India shipped a record 30 million smartphones in Q1 2018. Meanwhile, Reliance JioPhone continued to lead the 4G feature phone segment.
Xiaomi has emerged as India’s leading smartphone brand for the third successive quarter. The Chinese handset-maker now owns over 30 percent of the domestic market, ahead of one-time leader Samsung. The latter’s share now stands at 25 percent, revealed IDC in its latest Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
Together, Xiaomi and Samsung account for over half the shipments in the world’s second-largest smartphone market. Other Chinese vendors, Oppo and Vivo, secured the third and fourth spots with shares of 7.4 percent and 6.7 percent respectively. Transsion, another Chinese phone-maker, followed with a 4.6 percent share.
Interestingly, Apple and Huawei — two among the top three global vendors along with Samsung — did not feature in India’s top five. The iPhone’s declining sales have been a matter of concern for Apple while it continues to battle high import duties in India.
Overall, Q1 2018 witnessed an 11 percent year-on-year growth in shipments. Thirty million handsets were shipped, making it a record-high for the first quarter of any year for India.
According to IDC, Xiaomi’s growth was driven by its rapid offline expansion and the popularity of its Redmi phones, especially the 5A and the Note 5. Xiaomi’s online game was top-notch too, with the brand accounting for 53 percent of all e-tailer mobile sales in the country. That is a 21-percent growth in just a year.
Jaipal Singh, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India, said:
“Xiaomi is in a unique position with a diversified channel approach and strong demand in each of the channels.”
Meanwhile, Samsung’s Q1 growth remained flat. However, its “two pronged approach with the focus on low-to-mid range J series and the latest flagships Galaxy S9 series along with Galaxy S8 series and Note 8 in the premium segment drove shipments for the vendor.”
While Q1 numbers have been impressive, IDC has issued a word of caution for smartphone manufacturers.
Upasana Joshi, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India, said:
“The recent import duty hike on PCBs, camera modules and connectors by the Indian government definitely puts cost pressure on the smartphone companies till such time that they set up lines for CKD (Complete Knock Down) type of manufacturing to reduce this impact. This will increase the challenges for smaller companies even more.”
The 4G feature phone market though continues to clock emphatic numbers. This segment was topped by Reliance JioPhone which accounted for 38.4 percent of overall shipments.
Riding on JioPhone’s success, 4G feature phones witnessed a whopping 50 percent growth in Q1 2018. India is a rare market in the world where growth of feature phones has surpassed that of smartphones.
Samsung secured the second spot in the feature phone segment too, with a 10.4 percent share. Transsion, Lava and Micromax completed the top five with shares of 7.9 percent, 6 percent and 4.7 percent respectively.