According to the latest report published by Counterpoint Research, the Indian smartphone market grew 23% in the first quarter of 2016. The country has continued to see strong demand for smartphones even as the global smartphone market has been showing signs of a slowdown in recent months. Overall, the market continues to be dominated by the two big players in the country – Samsung Electronics and Micromax Informatics. While the South Korean tech giant once again emerged as the market leader with 29% share of the market, the homegrown company came in at number two with 17% of the Indian smartphone pie. Interestingly, other multinational brands like Sony, LG, HTC, Motorola, BlackBerry and Huawei, each lost significant market share during the quarter.
Elaborating on the Indian market and its growth trajectory, the Research Director for Counterpoint, Mr. Peter Richardson, said that the country is poised to be "the next China" in the coming years. According to him, "more than a billion smartphones will be sold in India over the next five years. This will drive the number of smartphone users from quarter of a billion to more than half a billion in the same time period". The research agency also says that it expects over a billion handsets to be sold in the country over the next five years buoyed by the growing adoption of 4G LTE in the country thanks to the continuing roll out of advanced network infrastructure by the likes of Airtel, Vodafone and Idea. Two-thirds of all smartphones sold in the country during the last quarter were LTE-enabled.
Taking a more detailed look at the report, Intex remained at number three with 10% share of the Indian smartphone market, while Lenovo and Lyf rounded out the top five with 8% and 7% market share respectively. Other Chinese brands like Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi also grew substantially during the quarter, even though on admittedly miniscule bases to begin with. Meanwhile, even as the Indian smartphone market gained further momentum in the last quarter, the global market remained more or less flat, with just 344 million units shipped because of continuing weak demand in China and Brazil as well as parts of Europe.