The smartphone shipments in India grew by 27% quarter-on-quarter to 23.3 million smartphones in Q3 2014, from 18.4 million smartphones in the previous quarter, according to an IDC report. On a yearly basis, the shipments grew by 82% from 12.8 million smartphones in Q3 2013. 

Note that IDC calculates sales of mobile handsets by tracking the number of handsets that leave the factory premises for OEM sales or stocking by distributors and retailers. For imported handsets it’s the number of handsets that leaves the first warehouse to OEMs, distributors and retailers. It does not account for handsets brought in by individuals into the country or the grey market and MediaNama is not in a position to verify the accuracy of the findings.

IDC mentions that this growth was driven by the festive demand during the Diwali time, due to which India had a better quarter-on-quarter growth than other countries in the APAC region, thereby making it the fastest growing smartphone market in the region.

Smartphone vs Feature phone IDC

The share of smartphones shipments in the overall mobile phone market also grew significantly to 32% for the quarter, from 19% in the same quarter last year.

Of this, ‘Phablets’ (smartphones between 5.5 inch – 6.99 inch size) now hold about 6% of the overall smartphone market, and IDC says the segment is now hitting a plateau, which is strange considering that most of the new handset releases come in this category. IDC mentions that consumers are now preferring handsets with screen sizes between 4.5 inches to 5.5 inches, and the phablets will pick up again in CY2015 with the upcoming 4G rollout.

Samsung and Micromax continue to dominate

Samsung’s marketshare has dipped to 24% from 29% in the previous quarter, while Micromax’s market share has grown to 20% from 18% in the previous quarter. If you include feature phones to the mix, Samsung still leads the market with 16% of the market share, but only barely, with Micromax having a 14% market share.

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The gap between Samsung and Micromax will probably continue to lower, with Micromax recently launching an online-only smartphone brand YU, through its newly formed subsidiary YU Televentures. The company is expected to launch its first smartphone under this brand in December this year.

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As for other smartphone vendors, Lava and Karbonn both capture a market share of 8% each, followed by Motorola at 5%. Notably, Nokia is still not moving enough Windows units to make it to the top five smartphone makers, although combined with old feature phones, it continue to have an overall 11% market share.

That being said, Microsoft Mobile continues to distance itself from the feature phone and non-Windows smartphone market, with its recent announcement to shut down the Nokia Store and migrate its users to the Opera store.

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