IDC report indicates at 5.2% increase in smartphone sales in Q1

With about 23.5 million devices getting shipped in India in just the first quarter of the year, the smartphone sales has gone up by 5.2% when compared to the same period in the previous year.

However, further reports by IDC state that overall, shipments shrank by 8.2 per cent in Q4 2015, leading to a decline for two consecutive quarters.

Decline in the sales of the key vendors

The sales of the key vendors in the Indian market has also gone down. Karthik J, Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC said, “the first quarter of the year is usually expected to be slow after the festive season in the last quarter of the year. However, the contraction in Q1 2016 is mainly propelled by the decline in shipments from all the top 5 smartphone vendors of the previous quarter.” Micromax, Intex, and Lava are the three key Indian vendors who suffered the most registering a total sequential decline of 20.4 percent. 

On the other hand, the market has been good for new entries like Reliance Jio, which grew sharply when compared to the previous quarter. Karthik commented on this by saying, “LeEco made its entry in Indian smartphone market in Q1 2016 with its Le 1S contributing to the majority of the vendor’s shipments. Also, key Chinese vendors like Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo and Coolpad gained traction in the first quarter of the year with new product launches, aggressive marketing spends and expanding their channel presence.”

“Make in India” has also created a major shift in the market as it promotes local manufacturing of smartphones. The initiative is now joined by 25 companies leading to about two-thirds of the total smartphones that were shipped in the first quarter of the year to be assembled in India.

A few of these vendors who assemble their smartphones in India are likely to start manufacturing parts like batteries, chargers, and data cables in the country due to the initiative that the central and state government has taken for promotion of this initiative.

The total shipping of 4G enabled smartphones has also gone up by 6 times when compared to the previous year at 15.4 million units and is definitely a very significant number.

According to Jaipal Singh, Market Analyst, Client devices, “4G based device shipments accounted for 65.5 percent of overall smartphone shipments in Q1 2016 driven primarily by Samsung’s J-series models. This sharp rise in the share of 4G smartphone is due to the cohesive move from the entire ecosystem.”

Who were the top vendors in this quarter?


Samsung is still the largest player in the Indian market and is followed by Lenovo and Reliance Jio at present, especially in the 4G enabled smartphone segment.

“Qualcomm and Samsung are spearheading this growth while MediaTek along with Chinese and Indian vendors are driving the 4G volume in India. Adding to that, telecom players are playing a pivotal role in setting up the infrastructure and promoting 4G leading to wider awareness of this next gen technology in India,” added Singh.

With 26.6 percent market share it is true that Samsung is still the leader in the Indian market, however, the overall shipments have dipped quite a lot. More than 75 percent of this market share is largely owing to the J series of smartphones which are seeing huge online and offline sales.

Micromax retains the second place and has 6.9 percent growth rate, however, the sequential fall in the shipments is at 17.9 percent, owing to the rapid fall in the shipping volume of the sub $75 category smartphones.

Intex, at 3rd place, has seen about 10 percent decline in the overall shipment in Q1, however, the shipments for the 4G devices have gone up to twice the amount of devices in the previous quarter.

Lenovo, including Motorola, has been hit quite hard with the decline as it slipped to the fourth position, owing to the 35.8 percent fall in the shipment.

At fifth place, Reliance Jio replaced Lava and had us all surprised with the extreme shift in the sales volumes.

Forecast by IDC

Despite the slow start in Q1 this year, IDC expect that the momentum will be back as far as the smartphone sales are concerned in the coming quarters.

“This year is expected to unfold many transitional phases in the mobile phone ecosystem as more vendors begin local assembling/manufacturing and an increasing trend for higher data consumption owing to affordable 4G devices and data plans,” says Navkendar Singh, Senior Research Manager, IDC India.

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