India handset shipments reach all-time high in Q4

13 Feb 2018

India's mobile handset market grew to a historic high in the fourth quarter with 88 million units shipped, according to CMR India.

But the smartphone market witnessed a 19% sequential decline during the quarter to 30 million units, which compares to a strong 36% sequential growth for the feature phone segment, CMR India said.

The consulting and industry intelligence company also predicts that 287 million handsets shipped across India during the entire year.

“Traditionally, December is a lean period. However, 4Q 2017 bucked this trend. From the throes of demonetization at the beginning of 2017, the India mobile handset market touched a new historic high,” CMR head of industry intelligence Prabhu Ram said.

“If one were to look at historic trends, the India mobile handset market usually sees high refresh cycles in May-June, coinciding with the college admission season, and in September-October, owing to the festive season.”

Xiaomi captured the largest share of the smartphone market during the fourth quarter (25%), followed by Samsung (23%) and Lenovo (9%). Vivo (6%) and Oppo (6%) rounded out the top five.

In the feature phone segment, homegrown vendor LYF emerged as the market leader with a 27% share, followed by Samsung (14%), Micromax (9%), itel (8%) and Lava (6%).

“[Last year] was remarkable with certain pioneering mobile handset brands like HTC, Asus and Gionee, among others, seeing worrisome warning signals, while a new breed of exciting handset brands, like Comio and NUU Mobile, among others, came to the fore. We believe this trend will deepen further in 2018,” Prabhu said.

“LYF’s JioPhone was major growth driver for 4Q. Its shipments grew more than five-fold in 4Q. This new trend led to surge in market share of feature phones. With local manufactured JioPhones hitting the market in coming quarters, the vendor is expected to better its performance.”

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