The lure of high-speed internet connectivity on mobile and the falling prices of compatible handsets is boosting the adoption of 4G LTE smartphones in India. With sales of LTE enabled handsets crossing the 1 million units mark back in Q4 2014, the new year brought with it a drastic shift in the type of devices that had LTE.
Xiaomi-Redmi-2
Apple led the market for 4G smartphones in India during Q4 2014, but Xiaomi has now taken the top spot.
According to research firm CMR, devices manufactured by the Chinese firm accounted for 30.8% of the all LTE smartphone sales during January 2015, followed by Apple (23.8%), Samsung (12.1%) and HTC (10%). Micromax is the only Indian manufacturer that features in the list of top-five vendors for 4G smartphone in India, with a market share of 8.3%.
CMR notes that the growth in demand for 4G smartphones is due to the launch of affordable products from brands like Xiaomi, OnePlus and Lenovo, while buyers are also looking to future-proof their purchases despite 4G networks being available only in large metros.
4G Smartphone Market Share
The report’s explanation for Apple’s dominance of the LTE smartphone market in Q4 2014, is that the company had a first mover advantage. However, with Xiaomi launching two 4G equipped devices in the country at sub-Rs 10,000 prices, the market shifted from expensive to affordable devices in no time.
Further, chips manufactured by Qualcomm were the most widely used non-proprietary processors in 4G devices during Q4 2014, with a market share of 44%. Only Apple’s chips which are exclusive to its devices had a higher market share of 45%. This too should have been overturned in the January period.

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