Xiaomi top smartphone brand in Q4 2017: Counterpoint

By Anuj Sharma - January 25, 2018
Chinese brands performance remained strong throughout the year and captured 54 per cent smartphone market share in CY 2017 -- up from 34 per cent during CY 2016.

With 25 per cent marker share, China’s Xiaomi emerged as the top smartphone brand in India in the fourth quarter of 2017, followed by Samsung capturing 23 per cent market share, market research firm Counterpoint Research has said.

According to Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, “India's overall mobile phone shipments grew 37 per cent and smartphone shipments grew 12 per cent annually with feature phones growing an astonishing 55 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2017.”

Chinese brands performance remained strong throughout the year and captured 54 per cent smartphone market share in CY 2017 -- up from 34 per cent during CY 2016.

Overall India mobile phone shipments crossed 300 million units for the first time ever with smartphones capturing almost 44 per cent of the total volumes in the calendar year (CY) 2017.

Securing a 26 per cent, Reliance Jio leads the feature phone in the fourth quarter of 2017 with its compelling value proposition compared to the normal 2G feature phones. Samsung with 15 per cent share stood second in the feature phone segment.

“We expect the 4G feature phone segment will be a 200-million-unit opportunity by volume, over the next five years as the hundreds of millions of current feature phone users in India are likely to upgrade to VoLTE handsets. While Jiophone saw healthy sell-in during 4Q, we believe the operator exited the quarter with some inventory, which could affect its share in coming quarters,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research.

Local brands such as Micromax and Lava have done well in CY 2017 recovering from their all-time low during demonetisation last year. Micromax Bharat and Lava Z series performed well in the sub $100 segment. Micromax Bharat 2 was the best-selling smartphone in the sub $75 segment during CY 2017.

Xiaomi (259 per cent), iTel (213 per cent), Huawei (165 per cent), Vivo (115 per cent) and OPPO (104 per cent) were the fastest growing smartphone brands during CY 2017.

Affordable mid end segment (₹10,000-₹15,000 or US$150-$230) was the fastest growing segment (+52 per cent) in CY 2017 driven by the strong performance of Xiaomi. The Chinese vendor alone, contributed to almost 37 per cent of the shipments in this segment.

Owing to the increased mix of mid segment phones, the average selling price of the overall smartphone market grew 13 per cent year-on-year.

Over 10 new smartphone brands entered India during CY 2017. Players like Nokia HMD, Comio, Infinix and Tecno did well in their first year of operations in India, by expanding their distribution reach in a short span of time.

The premium segment (above Rs 30,000) grew 20 per cent year-on-year during CY 2017 due to the strong performance of OnePlus, Apple and Samsung. OnePlus was the fastest growing brand in the premium segment during CY 2017.

Chip maker Qualcomm lead the smartphone chipset supplier and the Qualcomm powered smartphones grew a healthy 53 per cent year-on-year in CY 2017. The demand of its chipsets in the fastest growing (₹10,000-₹15,000) segment drove growth.

“The competitive landscape has changed significantly in the last year, with the rise of brands such as Xiaomi, OPPO, VIVO in the smartphone segment and players such as Reliance Jio, Nokia HMD and iTel in the feature phone segment -- all able to disrupt the market with high-quality and attractively-priced offerings. During the second half, players such as Xiaomi was particularly disruptive with an aggressively-priced, broad portfolio taken to market with an effective channel expansion strategy. This helped Xiaomi to surpass the long-time market leader, Samsung, for the first time ever. This performance ended Samsung's six-year market dominance,” added Pathak.

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