Rise in sales of low-cost mobile phones propels Xiaomi to lead the Indian smartphone market

Rise in sales of low-cost mobile propels Xiaomi to lead the Indian smartphone market

Xiaomi was named as the leading smartphone brand with 25% share during Q4 2017, as the demand for low-cost mobile phones rise in India.

According to the Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service's latest report, the mid end segment (₹10,000-₹15,000 or US$150-$230) was the fastest growing segment (+52%) in CY 2017 with Xiaomi contributing 37% of the shipment.

The report further stated that India’s overall mobile phone shipments grew 37% and smartphone shipments grew 12%, with feature phones growing at 55% during 4Q 2017.

Meanwhile, Samsung, Lenovo and Vivo took the second, third and fourth spot respectively. However, Samsung led the smartphone and feature phone segment on an annual basis.

Also, despite China's smartphone sales decline for the first time in China, Chinese brands performance remained strong in India, capturing 54% smartphone market share in CY 2017 up from 34% during CY 2016.

Indian mobile brands like Micromax and Lava too stepped up their performance in CY 2017 post demonetization dip. Micromax Bharat 2 became the best-selling smartphone in the sub $75 segment during CY 2017.

Karn Chauhan, research analyst at Counterpoint Research, said: “This surprising annual growth can be attributed to higher demand for smartphones and more so for feature phones. The strong growth is also partly due to last year’s weak quarter due to the impact of demonetization.

"Feature phones have been driven by the disruptive entry of Jiophone, which expanded the feature phone segment. The quarter also saw new device launches and strong promotions from various brands looking to catalyse demand after Diwali."

Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research, said: “The competitive landscape has changed significantly in the last year, with the rise of brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo in the smartphone segment and players such as Reliance Jio, Nokia HMD and iTel in the feature phone segment — all able to disrupt the market with high-quality and attractively-priced offerings.

During the second half, players such as Xiaomi was particularly disruptive with an aggressively-priced, broad portfolio taken to market with an effective channel expansion strategy. This helped Xiaomi to surpass the long-time market leader, Samsung, for the first time ever. This performance ended Samsung’s six year market dominance.”

The Market Monitor research is based on sell-in (shipments) estimates based on vendor’s IR results, vendor polling triangulated with sell-through (sales), supply chain checks and secondary research.

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