According to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 23.5 million units of smartphones were shipped in India in Q1 2016 registering 5.2 percent growth over the same period last year. However, smartphone shipments shrank by 8.2 percent over Q4 2015, dipping consecutively for two quarters.
According to Karthik J, Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices, “The first quarter of the year is usually expected to be slow after the festive season in the last quarter of the year. However, the contraction in Q1 2016 is mainly propelled by the decline in shipments from all the Top 5 smartphone vendors of previous quarter. Shipments of key Indian vendors Micromax, Intex and Lava put together dropped 20.4 percent sequentially as they struggled to push their inventories into the market.” On the other hand, new entrants like Reliance Jio grew sharply over previous quarter as they prepare before the official launch.
LeEco made its entry in Indian smartphone market in Q1 2016 with its Le1S contributing to majority of the vendor’s shipments. Also, key Chinese vendors like Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo and Coolpad gained traction in the first quarter of the year with new product launches, aggressive marketing spends and expanding their channel presence”, adds Karthik.
The “Make in India” campaign continued to promote the local manufacturing in India as more than 25 Vendors are now manufacturing smartphones locally in India. More than two-thirds of the smartphones shipped in Q1 2016 were assembled within the country. Few vendors who are currently assembling mobile phones in India are likely to start manufacturing components like batteries, chargers and data cables owing to encouraging support from central and state governments.
4G based smartphones shipments clocked 15.4 million units in Q1 2016, which has grown more than 6 times over the same period last year.
Jaipal Singh, Market Analyst, Client Devices says, “4G based device shipments accounted for 65.5 percent of overall smartphone shipments in Q1 2016 driven primarily by Samsung’s J-series models. This sharp rise in the share of 4G smartphone is due to the cohesive move from the entire ecosystem”.
Samsung continues to lead the 4G smartphone market followed by Lenovo and Reliance Jio.
“Qualcomm and Samsung are spearheading this growth while MediaTek along with Chinese and Indian vendors are driving the 4G volume in India. Adding to that, telecom players are playing a pivotal role in setting up the infrastructure and promoting 4G leading to wider awareness of this next gen technology in India”, added Singh.
Samsung continued to dominate the Indian smartphone market with 26.6 percent share, in spite of shipments dipping both year-on-year and sequentially (quarter-on-quarter). Over 75 percent contribution came from its J-series smartphones as they continue to drive volumes for the vendor in both offline and online channels.
Micromax retained second position in Q1 2016 with 6.9 percent growth over the same period last year. However, shipments fell 17.9 percent sequentially for the second consecutive quarter as volume dipped sharply in the entry level sub-US$75 segment. With new branding and array of new products announced in Q2 2016, the vendor is likely to recover in coming quarters.
Intex regained its 3rd position, although shipments sequentially declined by 10 percent in Q1 2016 but grew marginally over last year. Intex’s 4G shipments almost doubled over the previous quarter strengthening its portfolio with over 15 active LTE models.
Lenovo (including Motorola) slipped to fourth position as the shipments declined 35.8 percent coming off from a sharp spike in the previous quarter. Vendor’s sub-USD150 segment saw a steep decline in the shipments. However, the vendor is likely to see some recovery with the launch of K4 Note and the next generation Moto G in Q2 2016.
Reliance Jio replaced Lava as the fifth largest smartphone vendor with huge shipments of 4G devices. Jio has started building the VoLTE devices base by shipping its LYF branded smartphones in the channels. Jio shipments are expected to grow in the coming quarters owing to launch of its service offerings.
This year is expected to unfold many transitional phases in the mobile phone ecosystem as more vendors begin local assembling/manufacturing and an increasing trend for higher data consumption owing to affordable 4G devices and data plans.