After ending 2016 at a rather ambled pace, the Indian smartphone market is back on track as a new report by Counterpoint suggests a staggering 15% year-on-year growth last quarter. Smartphone sales in the country reached a total of 29 Million units in Q1 2017 with Samsung leading the charge followed by the Chinese oligarchy including Xiaomi, Vivo, OPPO and Lenovo (includes Motorola).
The biggest cornerstone here, though, is how substantially the selfie trend has worked out for OEMs like Vivo and Gionee. The report revealed that phones with a front-facing camera sporting a resolution higher than 8 Megapixel grew by a factor of nine. Another crucial hurdle the Indian industry has leapt is LTE penetration thanks to the advent of Reliance Jio with its affordable tariffs. Smartphones with 4G support were responsible for 96% of total smartphone shipments in Q1 2017.
The report further points at a significant boost in the nation’s “Made in India” initiative as almost four out of five mobile phones shipped were made in India during Q1 2017 which is quite commendable. Furthermore, it is also worth noting that Samsung (48% share) replaced Apple (43% share) as the leading smartphone brand when it comes to the premium sector which itself rose by 35% YoY.
Talking about the other half of the market consisting of feature phones, Samsung still dominates with an immense share of 26% which is followed by the China-based iTel brand with an unexpected stake of 9%. Moreover, the sudden wide adoption of Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) has also led to a new category of phones titled ‘smart feature phones’ which allows users to take advantage of low/no cost voice calls over the 4G LTE networks.
Commenting on the findings, Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research said, “India’s smartphone market is witnessing a focus shift in distribution strategy by major brands. Offline brands like OPPO, Vivo and Gionee have now started focusing on online channels as well to gain extra market share. Online-only brands like Xiaomi and Motorola are moving fast into offline markets to widen their reach to the mass market, addressing consumers in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.”