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Chinese smartphone brands held 46% of Indian market in Q4 2016: IDC

Chinese smartphone shipments accounted for 46% of the overall Indian market during Q4 2016, with shipments doubling over the same quarter last year, research firm IDC said in its Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report. The Chinese competition has subsequently affected the domestic market: share of smartphone shipments from domestic vendors decreased to just 19% during the same quarter. Earlier in Q1 2016, IDC said that Chinese brands shipments were growing 28% QoQ.

The report added that “this is the first time when none of the homegrown (smartphone) vendors were able to make their position in top five (list).” Cheap pricing over user experience and focus on 3G portfolio helped Chinese brands dominate during the quarter, added IDC. China-based brands have also entered the feature phone segment: Transsion Group, a Chinese phone maker, entered the Indian market with its ‘Itel’ feature phone brand in Q4 2016. The brand achieved second spot in shipments in the overall mobile phone industry during the quarter, outpacing domestic vendors.

Shipments by category

Overall, the Indian smartphone market shipped 25.8 million units during Q4 2016, down 20.3% from the previous quarter. Shipments declined due to demonetization and seasonal factors leading to lower consumer sales in November and December. During FY2016, the Indian smartphone industry 109.1 million units, registering a marginal growth of 5.2% annually.

Around 31.2% of smartphone shipments were made online in Q4 2016, with Chinese brands like Xiaomi and Lenovo accounting for more than half of the segment’s volume. Online shipments grew 10% annually in FY16

Feature phone shipments, however, remained as the biggest category in the overall mobile phone market, with annual (FY16) shipments touching 136.1 million units. Feature phone shipments in India declined by 9.4% in FY16 as compared to a decline of 16.2% in FY15. However, the report pointed out that “feature phone to smartphone migration slowed down as prices of smartphones are still quite high for a feature phone user.”

Smartphone shipments by Vendor

Samsung took the top spot with a 25.1% share in Q4 2016, although the company’s shipments were down 13.1% QoQ. However, Samsung’s annual shipments grew 3.2% in FY16, which was driven mainly by shipments from the J-series model.

Xiaomi held the second place with a 10.7% market share in terms of shipments during the quarter. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the company’s shipments grew by 15.3% in Q4 2016. In the same quarter last year, Xiaomi held a 3.3% market share.

Lenovo (including Motorola) went down to the third position this quarter with a 9.9% market share. The company’s shipments decreased by 17.4% QoQ. Motorola’s E3 Power and Lenovo’s K5 series devices accounted for almost half of its shipments in Q4 2016.

OPPO is a new entrant into the top 5 list in this quarter holding 8.6% share of the market in terms of shipments. OPPO’s shipments were up 29.9% QoQ as the brand stuck to aggressive marketing and presence in the online segment.

Vivo is another new entrant into the top 5 list, which took the 5th pot from Reliance Jio’s LYF smartphones. The brand registered a 50.8% QoQ growth during Q4 2016 along with a 7.6% market share.

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