Even as global smartphone sales continue to slow down, India has continued to be the lone bright star. Research agency Counterpoint has reported that India could see a record 35 million units of smartphone shipments in the July-September quarter this year, posting a 21 percent growth QoQ and 25 percent surge from the same quarter last year. Other research firms IDC and CMR, in the meanwhile, have also reportedly hinted at smartphone shipments to cross 30 million units in the quarter, making it the biggest quarter in the recent times. Counterpoint s preliminary numbers for the quarter says that the rise in shipments is due to the ongoing festival season. Also Read - Today’s Tech News: Samsung Galaxy S21 launch, Xiaomi blacklisted, Vaio laptops launchedAlso Read - Moto G 5G price drops from January 20 in Flipkart Big Saving Days sale
Chinese brands scrape market share away from Samsung: A key takeaway from Counterpoint s report is growing influence of Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo in India. According to the report, these brands collectively had 32 percent of market share in the quarter, up from 27 percent in the last quarter. Moreover, Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi made it to the top 10 list. Xiaomi in particular rode high on the success of its Redmi Note 3 and its growing focus on offline market. Growth of these brands also hurt the market leader Samsung, which had a 26 percent share in the last quarter, which has now reduced to 21.6 percent. The Indian brands have seen losing their share to Chinese brands as well, collectively Micromax, Lava and Intex are losing almost 6 percent market share sequentially, the report said. ALSO READ: Smartphone shipments in India grow by 15 percent in Q2, 2016: Counterpoint report Also Read - S Pen support coming to more Samsung devices
Samsung still leads, LYF becomes fourth largest smartphone brand: Samsung maintained its top position in the market with 21.60 percent share, Micromax stood at the second spot with 9.8 percent. The third spot was taken by Lenovo-Motorola group with 8.9 percent share. Reliance Digital’s LYF brand has surged to fourth spot with 6.70 percent. The LYF smartphones come with bundled with Reliance Jio data plans under which users get lifetime free voice calls along with free internet data and suite of Jio apps under a Welcome Offer. Reliance s LYF series have continued to grow in popularity since the launch of Jio s Preview Offer. The LYF series of 4G VoLTE smartphones start as low as Rs 2,999. Back in June, research firm CMR had reported that Reliance had emerged as the third largest LTE smartphone provider with 13 percent market share in the first quarter of 2016.
Smartphone shipments could plateau in the next couple of quarters: The spike in shipments may be due to the ongoing festival season wherein several e-commerce platforms and smartphone companies are offering big discounts on the devices. Just today Xiaomi announced it had sold 1 million smartphones in just 18 days. The likes of Flipkart and Snapdeal have also reported a big spike on their platforms during the festival sales. But shipments may slow down in coming quarters.
The spike in shipment for Q3 2016 is due to smartphone brands gearing up for the festive season along with online sales by e-commerce players. Sales might slow down a bit in the Q4 as compared to the previous quarter but the growth will continue as Indian smartphone market is well positioned to see significant year on year growth, Counterpoint analyst Shobhit Srivastava told BGR India.
India, the lone bright star amid global slowdown: That said, the growth in smartphone shipments in India comes amid global slowdown of smartphones sales, and saturation in the West and China markets. The smartphone market has reached 90 percent penetration in the mature markets of North America, Western Europe, Japan and Mature Asia/Pacific, slowing future growth. Furthermore, users in these regions are not replacing or upgrading their smartphone as often as in previous years, Gartner said in its report published in June this year.
Smartphone penetration in India is still below the global average and that poses as a great opportunity for smartphone players in the country. The transition from feature phone to smartphone in India is gearing up speed with many players introducing smartphones with innovative technology and disruptive prices to lure new customers, Srivastava noted.
Gartner though points out India has continued to show growth potential, but it pointed out that the average selling prices of smartphone is far lower than the West and still a lot of users are on feature phones. Smartphones are expensive for users in India, but with the average selling prices (ASPs) of low-end models falling, Gartner estimates that 139 million smartphones will be sold in India in 2016, growing 29.5 percent year over year. ASPs of mobile phones in India remain under $70, and smartphones under $120 will continue to contribute around 50 percent of overall smartphone sales in 2016, the report further said.
Counterpoint also hints at the same trend in India. According to its data, the sub-Rs 10,000 category saw the most traction. Key growth segments in India are the sub-Rs 10,000 category where most of the action is seen as most of the first time smartphone users prefer smartphones from this category. Premium smartphone segment in India is catching on with Apple and Samsung being the key players. Apple recently has increased its marketing spend in India to attract users, Srivastava added.