India’s smartphone market contracts for the first time in Q2; Samsung still on top: Canalys

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It’s the first time India’s smartphone market has contracted, according to latest figures from market research firm Canalys. As a result, shipments have fallen by 4 per cent year-on-year to just under 27 million units in the second quarter of 2017. The market research firm says the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has also “adversely” affected the domestic growth.

Samsung, Xiaomi and Vivo continue to be the primary winners, with the South Korean giant leading the market, with a 25 per cent market share. That’s quite obvious considering the fact Samsung has been chasing the volume game with the Galaxy J series, and to a large extent the strategy worked in favor of the company. Even though Samsung continues to rule the Indian smartphone market, the threat from the Chinese players have increased in the past few months because of their exceptional performance in both online and offline segments.

Xiaomi’s shipment volume reached to 4.8 million units in the second quarter, making it the country’s second largest smartphone brand next to Samsung. Xiaomi’s India strategy appears to be going strong. The growth has no doubt been fueled by the success of the Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4A.

Vivo placed third in the Indian smartphone market in Q2 with a market share of 3.4 million units, thanks to the popularity of the brand among tier-two and tier-three cities. Oppo came fourth, closely followed by Lenovo with 1.9 million units shipped in the second quarter.

“With China suffering its own decline this quarter, India is a market of huge strategic importance to Chinese smartphone vendors,” said Canalys Research Analyst Ishan Dutt.

Oppo and Vivo are both owned by Guangzhou-based BBK Electronics, and they have steadily making their presence strong in India. The greater emphasis on the offline retail segment and aggressive ad campaigns may have benefited the two brands.

Surprisingly, Lenovo has been  struggling to ship smartphones in large numbers in India. It appears that the company’s dual-brand strategy of Lenovo-Motorola is not showing any great results. Collectively, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Gionee and Lenovo control over 50 per cent of India’s smartphone market.

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