This time the entire limelight has been hogged by Xiaomi and Jio. As per the recent reports by Counterpoint, Xiaomi has continued with its lead in the Indian smartphone market with 31.1 percent market share and Reliance Jio have topped the feature phone market with quite a huge 35.8 percent share in the first quarter of 2018.
Also, as per the data from Counterpoint Research for the quarter ended March 2018, Xiaomi and Reliance Industries, through its Jio Phone, have widened their leads over Samsung in the Indian smartphone and feature phone markets respectively, with both crossing a record 30% share mark respectively. However, even after this, Indian feature phone market doubled while the smartphone market remained flat, for both the years.
However, the only good part of this report is that the Korean smartphone maker was taking the No 1 spot in the premium segment, leaving behind OnePlus and Apple at No 2 and No 3, respectively.
Chinese brands did a terrific job by widening their share of the smartphone market to 57% as of March, from 2017, their highest ever, compared to 53% from last year.
To add more, Anshika Jain, research analyst, also added that, “Xiaomi and Samsung alone captured 58% of the total smartphone market. Xiaomi’s performance is driven by rising product-pull in the offline market, building upon its strong presence in the online channel where it captured a record 57% share”.
Again, in the smartphone segment, Xiaomi has maintained its lead in Q1 2018 with a record 31% market share followed by Samsung at 26%, Vivo, and Oppo at 6% each, while Honor entered the top five for the first time with 3% share.
To delve deep, the Chinese smartphone maker’s Redmi Note 5 and 5 Pro were the most popular models, whereas Samsung Galaxy J7 NXT and J2 (2017) drove volumes for the Korean vendor. To this, Jain also added that “This is the first time that the top five smartphone brands accounted for more than 70% market share in a single quarter, which could accelerate exits and possibly consolidation”.
Talking about the feature phones, Jio Phone, a 4G feature phone, lead with 36% share, followed by Samsung at No 2 with 9.8%, Itel with 9.4% share and Nokia at No 4 with 7.3%. Sadly, Lava, which had a 5.6% share in feature phones as of March, was the only Indian brand in feature phones or smartphones to get a rank in top five.
To this, Tarun Pathak, associate director, added that “The demand for Jio Phone continued through Q1 2018 as Reliance Jio’s feature phone market share raced from 0% last year to 36% in Q1 2018. This demand was catalyzed by the introduction of a cheaper data plan”.
Interestingly, Jio Phone now captures more than one-third of the total featurephone market, the highest ever in a single quarter, since what Nokia achieved at its peak, the research firm added.
To know further, in the premium segment of ₹30,000 and above, Samsung grabbed the top position in the premium segment, capturing half of the total market due to new flagships – S9, S9 Plus, and A8 Plus – even as the segment remained flat. OnePlus maintained the second position with one-fourth share of the total premium smartphone market.
The first quarter was also marked with less than normal smartphone launches as very few brands refreshed their portfolio, except for Xiaomi and Samsung which has greatly benefited from the new launches.
The research firm expects demand to start picking up from early Q2 2018 onwards, driven by faster replacement rate of existing 2G and 3G smartphone users upgrading to 4G mobile phones.
Also to conclude, 96% of the smartphones were assembled or manufactured locally due to an increased focus on the Make-In-India program and rising import duties. As the government has increased duties on CBU and PCBA this quarter, going forward, the market will shift from SKD to CKD level manufacturing.