In spite of government’s repeated attempts to help the domestic smartphone manufacturers in India, China-based vendors have taken an upper hand in this genre. Their collective market share has reached almost a massive of 53 percent in 2017 from 34 percent a year ago and this is reported by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

To this, Jaipal Singh, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India added that “The untapped demand in the lower-tier cities remains the key attraction for China-based brands to explore the growth trajectory in India. Their strength in their home market of China and weakening position of local players has helped some of these China-based players to solidify their operations in India”.

Here, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget also announced a hike in customs duty on mobile phones to 20 percent from 15 percent. Further speeches by Jaitley also included that, “Customs duty on import of mobile phone parts will be increased to 20 percent from the existing 15 percent. This will boost jobs in the smartphone sector in India”.

As per reported by, IDC’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the Indian smartphone market has witnessed quite a healthy 14 percent annual growth with a total shipment of 124 million units in 2017. This has resulted in confirming its position as the fastest growing market within the top 20 smartphone markets globally.

The market resumed its double-digit growth after a temporary slowdown in 2016 instilled by factors such as demonetization and a shortage of smartphone components.

This largely contrasts with China, the world’s largest smartphone market that saw its first decline this year, while the US was also relatively flat.

Talking again of feature phones, 2017 was an exceptional year for this category as it witnessed a 17 percent annual growth after the decline of three consecutive years.

IDC also added to the report that while feature phones still remained quite relevant to a large consumer base in India, Indian telecom operator Reliance Jio shipped huge shipments of 4G enabled feature phones claiming the prime position, in its maiden quarter in this category.

This further resulted in a total of 164 million feature phone shipments in 2017 from 140 million, a year back.

Concluding, Upasana Joshi, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India, added that, “Xiaomi taking a lead over Samsung in the smartphone market and Reliance Jio emerging as the leading feature phone company in India were the two key highlights of the last quarter of 2017”.