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According to CMR's India Monthly Mobile Handset Market Review Report, mobile handset vendors shipped 88 million mobile handset units in 4Q 2017. For the entire year, mobile handset vendors have shipped around 287 million mobile handset units in India. The smartphone market recorded a 19 percent sequential decline during the quarter, with 30 million units shipped. The feature phone market, on the other hand, witnessed a 36 percent sequential growth in Q4 2017, and YoY growth of 62 percent.
Prabhu Ram, Head - Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR said, "Traditionally, December is a lean period. However, 4Q 2017 bucked this trend. From the throes of demonetization at the beginning of 2017, the India mobile handset market touched a new historic high in 4Q 2017. If one were to look at historical trends, the India mobile handset market usually sees high refresh cycles in May-June, coinciding with the college admission season, and in September-October, owing to the festive season."
"2017 was remarkable with certain pioneering mobile handset brands like HTC, Asus, and Gionee, among others, seeing worrisome warning signals, while a new breed of exciting handset brands, like Comio and NUU Mobile, among others, came to the fore. We believe this trend will deepen further in 2018," added Prabhu.
The report further said in feature phones, LYF scaled a new high, emerging as the market leader with 27 percent market share, followed by Samsung with 14 percent market share and in smartphones and in smartphones, Xiaomi emerged as the market leader with 25 percent market share, followed by Samsung with 23 percent market share.
LYF's JioPhone was the major growth driver for 4Q CY2017. Its shipments grew more than five-fold in 4Q. This new trend led to the surge in market share of feature phones. With local manufactured JioPhones hitting the market in coming quarters, the vendor is expected to better its performance in 4Q CY2017." Narinder Kumar, Analyst, CMR-IIG. "In smartphones, Xiaomi became the clear market leader, on the back of its growing offline penetration and value for money products. We are expecting to witness the revival in online strategy of Samsung along with an enhanced focus on enterprise business and Appgets."
"2018 will continue to witness a growth of entry-level smartphones which will largely cater to first-time smartphone buyers. Aggressive, pre-paid 4G entry-level plans launched by telcos in 1Q 2018 will further accelerate the adoption of 4G," added Narinder.
On 4G handset market, the research firm pointed out that, in 4Q 2017, overall 4G handset market grew by 19 percent, however, smartphones declined by 17 percent, while 4G feature phones grew 546 percent.