India – boasting more than 300 million smartphone users now – is a lucrative market for every major smartphone manufacturer. That’s why companies like Samsung, VIVO, Huawei, and Xiaomi are fiercely competing one another to bring attractive devices without sacrificing affordability. And judging by Counterpoint’s latest data on the Indian smartphone market, Chinese OEMs are doing very well. For the first time ever, in Q4 of last year, no Indian brand figured among the top five smartphone makers; instead, the list was dominated by Chinese manufacturers.
Counterpoint has released some interesting data about the world’s second largest smartphone market – India. Compared to the 3 percent growth that the global smartphone market saw, smartphone shipments in India grew by 18 percent. Among those smartphones, 7 out 10 were LTE enabled. Not too surprisingly, Samsung maintained the lead overall with 25 percent market share, followed by companies like Micromax, Lenovo, and Intex. Apple has been struggling to find ground in India, and although it did ship 2.5 million devices in 2016, it still remained 10th place.
What’s interesting is, however, the rate at which Chinese manufacturers are growing in India. Just a year ago or so, during Q4 of 2015, Chinese brands were merely 14 percent of all smartphone shipments in India. That’s trivial compared to 54 percent of Indian brands during the same period. However, in Q4 of 2016, for the first time ever, Indian brands were pushed out of top five rankings. Instead, the list was comprised of Samsung, VIVO, Xiaomi, Lenovo, and Oppo. And the total shipments by Chinese brands jumped to a whopping 46 percent during Q4 of last year!
Just a year ago or so, during Q4 of 2015, Chinese brands were merely 14 percent of all smartphone shipments in India.
Chinese manufacturers are actively engaging in marketing that works within the local context – such as flash sales online – and they seem to be working closely with the government in the Make in India initiative. With luxurious designs and cheap price tags, Chinese OEMs are slowly dominating the Indian smartphone market. Though we will have to wait and see, it may not be too long until Samsung is dethroned by a Chinese manufacturer in India.