Around 130 million smartphones are expected to be shipped in India this year, according to a new report from one of the largest market research firms in the country, CyberMedia Research (CMR). As has been the case over the past decade, mid-range devices will continue to rule the roost this year as well, with handsets priced at less than Rs. 10,000 ($150) expected to make up the largest chunk of the market. However, even as the smartphone market continues to expand rapidly in the country, feature phones will apparently still make up more than 50% of the market, although, their overall market share is tipped to reduce considerably this year. CyberMedia expects sales of feature phones to hit 140 million units in 2017.
A recently-released report from market research firm Canalys claimed that Samsung Electronics retained its top spot in the Indian smartphone market in Q4 2016, even as Chinese companies like Xiaomi, OPPO, Lenovo and Vivo made massive gains; mostly, at the expense of Indian brands such as, Micromax, Intex and Lava. In fact, Xiaomi apparently established itself as the second-largest smartphone vendor in the country during the final quarter of last year, with the three other aforementioned Chinese brands close on its heels at numbers three, four and five respectively. While the controversial demonetization order seems to have been the latest blow to the fortunes of Indian smartphone vendors, Chinese manufacturers, with their affordably-priced feature-packed handsets have steadily gained market share over the past few years, ever since Xiaomi entered the Indian market back in mid-2014.
Of course, these are not the only Chinese brands that have been doing roaring business in India over the past couple of years. Huawei, Coolpad, LeEco, Gionee, OnePlus and others have also carved out their own niches in the market in recent times and, are recognized brands in the country in their own right. Together, China-based vendors apparently accounted for a whopping 40% of the Indian smartphone market last year, according to a report released earlier this month by U.S.-based market research and analysis firm, IDC. With smartphone sales in the country continuing to grow at a rapid rate, it will be interesting to see if the Chinese companies will be able to maintain their momentum this year.