was the most shipped smartphone in India as against Samsung J2 in the quarter before that.
The Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report has also spotted some trends in India, like the average selling price of smartphones has increased from $131 in Q1 2016 to $155 in Q1 2017. The mass segment, which was earlier below $100 has now moved to the range of $100-$200 in India. Nearly half of the smartphone shipments in Q1 2017 were from this price range.
With most networks moving to 4G, 94.5% of smartphones shipped in the first quarter were 4G-enabled, with Chinese smartphones leading the race here as well.
Camera quality in most phones has also increased over time. As per the IDC report, five out of 10 smartphones shipped in Q1 had a rear camera with 13 megapixel or more.
“Though homegrown vendors are making attempts to recapture the lost ground with new launches in sub-US$100 as well as in the mid-range segment. 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.
But he added that recovery of homegrown vendor is necessary for Indian smartphone market not only to fill the vacuum created for last few quarters but also to fuel the feature phone to smartphone migration in the country.
Coming to individual brands, Samsung continues to be the leader of the Indian smartphone market with shipments growing by about 21.7% year-on-year. IDC attributes this to the several launches Samsung did across price bands in the first quarter of 2017.
Xiaomi has become the second-most popular smartphone brand with a growth of 39.8% sequential growth. The growth driver for Xiaomi has been the launch of Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4A, which increased its share of shipments to 40.6%.
Registering a major climb in the Indian smartphone market, Vivo not only broke into the top 10, but climbed to the third position with its shipments growing 44.2% quarter-on-quarter. IDC attributes its target of strengthening the >US$150 segment, a high growth segment this year.
Lenovo, including the Moto phones slipped to the fourth position, followed by Oppo.
Overall, 56.6 million mobile phones were shipped in the first quarter with a slight drop of 3.2% sequentially. Features phones however, saw a 9.4% decline over the previous quarter.
IDC says that channel players in the smartphone distribution set up are taking a cautious approach in procuring inventory for the second quarter due to expected implementation of GST from July 1 2017.
“Apprehensions on lower tax credit and lack of complete clarity regarding the processes are the major concerns of retailers and city and state level distributors, which may lead to a limited inventory stocking, especially in the second half of June 2017. But this impact is expected to short lived as market is likely to attain normalcy in few months,” says Navkendar Singh , senior research manager, IDC India.