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India handset shipments reached an all-time high of over 84 Million for the first time ever driven by strong sell-in of both feature phones and smartphones, according to the new report by research firm Counterpoint.
Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research said, "India continues to be an attractive destination for handset OEMs. With strong smartphone growth and a sizeable featurephone market for at least three to four years, OEMs in India can target a diverse set of audiences. This has allowed a number of OEM's to still realize double-digit growth in the feature phone segment in spite of being absent in the smartphone segment."
"Samsung and Xiaomi together contributed to almost 45 percent of the smartphone market. This is the first time since 2012, that the top two brands have reached this level of combined share, signaling that key brands are ramping up their presence in India. Additionally, the quarter was marked by return to growth for local handset players such as Micromax and Lava in the smartphone segment," he added.
Chinese brands performance remained strong and contributed to more than half of the total smartphone shipments. It is the third consecutive quarter when their market share is well over 50 percent after they took over local players in the second half of 2016.
However, local brands like Micromax and Lava grew 41 percent and 24 percent (QoQ), respectively, in the smartphone segment recovering from their all-time low during demonetization last year.
Micromax Bharat 2 was the bestselling model in the sub $75 segment.
Xiaomi, iTel, Oppo, Vivo Aand OnePlus were the fastest growing smartphone brands during the third quarter driven by festive sales. Feature phone segment declined 4 percent (YoY) but grew 22 percent (QoQ) driven by sub-Rs. 1,000 devices, as well as the entry of Jiophone and Nokia, branded phones in the market during the quarter.
"It has been almost a year since Reliance Jio launched its 4G LTE network officially, which drove an inflection point for mobile data consumption as well as demand for 4G capable phones," said Shobhit Srivastava, Research Analyst at Counterpoint.
Associate Director Tarun Pathak, noted, "Xiaomi continues to post back to back record quarters in India and create new benchmarks. Three out of the top five best-selling smartphones in India were from Xiaomi alone. Xiaomi has been popular in the past for its "value for money offerings", however, the popularity is now transitioning into performance compared to last year. This can be attributed to a streamlined supply chain effort by Xiaomi and relatively weaker offerings from competitors in the online channel.