India pips United States to become the world’s second-largest smartphone market


Singapore-based market research firm Canalys has come out with a report stating that India has become the world’s second-largest smartphone market, after China. With over 40 million units shipped with 23% yearly growth in the third quarter of 2017 India has overtaken United States in shipments. Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research which has come out with similar findings have but put a word of caution as well stating that this phenomenon appears to be temporary and United States will soon again overtake India. One of the major highlights of this phenomenon of India pipping United States has been that 84 million units – smartphones and feature phones shipped to India during the quarter ended September, 75% of the units were locally made which gives a boost to the Make in India campaign.

In the Indian smartphone market, Xiaomi ruled the roost in major 50 cities of India by registering a 120 per cent growth in Q3 of 2017. Samsung slipped to the second slot with 15 percent quarterly growth in Q32017. The model which as clicked for Xiaomi is Redmi Note 4 which alone contributed to more than 40 percent of the volumes. What has worked in favor of Xiaomi has been their distribution strategy i.e. offline expansion through Preferred Partner programmes and Mi Stores. As more and more brands look for offline expansion, the Indian smartphone market will be waiting for some interesting days to come.

Speaking about the offline expansion of companies like Xiaomi, Vivo and all Navkendar Singh, Associate Research Director, IDC India was quoted as saying, “almost all vendors have now decided to go aggressive on offline channel expansion. It will be interesting to see how they are able to match the distribution strength and retail spends by offline dominant players like Samsung, Oppo, and Vivo.” He further added, “Considering the huge hitherto tapped demand from smaller cities and towns, eventually, these vendors will be forced to tweak their strategies to reach out to the customers in these markets.”

The other players who are doing well in the Indian smartphone market are Lenovo (including Motorola) with its K6 Power, Moto E4 Plus & K6 Note models which remains at the third position growing steadily at 8 percent from the previous quarter and OPPO which moved up to the fourth position as its models F3 and F3 Plus gained momentum. Vivo has moved down to the fifth position in the Indian smarphone market as its sales slipped drastically when compared to the last quarter.



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