Indian smartphone market grew 12 percent year-on-year in terms of shipments, with 24.4 million units shipped. While the top five vendors (Samsung, Micromax, Intex, Lenovo, and Lava) remained the same as Q1 2015, Lenovo experienced the largest growth – its shipments rose 63 percent year-on-year.
The report attributed Lenovo’s massive growth to its “value-for-money handsets and offline channel strategy.” The report added that Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony, and LG were the biggest losers in market in terms of shipments, unable to compete in a market that is trending towards low-cost handsets. Micromax on the other hand experienced a slight drop in market share from the year ago quarter to 16.7 percent.
As for Apple, the company was on the number 8 position in terms of shipments in Q1 2016, but experienced the second largest growth behind Lenovo amongst the top 10 smartphone vendors. It saw smartphone shipments increase by 56 percent when compared to Q1 2015.
According to Canalys, in the premium segment or for devices priced above $300 (Rs. 20,000), Samsung saw its market share deplete from 66 percent in Q1 2015 to 41 percent in Q1 2016, while Apple saw its market share grow from 11 percent to 29 percent in the same period. The iPhone 5s, thanks to its many price cuts over the year, became the most popular Apple device in the Indian market.
Canalys added that it expects to see more vendors getting financing to help boost overall affordability of their products, and ensure growth in the cost-conscious Indian market.
“Apple is outperforming the overall market in India, and still has great growth potential,” said Canalys Mobility Analyst Wilmer Ang, adding, “Apple’s growth run could be short-lived. The 5s’ success in India has more to do with affordability of a premium brand than a preference for smaller phones, and the move to the more expensive SE will discourage budget buyers. Also, the recent government regulation curbing discounts on smartphones sold by online platforms will affect demand.”