Smartphones in India set to overtake feature phones, both now at par for first time

Smartphone market reached an all-time high of 42.6 million-unit shipments in Q3, 2018.

  • Published: November 16, 2018 11:46 AM IST

Smartphones shipment in India is now catching-up with feature phone market. According to the latest data from International Data Corporation (IDC), India’s smartphone market reached an all-time high of 42.6 million-unit shipments in third quarter (3Q18), which is at par with the feature phone market for the first time.

IDC‘s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report notes that the Q3 shipments for smartphone in India registered a 9.1 percent growth year-on-year with a total of 42.6 million units. This leads to a bigger change in market trend of low-cost feature phones, as it is the first time ever for a huge market like India to have balanced out shipments of smartphones with feature phones. Both segments now contribute 50 percent to the overall mobile phone market in the country.

Speaking on the quarterly report, IDC India’s Associate Research Manager, Upasana Joshi says that shipments in third quarter were primarily driven by the eTailers (e-commerce/ online) preparation for the festive season.

“Strong online exclusive portfolios driven by brands like Xiaomi, Honor, Realme, Asus, OnePlus, etc. resulted in quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth of 37 percent, taking the online share to 39% in 3Q18,” said Joshi.

Apparently, offline segment registered a slower annual growth of 6.6 percent in Q3, 2018. It appears that festive season sales and aggressive offerings by online retailers impacted offline market this quarter more than last time. Moreover, exclusive models and online only smartphones like Realme and Zenfone Max Pro series entered the top 5 online brand list in the last quarter, as per IDC.

The feature phone market registered 2.1 percent YoY growth and shipments touched 43.1 million units, which is almost there at 42.6 million units of smartphones.

It’s noted that Reliance JioPhone continued to decline as the vendor focused on clearing existing channel inventory. However, the 2G/2.5G feature phone market saw some traction as it grew by 19.6 percent on quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) after declining for the previous two quarters.

  • Published Date: November 16, 2018 11:46 AM IST