India's Smartphone & Feature Phone Markets Grew In 2017: IDC

Donovan Sung director of product management and marketing at Xiaomi Global Manu Jain managing director of Xiaomi India and global director of Android Partner Programs Jon Gold hold the newly launched Xiaomi Mi A1 smartphone at a function in New

In 2017 alone, the country's overall smartphone market registered 14 per cent annual growth with a total shipment of 124 million units, the International Data Corporation's (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker says.

India was the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world in 2017.

Indian smartphone market had witnessed a temporary slowdown in 2016 owing to factors such as demonetization and a shortage of smartphone components but in 2017 it was able to resume its double-digit growth. This contrasts with China, the world's largest smartphone market that saw its first decline this year, while the United States of America was relatively flat.

On a quarter-to-quarter (QoQ) basis, Q4 2017 saw a sharp 22 percent fall compared to the Q3 2017 festive quarter. However, it registered a healthy 18 per cent growth compared to last year's weak quarter, which was impacted by demonetisation. Chinese phonemakers strengthened their hold over the market with a combined share of 53%, up from 34% in 2016. As a matter of fact, 2017 saw an annual growth of 17 percent year-on-year in the feature phone segment, owing majorly to ' 4G feature phone and its competitors. "Which leads to total mobile phone shipments to 288 million units in calendar year 2017", IDC India senior market analyst Jaipal Singh said in a statement. "In fourth quarter of 2017, vendors shipped a total of 56 million units., making it the highest ever shipments in a single quarter", the report said.

However, Samsung remained the leader for 2017 with 21% market share, followed by iTel, and Xiaomi with 9% market share each.The research also sounded alarm bells for HTC, Asus and Gionee.

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Chinese players continued to dominate, with Xiaomi emerging as the market leader ahead of Samsung for the second successive quarter. In continuation of its offline expansion through Mi stores and preferred partners, Xiaomi appointed its first product endorser and is now very aggressive in above the line marketing, which helped the brand to gain traction in the offline channel. According to the data, Xiaomi tripled its shipments year-over-year and sold more than 2 million units from its offline channel.

However, it lost leadership position to Chinese smartphone firm Xiaomi in smartphone category during October-December 2017. Samsung's strong distribution network and brand equity work in its favour while it struggles to match Xiaomi on an aggressive pricing strategy. However, the company' shipments saw a 41% decline as stated earlier. To extend its omni channel experience, vivo launched its maiden experience center in India and also participated in Amazon and Flipkart's winter sales this quarter.

Other in the list during the year include vivo in the third place followed by Lenovo and Oppo in the fourth and fifth place respectively. Lenovo (including Motorola) was down to number four as its shipments fell in Q4. Lenovo continues its efforts to strengthen its Motorola brand in India as Lenovo-branded shipments declined nearly 60 per cent, while its Motorola portfolio saw a marginal increase compared with a year ago. Finally, Oppo managed to hold on to the number five position, though it shipments dropped nearly by half compared to the previous quarter.

Jio's LYF brand phones are marketed as 4G VoLTE handsets, but basically, they are feature phones and competing against the likes of Samsung and Micromax, which were dominant players in the niche.

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