India's Smartphone & Feature Phone Markets Grew In 2017: IDC

The Xiaomi Mi LED Smart TV 4 is a 4K set with a 55-inch frameless display. The company is banking heavily on online retail channels Flipkart and

In 2017, the overall Indian smartphone market saw a 14 per cent annual growth with 124 million units of smartphones shipped. According to Canalys, Xiaomi shipped 8.2 million smartphones in India during Q4 2017, while Samsung shipped 7.3 million units. The domestic market is estimated to post a "double-digit growth for next couple of years" - contrary to what mature smartphone markets like the U.S. and China are witnessing.

Post the festive season in third quarter of 2017, the smartphone category saw a sharp decline of 22% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) in 2017Q4 as vendors focused on clearing channel inventory. However, it registered a healthy 18% growth compared to last year's weak quarter which was impacted by demonetisation.

China-based vendors have further strengthened their positions in the smartphone category with the collective share of China-based vendors reaching 53 per cent in 2017 from 34 per cent a year ago.

In fact, as per the report, LYF brand's aggressive branding led to the overall increase in feature phone market, across India.

In the feature phone market, Reliance Jio's handset brand LYF scaled a new high, emerging as the market leader with 27 per cent market share in Q4 of 2017, followed by Samsung with 14 per cent market share, said CMR. 2017 saw a total of 164 million feature phone shipments as compared to 140 million a year ago. In Q4 alone, vendors shipped 56 million units of feature phones, resulting in the highest-ever shipments in a single quarter. The category registered a huge 67 percent year-over-year (YoY) growth and 33 percent growth from the previous quarter.

Manu Jain managing director of Xiaomi India
Manu Jain managing director of Xiaomi India

However, for 2017, Samsung retains its top spot with 24.7 per cent market share with Xiaomi coming at second. She added: "The growth of both the vendors was propelled by their aggressive pricing".

30 million smartphones were sold in the Q4 of 2017, out of which 25% market share by grabbed by Xiaomi, followed by 23% by Samsung. To extend its omni channel experience, vivo launched its maiden experience center in India and also participated in Amazon and Flipkart's winter sales this quarter.

Other in the list during the year include vivo in the third place followed by Lenovo and Oppo in the fourth and fifth place respectively.

Lenovo (Including Motorola) slipped to 4 position as its shipments declined sequentially and annually in the 2017Q4. Lenovo-branded shipments fell nearly 60 percent while its Motorola portfolio grew.

The Indian government claims that their initiatives have led foreign brands to set up 108 mobile manufacturing units in the country but experts say the units are merely assembling imported parts and that such actions do not curb foreign exchange outflow on electronics items. Lastly, Oppo maintained its position even after the shipments fell by 50%.

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