India has become the fastest growing smartphone market in the world with total shipment growing 14 percent to 124 million units in 2017, according to IDC.
The double-digit growth came on the back of a temporary slowdown in 2016 caused by factors such as demonetisation and a shortage of smartphone components.
This contrasts with China, the world’s largest smartphone market that saw its first decline this year, while the US was relatively flat.
After the Q3 festive quarter, the smartphone category saw a sharp dip of 22 percent quarter-over-quarter in Q4 as vendors focused on clearing channel inventory. However, it registered a healthy 18 percent growth compared to last year’s weak quarter which was impacted by demonetisation.
China-based vendors further strengthened their positions in the smartphone category with the collective share of China-based vendors reaching 53 percent in 2017 from 34 percent a year ago.
“The untapped demand in the lower-tier cities remains the key attraction for China-based brands to explore the growth trajectory in India. Their strength in their home market of China and weakening position of local players has helped some of these China-based players to solidify their operations in India,” said Jaipal Singh, Senior Market Analyst of IDC India.
“Xiaomi taking a lead over Samsung in the smartphone market and Reliance Jio emerging as the leading feature phone company in India were the two key highlights of the last quarter of 2017,” said Upasana Joshi, Senior Market Analyst of IDC India
“The growth of both the vendors was propelled by their aggressive pricing. Xiaomi’s offline expansion and higher marketing spends were other key factors for the vendor’s high shipments in the seasonally low quarter,” he added.