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India’s Smartphone Market Increases by 84-Percent With Plenty of Room to Grow

August 18, 2014 - Written By Cory McNutt

If you are a smartphone manufacturer, then wise money would tell you to head to India to sell your product – India, or officially, The Republic of India, a country in South Asia is the seventh largest country in the world by land size and the second most populous country on the planet with over 1.2 billion people…and many of those 1.2 billion want to put down their feature phones and pick up a new smartphone.  A recent study by International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that during the Q2 2014, India’s smartphone market had a growth rate of 84-percent year-on-year and recorded a growth from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014 of 11-percent.  With 71-percent of the population still packing a feature phone, the potential for smartphone grow is exciting.

According to the IDC, the overall mobile phone market (feature and smartphone) stood at 63.21 million units in the Q2 2014, or a 5-percent growth over Q1 2014.  There has been a back-to-back growth of smartphones and a continuous migration from feature phones to smartphones, especially as the availability of smartphones in the sub $200 category continues to grow.  The shipment of smartphones grew from 10.02 million in Q2 2013 to 18.42 million during Q2 2014 – the 84-percent increase we spoke about earlier.  Another noteworthy item is the sale of Phablets (5.5-inch to 6.99-inch displays) has taken 5.4-percent of the overall smartphone market.  That category grew by 20-percent quarter-on-quarter, although more than half were under $250 with Indian manufacturers dominating that price segment.

As far as branding goes, Samsung still held the top spot, India’s own Micromax is growing at a faster rate and we could see the vendors swap positions by year-end.  Samsung needs to go after the low-end market more aggressively and come out with an exciting high-end device if they wish to regain their momentum in India.  Karan Thakkar Senior Market Analyst at IDC India said, “IDC observes that a new entry level price point is being breached by the Indian home grown vendors every quarter.  These devices are not equipped with high-end specifications and RAM is typically 256 MB.  This ultra-low cost segment may not sound a viable option to the repeat buyers, but it works well on the targeted segment.”

When it comes to the smartphone only statistics, with a 29-percent of the market share, Samsung is the undisputed champ, helped by its sub $150 devices such as the Galaxy Star and the Galaxy S Duos, although with Chinese manufacturers making great strides to penetrate the market, Samsung will have to remain very competitive.  India’s Micromax comes in second with 18-percent and their Karbonn hangs on to third place at 8-percent, Lava is at 6-percent and Motorola picks up fifth place at 5-percent.

Kiran Kumar Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India says about the future, “[The] Smartphone market is expected to more than double between now and 2018 and much of this is expected to be driven by the migration from feature phones to smartphones.  The user expectations are simple i.e. best-in-class user experience at affordable prices.  With the introduction of Mozilla and Android One, the sub $200 segment is anticipated to become even more appealing.”

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