Smartphones-2014-AH-1

Android Headliner: Is India Becoming The New China Of The Smartphone World

April 12, 2015 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

The Chinese market is the largest smartphone market in the world. To put things into perspective, Xiaomi is currently the number one smartphone manufacturer in China, and despite the fact they do business mainly in China and some other Asian countries, they’re currently the third-placed OEM in the world. This should give you an idea how huge the Chinese market truly is. This Asian country is home to many, many smartphone vendors, and the competition is still increasing. That being said, the second biggest market in the world is the Indian one, which is growing at an incredible pace at the moment.

The Indian smartphone market is more or less at the same point the Chinese market was at the end of 2013. The growth rate is incredible and the competition is becoming stronger and stronger by the day. Domestic smartphone vendors are still the most popular ones in India, by far, but the biggest smartphone OEMs in the world are trying to succeed over there. Why? Well, that market has huge potential, and it makes all the sense in the world that almost everyone wants a piece of that pie. Samsung has started re-organizing their business in India recently, Motorola has put more focus on the Indian market in the second half of last year and Xiaomi intends to open up shop over there by the end of the year. These are just a couple of examples for you.

How fast is the Indian smartphone market growing? Well, smartphone shipments have actually quadrupled compared to the two years before that, at least according to IDC. Check out BI Intelligence’s graph below the article in case you’d like to see their growth-rate for yourself, it’s truly staggering. Despite India’s huge growth, China is still in a serious lead as far as shipments go. However, if India manages to keep this up for the long haul, that might change in the future. India is closing this gap, and it will be interesting to see how things will unfold by the end of this year.

Analysts are saying that the growth will continue in India, which makes sense. A lot of smartphone OEMs either entered the Indian market in the last year, or have put a lot more focus on it. There are still quite a few big companies in the business who are still not present in that Asian market, but are planning to offer their devices over there in the near future. Foreign OEMs have to be ready for all sorts of challenges in India though, and it will certainly be interesting to see how they will fare in the coming months / years. You may notice that homegrown OEMs like Micromax, Karbonn and Lava tend to focus on low and mid-range devices a whole lot, why is that? Well, pricing usually plays a bigger part in India than some other markets, although it’s important everywhere of course.

I personally am quite intrigued by Asia as a whole, Chinese OEMs like Xiaomi and Meizu have become very interesting lately and are doing a great job manufacturing devices. They’ve managed to produce a number of premium built, great-looking high-end devices which are really affordable compared to the competition, even when bought through resellers. As far as India goes, Micromax and its subsidiary YU are very interesting as well. It will certainly be an exciting year for those of us who appreciate mobile technology.

India quarterly smartphone shipments BI Intelligence