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India’s smartphone market has reported an increase in growth as Chinese vendors continue to dominate the mobile manufacturing industry in the country. Growth in the Indian smartphone market stagnated in 2016, but it returned to strong growth in 2017 and was the best performer amongst the top-20 smartphone markets globally, according to the IDC.

Smartphone shipments in India totaled 124 million units which represented an increase of 14%. However, Chinese-based vendors continue to dominate the smartphone sector and solidified their positions in the market even further in 2017. Their combined market share rose from 34% in 206 to 53% in 2017. In fact, four out of the top five vendors in India are from China, with South Korea’s Samsung maintaining its position as market leader.

Senior market analyst at IDC India, Jaipal Singh attributed the success of China-based vendors in the Indian smartphone market to its strategy in targeting the untapped demand in lower-tier cities.

He said, “Their strength in their home market of China and the weakening position of local players has helped some of these China-based players to solidify their operations in India,” he said.

Samsung as aforementioned above remains the market leader with a 24.7% share of the industry. That is followed by Xiaomi on 20.9%, Vivo (9.4%), Lenovo (7.8%) and Oppo on 7.5%. 

According to statistics and figures released by IDC it indicated that shipments in Q4 rose by 18% in comparison to the same quarter in 2016. However, it was claimed that the government’s decision to remove high-value banknotes from circulation was a factor in the decline in Q4 in 2016.

In smartphones, Xiaomi surpassed Samsung as the market leader during Q4, with shipments of 2 million units giving it a 26.8 per cent market share compared with 24.2 per cent for Samsung. Vivo stood in third on a 6.5 per cent share, followed by Lenovo (5.6 per cent) and Oppo (4.9 per cent).

IDC India pointed out that some of the key highlights in Q4 were Xiaomi overtaking Samsung in the smartphone market and the emergence of Reliance Jio as the country’s number one operator. A representative for the IDC said, “The growth of both the vendors was propelled by their aggressive pricing. Xiaomi’s offline expansion and higher marketing spends were other key factors for the vendor’s high shipments in the seasonally low quarter.

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