The Indian mobile sector is quickly transitioning to a smartphone dominated market, with the drop in market share of feature phones never being more prominent.
Despite all the hullabaloo surrounding growth of smartphone sales in the country, shipments contracted for the very first time on a quarter-on-quarter basis during Q4 2014.
Research firm IDC who’s statistics prove this says it was caused due to high channel inventory at the beginning of the quarter caused by the surge in online sales during the festive season.
Smartphone sales in India declined by 4% while feature phone sales dropped by nearly 14% during Q4 2014, when compared to Q3 sales. Overall mobile phone sales in India stood at 64.3 million units out of which smartphone accounted close to 35% while feature phones made up the rest.
Key Takeaways From The IDC Report:
- Samsung continues to lead the Indian smartphone market (as opposed to the Canalys report that said Micromax was king) as well as the overall mobile market with a 22% and 17% market share respectively.
- Micromax is still in second place in both categories, claiming 18% of the smartphone market and 15% of the overall mobile phone market.
- Intex has swiftly risen to the third spot in the Indian smartphone market with a market share of 8%, while Lava slipped to 4th position with a 7% market share.
- Another Indian brand Karbonn has been relegated from the top 5 list of smartphone vendors in India thanks to the rise of Chinese giant Xiaomi which controls 4% of the market.
The IDC report also states that shipment of smartphones from vendors like ASUS, Microsoft and HTC have been gaining traction recently. The NextBigThing according to IDC are 4G handsets, and while they currently in single digits in terms of market share, they are expected to power the next wave of smartphone growth.
Surprisingly, IDC believes that the trend of high-spec, low-cost smartphones isn’t here to stay. “This trend is likely to continue over the next four to 6 quarters, after which consumers are expected to turn back to the handset vendors who charge premium for quality,” said Karan Thakkar, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India.
Going forward, IDC expects smartphone sales to remain sluggish during Q1 2015, but says we could see a few global smartphone vendors post big sales growth numbers as they were in engaged in inventory correction measures so far.