India saw a record high 26.5 million smartphones shipped in the second quarter of the year, according to the latest data from IDC. That represented another new record, as smartphones grew to account for 44 percent of the overall mobile market, meaning that India is close to the tipping point of seeing more smartphone than feature phone sales.
Here’s the scene with quarterly smartphone shipments in India for the past two years:
While smartphones are booming in India, the overall mobile market is, surprisingly, still contracting slightly. A grand total of 59.4 million mobile shipments in Q2 2015 is down on the 63.2 million units in the same period in 2014.
Chinese brands, ecommerce soar
Kiran Kumar, research manager with IDC’s India mobile phone team, says that growing usage of ecommerce – both by consumers and some phone brands – has helped push smartphones forward. Ecommerce has “opened additional avenues for growth for many vendors in India, who would have otherwise struggled to get a hold in the complex distribution network,” he stated.
Lenovo and Xiaomi, two Chinese brands, have benefitted most from embracing ecommerce in India.
All Chinese brands operating in India tripled their shipments year-on-year in India and doubled quarter-on-quarter, the IDC report says. Lenovo, Xiaomi, Huawei, and Gionee alone accounted for 12 percent of the total smartphone market in the second quarter – a figure that’s doubled from a year ago.
IDC’s Kiranjeet Kaur added:
Key to the success of the Chinese vendors has been popular flash sales through online players such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Amazon. At the same time, they also focused on bringing more 4G phones at affordable US$100 to US$150 price points which is left unattended by Indian and global vendors.
India’s top 5
While Xiaomi gets all the headlines, it’s actually Lenovo that leads the Chinese firms in India. Lenovo is the sole China brand in the smartphone top five in India. Here’s the top five at present:
- 1st – Samsung
- 2nd – Micromax
- 3rd – Intex
- 4th – Lava
- 5th – Lenovo
While Xiaomi is being outpaced by compatriot Lenovo, the new data augurs well for the fast-growing gadget maker as it makes the Indian market a priority.
Xiaomi yesterday unveiled its first ever made-in-India phone, the Xiaomi Redmi 2 Prime. Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra described the initiative to manufacture a phone in India – done in partnership with Foxconn – as “a huge step forward” for the startup, which entered the nation last year with its line of Android-based budget phones.
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