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Chinese smartphone brands held 51% of Indian market in Q1 2017: IDC

Chinese smartphone shipments accounted for more than half (51.4% ) of the overall Indian market during Q1 2017, with shipments growing 16.9% QoQ and 142.6% YoY, research firm IDC said in its Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report. In the previous quarter, Chinese smartphone brands held 46% of the Indian market. Chinese brands have subsequently affected the domestic market: the share of smartphone shipments from domestic vendors decreased to just 13.5% during the same quarter from 40.5% in Q1 2016.

According to IDC, the fallowing factors helped Chinese brands lead the market:

Pricing: Almost two thirds of the Chinese brands’ price their smartphones between US$100-U$200 in India, which used to be higher than the Average Selling Price (ASP) of $131 in Q1 2016. A year later in Q1 2017, when the ASP increased to $155, the “mass (price) segment” increased to more than $100, which is now dominated by Chinese brands.

4G demand: India has seen an increase in 4G smartphone demand with the category accounting for 94.5% smartphones in Q1 2016. At that time, Chinese brands had an upper hand over domestic brands since most of their devices had 4G. Meanwhile “home-grown companies had half of their portfolio in 3G in Q1 2016,” IDC said.

Better specs: Almost 5 out of 10 smartphones shipped in Q1 2017 had a minimum of 13MP, which can be considered as a benchmark.  A majority (62.2%) of the devices shipped by Chinese brands had a 13MP camera. Also at least 9 out of 10 devices shipped in Q1 2017 by Chinese vendors had a screen size of above 5 inches. Meanwhile, “the share of less than 5 Inch screen size smartphone reduced to 21.2% in Q1 2017 from 40.3% in Q1 2016, IDC said.

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Direct selling: Some brands like Xiaomi resorted to directly taking orders from users and shipping it to them by opening their own online ecommerce portals instead of selling only via online marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon, etc. During the quarter, such shipments accounted for 4% of the overall smartphone market.

Shipments by category

Overall, the Indian smartphone market shipped 27 million units during Q1 2017, up 14.8% YoY. IDC said that smartphone shipments recovered from the demonetization impact with shipments growing 4.7% QoQ.  Note that around 31.2% of smartphone shipments made online in the previous quarter were via online mediums. IDC did not provide the share of online shipment for this current quarter but added that “almost one-third of total shipments for last few quarters” came from online.

Shipments by Vendor

-Samsung shipments grew by 16.9% QoQ and 21.7% YoY taking the lead spot with a 28.1% market share as of Q1 2017.

 Xiaomi secured 2nd place (14.2%) with shipments growing 39.8& QoQ. Xiaomi also led the online shipments segment with a 40.6% percent share.

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-Vivo held 3rd place (10.5%) in Q1 2017 with shipments growing 44.2% QoQ.

Lenovo (including Motorola) fell to 4th position (9.5%) as its shipments posted a flat growth when compared to the previous quarter. However, its shipments were up by 33.7% when compared to the same quarter last year.

OPPO held the 5th position with a 9.3% market share. The brand’s shipments grew by 14% QoQ and more than doubled over the same period last year.

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